Salespeople Have More Than Presents to Look Forward to in December, Data Shows

We recently conducted a yearlong study looking into sales trends around the world, including millions of data points from thousands of companies in 50 different countries. Specifically examining deal activity and sales win rates, we looked for time-specific and country-specific anomalies.

Overall, we saw a consistent trend of increased sales conversions at the end of each quarter, especially during the holiday season, a time when you might expect fewer business activities to happen. Here’s what one year in sales is like:

one year in sales infographic

All things being equal, the year-end 3.15% jump in conversion is significant, especially for those with high deal volume. In sales, you have to hear NO a whole lot of times before you get to hear a YES. When that NO-to-YES ratio improves even by just a fraction (nevermind 3.15%), the resulting upside in sales can be substantial.

This conversion increase is good news for both parties – salespeople close more deals while buyers can get better deals. With salespeople eager to hit quotas, they are more willing to cut deals to close the sale. Meanwhile, buyers sometimes have excess budgets to spend before year-end, which shortens the decision-making process.

Looking at the holiday season, the fact that salespeople in China work hard during the Christmas season is perhaps not very surprising. The most important holiday in China is not Christmas, but Chinese New Year, which occurs in late January or early February. Consequently, you can see a significant dip in activity levels about that time both there and in Indonesia, where Chinese New Year is a public holiday.

Another interesting anomaly shows Portuguese salespeople in overdrive during the holiday season. Activity patterns showed that the Portuguese achieved most of their yearly results in the final two months of the year. While it’s not 100% clear why the pattern is so extreme, it’s possible they are working extra hard to make up for the slower activity periods leading up to year’s end. We will be certain to revisit this trend next year.

Pro-tip: start adding new deals to your pipeline now to take advantage of the higher conversion in December!

Are our findings consistent with your experience? Please share your thoughts below.

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Ott Ilves

Ott is responsible for looking after the digital marketing efforts here at Pipedrive.

  • BoxedUp

    Nice blog OTT, I was always under the impression that come December the 1st people went into Christmas mode. Do you know though if those stats are B2B or B2C or a mix of both?

    • Ott Ilves

      Hi BoxedUp,

      Thanks! These stats are by and large about B2B companies. B2C comprised a tiny fraction, so the general trend is about B2B.


      • BoxedUp

        Awesome, thanks Ott! 🙂

  • Thanks for taking a global view of the sales pipeline! And, its interesting that the true workaholics seem to be beyond our borders!

    • Arnold Smyth

      I don’t see where you get that info from this report? They might only be working an hour a day. This report doesn’t touch on hours worked just conversion increase. Just because their sales numbers increase doesn’t mean that they are working more than people in the US (which is what I assume you mean by beyond our borders).

      Am I missing something?

  • EV87

    metsikult ilus infographic! heatöö

    • Ott Ilves