While the holiday season is a lucrative time for retailers, it can be “elfin” slow for B2B brands. From Thanksgiving through Christmas, consumers are focused on one thing: crossing everybody off their gift-giving list. They’re not interested in hearing about your CRM’s comprehensive capabilities or your manufacturing organization’s swift production output processes. Customers are too busy hunting down the two remaining Magic Mixies Magical Misting Crystal Balls for their six-year-old niece.

As such, B2B brands need to beef up their business marketing efforts to drive lead generation. But with inflation taking its toll on B2C’s holiday sales growth, it can be tougher for B2B businesses to effectively reach the clients they’re trying to target.

That doesn’t mean you have to dig deep into your pockets to find more money for your sales and marketing budget. Focusing on low-cost, high-impact sales pipeline strategies will help your organization “sleigh” the holiday slow period.

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Why Are Your B2B Holiday Sales Sooooo Slow?

During the holiday season, more and more B2B decision-makers will be wrapping gifts and wrapping up their business spending. As the year draws to a close, business owners will keep closer tabs on their budgets. As such, they’ll go into a strategic “hibernation” mode until the first quarter of the upcoming year. In fact, about 71% of companies have fiscal year-end dates on or around December 31st.

Luckily, you can use plenty of smart sales and marketing strategies to drum up new business and close more sales during the slow holiday season. 

Need some inspiration? Check out the following five B2B holiday sales and marketing strategies.

Five Ways to Beat the Holiday Slow Season

To get more sales this holiday season, you’ll need to set realistic goals, nourish existing leads, and cultivate deeper relationships with your current clients.

1. Set Realistic Goals 

As we enter into the holiday season, it’s imperative that you don’t entertain lofty goals. While generating $10 million in sales pipe sounds lovely, is it possible?

Round up your marketing and sales teams for a meeting to nail down some realistic goals. Make sure you’re only setting SMART goals. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. This will help you drill down on your efforts and increase the likelihood of achieving your goals. This is also a perfect time to utilize your SWOT analysis to ensure the goals you set match trends in your external environment.

2. Emphasize Relationship Building

Obtaining new customers costs five to 10 times more than selling to your current clients. To overcome the holiday sales slump, concentrate on strengthening the business relationships you already have. 

The holidays are the perfect time to show your gratitude to your existing clients. Making your customers feel special can deepen brand loyalty and boost retention. 

Use data to craft a customized overview of a customer’s experience with your business. Develop a personalized one-sheeter that spotlights their biggest annual wins, including facts or figures.

Seeing their achievements on paper—or a screen—demonstrates all the value your business brings to the table. 

Spotify has perfected this method. With their end of the year “Wrapped”, they serve various data points to their customers. Its mobile app downloads increased by 21% in one week after Wrapped emerged.

People love seeing unique and insightful information about themselves.

3. Use Holiday-Themed Campaigns 

Let’s face it. We’re all suckers for festive, fun holiday-themed content. Whether it’s an engaging landing page featuring a big and jolly Santa, brightly lit menorah, or a New Year’s countdown clock in an email, holiday-themed campaigns are bound to help your B2B business increase lead generation among the digital disconnect. 

Consider offering deep holiday discounts when applicable. These can include Black Friday sales, special Cyber Monday offers, and New Year’s bundle deals.

But before you go shooting off email after holiday-themed email, it’s important to clean up your list to reduce bounce rates. This ensures your IP address—and reputation—doesn’t get tarnished.

4. Nurture Current Leads 

Has it been a while since your sales reps reached out to their existing leads that were qualified by the sales prospecting process? If so, now is the perfect time to do just that. Lead nurturing will help you awaken dormant database leads, significantly shorten the sales cycle, boost conversion rates, and generate new business.

Even if a lead never responded to your last call, writing a follow-up email won’t hurt. Surprisingly, sending a follow-up email improves your chances of finally receiving a reply.

5. Keep Next Year’s Budgets in Mind 

As we previously mentioned, many decision-makers have put an end to their 2022 spending. But that doesn’t mean they’re not thinking about next year’s budget.

Develop an account-based strategy that uses campaigns to target these savvy spenders and decision-makers. Demonstrate how they can get more bang for their buck by sending prospects your top customer success stories. Only send case studies that apply to the lead’s industry and needs.

92% of B2B consumers are more likely to purchase when reading a testimonial or case study. People trust people over companies.

Don’t be afraid to put your target’s new budgets front and center. This way, prospective clients know your intention and the timeline that goes along with that—making them more inspired to fit you into their 2023 budget.

Snow Time Like the Present: Make Sure Your Holiday Strategies Stay Lit

While most people consider the holiday to be a slow season for new B2B deals, your business marketing and sales efforts can make or break your lead generation during the last couple of months of the year.

To ensure your sales leads stay plentiful and your pipeline remains full, ensure you:

  1. Set realistic goals for both your sales and marketing departments. 
  2. Focus on relationship building with your current customers as they plan their next fiscal year budgets.
  3. Take advantage of holiday-themed outreach campaigns and holiday days.
  4. Nurture the existing leads in your pipeline that have gone stale.
  5. Utilize new fiscal year budgets as a conversation point for cold prospects.

Do all of this, and you’re well on your way to creating the secret sauce to your holiday season recipe. What’s the main ingredient? A killer sales pipeline and marketing holiday strategy.

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