Every year we find the same old chestnut rears its head. As we get past Halloween and December is just around the corner, some of our clients tell us they want to stop their sales lead generation campaigns, saying that they will restart them either in mid-January or early February. After all, the reasoning goes, everything slows down in November and then nobody is at work in December and early January.
But should we really be writing off December and January? After all, allowing sales activity to stop in December and January means losing 17% of the selling year. That’s the same as letting your sales team work a 4-day week for 10 months of the year! Well logic seems to say that this period is not a good time to be filling the funnel and selling. But is that actually true? Is this period just the same as any other time of the year? Might it be even better?
As a global Group, we’ve always found that December and January are a great time for lead generation activity and for years we’ve been saying to anyone who’ll listen that we get our best results of the year during this period. This year, we thought we’d go one step further and run the numbers to prove it. And the answer is a resounding “yes”.
We looked at those clients who kept their lead generation campaigns going over this period (other than during our break from 20 December 2018 to 8 January 2019). We compared the results we got for them during December and January and compared these with the results we got for them in the three months prior (September to November). What we found was:
- Call rates increased by 26%;
- Conversations with Decision Makers increased by 18%;
- The time required to generate a qualified sales lead dropped by 51%
So (as we’ve been saying to anyone who will listen) it turns out that there are people at work during the December/January period – lots of them, in fact. And when you think about it, our results make complete sense.
Sure, our call rate increased because some people are not back at work yet, so we have to make more calls to reach each decision maker, but we still had more conversations with decision makers. And for those people who are back at work, it’s quiet. They’re getting things done and they’re thinking strategically about the year ahead. They have more time to take our calls and are more open to having a conversation with our agents. All of this means that we set many more appointments in December and January than at any other time of the year.
However, the clients that saw the biggest improvement in their results were those who started back with us right at the beginning of January. For those that came back in mid-January or later there was far less of an impact on their results. And on reflection that makes sense too, because there was very little loss of sales momentum on their lead generation campaigns.
Now there are some caveats with this, of course.
- If your customers are retailers, are running restaurants or cafes, or if they are schools, then you’re not going to want to do much in December and January because these groups either aren’t there (schools) or don’t have the time to talk to us (due to peak season demand).
- If you have a very niche market (less than 100 potential customers to reach in the market you want to target), it makes sense to avoid December and early January. People are away at this time and with such a small market to reach, there’s too much likelihood that calls will stall.
If that’s not you, why wouldn’t you keep your lead generation and sales activity humming as late into December as possible and restarting in early January? At worst, the results you get will be the same as you got in the previous months. At best, you could see a 51% (or more) increase in leads generated for your sales team.
But what if your reason for pausing sales activity is that your sales team take a large chunk of December and January off? Well, going forwards you might want to think about changing this: should they be away for that period of time when it is such a good time to meet prospects? But in the short term, we’ve found that calls made in late December and early January can be used effectively to set up meetings for your sales team when they get back so that they hit the ground running from day 1. You’re still clawing back as much of that “missed” 17% of the year as you can, giving you and your team the best chances of meeting and exceeding their sales targets for the year.
Are you ready to increase your sales leads by 51%?
If you are thinking about running an outsourced sales campaign, don’t think about putting it off till next year, get up and running now – we’re coming into our peak performance period and you’ll get really great results. If you would like help implementing and conducting a successful outsourced sales campaign, get in touch. Our expert team have years of experience across a broad range of industries and will be able to help you reach your business and sales goals.
Call: 0345 241 3038 or visit our contact us page.