To get out of any sales slump, SaaS teams need to address root causes of the slump, stay proactive, and incentivize their teams effectively.

In today’s economy, sales slumps are all too common in the B2B sector, especially in SaaS companies. These slumps are often seasonal, with summer being the worst offender. 

Thankfully, when you understand what’s causing your sales to be down, and when you have the right tools and strategies in hand, in can be easier than you think to get those numbers rolling in the right direction again. 

In this article, we’re sharing practical strategies to reinvigorate your team and your pipeline, so you can get out of a sales slump (and stay out!). 

While we’re focusing on summer slumps, these are mostly evergreen strategies that can be adapted year-round. If you’re struggling with quota attainment, pipeline generation, managing longer sales cycles, and reducing churn, keep reading. 

What causes B2B sales slumps?

SaaS B2B sales slumps can occur for various reasons, from seasonal trends to economic conditions. Understanding these causes is the first step in developing effective strategies to overcome them.

Summer sales slumps

During the summer, sales often dip as decision-makers take vacations and businesses operate with reduced staff. Many companies find it challenging to maintain momentum when these key contacts are out of the office.

This seasonal pattern, sometimes called a ‘summer sales slump’ or ‘summer slow down,’ can significantly impact B2B sales. It's critical therefore to plan ahead for these slow periods by adjusting sales strategies and expectations.

For example, during the summer, we know that people prioritize spending quality time with their families. And we know that this means there’ll be fewer available contacts, leading to slower decision-making processes. Not surprisingly, nearly 40% of B2B sales teams experience a significant drop in engagement during the summer months. 

But like they say, ‘forewarned’ is ‘forearmed.’ To prepare for this reality, smart companies can implement creative sales incentives and maintain consistent follow-ups to ensure leads are nurtured, even when key decision-makers are away.

Are SaaS sales down?

Summer or not, the SaaS industry is particularly vulnerable to sales slumps due to economic fluctuations. And SaaS sales in general have been significantly affected by the current economic downturn.

For example, we know that over two-thirds of SaaS companies did not hit their sales targets during the first half of the 2023. Nearly 80% of these companies faced substantial challenges in achieving their goals. 

The economic downturn has also led to tighter budgets, with 64% of companies reporting budget cuts, and 67% of these cuts affecting software budgets​. These financial constraints hinder companies' ability to invest in growth and marketing, exacerbating the sales slump.

Moreover, SaaS sales cycles have become significantly longer in recent years. About 49% of SaaS businesses have seen an increase in sales cycle length, with 52% of those experiencing an increase of 10% or more, and 6.3% seeing an increase of 30% or more​. Of course, longer sales cycles delay revenue generation and increase customer acquisition costs, putting additional strain on cash flow.

Finally, broader economic trends are also making SaaS sales tougher. Increased scrutiny over expenditures and more stringent approval processes have heightened competition within the industry​. Buyers now have more options and are more selective about their investments.

In short, sales are down in the summer across the board, and they are generally declining in the SaaS sector overall. We call it the ‘SaaS Summer Sales Slump,’ and it requires strategic intervention and innovative solutions to navigate successfully. 

By understanding all of these trends and implementing targeted strategies, SaaS companies can better position themselves to overcome these challenges and achieve sustained success.

How to get out of a sales slump

Getting your SaaS team out of a sales slump requires a combination of strategic planning and effective motivation. When you understand your team's specific challenges and implement targeted incentives, you can reinvigorate your sales efforts and boost performance.

Quota attainment

Boosting sales performance requires more than just setting targets; it involves motivating your team with meaningful and appealing incentives. Providing a range of tailored rewards can inspire your salespeople to reach and exceed their goals, creating a culture of enthusiasm and achievement. 

Here are some effective incentive strategies to consider when SaaS sales quotas are down:

  • Personalized rewards: Let your salespeople choose their rewards from a variety of digital gift cards. Tailoring incentives to individual preferences can drive motivation and performance.
  • Weekly flash incentives: Set up weekly challenges where team members earn rewards for hitting specific targets. This creates a sense of urgency and friendly competition and can help spark immediate action.
  • Summer-themed challenges: Considering offering rewards that tap into the summer spirit. High-value gift cards for travel (like gift cards to Airbnb, Carnival Cruise Lines, or Delta Air Lines) or outdoor activities (like Topgolf or Great American Days) can be especially enticing during the warmer months.
  • Surprise rewards: Surprise your team with spontaneous rewards. Recognizing hard work, even without a closed deal, can be a really valuable way to boost morale and encourage continued effort.

