Are there any industry stats or reports on the right proportion of Sales & Customer Handling staff VS other staff roles? Is there an ideal percentage?
That varies wildly based on sales cycle and product complexity. An easy rule: sales staff should be as much as you can hire and keep costs under revenue. Support should be enough that customer response times are never over 24 hours. If it's taking longer, hire more support if you can afford to.
If you can't afford to, you probably need to simplify your product or else improve your sales processes. 😊
No, but there is practice and accounting. A salesman must bring in up to a million dollar in sales before you hire a new salesman (this is a thumb rule in many companies) therefore you must do your homework and see what a million dollars allows you keeping in mind the bottom line.
Having built over a dozen successful business's, and personally staying involved in the sales department, I would recommend that you wonder basing the size of your sales staff on the volume of clients and prospect.
Some business can get by with a small sales team, while other require the sales team to be the largest department.
Don't feel like the sales department is an overpowering force either, they may get a lot of attention but they are some what independent. If you need more detail, or have any other questions please call.