Why Tech Sales Cycles Take So Long

tech sales cycles

When it comes to tech sales, buyers often take a long time to decide. Don’t worry, you’re not alone—Gartner found that technology buyers spend on average 16.3 months to complete a new IT purchase.

sales cycle lengthvia Gartner

The reason why tech sales cycles are often longer is due to a non-linear buying process, in which business cases and vendor shortlists are consistently revised and objections eat up a huge amount of time.

Here are the primary obstacles tech buyers are facing and how they can be tackled to avoid an unnecessarily long decision-making process.

Building & Revising Business Cases and Vendor Shortlists

If you want to build a strong business case, you need to build consensus. Typically, participants’ points of view align with their function (based on whether they’re in marketing, finance, etc.), meaning they bring competing priorities and different criteria to the table.

Because of this, Gartner believes that “higher-level business objectives that align to higher-level executives and the P&L provide a commonality of purpose across diverse functions” and “smoothes the path for approvals later on.”

Additionally, because the buying cycle is fluid and purchase decisions no longer travel on a linear path, the majority of technology buyers tend to revise the business case (97%) and vendor shortlists (90%) repeatedly throughout the buying process.

business case shortlist revisionsvia Gartner

This can become problematic if vendors are not informed of revisions and when tasks are continuously repeated, delaying the process even further.

Responding to Objections

Another huge holdup to decision making is responding to objections. In fact, Gartner found that resolving all concerns and objections in order to move forward with a solution usually took buyers 2.6 months.

And what are the most common objections? Cost and risk. Not surprisingly, these are also the top two most time-consuming issues to address.

objections cost riskvia Gartner

Ultimately, you’ll be able to cut down sales cycle time if your business case addresses and directly impacts these most common objections of cost and risk. That’s because establishing a business case early in the sales cycle to clearly identify quantitative business impacts helps justify investment.


Still feeling overwhelmed by tech buying decisions? Luckily, there are partners like FPX out there that understand the multitude of challenges, can provide a consultative experience, and help guide you through the buying process.

  • Understanding your challenges: Trust us, we get it—we’ve worked with other companies in your situation and worked through similar issues.
  • Providing a consultative experience: A consultative approach means working closely with your business to identify opportunities for improvement and provide a comprehensive perspective of what you’re trying to accomplish (think goals, benchmarks, how to evaluate success, etc.).
  • Guiding you through the buying process: We understand you want more from your buying experience, and we’ll help you every step of the way, regardless of channel or tool you prefer.

Ready to get started? Check out our white paper "What I Wish I Had Known Before Buying CPQ" below. We surveyed CPQ buyers to unearth the most common pitfalls and delays that companies experience in the CPQ buying process.

*Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Matt Noyes

Matt Noyes

Matt is the Director of Product Marketing at FPX. He focuses on the evolution of CPQ from a traditional sales tool to one that delivers value across the enterprise.

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