Why You Need To Hire More Salespeople

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? 

why you need to hire more 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.

35% of HubSpot's employees are 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*

Large companies

  • 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.

The takeaway

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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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min