/// Daily Quote
"The price of greatness is responsibility."
-- Winston Churchill
Selling Power Magazine Article
Selling Power 500
The 2011 SP 500 list includes the top 200 companies in the manufacturing industry, the top 200 companies in the service industry, the top 50 insurance companies, the 30 largest direct-selling companies, and the top 20 automotive-dealer organizations (megadealers).
Every year, new companies make the list, while others drop off. The total number of salespeople employed by all 500 companies listed adds up to 23,340,248, which represents an increase of more than 7 percent, or more than 1 million salespeople, as compared to last year. This overall change is due in large part to an increase in the direct-selling and insurance statistics, as the other categories show decreases in the number of salespeople. The direct-selling category, which posted a 2 percent increase in 2010, posted a much larger 8 percent increase this year, a possible indication that, as full-time sales jobs are harder to come by, more people are turning to home-based businesses. The number of salespeople in the manufacturing category decreased by more than 2.5 percent and 2.4 percent in the service category, but increased in the insurance category by a sizable 10.5 percent. The automotive industry posted a small increase in the number of salespeople: less than 1 percent from last year. Overall, without the direct-selling numbers, the number of salespeople posted its first increase in two years, gaining about 3 percent, due to the increase in the insurance numbers.
The states with the most SP 500 companies are New York (57), California (49), and Illinois (32). The states in which the SP 500 companies employ the largest number of salespeople are New York (6,834,719), California (4,850,801), and Michigan (3,032,905). These states account for about 28 percent of the total companies and a whopping 63 percent of the total salespeople.
Productivity a Mixed Bag
Our research team continued to find that salespeople employed by manufacturing firms contribute a far higher amount of sales revenue compared to other industry segments. The top 200 manufacturing firms employ 485,839 salespeople and produce more than $3.6 trillion in sales. That’s an average of $7.4 million in sales per salesperson. This represents a large (15 percent) increase in productivity compared to the previous year and cancels out last year’s 15 percent decrease. It should be noted that manufacturing companies lost 12,619 salespeople, which is the third straight year of decline, but gained a sizable 432,663 total employees, which is the first time this divergence within manufacturing has occurred.
The top 200 companies in the service sector reported a decrease of 15,793 salespeople for a total of 634,571 salespeople. The number of salespeople decreased by 2.4 percent, and the total revenues came in at just a little more than $2.5 trillion, which is a 1.5 percent decrease over the prior year. This represents more than $4 million in sales per salesperson and a 1 percent increase in productivity, continuing last year’s small productivity gains. The big service-sector change comes on the heels of a large decrease of 454,042 employees, with the service companies shedding 6 percent of the workforce – the second straight year with large decreases in the total number of service-sector employees.
The top 20 automotive megadealers reported small increases across the board this year. The top 20 firms own 1,284 dealerships (up by about 1 percent), employ 19,260 salespeople (an increase of about 1 percent), and produce more than $71.3 billion in sales (up by a sizable 13.8 percent). This brings the average annual sales per salesperson to $3.7 million (up by more than 13 percent). The productivity registered is a hopeful sign for the struggling automotive industry.
The top 50 insurance companies show a total sales force of 807,662 with an average sales volume per salesperson of $853,218, which represents a decline in productivity of more than 4 percent. It is interesting to note that the number of salespeople increased while their productivity decreased. The total number of employees posted a negligible decrease of about 1 percent from 2010.
The top 30 direct-selling companies reported 21.3 million salespeople, continuing a trend of increases in the number of salespeople over the last 10 years. This year’s increase of 1.5 million salespeople is much larger than last year’s.
Overall, the numbers continue to show the signs of a struggling economy, with mixed results in the manufacturing and insurance industries and poor results in the service industry. One positive sign is that overall sales are up slightly over last year.
SP 500 Salespeople Drive the Economy
It is important to note that each salesperson in the service or manufacturing industry supports, on average, 12.9 other jobs within the company; that figure marks a small increase from last year’s number of 12.6. These companies employ a total sales force of 1.12 million salespeople, who produce more than $6.1 trillion in sales and ensure the employment of more than 15.5 million people. This once again highlights the fact that the sales forces of America are (continued on page 2)
– Selling Power Editors
Conferences and Events
Selling Power Classics
Get Your FREE Issue of Selling Power
/// Upcoming Webinar