5 Tactics to Avoid the Holiday Sales Slump

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Many B2B sales leaders and reps believe the holidays put a dip in their sales revenue. As the holiday spirit increases attitude, it often decreases productivity at the office. Some accept the decrease in sales revenue as a sunk cost — holiday slowdown is an inevitability.

Alex Jakobitsch is here to debunk that myth.  

We’ve had a few requests for him, so we asked him to join us for this holiday episode on B2B Revenue Acceleration.

Alex shares his top motivational tools for sales during the holidays. He debunks myths, gives tactics, and ultimately shows that the holidays give more opportunity, not less.

Alex is the VP of EMEA operations here at Operatix, having worked his way through the ranks, starting out setting appointments, then onto managing a team, before he took over the entire EMEA territory.

  • Myth: No One’s in the Office
  • Truth: Everyone Works in December (But Use the Myth)

The whole notion that everyone is gone from the office is patently false. Imagine the entire C-Suite taking off for two months every winter. It’s somewhat humorous to consider, but the sentiment is prevalent.

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Alex says the winter holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, etc.) and summer are actually some of his team’s best months. Why? Because everyone else thinks everyone else is gone.

So he takes full advantage and crushes it in the holiday season. 

The myth gives him an opportunity, and he appreciates the boost. His sales staff continues the energy and reaps the rewards of the false narrative. With fewer sales calls coming in, it’s actually one of the easiest times to get hold of  the senior management.

  • Myth: No One Books Meetings During the Holidays
  • Truth: You Can Leverage the Festive Mood

The holiday “no one wants a meeting” is a myth. Specifically, because it’s the holidays, everyone is in a more agreeable mood, and they are more willing to say yes to an activity.

Book the meeting. Make the call. Take advantage of the festive mood.

  • Myth: Everyone Delays Sales Cycles Until January
  • Truth: By Starting Now, You’ll Be in Ramp-Up Phase by January

If every other sales rep is waiting until January to start their sales cycle, why camouflage your tactics with their noise?

Start the cycle in December.

Here at Operatix, our solutions help B2B tech companies shorten their sales cycles, so we often hear this excuse from our prospects. We tell them the same thing: Be different.

Let us help you go against the grain and take advantage.

Motivational Tactics For Sales Leaders During Holidays

Alex offered a few tactics he uses with his own reps. Essentially, he doubles down on the basics during the holidays to ensure the energy doesn’t lag:

  1. Emphasize planning and proactivity: Do your reps have their next 15 activities planned?
  2. Start the day with energy: As soon as reps walk in the door, encourage, ask about goals for the day, and offer assistance.
  3. Remember, they’re rockstars: Sales leaders typically hire reps who are self-motivated and are intrinsically competitive, eager, and energetic.
  4. Share best practices from the day. At the end of the day during crucial times, Alex rounds up his teams, and ensures they share best practices from the day to encourage others where they may be stuck.
  5. Give activities and process. If a rep is stressed, you can take their mind off the stress, by giving them activities to do and a process to follow. This will shift their focus and they’ll forget they’re stressed.

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What Incentives Does Alex Use During the Holidays?

Alex uses these four incentives during the holidays if he needs extra motivation:

  • Money
  • Time off
  • Social events
  • Corporate acknowledgment (“Ashley did so well with this sales call!”)

To know which is going to be the most beneficial, it comes down to the individual: If you know Chris is interested in sports, offer them football tickets if they achieve 20% over their sales goals. Conversely, if Taylor has 3 children, offer them passes to a family event if they exceed their targets.

That’s How You Crush the Holidays

The myth of the holiday sales slump isn’t just false, but December and the summer are actually full of opportunities, precisely because of the holidays.

Maintain your proactivity as a leader, incentivize your staff, and stick to the basics.

And crush it during the holidays.

This post is based on an interview with Alex Jakobitsch from Operatix.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

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