This entirely depends on the type of startup you have, and at what phase you are.
Many early startups spend most of their money on development, and next to nothing on sales (and therefore they go out of business.)
I have a fairly radical opinion for my peer group – I feel you should have a clearly defined customer base before wasting too much money on development. Once you know who your customer is, you can start marketing to them right away, whether or not your product is ready.
With a great sales team, you can fund your company costs without needing much (if any) outside investment, as you can develop products for customers on a client basis.
So, I would err on the side of hiring excellent salespeople and compensating them well, so that you will be able to afford however many other employees you need.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/When-youre-doing-a-startup-what-percentage-of-your-money-should-you-pay-to-engineers-and-what-percentage-to-sales-people
Originally Posted On: 2016-02-06