The most difficult aspect of any business entering into the Japanese B2B market is the long sales cycle that exists here.
Depending on the size of the company or the client’s position in their company, a sales cycle in Japan on average could span about 1-2 years before a deal would close (3 months if they need it bad enough).
Before a deal actually closes though, Japanese companies will engage in many lengthy internal team meetings and approval processes.
Whoever the Japanese advocate is pushing for the purchase , they would need to jump over a lot of internal hurdles to convince their upper management of the merits of a foreign product compared to the local competition.
Your champion basically needs to know that your company is basically worth fighting for. They also need to be assured that you’re committed to Japan in the long- term.
Now, what can a non-Japanese business do to convince a prospective customer otherwise?
Trust is a currency that is hard to acquire easily within Japanese business. Although having a strong product is important , a lot of time will need to be spent cultivating relationships with potential customers before they can become your most ardent supporter.