Sales Cycles at $PL and $SPIR
Planet ($PL) is set to report fiscal Q2 (ending July) earnings on Monday (Sept. 12). My investment thesis largely rests on a continuous expansion of the customer base. As such, it will be interesting to see how sales cycles have trended in the quarter.

$PL reported a shortening of sales cycles in Q1 (ending April):
  • "During Q1, we saw a record number of new deals that were both generated in and closed within the quarter."

When prompted whether this was mostly driven by an urgent need for Ukraine imagery, Will Marshall noted:
  • "I think some of it relates to Ukraine. It’s a little bit hard to parse it out. But, certainly, the Ukraine situation is...pushing demand on the defense and intelligence sector. I will just note out as well that this is now becoming a significant food security crisis and we're tracking that with NGOs and also with our agriculture customers."

Spire Global ($SPIR), a related firm selling a different space dataset (radar-generated), also reported a shortening of its sales cycle in Q1 (ending March):
  • _“We are actually seeing...our sales cycles actually shorten in the near-term.”

In Q2, however, $SPIR saw the sales cycle for some larger contracts stretch out:
  • "The macro environment has also lengthened the time from initial conversation to contract signature for a handful of our larger pipeline deals. And given the ever-changing market conditions that businesses are contending with, we're also seeing some of our customers needing to go through additional approval cycles, while others are taking longer to obtain the necessary funding. While the pipeline remains extremely robust and growing, we're carefully watching our cycle-time to close."

Planet's Q2 sales cycle trend should provide some answers as to the extent the start of the Ukraine War fueled customer urgency. If cycles continue to improve, it may also reveal an interesting difference in the target customer base's contract approval process.
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