“Gobble gobble, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year — where are my opportunities?” is something I imagine many sales development managers will be saying throughout this holiday season.
The thing about quotas is that they don’t change, no matter what time of year it is. So if you plan on working the majority of November and December, you’ll need to have a plan in place for getting to your number. To this end, we’ve put together a few ideas to help get you there.
Make early December count
Most people will be working more the first two weeks of December than the last two, so make this time count! Plan on putting in a few more hours during these two weeks; here are a few ways we recommend spending the extra time.
- Lead sourcing: Make sure you have enough leads in the pipe to sustain you through the barrage of out of office replies you’re inevitably going to receive. If you normally find 40 new leads a week, make it 60 — you’re going to need the extra 20 as a buffer.
- Try the phones: At Datanyze, we tend to favor email over phone calls, but when you’re trying to get information, the phone isn’t a bad way to go. Try calling a few of your prospects in early December to get a feel for when they will be out of office. This will help you better allocate your time later in the month when connecting with prospects is more difficult.
- Do a pipeline dive: if you’ve been on the job for at least 6 months, chances are there are some prospects that you haven’t reached out to in a while. Go back through the leads you sourced a few months ago and see if you can’t reengage one or two.
Plan for ‘Out of Office’ replies
From now until January, we guess that anywhere between 20-40% of your prospects are going to be out of office on any given week. Knowing this, it’s important that you have a plan in place for dealing with all of these less-than-spectacular automated replies. Here’s what you can do:
- Respond to them: (wait, what?). Yes, we think you should write them back – check this out.
- Set a ‘reach back out’ date: Most out of office replies will tell you when the receiver is coming back. Make sure you take note of this date and Boomerang a response for when they return. Note, they likely will not be thinking about sales emails on their first day back, so give them a few days to get settled and then send your email.
- Remove them from drip campaigns: Every time you send an email, whether it’s automated or not, you are using up one of your chances to get in touch with a prospect. If you don’t get a response from replying to their out of office email, make sure to take them out of any drip campaigns and save your bullets.
People appreciate creativity, so why not try something new to augment your typical outreach efforts? Here’s some food for thought:
- Holiday cards: Try sending your prospects a physical holiday card. This kind of tactic gets lauded quite a bit nowadays — that’s because it works!
- Slip in a joke: If you’re the ‘funny guy’, see what kind of small, seasonal jokes you can come up with to make your email a bit more cheerful. Maybe Datanyze can be funny sometimes, too?
…Thanks for opening this amidst a barrage of 90% off Cyber Monday emails.
…Our prices can’t match Walmart’s November rollbacks, but we think our products might be a better fit.
…[Insert your best one line holiday joke in the comments section below.]
Happy Thanksgiving from the Datanyze team!
About the Author
Sam is the director of marketing at Datanyze. He's a big John Hughes fan who occasionally fills the DZ office with the sweet sweet sounds of 90s rock giant, Creed.Follow on Twitter More Content by Sam Laber