How to Deal with Long Sales Cycles in B2B

As a rule of thumb, the bigger the sale amount, the longer the sales cycle. For startup founders who have never experienced an enterprise sales cycle, this can be quite unsettling.

The average number of attempts needed to make a sale is eight to ten. If you’re trying to reach C-level executives, expect to make 12 to 14 contacts before you give up. It can take a year or two to close certain deals, and that’s when things are going well. Like Michael Wolfe of Vontu, it might take a full year just to get your first customer.

So, how do you deal with long sales cycles?

Don’t despair and get caught by surprise. Plan for a long runway and start building your funnel.

Getting your early prospects to convert might take a long time; make sure to consistently have new leads in the pipeline to be growing year over year.

Make noise in the industry. Connect your early customers with other customers, write case studies and look for ways to speed up product-market validation.

Sales cycles will be long no matter what. Focus on your early adopters, optimize and reduce the perception of length of your sales cycle.