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Why Your Inside Sales Team Should Work the Week Before Christmas (and After New Year’s)

 

The holidays are often viewed as a time when business-to-business (B2B) buyer activity slows down, making it an excellent time of year to give your inside salespeople time off.

However, after analyzing data Software Advice collected from more than 6,000,000 unique visitors, I found companies may underestimate the opportunity to generate leads and reach buyers by phone around Christmas and the New Year.

I discovered that our web traffic and conversion activity is higher than one would think for several days at the end of the year, and we’re still able to get buyers on the phone. Because of this, you may also want to keep your inside sales team in the office around Christmas and the New Year after all.

Buyer Behavior the Week Before/After Christmas

Compared to other business days in December, our traffic remains above average until three days before Christmas. Moreover, traffic one to three days after Christmas is only 15 percent below our monthly average—which is not as significant of a drop as expected.

Unique Visitors on Days Before/After Christmas

Our conversion rates—that is, the percent of visitors who submit their contact information via a registration form on our website—fluctuate before Christmas but are surprisingly high the day of Christmas and the days after. Even if traffic is a bit lower around this time of year, people are clearly working after Christmas.

Conversion Rates on Days Before/After Christmas

Meanwhile, our qualification rates—or, the percent of conversions that our inside sales team qualifies via a telephone needs analysis and BANT qualification—are close to the December average for business days before and after Christmas.

And, just three business days after Christmas, we’re able to qualify buyers at a rate 12 percent higher than our average December qualification rate.

Qualification Rates on Days Before/After Christmas

Key takeaways:

  • Conversions that come in the week before and after Christmas qualify at or above our average December qualification rate. You should consider having salespeople work these weeks.
  • Conversion rates on Christmas and Christmas Eve are 19 percent higher than our December average. Consider sending lead nurturing content (e.g. an eBook) to buyers on these days to initiate the buying process.

Buyer Behavior Around the New Year

Much like Christmas, buyer activity the week after New Year’s Day is relatively strong compared to other business days in January. Traffic is down just 10.2 percent, which is less of a drop than we experience the week after Christmas.

Unique Visitors on Days Before/After New Year’s

Moreover, conversion rates the week after New Year’s are, overall, 2.2 percent higher than our average conversion rate for business days in January.

Conversion Rates on Days Before/After New Year’s

And qualification rates after New Year’s Day are 5.4 percent higher than our January average. In our experience, buyer activity picks up right after the New Year.

Qualification Rates on Days Before/After New Year’s

Key takeaway:

  • While traffic is down the week after New Year’s, conversion and qualification rates are above average compared to other business days in January. In other words, buyers that convert on your site at this time are reachable by phone, making it a good week to have your inside sales team in the office.

While the days around Christmas and New Year’s may not be the highest-performing days of the year for our team, B2B buyers are actively researching purchases and willing to engage with our salespeople during this period. Having your inside sales team around to respond to and qualify Web-generated leads at this time of year may be more important (and lucrative) than you think.

To view the full report and access additional key takeaways, check out B2B Buyer Behavior – Web & Phone Channels IndustryView | 2013.

Christmas tree” created by zaimoku_woodpile CC BY / Resized.

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Derek Singleton

About the Author

Derek Singleton joined Software Advice after graduating from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. At Software Advice, he manages content related to the CRM software market and reports on business-to-business (B2B) marketing technologies, topics and trends.

Connect with Derek Singleton via: 
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