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Why is December a Great Month for B2B Sales Prospecting?


Historically, the typical sales rep thinks that prospecting and December do not mix. The mindset is that generally the last month of the year should be spent getting deals in and preparing for the following year.  No one really picks up the phone this time of year, right?

Wrong. And I'm not just saying this from the perspective of AG Salesworks, a B2B lead gen company that prospects year round. 

One thing I fully admit is that it is harder to get a hold of people during this time of year. You could spend your entire day calling and end up with half the conversations you’re accustomed to seeing from your efforts. With that being said, even though prospects are elusive, the quality conversations you do have historically end up having a much higher hit rate than what we see during the rest of the year. Bottom line is that people do want to talk now; you just have to be prepared to work harder to get them live.

To prove this, I went back and looked at our team's performance over the last three Decembers. (P.S. If you want to learn the best reporting metrics to use to benchmark your outbound sales team, download the new Outbound Index). Fortunately the numbers proved that I’m not crazy.

The 2 metrics I evaluated were:

  • Connect Rate % - # of quality conversations divided into # of dials (Average is 10%)
  • Lead Rate % -  # of leads passed divided into # of quality conversations (Average is 2-4%)

Based on the calling efforts of approximately 45 Business Development Reps over the course of the 2011-2013 timeframe, the blended average worked out to:

6.9% Connect Rate


7.3% Lead Rate

Based on what this is telling me, we’re seeing only a 3% drop-off in conversation rate. Our lead rate, on the other hand, jumped up just north of 3%, which clearly proves that though less people are answering the phones, those who are are willing to talk about possible solutions. 

I also took it a step further by looking at the lead conversations we ended up having in Decembers past. In most cases, the common themes I saw were that prospects, not surprisingly, were currently in planning mode for the following year. We would set preliminary meetings before year end and then set the full-blown demo for the first few weeks of the New Year when all the decision makers were in the office. Meanwhile your competition is calling after the first of the year, trying to set the initial meeting, and you’re already a few steps ahead.  

In the decade plus that we at AG have been B2B sales prospecting, we’re no longer surprised to see our lead volume has remained just as consistent this month as it has every other month during the year. I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that we’re still out there pushing while everyone else is already getting ready for 2015.

Long story short…pick up the phone. 

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About the Author   |   Craig Ferrara

Craig Ferrara is the Vice President of Client Operations for AG Salesworks. He has extensive experience in the sales and teleprospecting process. Craig joined AG Salesworks in 2003 and has successfully managed several teams of high-performing Business Development Representatives. To read more of his articles, click here.

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