Sales Executives Predict Strong U.S. Economy For Next 12 Months, Says MANA Survey

MORTON GROVE, Ill. — October 1, 2018 — “Very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” over the next 12 months is the U.S. economic forecast from 78 percent of corporate sales executives participating in a recent study commissioned by the Manufacturers’ Agents National Association (MANA). “Very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” was 83 percent of that group’s forecast for their own firms’ projected revenue and 76 percent of their own firms’ projected profits.

Less than half of manufacturer sales executives expect increased sales to trigger any increase in capital spending. Most report that their firms continue to have sufficient capacity to meet increased demand without new buildings or equipment and expect the momentum gained from several consecutive waves of growth to continue through the end of 2018 and into the first half of 2019.

Outsourced sales firms (known as manufacturers’ representatives or manufacturers’ agents) echo those corporate sales executives’ forecasts with 83 percent optimistic about the economy, 75 percent optimistic about their own revenue, and 72 percent optimistic about their own profits. Utilization of manufacturers’ representatives by corporate sales executives will increase over the next 12 months, say 62 percent of those executives.

“With continued pressure on manufacturers to do more with less, replacing costly sales employees with professional outsourced non-employee sales forces is a natural evolution to drive corporate efficiency and increase return on investment,” notes MANA CEO Charles Cohon.

For those manufacturers not expected to sell the bulk of its available capacity, there is an expectation to increase the number of outsourced sales agents over the next year to drive new sales. This should bode well for agencies looking to expand the number of products or lines, as one-third of MANA-member agents have already increased the number of products or lines in the past twelve months.

MANA is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 trade association established in 1947. The semi-annual study is conducted by Loyalty Research Center (LRC), an Indianapolis-based market research firm.

The full report on the research methodology, market conditions, and the economic outlook is available to academia and MANA members from MANA CEO Charles Cohon Vice President of Client Services at Loyalty Research Center Matt Braun can be reached at

Posted October 1, 2018

Source: Manufacturers’ Agents National Association