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.
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.