BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has cut half of its sales force, according to reports emerging this morning. The ailing Canadian handset maker let “several dozen” members of its sales force go on Monday according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The job cuts are part of a wider plan to pare down BlackBerry as it heads for an acquisition.

BBRY Blackberry Research in Motion

The reduction of the sales force at BlackBerry doesn’t bode well for the company’s future, nor does it say much for the sales of its BB10 smart phones. The company is more than likely going to be bought out by a bigger tech player in the coming months, but these layoffs cast aspersions on the smartphone maker’s ability to continue to operate, even inside a bigger company.

BlackBerry job cuts

At the moment, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is in a major period of trimming down staff. The company planned to get rid of more than 5,000 employees last year. Today’s lay offs are, according to reports, on top of that number.

A source, talking to Cantech.com which originally broke the news, stated that consumer sales at BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) were “gone,” and the company’s enterprise sales team had been “gutted.” When a company starts to get rid of the team that sells its products, it does not bode well.

On today’s market the news hit stock in BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) hard. At time of writing, stock in the company had lost close to 5 percent of its value in morning trading. The stock is still being buoyed by the hopes that someone will try to purchase the company, but today’s news may make its value lower in the eyes of prospective buyers.

BlackBerry acquisition

Without a real sales team, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) won’t be selling itself as a going concern, it will be selling itself as a group of assets. That means that buyers will be looking at the company as a sum of its parts, and not as a money-making operation, if there even were any still considering the firm as such.

There have not yet been any offers for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), or a t least none that have become public. The best guesswork of the day says that long time investor Prem Watsa will try to take the company private. Without a sales force, he might find turning the company around fairly difficult.