16 February 2017

The ratio of Inside Sales Reps to Inside Sales Managers is 9 to 1 or less in Ireland

Part 5:

Overview: If you have read the previous five summaries in this series, then you will be aware that the I.S.D.N. (Inside Sales Directors Network) at The Sales Institute of Ireland ( @salesireland ), conducted Ireland’s first ‘Inside Sales Practices Survey in December 2016.  This exercise was completed in conjunction with our research partners Amárach Research ( @amarachresearch ), and with the support of IDA Ireland - ( @idaireland. ).   Over 80 Irish based Inside Sales Hubs with vareying target markets (EMEA , UK & I, or National)  participated in this 62 question research exercise.   Further details of the Survey are available by emailing: enquiries@salesinstitute.ie.

This summary is number 6 in the series and focuses on' Management Practices'.

Rep to Manager Ratio: We asked Inside Sales Leaders what is the ratio of Inside Sales Reps to Inside Sales Managers (supervisors) in your sales organisation?  75% of respondents told us they have a ratio of 9 Reps for every Manager (or less).  A further, 20% said that their ration was 6 Reps to every manager.  This number is interesting when compared to The Sales Institute's Members Sales Practice Survey of September 2016, a research of over 200 sales organisations (both Field and Inside Sales based.),where the average number of Reps to Managers was also 9 to 1 ..... However, in this September 2016 Survey the ratio 7 to 1 or less in top performing companies (Highest number of reps on quota).

Administration & Report Writing:  Compiling reports is still a component part of the Inside Sales Manager's Responsibility.  One third of our Inside Sales Leader respondents told us they spend between 3 to5 hours a week on this task.  A further 20% of respondents told us that they spend up to 10 hours a week just on compiling reports.

Travel & In Country Meetings:  Travel appears to be a significant part of the Inside Sales Rep's remit.  Over 30% of respondents told us their team are required to be at / support in country customer meetings for up to 8 days a year.  This figure rises to between 12 to 20 days for Reps in enterprise and large mid markets categories.    Reps in 40% of respondent companies don't travel at all.

Qualitative KPIs:  40% of respondents have up to 4 qualitative KPIs.  One third have 2 or less.  13% have no qualitative KPIs at all.

Performance Measurement: 9 out of 10 Inside Sales Leaders  told us that their primary performance metric is "Inside Sales team exceeding quota".  The next most important metric is "individual quota attained".  Interestingly only 16% of respondents are measured on margin or profitability.

Time Management:  We asked Inside Sales Leaders to give us an indication of how they use their available time in a given working week.  We have collated the findings and here is how they use their time:  A typical Inside Sales Manager spends 30% of the week coaching and mentoring Inside Sales Reps;  Internal meetings and management tasks take up 23% of working week; Forecasting / Pipeline management activity is at just under 19%;  Planning and strategy is at 16%; and finally 12% of their time is spend on managing upwards.

Coaching Reps:  We asked respondents to share details of their organisation's coaching process with us.  Almost 60% don't have a formal coaching process - in other words the steps and type of coaching intervention is left to the discretion of each individual manager.  26% or less have a formal coaching process.  Interesting, less than 10% of Inside Sales Managers are not measured in any way on the activity of, or impact of their coaching.

Lastly, 60% of organisations state that Inside Sales Managers spend between 1 and 2 hours a week coaching an individual Inside Sales Rep.


Summary by: David Malone, Membership Services Director, The Sales Institute of Ireland.