Summer: a season of joy and irritation. While many enjoy BBQs, festivals, and long days at the beach, some face hayfever and hot, sleepless nights. Salespeople also encounter the dreaded summer slump, a dip in closed deals. Though not universal, it affects a lot of businesses, and it’s something worth thinking about, especially if you’re B2B.
The summer sales dip or summer slump is characterized by a decrease in new deals signed during the summer months, primarily impacts prospecting and new business generation. This implies that existing leads and ongoing deals are not significantly affected. However, despite this distinction, the summer slump remains a significant concern for many businesses.
During the summer season, there are several factors that can contribute to the decline in closed deals. The main factor is the vacation schedules of decision-makers and key stakeholders.
Many individuals take time off during the summer to enjoy holidays or spend quality time with their families. As a result, their availability for meetings, negotiations, and other sales-related activities may be limited or even completely halted. This lack of access to decision-makers can cause significant delays in the sales process, as important discussions and approvals may have to be postponed until their return.
Another factor that can impact closed deals during the summer is the overall shift in business activity and focus of potential clients. During this time, many companies and individuals may prioritize different aspects of their operations or personal lives, diverting attention away from making purchasing decisions. For instance, businesses may be focusing on managing their own peak summer demands or adjusting their strategies for the upcoming fall season.
In Sopro’s Summer Slump report 2023, they revealed that two-thirds of B2B businesses experience a sales slump over the summer. Of the businesses affected, nearly 75% reported a drop in sales of 20%, and one in five claimed dips of 40% or more.
Despite the dip in closed deals, it’s important for businesses to proactively address the summer slump. This can involve adjusting sales strategies, implementing targeted marketing campaigns, and exploring alternative avenues to engage prospects during this period.
By recognizing the potential impact and taking proactive measures, businesses can mitigate the effects of the summer slump and maintain a steady sales pipeline throughout the year.
There are only really two strategies you can use to deal with the summer slump. These strategies revolve around either embracing the slowdown and using it as an opportunity or pausing your prospecting efforts.
While it can be easy to panic and stop prospecting when you’re not seeing any new business, it’s not the best option. Sopro took a deep dive into this option in their report, by looking into how three clients suffered due to pausing their prospecting.
Client 1 experienced a 3.4% lead rate in June but paused their campaign in August. Even as Halloween approached, the impact of the pause persisted. When they restarted the campaign, it took several weeks for lead volumes to return to previous levels due to a multi-layered chaser email schedule.
Another client, Client 3, achieved a remarkable 12.3% lead rate in April but paused their campaign in July. Despite resuming in August, the lead volume remained significantly lower until all chaser emails were active again, resulting in a serious impact on lead rates for August and September.
Client 2 also struggled to recover their impressive lead rate after restarting. Pausing prospecting during the summer, even for a month, can have significant consequences.
To see more about this: download Sopro’s Riding the wave: how to navigate the summer slump.
It might be scary, but the best option is to keep prospecting as usual. Prospecting during the summer slump is essential for maintaining a steady sales pipeline and ensuring business growth.
Overall, by persistently prospecting during your sales dip, you can overcome challenges, seize unique opportunities, and maintain a competitive edge, setting the stage for long-term business success.
If summer sales are declining, it’s crucial to maximize your existing resources. Focus on converting more of your current leads or nurturing them for future sales when they are back in the office. By optimizing your lead conversion strategies, you can make the most of your existing opportunities and lay the foundation for successful sales in the future.
Here are our tips for maximizing your summer sales:
These are just a few ideas that can help you get the best out of your summer campaigns. It’s worth also keeping in mind that customer retention is also important during these months. Harvard Business School‘s study which showed upping your customer retention by just 5% could lead to 25-95% more revenue. Don’t neglect your current customers by having less staff to look after them effectively.
As the summer sun sets on our exploration of the summer slump, let’s reflect on the lessons learned. Just like the changing seasons, business landscapes experience fluctuations, and the summer slump is no exception. While it may bring challenges, it also presents unique opportunities for those who persevere.
By staying proactive, maintaining prospecting efforts, and adapting strategies, we can overcome the slump’s impact and bask in the warmth of success. So, let’s embrace the summer season as a time to rejuvenate, innovate, and nurture our business growth. Remember, even amidst the summer haze, there’s always a path to thrive and make this season our own shining moment.