See the full Giftbit catalog of easy-to-send incentives. 🙌


Pipeline generation

Building and maintaining a strong pipeline is crucial, especially during slower periods. Consistently engaging prospects with targeted incentives can keep your pipeline robust and dynamic. 

Here’s some simple ways to ensure steady pipeline momentum:

  • Limited-time offers: Launch summer-specific campaigns offering digital incentives for demos booked within a short timeframe. This can drive immediate engagement and fill your pipeline quickly.
  • Flash promotions: Run flash promotions where prospects receive a gift card for signing up for a demo within, say, the next 48 hours. This adds urgency and can boost demo bookings.
  • Summer sweepstakes: Create a fun summer sweepstakes where all demo participants are entered to win digital gift cards. Promote this as a limited-time opportunity to generate excitement.
  • Themed incentives: Offer gift cards tied to summer activities or popular brands to attract potential clients to book demos.
  • Exclusive email offers: Send targeted emails to high-potential leads with special gift card incentives for booking a demo during the summer. Personalizing these offers can increase their effectiveness.
  • Referral push: Encourage your existing customers to refer new prospects by offering incentives for any demo booked through their referral. This can expand your reach and bring in new leads.

Longer sales cycles

Like we’ve covered, longer sales cycles are common during vacation seasons, presenting a unique challenge for sales teams. Keeping potential clients engaged throughout these extended periods is essential for maintaining momentum and avoiding losing valuable opportunities. 

Implementing thoughtful and strategic engagement tactics can help ensure your sales process stays on track, even during slower times. Here are some effective ways to keep your prospects interested and moving forward:

  • Engagement rewards: Offer smaller rewards at various stages of the sales process to keep clients engaged.
  • Pre-sale engagement: Incentivize participation in product demos or discovery calls. This can help maintain momentum even if decision-makers are away.
  • Quick decision incentives: Provide gift cards to clients who make quicker decisions. This can help shorten the sales cycle and secure deals faster.
  • Exclusive webinars: Host webinars featuring industry experts and offer exclusive content. This non-monetary reward can provide value and keep the conversation going.
  • Customer journey mapping: Enhance the sales process by mapping the customer journey and addressing friction points. This improves the overall experience and can speed up decision-making.

Reduce Churn

Keeping clients happy and engaged is always critical, especially when every client counts. During times when business might slow down, maintaining strong relationships with your clients becomes even more crucial. Implementing these strategies can help you stay connected with your clients and show them how much they mean to your business:

  • Proactive communication: Schedule regular check-ins to address client needs and concerns. 
  • Client engagement bonuses: Reward your sales team for completing follow-ups, ensuring ongoing engagement and progress through the sales funnel.
  • Customer appreciation: Show your clients how much you value their business with personalized thank-you notes and digital gift cards. For example, a fun “Holidays in July” theme might add a fun touch during the slower summer months.

These strategies can help you keep your SaaS team motivated and engaged, even during challenging times. By focusing on personalized incentives, creative promotions, and consistent client engagement, you can navigate sales slumps more effectively.

Of course, most of these strategies assume you're easily able to send incentives. That's why more and more SaaS companies have digital incentive software at the ready. When you have a platform in place, it's easy to scale up your incentives programs as needed. 

Having a digital incentive platform in place makes it a lot easier to boost your sales efforts. Sign up free for a Giftbit account and see how quickly you can get your programs up and running. 🙌


What is the future of software sales?

The future of software sales is bright for companies that stay proactive and adaptable. Companies that leverage technology, like AI and machine learning, to personalize interactions and streamline processes will find themselves ahead of the competition. 

Additionally, flexible pricing models and enhanced customer support are becoming increasingly important, allowing businesses to meet diverse customer needs and build lasting loyalty. That’s why Giftbit, a SaaS company in the fintech space, has always had transparent pricing, for example (reach out to learn about revenue sharing options, too). 

Meanwhile, incentivizing your sales team, maintaining a robust pipeline, managing longer sales cycles, and reducing churn have always been necessary for SaaS success. So while the tactics we explored in this article are crucial for addressing the ‘SaaS summer sales slump,’ they can be equally effective year-round.

It can be incredibly easy to set up a simple and scalable incentive strategy to help get your team out of any sales slump. See how one company set up their most effective growth channel in just ten minutes with a simple no-code integration.