That’s a great question- long sales cycles in a short sales cycle-minded company are a challenge. This is why keeping the pipeline full and healthy is helpful so you’re always working on prospects. When I was at PSBJ I had a monthly sales goal, so I knew I had to get my speaking engagements booked a month in advance to have next month taken care of and work to fill the gaps, instead of reacting to the work all the time.
Communicate with your manager to discuss what is realistic. If it’s a new industry you’re in charge of, there may be no proven track record to know that one industry is longer or shorter than others. This is also a great time to reach out to your Referral Partners. Take some time with LinkedIn or even Facebook to reach out to friends and your referral partners (that’s why I think they’re so valuable!) and talk about what you need and connections you’re looking to make in the industry. As I mention often, I can’t help you if I don’t know what you need.
Send a quick note to a few people asking them to introduce you- a quick “I saw you know so and so on LinkedIn, would you mind introducing me?” most people say no problem, and if they don’t, there is usually a good reason (the person is a jerk, or they haven’t talked to them in 2 years so it wouldn’t be a good lead).
If you have a couple of clients that you are comfortable asking, you may want to reach out to them and get their feedback on the ‘sales cycle’ and when they felt comfortable saying yes to you. Bosses like concrete answers and data to back it up.