Does Your Company Have The Right Number of Salespeople?

Does your company think about the long-term profitability of its sales force, or does it only focus on short-term results? Research by Harvard Business Review has shown that by focusing on only immediate profits to decide the number of salespeople you hire will actually cause your sales force to be undersized by approximately 18%. Many times, leaders are under pressure to deliver results quickly and only focus on the first-year impact. However, long-term profitability should be the main focus and the approach you take to decide the right number of salespeople is important.

Hiring sales people based on an “earn your way strategy” or cost-to-sales ratio is no longer an effective way to determine the most effective sales force size. Harvard Business Review’s article, “Does Your Company Have the Right Number of Salespeople” describes three important steps to best measure how many salespeople your company should employ.

For sales managers, this is not an easy question to answer. The number of salespeople affects profitably by impacting both revenues and costs. It’s easy to estimate costs by looking at historical compensation, benefits, field support, and travel costs per salesperson. But it’s much more difficult to predict revenues, as it requires understanding how complexities such as customer needs, the economy, and the effectiveness of your and your competitor’s salespeople, influence a sales force’s ability to generate sales.

Most companies use financial decision rules to determine how large their sales forces should be, but regrettably, these rules often lead to poor decisions. Consider three commonly-used rules…

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Simon Roads

Vice President of Sales

Born and raised in England, Simon Roads has had a distinguished career in various forms of aviation spanning over 45 years. His journey began as an A&P mechanic in the Royal Air Force and has encompassed a range of roles, ultimately leading to his position as the VP of Global Sales for Honda Aircraft. Throughout this extensive career, he has had the privilege of closely collaborating with Royalty, Dignitaries, and high net worth individuals, providing them with unparalleled expertise and a steadfast commitment to excellence in aviation services.

Having been immersed in the aviation industry for nearly half a century, his wealth of insights and knowledge has established him as a trusted figure within the field. His extensive experience has provided him with the opportunity to engage with diverse cultures, interacting with individuals from various walks of life, and ensuring that their distinctive requirements and preferences are met with the utmost precision.

One of his notable strengths lies in his adeptness at effectively managing global teams. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated successful leadership and mentorship of professionals from different backgrounds and nationalities, fostering an environment characterized by collaboration, growth, and mutual respect.

Understanding different cultures has played a pivotal role in his professional journey. By taking part in the customs, traditions, and practices of his clients he not only fosters strong relationships but has also gained a profound appreciation for the unique needs and expectations of each of his clients.

Away from work, his priority is his family. His role as grandad to three wonderful boys, brings him immense joy. He has a penchant for outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, and golf. Additionally, he has developed a passion for cooking and continually seeks to learn new culinary techniques. The art of balancing life and work is an ongoing journey for him, and he considers himself fortunate to be able to savor the best of both worlds.

You can contact Simon at

Meredith Stanley

Executive Recruiter

Meredith joined IPS in 2023 as an Executive Recruiter with over 5 years of recruiting experience at Amazon and Lyft. Prior to making the shift to recruiting, Meredith was an Executive Assistant for over 3 years at a Seattle-based insurance company. With a passion for finding top talent, Meredith has hired for a wide range of roles across North America in the hardware, micromobility, operations, transportation, and tech spaces.

After an unsuccessful attempt at a Chemical Engineering degree, Meredith graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies.

Meredith has a passion for live music, playing both piano and trombone. She also enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors either skiing, hiking or scuba diving.

You can contact Meredith at

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