The IT sales cycle is getting longer
The graphic below illustrates the change in sales cycles reported by IT companies from 2005 to 2006. The fact that the IT buying process is getting longer is disturbing news and has much to do with the increased information that is available via the Internet and the number of key influencers that involved in these purchases. The phenomenon is likely to be temporary as marketers will adapt quickly and learn how to capitalize on their new tools. And buyers will adapt quickly as well- since a slower buying process will inhibit the ability for companies to implement new technology and realize gains from cost savings and productivity.
If you are targeting the Enterprise, expect sales cycles to become even longer. Big companies can produce large wins - but organize your sales plans to build a track record of smaller wins that can finance your way to the those big whales. IT marketers that are hyper focused on the big wins may find themselves brushing up their resumes - if firms lose patience with their strategies and lack of results. Be keenly aware of your company's patience level and tolerance for long-term marketing plans. Otherwise, Monster.com may be a nice site for you to visit in the near future.