Study: Inside the Sales Cycles of 280 SaaS Companies
What is a sales cycle?
When a lead signs up to a SaaS product,
the company reacts in a few different ways:
• Sending automated emails
• Manual sales emails
• Calling and leaving voicemails
We studied how 280 SaaS companies manage this process,
including the volume, content, and cadence of sales outreach.
Using the details of a fictional Vodafone employee,
we signed up to SaaS companies from the Montclare
SaaS 250, and the top startups on AngelList.
While no follow-up effort from our side was made, we tracked and archived all voicemail
and email activity to build a set of over 2,000 data points.
Here’s how 280 sales teams respond to a high-ticket lead:
Companies will follow up
for 9 days before stopping
Companies will send one
email per day until the
end of the cycle
65% of companies hand
you over to an automated
74% of companies
If a company leaves
voicemails, the sales cycle
length is usually
The average marketing
drip campaign contains
Most SaaS companies
have two sales
contacts per lead
MailChimp is the most
common email marketing
software, used by 49%
of the sample
7% of emails have
a false ‘re:’ in the
9% of companies use
webinars as a
Length of Sales Cycle
and Amount of Emails / Voicemails Left
We found there are three major categories
66% of companies use marketing automation as part of the sales cycle while 98%
used sales emails. 26% of companies left voicemails, with two voicemails being the
average amount of telephone interaction, if any.
Marketing automation Sales emails Sales voicemails
The Length of an Average Sales Cycle
Combining the data of companies who use all 3 types of outreach,
the average cycle length is 9 days.
The most persistent company overall was iDoneThis, with 36 points of contact over a
37% of companies made only one touchpoint upon sign-up, while 40% made between 3
and 10. The most persistent companies made up only 23% of the set, with anywhere
between 11 and 36 emails and voicemails in a month.
Sales Cycle Statistics From Companies
who Leave Voicemails
While email outreach can be 100% automated (and, in many cases in this study, it was),
voicemailing is the sign of a high-touch sales process.
In line with this, the average sales cycle length from companies who left voicemails was
160% longer than that of companies who used just email.
On average, these companies will send 1 email on the day of signup, then leave a voicemail
follow-up the day after.
The Length of an Average
Sales Cycle with Voicemails
Sales Cycle Statistics
From Companies who Use Only Email
The average sales cycle length from companies who use only email was 5 days.
The most persistent email-only contact came from iDoneThis, who contacted us 32 times
in one month. Other aggressive emailers are Front (15), Maker’s Row (15), and HubSpot
The average amount of emails in an email-only sales and marketing campaign is 3, while
most marketing drip campaigns had 5 emails in the sequence.
The Length of an Average Sales
Cycle for Email-Only Cadences
On average, sales teams
send one email every two days
While 41% of companies sent daily emails throughout the cycle, on average sales teams
followed up once every 2 days.
After the first sales email, the majority of companies waited one day before following up
with a voicemail.
53% of emails were
Around half of the total communications received were automated marketing emails.
33% of companies sent no marketing emails at all, while 39% used fully automated out-
Emails received from salespeople
vs. marketing automation
Percentage of emails received
From salesperson- 47%
Automated - 53%
Percentage of companies sending emails
or marketing automation.
Percentage of companies using only salespeople,
only automation, or a mix of the two.
Only salespeople: 33%
Only automation: 39%
A mix of the two: 28%
Salespeople were the most common
points of contact at 54%
We looked at the job titles mentioned in email sign-offs and voicemails, and found that a
total of 54% of contact came from those with sales-type jobs (either sales or business
development explicitly mentioned).
It was also not irregular to be put in touch with the CEOs and marketing managers,
especially when the company uses marketing automation.
CEO / Founder: 7.07%
Business Development: 18.48%
Account Manager: 9.78%
Customer Success: 5.43%
Other: 3.26% Support: 2.17%
Of Company Contacts
Job title of Emailer
Most commonly used email marketing
software by SaaS companies
MailChimp is the most used marketing automation software, used by 49% of SaaS
companies. The two other major players are Marketo (21%) and HubSpot (19%).
The prevalence of HubSpot and Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud gives us an extra insight into
which CRMs these companies are likely using, also.
Marketing Automation Software
The most common marketing automation software
Marketing Cloud: 3.23%
Eloqua: 3.77% Tout: 3.26%
Words and phrases used
in sales emails and voicemails
The 5 most common words
in sales email subject lines
The 5 most common phrases
in sales email subject lines
1. Follow up
2. Demo request
3. Thanks for your interest
4. Welcome to
5. Free trial
7% of emails used a false ‘re:’
A ‘re:’ is often used to make the recipient believe they’re receiving something they’ve
already replied to.
Since, in this study, we didn’t send any replies, all ‘re:’s are false.
Most common phrases in voicemails
1. Give me a call back
2. My number is
3. The reason I’m calling is
4. Feel free to
5. I saw that