While ecommerce spikes during November and December, B2B sales are typically the slowest of the year. So how can B2B marketers stay business during the last 2 months of the year?
We asked 11 B2B lead generation marketing and sales experts for their best strategies on how they continue to drive leads, deals, and closes even during the holiday season.
Use Information Selling and Urgency
Driving deals to close end of year has always involved bringing back the information gathered in initial discovery conversations about where the company is trying to get to and what it means to do nothing for another month, quarter or year. What is the impact to decreasing revenue, added risks or increased costs? Hammering this point home with customers where you understand the fear of things remaining the same and causing failure is higher than the fear of change has helped me close at least one large deal every holiday season.
Incentivize the Close
One strategy for closing sales before the end of the year is to offers incentives and pricing discounts. Often after a certain point in Q4, companies will start looking at campaign (or new vendor) agreements launching in January. To avoid a January overload, we often provide incentives for active leads to sign an agreement before the end of the year.. This can include discounts off the 1st months service, or even longer term offers.
Reach Out and Be Available
One tip for driving B2B sales during the holidays is to be present and available in addition to reaching out around holiday time. You can tailor your messages with a fun holiday theme or even send gifts in the mail to prospective clients. It's a huge advantage to be available and on the playing field during the holiday season, giving you a window of opportunity to close sales, since most of your competitors will be sipping hot cocoa inside and not being responsive or available to prospects.
Use Facebook Ads
We’ve kept a fairly consistent flow of new leads coming in during the holidays by utilizing Facebook advertising. Using Facebook’s targeting features, we can place our offer in front of our audience in a place even business owners and CEO’s spend a lot of time when they’re off work - social media. And while sales are a bit tougher to close during the holidays, many businesses are motivated to make changes and improvements in the New Year. So by getting your company in front of the decision makers during the holiday “lull,” your business will be top-of-mind in their new year planning sessions.
Promote Holiday-Themed Content
As a marketer in the e-commerce industry, my strategy is to focus on creating valuable, Holiday-related content which our target audience (online B2C retailers), can extract tips from in order to implement themselves (e.g: 4 Ways to Optimize your Online Store and boost Holiday Sales). This content has taken the form of e-newsletters, articles, videos and infographics - all of which encourage prospects to download white papers, ebooks or webinars. We had positive results last year and in November-December 2019 so far we've seen a 28% increase in the number of leads and closed 8% more deals.
Outreach When Others Don't
Most businesses don;t call / email prospects in the last 10 days of December thinking people are not going to be in office they will not respond. Many people are actually still in the office during this time and are relatively free due to the reduced workload. So if you run a campaign during this time, you can get more attention from prospects.
December is the month when most content is created, so it should be worthwhile to use this. Work on guest posts and contribute quality content to relevant outlets. Also, check competitor backlinks to see where similar opportunities may be.
Use the Holidays Sales Hype
We've found that using the Holidays directly has helped. This year, we had a Cyber Monday sale and had our largest day of the year. Our customers are very small businesses and are very close to the B2C so we can tie into strategies with that. Last year, we did the 12 days of Christmas and did very specific give-a-ways that our audience got excited about.
Be Authentic and Solve their Problems
Pick up the phone start off with Hello ___, Happy Holidays---this is Jessica from ---. (start a sincere conversation to distinguish you from other cold callers, then state your purpose ) I help (target customer) with (the problem you solve and the emotion related to it) so they can (result) without (most common objection). I 'm checking in to see if that's something you'd like to learn more about. For Example: I help B2B sales organizations relieve the frustration of slow December sales so they can hit their year end goals without spending any more time at the office or money on marketing...
Invest In Your Outreach and Over Deliver
Do your research first on their website, corporate Facebook channel and their profile on LinkedIn. Generate a piece of work that you can showcase. Looking for a creative gig? Then create an ad, short video or blog article that a) show’s that you’ve understood what the company needs and communicate externally and b) demonstrates your skills. Don’t be shy to invest some hours, these are well spent and will pay off in the future. You’re looking to build that relationship with a long-term fit in mind.
Invest In Your Outreach and Over Deliver
During the holiday season, especially come mid-late December I have found that an educational content marketing strategy has proven to be very successful at engaging our B2B audiences. Many executives that we are looking to market to, are in strategic planning meetings for the upcoming year and are more willing to consume content during this time period to ensure they armed with as much knowledge as possible.
So keep your B2B lead pipelines full! And don't forget about your lead generation channels and tactics either with Google SEO, LinkedIn, email marketing, PPC, webinars, lead nurturing planning, blogging, and landing page optimization. The quieter holiday months are a prime time to focus on building better marketing programs to increase potential lead generation.
So which of these strategies are you going to try first? What other strategies have worked for you? Tell us in the comments below!