How many inside sales reps are in the USA?

Posted by Steve Richard at 03:06 PM on 03/24
USA question markBy: Steve Richard, Co-Founder and Head Sales Trainer

Today (within one hour) two people asked me, “How many inside sales reps are in the USA?” A coincidence of this type calls for a blog post. For your benefit I did a bunch of searching and a bunch of calling to experts. You know what I came up with? Great conversations, but nobody has a clue.

Undeterred I am going to post my very unscientific research and ask you to please help me out. If you have a good guess as to the number of inside sales reps in the US, please comment with your justification. The inside sales community thanks you.
  • The Bureau of Labor & Statistics (BLS) lists about 2 million ‘wholesale and manufacturing’ sales representatives. This number seems very, very low to most and not inclusive of new economy type sales jobs. One must also consider the number of people who have titles like customer service, account management, or business owner who, let’s face it, are actually salespeople. And how about B2C salespeople like realtors and tax accountants? This makes the number very fluid.

  • Experts like Gerhard Gschwandtner of SellingPower and Larry Reeves of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals put the number closer to 12-18 million sales reps in the US with perhaps 2-6 million inside sales reps.

  • Dave Elkington at Inside Sales cited InfoUSA numbers that in the middle of the recession 14 out of every 15 sales job filled in the US were inside sales reps. We estimate that with the recovery, 9 out of every 10 salespeople hired in the US are inside reps.

  • Many are speculating if Groupon has the inside sales firepower to call every company in the USA. With an estimated 2,000-3,000 inside sales reps, it’s a fascinating thought. Interesting piece here.

According to Chad Levitt’s New Economy Sales Blog, by 2012, nearly 800,000 more companies will host inside sales teams and they’ll be using the telephone and the Internet to nurture, develop, and close sales opportunities.

How do you answer these sales demographic questions?
  1. How many sales jobs and inside sales jobs are in the USA?

  2. What % of recent college grads find themselves in inside sales jobs?

  3. What % of new sales jobs are inside sales jobs?



Categories: Sales ManagementPhone Sales
Posted by on 03/24 at 03:06 PM
Vorsight Inside Sales Tips

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Posted by  on  12/10  at  11:20 PM
Inside Sales Training
 

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