The summer months are typically associated with scarcer enquiries, reduced lead volume, a drop in opportunities and fewer sales. If you’re a regular visitor to the CPB blog, you’ll have read a similar blog before – but as the same thing happens every year, this is definitely evergreen content and worth reiterating.
Traditional thinking goes that getting decisions and closing sales during the summer is complicated by decision makers being on holiday. Consequently, it is thought that less attention is given to marketing campaigns and lead generation efforts during this time.
What’s your opinion? Are you a decision maker who doesn’t recognise having many weeks off work each summer? We are sure you’re not! As a company at the sharp end of lead generation, we find that this traditional thinking doesn’t happen. Yes, there is a perception that it’s harder to generate leads and follow up opportunities over the summer, but in fact, taking your foot off the gas in the summer can have a negative effect on reaching your sales goals.
This summer, why not break the mould. Beat any potential sales slump by ramping up your lead generation activity instead. Sounds a little loopy right? Ok, bear with us. We’ll explain why this is exactly the approach you should be taking. And we’ll even back it up with some stats.
The background, the myth
As mentioned above, traditionally the summer holidays have been considered a marketing dead zone. People with school aged children take time off and it is widely believed that firms to take their feet off the pedal. Summer is perceived as a time for sales and marketing teams to regroup, reflect and strategize. This break allows them a breather, so they are ready to hit the ground running when key decision makers are back in the office refreshed and renewed after their summer break. A consequence of this regrouping and reflecting is that companies are reluctant to spend time on or invest 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; let’s challenge a couple of these myths:
Myth: “End users aren’t in over the summer holiday, let’s stop marketing until September”
Fact: Looking back at our 2018 stats and successes by each month of the year, July was the second most successful month for getting through to contacts and generating opportunities.
Myth: “Most of our salespeople are on holiday, so there won’t be anyone it to follow up leads”
Facts: A) this just isn’t true, nit al salespeople are given the summer off! B) If you stop marketing and wait until your sales floor is full again, your salespeople 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.
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’s the real backstory to the summer …
- There is no mass exodus
IT departments don’t allow all their staff to go on annual leave en masse. Some stay in the office to keep things ticking over. These are the people you want to talk to and make an impact with. What is more, gate keepers are likely to be on leave, giving telemarketers a better chance of getting through to decision makers.
- Summer is the perfect time to plan, prepare and scope
We’ve found that many companies use the conventionally 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.
- Nurture the summer vibe
With gatekeepers on holiday, make the most of this rare opportunity to make contact with and build direct relationships with key personnel and significantly shorten the sales cycle.
- Don’t let an out of office put you off
We suggest supporting telemarketing campaigns with a follow up nurturing email. In so doing we can filter out people with their out of office on and schedule calls for when they are back.
- 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 our approach? In 2018, CPB achieved the following successes from summer lead generation campaigns:
- 588 leads
- £610,000 in won business
- £1,035,000 total pipeline
- £425,000 of which is still live and being progressed
How we achieved this?
- Increased up take of multi-touch marketing
- Using an omni-channel approach to reach end-users
- Monitoring digital communication interactions and using granular analytics to find the most fruitful times & content
- Following up on topics that the end-user is actively interacting with
- Not leaving any stone unturned when getting through to contacts by leaving voicemails, sending introduction emails and connecting on LinkedIn
How can you beat the B2B summer sales slump?
- Choose focused, targeted and personalised multi-touch marketing lead generation activities
- Use top quality, intelligent data to understand your target audience and offer solutions that make the difference
- Contact people, when, where and how they prefer, with targeted and relevant offers, promotions and products
It’s time to start seeing the summer season as an opportunity rather than a threat. Our average conversion timescale from generation to closure is 5.5 months. On this basis, and working on this timescale as an industry standard, summer is the perfect time to generate for the beginning of next year, helping you start the new year on a high with a juicy pipeline.