Can an inside sales program really be successful in December or after Thanksgiving for that matter?
Whether companies have internal inside sales team or use an outsourced model, this question always seems to arise in Q4. Many companies perceive that there are too many factors that dissuade appointment setting. I guess the logic makes sense and I can see why many companies believe this to be true. The vacation time and out of office time is definitely increased during the holiday season. Also, sales reps are busy! It seems all their time is consumed with closing business before year-end.
However, data that LeadJen has gathered in the last 5 years tells us this isn’t really true. In fact, while the conversation rate (connect rate) for prospecting decreases slightly, the conversion of conversation to appointment actually increases. Why? It’s not that the messaging has changed significantly for any one of our clients. I believe it’s due to the lightened mood of the prospect as well as the fact that the ancillary messaging (content not directly related to value propositions) is highly relevant and focused on something fun…vacations and holidays! Conversations with operators, admins, and executives all go more smoothly because inside sales executives can use the holiday season and vacation time to ‘warm’ a cold call.
The other very important criteria is that while setting brand new appointments for the sales team in December might not make much sense, setting appointments up for January helps start the year off right! Many companies seem to forget that if there isn’t prospecting activity between Thanksgiving and year-end, then there won’t be any activity teed up for the new year. So, come January 1st, everyone is scrambling to generate sales activity and the pipeline must be re-established for prospecting, which means the first appointments might not come until the end of January or February. That can greatly impact sales cycles and revenue.
In conclusion…keep the prospecting activity going year round. Maybe you’ll connect with less people, but if you do connect, you are much more likely to have a positive conversation. Plus, the year-round activity will help ensure that the company doesn’t suffer a dip in sales activity…which could lead to a dip in revenue!