Despite an ongoing belief that business-to-business sales take a holiday at this time of the year, December can be one of the strongest months of the year for closing the deal. Why? Decisions at the end of the year are influenced by budgets and taxes. As organizations prepare their financial statements for 2015, they often find additional “use-it-or-lose-it” money to spend.
At the same time, businesses with enough cash flow tend to spend in December to maximize tax savings for the current year. In addition to upgrading equipment and placing more money into advertising, many businesses make vendor payments now, as opposed to waiting for the new year.
A recent conversation with our HubSpot channel account manager got me thinking about this subject and the increasing number of small businesses adopting new systems to help with sales and lead generation.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software such as Salesforce and Infusionsoft, and content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Squarespace are widely subscribed to on an annual basis for prospecting leads and managing content marketing efforts.
Social media management tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck are also utilized by many small businesses to generate sales and build customer loyalty.
And, Google Analytics and Tableau provide analytic tools and data visualizations used to track successful business and marketing practices.
From a business-owner perspective, now is the time to see if renewing current systems or subscribing to new software and services is the right choice for your business. Not only will you be able to decrease revenue in December for tax purposes, you will also be prepared to hit the ground running with a new tool earlier in the year.
From a sales perspective, December is a great month to capitalize on end-of-year sales and to build up sales pipelines for the first quarter. Try these simple tasks to maximize your month.
1. Look Back: Contact Established Customers
This is simply good business practice. Contact your current customers to wish them a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. Treat this connection as way to build loyalty rather than a sales pitch. Should they have a bit of money burning in their budgetary pocket, they might be the ones turning the conversation to pricing for the upcoming year.
2. Plan: Schedule Appointments
Contacting clients to schedule appointments for the first quarter is a great way to reassure them that you are being proactive regarding their needs. This touch point is also a chance to review previous year’s goals and plan future benchmarks. Some of your clients may prefer to get started right away, which is a good opportunity to close a deal on a new product or service prior to January.
3. Look Ahead: Call Prospects
Like all of us, prospects are in planning mode for the upcoming year. By setting up preliminary meetings in December, you can get a step on the competition that may be waiting until after the first few weeks of the new quarter. Reach out to those in all areas of your sales funnel to make connections while the iron is hot.
As you go through these steps, remember that some businesses may have budgets in place that are still available for use in the current year. This month, during your conversations with clients and prospects, ask them if this is the case and confirm if they’d like to pre-order for the upcoming year.
Have any additional tips for closing deals in December? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section below. Also, check out our free guide to determine the ROI of your marketing and sales efforts.