SaaS Companies Report Slowing Orders, Longer Decisions


Business software providers are seeing their customers grow more cautious in a rocky economy.

Citing recent comments from executives at companies like Salesforce, Okta and Crowdstrike, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the shift in sentiment on Sunday (Dec. 4).

“Certainly, the buyer environment has changed out there in the market. It’s become more measured,” Brian Millham, chief operating officer at Salesforce, said on an analyst call.

The reports noted these companies are seeing customers take longer to agree to deals, or in some cases pulling back on hiring to cut costs.

It’s not just large companies following this trend. WSJ said that Okta saw a decline in demand from small businesses as clients held off on purchases.

And while Okta CEO Todd McKinnon said the company had one of its best quarters ever for large deals, he also warned of “a global macro environment that we anticipate becoming worse before it improves.”

The report said this strain has quenched a fire lit in the tech industry after the pandemic forced businesses to embrace more digital tools.

But that embrace hasn’t gone away completely.

Speaking to PYMNTS recently, Jo Jagadish, executive vice president of innovation at TD Bank, talked about the rush among businesses to adjust their payments infrastructure to the challenges of the pandemic.

It was a shift that was most pronounced among small businesses, Jagadish told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster. She said that “a lot of [small] businesses were trying to keep their lights on, and so they relied heavily on just digital engagement in getting paid.”

That enthusiasm is still there in the post-pandemic era, she argued, as she’s seen many treasury departments “secure the funding and the investment that they’re going to need to automate and improve and digitize their back office.”

Factor in the rockiness of the current environment, and Jagadish said many CFOs are again looking to make long-term investments that will become relevant in a few years, in lieu of smaller, niche “hobby projects” that could soon be forgotten.