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2 minute read / Mar 28, 2023 /

The Typical Startup Saw a 24% Increase in Sales Cycle in 2023

Sales cycles shifted dramatically in 2023. Slower sales cycles create pipeline shocks & startups are feeling the impacts.

The average startup saw a 24% increase in sales cycle from early 2022 to 2023. 60 day sales cycles are now 75 days.


But the latency isn’t evenly distributed. Startups selling to enterprises have increased 36%, twice those of Mid-Market & SMB focused companies. This figure is statistically significant with a p value of 0.0005.

The distribution chart above shows about one-third of enterprise sales cycles take 50% or longer than last year to complete. Mid-market & SMB distributions skew left with up to 10% of businesses reporting a decrease in sales cycle during the period.

The VSB chart shows a bi-modal tilt to the data: most companies observe a moderate increase but about one-quarter have seen a doubling.

Segment % increase in sales cycle
Enterprise 36%
Mid-Market 18%
SMB 17%
Very Small Business 26%

image Usage-based companies have suffered greater increases in sales cycle than seat based companies: 29% vs 21% with a p-value of 0.1.

And yes, enterprise focused companies with usage based pricing models have borne the greatest overall increase of 44%.

These benchmarks suggest startups should plan on materially longer sales cycles into 2023.

The antidote: greater pipeline-to-quota coverage ratios by either increasing the top of the funnel or reducing the account executive headcount.

The data analysis uses the results from the 2023 GTM Survey.

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