Dear SaaStr: What is the Best Way to Deal with Long Sales Cycles?

  • First, shorten them up a bit.
  • Don’t fear paid pilots, opt-outs after 60-90 days, and/or smaller deployments. Prove yourself for now and put a few nickels in the bank.
  • And then — just get used to it.

The best way to shorten them a bit is to hire a head of sales with experience at your price point:

  • $100k+ deals often take more than a quarter to close.
  • $1m+ deals often take more than a year.
  • Bigger deals generally take longer.
  • But … a great VP of Sales with enterprise experience will help — and perhaps shorten sales cycles 30%. That will make a difference.

Ultimately, while long sales cycles are super stressful in the early days — you want to put points up, and cash in — in the long run, they don’t matter that much. Because eventually, you have 10, 20, then 100 bigger deals all in the pipeline. You’ll close them in a staggered fashion over the coming quarters. And you’ll even be glad to have a high visibility pipeline. And it will be OK.

A bit more here:

How to Cope With Long Sales Cycles

(note: an updated SaaStr Classic answer)

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