There is a misperception that technology diminishes the demand for sales professionals. On the contrary, the firms with the largest sales forces are found to value human capital. SBI reviewed the 100 largest sales forces in the United States that we refer to as the SBI 100. We wanted to tackle the long-standing belief that technology adoption decreases headcount.


What we found is that the SBI 100 firms collectively embrace technology adoption to drive sales productivity.  These firms also increased the size of their B2B sales forces right along with their total employee population.


We compared employee head count in 2015 to a three-fiscal-year trend through two dimensions, average and total. In the top chart below the average employee hiring increased 3.6 percent over the previous three years. This trend of head count growth continues in the lower chart. The total employee head count increased 8.0 percent from 2012 to 2015.


Sales Strategy Value of Human Capital


While there are perceptions that technology adoption has lowered sales headcount, the facts show the opposite. Leaders of SBI 100 organizations have no doubts about the value of human capital. Technology advances only amplify the need for sales talent to drive results.


Make the most of your sales force human capital investment. Download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Review the People section with your team and answer the questions on pages 285 to 293 of the Sales Strategy step.  The exercise will provide you with a thorough assessment of sales role profiles and assessments, sourcing, onboarding and succession planning.

SBI 100 The World's Largest Sales Forces

In this issue, we rank the world’s largest sales forces.


Tom Maloney

Works with clients to improve sales force effectiveness and reduce customer acquisition cost and increase customer lifetime value.
Learn more about Tom Maloney >

Prior to joining SBI, Tom was the Vice President of Sales Operations for the Uniform Services Division at ARAMARK. He was also Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a recycling and waste collection organization and spent over 15 years in the petroleum industry with Atlantic Richfield and Texaco. He brings significant expertise in sales, marketing and operations leadership. Tom also has changed legacy sales organizations, turned around underperforming departments and consistently built high performance teams in both sales and marketing. He develops customer loyalty marketing campaigns that improve customer retention, reduce client turnover costs, and increase year-over-year sales. He has built multi-million dollar strategic partnerships and business building programs with most major US-based consumer products companies


Tom has earned multiple awards, some of which include: Univator Award for innovation, Super Star President’s Award, The Greatest Piece of Marketing Content Award.

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