When it comes to B2B tech sales and building your B2B business, the journey from lead generation to signed contracts often resembles a marathon. Small to medium-sized tech startups, especially those specializing in software sales to large enterprise customers, face a bunch of challenges that lead to extended sales cycles.
Depending on the product you’re selling there are a lot of areas that can stall during the sales process. Contract negotiations, one of the parts of the sales process that B2B sales people are least trained on, consume a lot of valuable time, slowing down sales for startups aiming for efficiency and rapid growth. Exploring what the average sales cycle for B2B tech and how you can speed that up is a core component of any successful go to market strategy. So, what is the average sales cycle for B2B tech sales?
Slow Pipeline Slow Growth B2B Tech Sales
A quick Google will tell you that the average B2B software sales cycle is 2.1 months. A quick common sense look at that would tell you the number is either garbage to the work average is wildly inappropriate to use here.
The average sales cycle, an important metric for startups, emerges as a whole lot of factors that are very business dependant. What are you selling? Who are you selling it to? What are they using it for? I’ve worked in businesses that sold deals ranging from $10k ARR to $100k ARR and I’d call 2.1 months an outlier in the significantly short period. Selling to enterprise I’d say most founders quote 3 months. It’s a nice cute little number. Being the person that would have to present the actual numbers in a board meeting means that I can conclusively tell you that a nice round number of 3 months is usually absolute rubbish. Try 6 months. But no one wants to admit that
What Causes Slow Down?
Honestly it’s usually a simple case of the buyer just not being ready, not prioritizing things or just kicking the can down the road. Fine, we’ve all been their if you’ve sold anything before. Sales stall and restart all the time.
The issue that’s really causing the pain for your sales cycle is when your customer is ready to buy and you’re just plan getting in the way with your process. Contract negotiation and procurement are areas that really slow this down. The negotiation process becomes a major hurdle, where effective time management and communication clarity breaking down when you bring legal into the fray. As startups frequently grapple with prolonged negotiations, they actively strive to streamline the process and speed up their sales cycle. In this pursuit of efficiency, organizations explore innovative strategies and leverage technology to expedite the intricate dance of deal-making.
One key obstacle revolves around the management of legal teams within these startups. Legal teams are often dumped into the middle of negotiations with little to no context and need to engage with both sides to get things over the line. As deadlines loom at month or quarter-end, senior leaders must ensure their legal teams focus on priorities. However, the lack of visibility into legal negotiation progress can create bottlenecks, hindering overall sales process efficiency.
Moreover, post-contract signing, critical information often becomes trapped in lengthy PDFs, making access and retrieval challenging. This complicates matters for senior leaders, including founders and heads of sales or finance, who need a quick and efficient way to review contract redlines and make informed decisions.
How To Speed The Sales Cycle Up
Enter Contract Sent, a contract management software tailored for small to medium-sized tech startups engaged in B2B software sales. Addressing the pain points of extended sales cycles, Contract Sent offers a suite of features aimed at streamlining contract negotiations and enhancing overall efficiency.
1. Getting an Overview:
Half of the battle is knowing who’s working on what. If you’ve ever been told ‘it’s with legal’ you’ll know this pain. We look to give startup leaders a real-time overview of ongoing contract negotiations. This includes tracking the current stage of negotiations and identifying the team members responsible for managing each contract. Consequently, this visibility enables senior leaders to gauge progress and allocate resources effectively.
2. Contract Health Metrics:
Keeping track of contract metrics is crucial for startups aiming for rapid growth. Contract Sent’s dedicated dashboard allows teams to monitor key metrics, enabling data-driven decisions that can significantly impact the sales cycle.
3. Kanban Board for Contract Management:
You should be treating your contract lifecycle the same way you treat your sales cycle. Having a visual approach empowers teams to prioritize tasks, streamline workflows, and ultimately accelerate the sales cycle.
4. Version Tracking and Clause Management:
In addition, Contract Sent simplifies the complex task of version tracking and clause management. With advanced tools for tracking changes and managing important clauses, startups can ensure that legal teams are always aligned with organizational priorities.
Contract Management Made for Startups
Set Tasks, Negotiate Faster
5. Contract Comparison and Approval:
The software features an advanced contract comparison tool, enabling quick and accurate assessments of changes. Moreover, Contract Sent streamlines the approval process, allowing senior leaders to focus on what matters most and make informed decisions swiftly.
6. Task Management:
To address workload challenges faced by legal teams, Contract Sent seamlessly integrates task management functionalities. This ensures that teams are aligned with deadlines and can efficiently navigate the complexities of contract negotiations. In essence, these features collectively enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of contract management for small to medium-sized tech startups.
At the end of the day everyone wants their sales cycle to be faster. If your startup is facing a extending sales cycle it’ll hamstring the growth of our business. Addressing the benchmarking question “What is the average sales cycle for B2B tech sales?” – well it varies, wildly. Rather than benchmark against data you find online one of the best strategies is to benchmark against your own past sales cycle and look to improve it quarter by quarter.