Merry Christmas, Now Go Get Me Some Leads

I was just catching up on the lead-gen blogosphere and read a great article from my boy Mike Damphousse on getting leads during the holidays. I know you’re hearing right now from your people working the phones, “No one’s picking up their phones.” I’m not completely oblivious; there are less people in the office right now.  However, there are some important things to remember about holiday lead gen:

  1. The first week in January isn’t much better. This is for a different reason; it’s CRAZY when the new year starts. If the sales (inside, appointment setters, etc.) are wigging out now, think about the beginning of January when everyone’s hair is on fire.
  2. 2010 planning either happened or is still happening. If you haven’t converted leads, you need to right away.
  3. People who are in the office may be more open to chat. It’s slow, so you may have a more  captive audience. This is key.
  4. You’re paying to have people working the phones. Use them!

So, here’s the problem: your connect rate is your conversion rate and your guys are dialing like crazy and no one is answering. That hurts, I know. We just ran a Connect and Sell session and got zilch. (For reference: we average 20 connects per session on it.)

If connect quality is up (the people you will speak to may be more engaged) and connect quantity is down, marketing can help solve this problem. What you don’t want is for sales to just dial for dollars; instead you want to provide them with the intelligence to call the right people.

Who should they call?

  1. Download = Call them: People do download from home, but they don’t download from vacation.  Instead of piling through leads generated over the last month, only work on recent downloads.  Think about this type of buyer: He or she finally has time to research, and more importantly, he or she is working.
  2. Web site Activity = Call them: Marketing automation can help you here. Remember, one of things you want to do is get sales working on the right thing.  Leaving voice mails for out-of-office prospects is not one of them. You need the functionality to tell sales “this guy is working and BTW, currently checking out your solutions.”
  3. Email: Many people shut email down because they don’t get the type of big responses they get during non-holiday times.  Instead, turn it on, and even the five to 10 people you get to react will help sales calling people who are working.
  4. Lower your scores: If you do use marketing automation,  have dedicated phone resources and aren’t connecting as much, then don’t wait until they hit your steady-state “this guy is ready for sales to call” scores.  In the holiday season, download and Web site activity should trigger a call.

Happy hunting.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • I completely agree with your thoughts and this is the time to reach out simply because no one out there is doing it. In this new economy, there is no such thing as holidays- everyone is connected all the time. This is the second time in the past week where there has been major Blackberry outages- why? Because everyone is online while they’re waiting in line- catch them:)
    Happy Holidays

  • This strategy leads to burn out for sales people. It’s akin to, “you’re not rowing fast enough so I’m going to whip you more”. It’s as if you’re aware of the situation but haven’t taken advantage of that awareness to create better results.

    There are other strategies and tactics that marketing can employ that can generate leads which inside and outside sales can take advantage of in the new year.

    Your insights and opinions in this current issue of your blog are intellectually lazy and doesn’t provide those of us in sales and marketing the depth of critical thinking that is crucial to our success.

    Companies prepare for the end of year when people leave their office to celebrate Christmas and the new year. It’s not like this never happened before so instead of engaging in a tactic that yields little results, plan to do something that provides a better return on results.

    To do the same thing every year and expect different results is insane.

  • Jon, I think you’re missing the boat. What Craig is saying is during these perceived slow times, adjust slightly, and take advantage of the situation. Any sales person that feels whipped is not doing their job properly. Whipping is not a sales tactic, and I don’t think Craig was going there at all. He’s talking about thinking smarter and benefiting by it.

    Years ago, I remember a VP of sales telling me “take the last two weeks off, if you aren’t already in contract stage, you’ll never close a deal.” How wrong he was. I had 3 deals resurrect themselves in the past two weeks because prospects are shifting gears. A shift in gears gives you time to re-insert yourself into the situation.

    But if you want to take the rest of the year off – 3 good selling days – go right ahead. Give the critical thinking a break.

    For those of you that are going to wake up on Monday ready to roll – go get em! Personally, I’ll be phone-side with red-lined contract edits on my screen.