Overall annualized sales productivity increased by 6% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the first quarter of 2010. Sales productivity in both the Large Account and Public Sector segments increased by 16% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the prior year period. This growth was due to year-over-year increases in sales as sales representative headcount in each segment was largely level compared to the prior year quarter. Productivity for the SMB segment was unchanged year over year, despite its revenue increase, due to the addition of 42 sales representatives compared to the prior year quarter. On a consolidated basis, the total number of sales representatives was 634 at March 31, 2011, compared to 583 at March 31, 2010, and 615 at December 31, 2010.
Total selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter increased year over year by $6.8 million, or 15%, and increased as a percentage of net sales to 11.1% for the first quarter of 2011 from 10.9% for the first quarter of 2010. The year-over-year dollar increase was attributable to increased variable compensation associated with increased gross profits, investments in sales and support personnel, and acquisition related costs. SG&A expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2011 included $0.5 million in costs related to the ValCom acquisition.
“We are pleased with the leverage demonstrated by our business model, with healthy year-over-year operating and net income gains in the first quarter of 2011 of 80% and 85%, respectively,” said Patricia Gallup, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our teams worked hard to create opportunity in the marketplace, and each of our reporting segments contributed to our positive performance. We also continued to invest in new opportunities for future growth, including the purchase of ValCom which allows us to further expand our managed service offerings.” Gallup concluded, “As our results demonstrated this quarter, we believe we have the right strategies and leadership in place to build our business and enhance long-term shareholder value.”