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Many business-to-business (B2B) companies believe there’s little opportunity to generate new leads and reach buyers by phone during the holidays—but our data suggests there’s a greater opportunity than you might think.

Compared to the rest of the year, buyer activity is certainly down in December, and activity is slower still around Christmas. This makes next week a logical time for part of your inside sales team to take a vacation. However, the holidays can still be a profitable time for some of your inside sales team to work. 

After analyzing the online behavior of more than 6,000,000 unique visitors to the Software Advice website, I found that, while traffic to our website drops off around this time of year, conversion and qualification rates are relatively strong. And because fewer sales teams work around the holidays, our team has a decent shot of getting in touch with buyers at this time.

Here’s why you should consider having part of your inside sales team work during the holidays, too.

B2B Buyers Are Researching and Requesting Information Around Christmas

As I mentioned, traffic slows down for us in December. However, from six days before Christmas until three days before, traffic to our website is above our average for other business days in December. The day after Christmas, traffic is just 17 percent below our December average. While traffic is certainly slower, the drop isn’t as great as you might expect.

Unique Visitors on Days Before/After Christmas

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Of course, this drop in activity means that you don’t have to keep your entire sales force around for the holidays. While buyers are still requesting information, at Software Advice, only about half of our inside sales team—typically our more junior staff—works around this time to account for the drop in activity.

Our conversion rates (i.e. the percent of visitors who request information via a registration form) are relatively strong around Christmas. In the three days after Christmas, for example, conversions rates are 13.4 percent higher than the average business day in December. While we can’t pinpoint the exact reason for this uptick, one possible explanation is that buyers who research a business purchase right around Christmas are earnestly looking for information.

Conversion Rates on Days Before/After Christmas

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We’re also able to reach buyers by phone at this time of year. Our qualification rates (i.e. the percent of conversions that our inside sales team qualifies via a telephone needs analysis and BANT qualification) are close to our December average. We’re not able to get ahold of anyone on Christmas or Christmas Eve, however, as we don’t have any sales staff working those days.

Qualification Rates on Days Before/After Christmas

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B2B Buyer Activity Picks Back Up Right After the New Year

Unsurprisingly, B2B buyer activity dips as the New Year approaches. Compared to the rest of January, traffic is less than half of our January average on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. However, it picks back up shortly afterwards—five business days into the New Year, traffic is just 3 percent less than our January average.

 Unique Visitors on Days Before/After New Year’s

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Conversion rates are also higher during this time. Overall, conversion rates the week after New Year’s are 2.2 percent greater than our average for business days in January. On New Year’s Day, conversion rates are 11 percent higher than average. Similar to Christmas Eve and Christmas, conversion rates may be higher on this day because traffic drops considerably, and thus the buyers that do take the time to visit our site are researching with greater determination.

 Conversion Rates on Days Before/After New Year’s

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While there is a lot of fluctuation around Christmas, our qualification rates are mostly above average the week after New Year’s. On the whole, our qualification rate the week after the New Year is 5.4 percent higher than our January average.

Qualification Rates on Days Before/After New Year’s

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Key Takeaways for Your Inside Sales Team

While many companies are not focused on finding news deals at this time of year, our data shows that it’s worthwhile to keep a portion of your inside sales team in the office. As you head into the holidays, here are three key takeaways for your inside sales team:

  1. Have some of your staff work the week of Christmas. Qualification rates are above average for us on several days before and after Christmas, so you should consider having a skeleton inside sales team work these days.
  2. Send buyers lead nurturing content (e.g. whitepapers, eBooks) on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Actual holidays (e.g. Christmas and New Year’s) may be excellent days for lead nurturing campaigns, as conversion rates are above average and your sales team can’t call buyers immediately. Sending lead nurturing content may be a great way to initiate the buying process.
  3. Have some of your staff work the week of New Year’s. Conversion and qualification rates are above average the week after New Year’s Day. Many buyers who convert on our site at this time are reachable by phone, so your inside sales team should be available to call and qualify buyers.

 

Learn more great tips to close deals before the new year with the free Salesforce ebook below.

 

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