• Helen Pritchett

Beat the B2B Summer Sales Slump

Summertime is typically associated with fewer enquiries, reduced lead volume, a reduction in opportunities and fewer sales. Getting decisions and closing sales and can be complicated by decision makers being on holiday. Consequently, less attention is given to marketing campaigns and lead generation efforts during this time.

In our experience this simply isn’t true. There is a perception that it’s harder to generate leads and follow up opportunities. However, taking your foot off the gas in the summer can have a negative effect on reaching your sales goals.

In 2018 why not break the mould, beat the sales slump and try ramping up your lead generation activity instead?

Traditionally the summer holidays have been considered a marketing dead zone. People with school aged children are taking time off and firms largely believed to take their feet off the pedal. It’s long been thought that the summer is a time for sales and marketing teams to do a bit of regrouping, reflecting and strategising, ready to hit the ground running when all the key decision makers are back in the office refreshed and renewed after their summer break. Therefore, companies are often put off spending time on or investing money in marketing campaigns. After all, why spend the money if this won’t maximise your results?

As a marketing services agency we face a range of objections to summer marketing campaigns:

Fake News: “End users aren’t in over the summer holiday, let’s stop marketing until September”

Fact: In fact, researching 2017 successes by each month of the year, July was the second most successful month for getting through to contacts and generating opportunities.

Fake News: “Most of our sales people are on holiday, so there won’t be anyone it to follow up leads”

Fact: If you stop marketing and wait until your sales floor is full again, your sales people will have nothing to follow up on their return. CPB takes a nurturing approach to opportunities and schedules follow up for when your sales personnel are back in the office. We’ll keep your leads warm, nurturing them until you are ready to proceed.

This year we’re proposing something radical; buck the trend and ignore the supposed lull we are all brain-washed to expect. If you want to beat the B2B summer sales slump, it's time to start thinking about the summer as a time of bountiful opportunity!

Here are a few reasons why this is a good idea …

  1. There is no mass exodus: IT departments don’t go on annual leave en masse. Some staff stay in the office to keep the home fires burning. What is more, gate keepers are likely to be on leave, giving telemarketers a better chance of getting through to decision makers.

  2. Summer is the perfect time to plan, prepare and scope: We’ve found that many companies use the traditionally quiet summer holiday period to plan projects and scope solutions, which makes it an ideal time to approach decision makers with new products and services.

  3. Nurture the summer vibe: Make the most of this rare opportunity to make contact with and build direct relationships with key personnel, which could significantly shorten the sale cycle.

  4. Filtration isn’t just for fish tanks: We suggest supporting telemarketing campaigns with a nurturing email, in so doing we can filter out people with their out of office on and schedule calls for when they are back.

  5. Focus and target: We flag companies who have a summer shutdown e.g. manufacturing and engineering companies and the education sector. These company types are removed from our campaign data, making targeting more effective and call rates more successful.

Why are we so sure of this advice? In 2017, a partner company (CPB) achieved the following successes from lead generation campaigns during the summer months:

  • 554 leads

  • £524,000 in won business

  • £1.9 million total pipeline

  • £1 million of which is still live and being progressed

How do we beat the B2B summer sales slump? 

We promote the use of focused, targeted and personalised multi-touch marketing lead generation activities. We use the intelligence in ProspectaBase to help clients understand and target their audience to offer solutions that make the difference. Our data enables clients to contact people, when, where and how they want to with relevant offers, promotions and products. In so doing, they add significant impact to their pipelines.

It’s time to start seeing the summer season as an opportunity rather than a threat. Last year, one of our customers saw an average conversion timescale from generation to closure of 5.5 months meaning summer is the perfect time generate revenue before the end of the calendar year, or to help you start the new year on a high with a juicy pipeline.

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