The Christmas build up is well underway, so what does that mean for B2B lead generation?
Often, Christmas is seen as a time to ease off lead generation efforts as telemarketing calls can get ignored in the blizzard of Christmas activity. Many telemarketers begin the month with the belief that their December will consist of a barrage of no answers or alternatively, the classic “call me in the new year”. Whether this is due to the annual Christmas rush or high spirits, lead generation around this period is sadly lacking in expectations.
At one end to the spectrum – depending on the seasonality of the business – decision makers are winding down before the Christmas break, reducing the chances of achieving a speak-to as they are more likely to be away on annual leave, or reducing their workloads in the lead up the break. At the other end of the spectrum, decision makers are caught up in the pre-Christmas rush, and therefore less willing to take telemarketing calls. As a result, speak to rates can suffer.
But can these assumptions be getting in the way of securing some quality appointments? Simply put, don’t underestimate the effect of Christmas spirit on B2B engagement.
The festive period is a sure way to improve an individual’s mood and in turn can encourage them to give you more time to pitch and more scope to take on board what you’re saying. Seasonal goodwill on its own is unlikely to close many deals, but can certainly help get a foot in the door.
Gatekeepers away on leave can also mean that calls are more likely to get through to the decision maker, reducing the amount of calls that need to be made and consequently leaving more time for direct engagement.
In addition, planning for the New Year often starts in earnest at the beginning of January, and December can therefore be prime time for starting the engagement process ahead of the New Year. By leaving your telemarketing until January you may find that the ship has sailed in terms of upcoming business prospects. This year for example, between December the 9th and January the 5th there are only two working weeks. How many decision makers do you know who don’t know their diary three or four weeks in hand?
So where does this leave you when deciding whether or not lead generation around this time is right for your business? The only rule when planning your telemarketing is that there is no general rule you should be following! You should consider your sector, your sales cycle, the decision makers you sell to, and the buying patterns of your customers and prospects before applying general rules to your business. So for this holiday period, begin by looking at your own key performance indicators and campaign statistics to judge whether or not December lead generation can work for you. Happy holidays!
By Faresh Maisuria, Managing Director Blueberry Marketing