Back to Top ↑
A Look Into Technology Sales Workforce Dynamics
Learn more:
www.getaura.ai
Contact:
aura@bain.com
10.6% Surge in Demand for AI Professionals over Mainstream Software jobs in H1 2023
In the dynamic landscape of software and technology companies, where the speed of innovation reigns supreme and market trends evolve rapidly, a company's sales organization is crucial to its success. A sales team acts as the linchpin that bridges the gap between technological prowess and market demand. In many cases, software and technology solutions are quite complex, necessitating personalized consultation and support. If developed and deployed effectively, a sales force should facilitate the dissemination of products with the right level of support to the proper audience, while also cultivating lasting relationships with clients. A robust sales infrastructure becomes imperative for companies to navigate the intricacies of the market, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
A look into sales growth relative to other software and technology functions
The importance of building a sales organization in the post-COVID economy is highlighted in employment data from Aura. For US-based technology companies, over the past three years, the growth trajectory of sales functions stands out prominently relative to other functions, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 22.2%. As firms evaluate their resource allocation and aspire to stay on pace with competitors, it is especially valuable to consider the efficiency with which they develop and deploy sales resources.
A sector-level view of sales force trends
Within the software and technology industry, there is a variety of markets, with numerous with products and players. Key sectors include:
- Computer and Network Security
- Computer Software
- Information Services
- Internet
- Information Technology and Services
Computer and Network Security provide vital protection against cyber threats, while Computer Software offers a wide range of applications for both consumers and businesses. Information Services deliver valuable insights and analytics, while the internet sector enables global connectivity and access to information. Additionally, Information Technology and Services provide essential infrastructure and support for businesses to leverage technology effectively. Together, these markets drive innovation, redefine business processes, and shape the digital world.
Data from Aura showcase the steep annual sales force growth over three years across these key industry sectors in the United States. Computer and Network Security lead with an impressive 38% growth, followed closely by computer software at 26%. Information Services and Internet sectors also demonstrate significant growth rates at 24% and 20% respectively. The information technology and services sector shows steady growth at 19%. This overview highlights the dynamic nature of the Technology industry and the diverse opportunities for sales force expansion within it.
Companies to keep an eye on
Given the importance of scaling a sales team to drive revenue growth, increases in a sales force may signal corporate booms or busts.
In recent years, despite economic headwinds, some startups in the highlighted sectors have rapidly expanded their sales teams. They have leveraged innovation and agility to capitalize on market opportunities. By swiftly acquiring talent, training effectively, and strategically deploying resources, these companies have met growing customer demand and penetrated new markets. This rapid growth highlights their proactive approach to establishing market presence and underscores their potential as significant industry players.
Here are the top 10 tech companies with the most sales force growth over the past 3 years.
Note: Only companies with sales organizations >50 included
A view of these companies’ talent
Of course, every company, for a variety of reasons, will have different talent acquisition strategies. Factors such as product complexity, technical elements, sales cycle, and customer type will influence how much an organization prioritizes education level, technical expertise, and overall sales experience when hiring salespeople. A look into a few of these elements for the firms listed above sheds light on the characteristics each firm emphasizes in its recruiting strategy. Note that additional analysis would be key to identifying the particular drivers for the variations observed.
Data from Aura provide insights into the distribution of degree levels among employees across the above companies. Bachelor's degrees are the most prevalent across the set, ranging from 48.6% to 78.7%, indicating a strong preference for undergraduate education in these organizations. However, notable variations exist in the distribution of other degree levels. For instance, Ramped stands out with a significantly higher proportion of employees holding associate degrees (20.8%) compared to other companies. This could suggest a focus on hiring employees with specialized technical skills attainable through associate degree programs. On the other hand, Kyndryl and Tempmee have relatively higher percentages of employees with MBA degrees (24.3% and 16.9% respectively), indicating a strategic emphasis on business and management education within these companies.
A look into the average overall career tenure of sales employees at each of these companies shows a wide distribution. Kyndryl stands out with the highest tenure at 22.8 years, which may be attributed to its spin-out from IBM, indicating a stable workforce inherited from its parent company. Conversely, Tempmee records the lowest tenure at 7.2 years, which could be driven by the sales cycle, given their primary customers are dental offices rather than massive enterprises.
In conclusion, sales organizations play a crucial role in the success and growth of software and technology firms, serving as the vital link between innovation and market demand. With a compounded annual growth rate outpacing other functions, the importance of a strong sales infrastructure is evident. Notable growth rates across sectors, such as 38% in computer and network security and 26% in computer software, emphasize the need for scaling sales teams to seize market opportunities. Additionally, a look into sales organizations at the company level can offer insights into the overall strategy and nature of the company.
At Aura, we support this type of analysis by making workforce data readily available, enabling comparison of relevant metrics between cohorts of companies and candidates to develop a deeper understanding of workforce trends and drive meaningful change.
Loved reading this? Subscribe to Aura's Newsletter and get the latest on workforce around the globe! Check https://getaura.ai

Cragun Liston
Sales Lead, Aura


Note: All information mentioned in this report comes from publicly available data; if you believe the information on your company is incorrect, please reach out to us at:
aura@bain.com
About Us
Founded by Bain & Company in 2020, Aura is a workforce analytics platform consisting of over 10M companies, 950M working professionals, 20M skills, 400M jobs, daily updates, and easy reporting. Through a convenient monthly subscription service and with a track record of servicing hundreds of Bain & Company’s clients, Aura is your partner in understanding workforce-related topics, such as hiring patterns, retention, promotion, employee efficiency, diversity and inclusion. Experience the future of workforce analytics and unlock your competitive edge with Aura.
For more information, visit www.getaura.ai
For any question, contact aura@bain.com
A Look Into Technology Sales Workforce Dynamics
Your best source for workforce intelligence.
Book Demo
© 2024 Aura Intelligence. All rights reserved.