I was recently revisiting some old projects and uncovered a Google Doc, one I hadn’t looked at in years. Untouched since the summer of 2009, I found an old HubSpot employee contact sheet, from when the company was just 99 employees. This was before any corporate Google Apps was in use (We used Outlook for email!), so back then widely consumed docs like this were usually created from and shared with people’s personal email addresses. Later that year we switched to Google Apps, and this doc was discontinued, leaving it in the cloud, perfectly preserved for six years.

35% Of Employees Worked In Sales
Sorting the people in the sheet by department, the pattern of a high-growth SaaS company emerges. 20% of the company was focused on building the product, while more than half the company is engaged in marketing, sales, or services, which included the onboarding consultants and a phone-based support team.

hubspot 100

Contrasting Today
Today, LinkedIn lists over 1,100 employees at HubSpot, and just over 300 are in a Sales job function. It’s not easy to get exact numbers or confirm their accuracy, but if so, it means that the ratio of sales heads in the company remained about the same as the organization grew up.

I don’t have any data to contrast against other $1B+ publicly traded SaaS companies, but my guess is that this looks pretty similar to their makeup at this stage–they’ve developed a product that has strong traction and adoption in the market, and so the majority of the headcount growth is in the sales and marketing functions and delivering the product to customers.

The large HubSpot Services headcount resulted from simultaneously creating a new product and category. At the time, we needed marketing professionals to teach our customers the fundamentals of inbound marketing and managing a web presence. Virtually no business owners or marketers in 2009 had a blog on their website. Now, a blog is the first thing many companies create in their web presence, and there are great resources for learning how to be successful with it. As a result, this onboarding function looks very different in the marketing software companies you see today. The market education has happened over the last five years.

InsightSquared: 40% Of Headcount In Sales

With 169 employees, InsightSquared has a similar company makeup. Four years into the business, 21% of the company is focused on product development. Customer support, Success, and related employees make up under 20% of the organization though – we focused on reducing professional services requirements through engineering and product requirements.


Are you also in a scaling SaaS business? Let us know how your departments break down in the Google Form below. We’ll share the results next week.

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