The makeup of SaaS headcount

What percent of SaaS employees should be in R&D, or sales & marketing, or G&A? It’s a question that was recently posed to us, so we dove into the prospectus’ of 31 large and recognizable SaaS companies to find the data. Observations are below.


Median headcount. The median headcount of the dataset was 867 and includes companies like Snowflake, Dropbox, and Zoom.

30/28/39. Medians for R&D and S&M were 30% and 39%. These are medians, so the data wont be exact. 21 of the companies shared their R&D headcount and 14 companies shared their S&M headcount, so these will be most accurate. Only 5 shared their customer success numbers. We were very surprised to see G&A have so much headcount and we suspect some companies may be including their CS teams in that figure so we have less confidence in the 28% median for G&A.

Some companies go heavy R&D. 56% of Snowflake’s headcount is R&D. 47% of Dropbox’s is R&D. 44% of ZoomInfo’s headcount is R&D. These are remarkable levels of concentration. Some companies with more of a self-service model or SMB focus whereby users buy a product without going through a salesperson can expect a higher R&D concentration.

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