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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

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BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

B2B sales cycle studies.

What I'm looking for are studies that indicate the average time it takes to make a B2B "enterprise" software sale -- IE: Acme Co. sells software widgets to Fortune 500, how long from the first phone call until a deal is signed does it take on average. Anybody know of such studies/numbers or a place I can find it?

Obviously I can use a search engine, but wasn't finding the level of specificity I was looking for and figured this group is likely to be the type that would have or desire to have such data.

Thanks in advance.
Looking for quality studies / numbers
Monday, August 04, 2008
I sell quite frequently to very large companies.  My typical enterprise sale is only about $8 to $10k. 

I find there are 2 "cycles."  The sales cycle, which takes about 30-60 days on average.  And the "PO Cycle," which can take many months, if it ever closes.

Below are my sales+PO cycle numbers for some recent sales:

Daimler: 1st contact in Nov. 07 and they just now are issuing the PO. (9 mos)

Northrup Gruman: 7 mos.(they are actually purchasing for a US gov't hospital.  I spent 1 week with techs at the hospital, and its now been 7 months dealing with the purchase order people at NG).

Lockheed: 8 month and counting (14 days with the techs, the rest of the time is the PO people)

Wyeth Pharm:  9 months to po (waiting 60 days so far for payment).

Seimens in UK:  about 10 minutes: they called up with a credit card.
Mr. Software Send private email
Monday, August 04, 2008
You might find some useful information here http://www.marketingsherpa.com/
Monday, August 04, 2008
Hey Mr. Software - is your URL supposed to point to a domain squatter site?
Philo [MSFT] Send private email
Monday, August 04, 2008
The Softletter 2007 Sales Efficiency Survey: Close Rates

From the Softletter Financial Handbook (Survey done last July, 2007).

Enterprise/Client Server

Less Than 3 Months:3.5%
3 to 6 Months: 32.1%
6 to 9 Months: 28.5%
9 to 12 Months:23.8%
12 to 18 Months:11.9%

SaaS companies close major business much more quickly, not surprising given the basic model.

Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman, Managing Editor
34 Sugar Hill Road
Killingworth, CT 06419
Softletter's SaaS University: Marketing, Selling, Infrastructure, and Financing, San Francisco, Oct. 14/15/16
rick chapman Send private email
Monday, August 04, 2008
I've been involved in a lot of B2B project engagements over the years that involved software sales (often combined with some professional services, or hardware procurement also)... mostly to Fortune100 companies (ie, slow...).  And these were generally >$50K type of expenditures.  For new customers... typical sales cycles would be many months, sometimes as long as a year or more.  If it's an existing customer, or if it's a smaller business without the procurement overhead of the F100, then it can be more like 2-3 months.  In my experience it's tough to complete a good-size B2B sale inside of one quarter..

The other thing to consider is that with the rise of SaaS offerings, that's really impacting these sales cycles.  If you're offering a web service, the cycle could be much shorter.  Here's an article I wrote on that topic: http://www.software-marketing-advisor.com/software-sales-cycle.html

Joanna Lees Castro Send private email
Monday, August 04, 2008
@Philo: Check the top right corner. "Coming Soon!
This site is under construction." It's placeholder content.
Monday, August 04, 2008

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