January is the best month for sales campaigns as companies are in the process of planning and budgets! Analyzing conversion data over a 10 year period in the financial industry, I observed that the best B2B month to sales is indeed January. There are 3 main reasons for this and I will tell you what they are.
Before going onto the reasoning, I am sure you probably disagree with this statement. On the contrary, you believe that deals are higher concluding in December than any other month. You will remember the recurring argument of the salesperson telling you:
“if you sign before year-end, you will benefit for these special conditions in return”
Think now for one second, this argument is used to mark a deadline that can be the end of the week, end of the month or even end of the holiday season. This is why this is good to let data talk and analyze backward why first instinct is sometimes guiding you in the wrong direction.
1. January through to May has the highest conversion rates (February performing a massive 10% higher than average).
The beginning of the year has far better conversion rates than any other time and B2B sellers should be ready to take advantage. This is the most effective time to begin a new campaign as companies often have, or are in the process of planning, new budgets! For those pursuing high-end, complex sales, beginning to nurture potential clients 3-6 months ahead of this period will increase the likelihood of an existing relationship from January to May.
2. Conversion rates dropped significantly during the summer months and December (December was 12% below average).
Conversion rates fall during the summer, for obvious reasons such as holidays away from work. So consequently this may be the ideal time for the sales staff holidays or company events. The noticeable dip in December is likely to be the result of companies preparing for the New Year. In B2B sales December could be considered an important month for human interaction, account nurturing and campaign planning, this will ensure you’re ready for the new year’s high conversion period.
3. Qualification rates are 2% higher than average from June to August.
During these summer months, qualification rates increased, which may be based on the conversion rates simultaneously falling below average. With less warm leads coming through agents have far more time to ensure they reach the right people and analyze each companies potential.
Seasonality is extremely important in B2B direct sales and also in B2B digital sales! So although these dates may not reflect personal experience it’s vital that you plan your year to ensure it reflects your own company trends. Analysis of your monthly sales figures over three years could be a start.