No one needs to remind you that your company’s future heavily depends on the success of your sales team. But are you reminding yourself of this critical question: Am I hiring enough salespeople?
Let’s look at the numbers to see how big your sales team needs to be for your company to out-sell and out-grow your competitors.
How big should your sales team be?
InsightSquared’s blog recently featured the numbers on HubSpot’s headcount back in 2009. At 100 employees, 36% of HubSpot’s employees were in sales.
Today, HubSpot has over 1,200 employees with an even bigger percentage of them in sales: around 39%.
How big are other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies’ sales teams?
Percentage of employees in sales*
- 44% – salesforce.com (total headcount = 15,837)
- 25% – Netsuite (total headcount = 3907)
- 31% – Zendesk (total headcount = 994)
- 40% – InsightSquared (total headcount = 169)
- 63% – SalesLoft (total headcount = 57)
- 44% – Ideal Candidate (that’s us!)
*approximate numbers based on LinkedIn
Interestingly, larger companies adhere more to the 4:1 account executive to sales/business development rep ratio while smaller companies are closer to the 1:1 ratio indicative of hyper growth.
Are you hiring enough salespeople?
On average, the sales team is about 30% of the total headcount for larger companies and 40-50% for smaller companies.
According to Jason Lemkin, if your business is using a sales-driven model, at 100 employees you need about 40 of them in sales.
- 1 VP of Sales
- 1 VP or Director of Sales Ops
- 3-4 Sales Directors
- 1 Sales Analyst
- 20 Account Executives (budget for 25 at least)
- 2-3 Outside Account Executives
- 8 SDRs
As Jason puts it
Yes, I know this is a LOT more than you’d thought.
A lot of people underestimate how big their sales team needs to be to stay competitive. Take a look at your own numbers and if your sales team isn’t at least 30% of your headcount (and your competitors’ are), you seriously need to consider hiring more salespeople.
How big is your company’s sales team? Share your numbers in the comments or tweet @recruit_smarter.
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