“A” players generate 5x more revenue than “B” players and 10x more than “C” players.

How to Make Your Number in 2017


“I am down headcount and the only way I am going to hit the number is if my ‘B’ players step up.” That is a common dilemma sales leaders share with me. “Tell me what I need to do to get them to ‘A’ players?” is a question we can answer.  As a guide, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017 and turn to the People Plan phase on pages 285 – 293 of the PDF.


But what can you do today? It’s important to get the behaviors and actions going in the right direction. Extra effort is required of your sales management team and the ‘B’ players. Extra coaching, increased accountability, and more field rides are all actions that need to be implemented immediately (along with a candid conversation on their willingness to put in the extra effort). Make sure your team is booking time in calendars and blocking out the days. The effort should give you a 5x revenue lift over what they are already producing. Remember, the revenue will show up according to your sales cycle length.  But behaviors can change today.


And during your conversations with them, implement the 3 steps below to reinforce the new habits they will need to learn to change these behaviors:


3 Ways to Move ‘B’ players to ‘A’ players in 3 Months or Less


  1. Raise their goal.  A simple but effective action. Raising a ‘B’ player’s goal by 10% will give you a 7-8% lift in their performance.  Why?  They will intuitively rise to the challenge if you set a SMART goal. But you might say (as my 10 year old daughter does):  “Duh, Dad”.  But have you done this simple step with your ‘B’ Players? Don’t overlook the fundamentals.


  2. Coach them to slow down the sales process. ‘B’ players rush the process.  They can’t wait to ‘throw up’ all over the prospect/customer about their product or service.  Think a 9 year old on Christmas morning.  The kid can’t wait to tear open every present.  Slow down the ‘B’ player to actually use the buyer-centric sales process you put into place. Uncover what the true needs/problems of the customer are.  


  3. Have them think like a buyer.  ‘B’s think like sales people, not buyers.  Thinking like a buyer will help them make the leap in performance.  We find too many times they want to slam dunk the prospect.  They think: “I’m pretty good.  Maybe I can close this sucker in half the time it normally takes me.”  Bring them back to reality by walking through the buyer process map and identifying where they are in the deal.


Remember, don’t have them ‘Boil the Ocean’ by trying to do too much.  ‘B’ players want to try and accomplish everything.  They want to sell every industry, manage the huge book of accounts and volunteer for every project.  Ever heard the phrase:  ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’.  This is written for the ‘B’ players.


Let me wrap this up short and sweet:  Break the bad habits ‘B’ players don’t even know they have.  Pick one of them on your team, block your calendar for the next quarter with them and focus on the 4 ways mentioned above.


Actions will change, which leads to results.  And results lead to bigger bonus checks. If you would like a hand with this topic, visit us in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing.


Dan Perry

Intensely focused on helping sales and marketing leaders in B2B companies make their numbers at SBI.

Dan approaches the idea of making your number from a unique perspective. Like many SBI leaders, he has walked a mile in your shoes. He comes from the industry side and has had to make his number to be successful. Perhaps this is why it’s wise to rely on SBI’s evidence-based methodologies. Though SBI is certainly an execution-based firm, Dan only implements strategies and solutions for his clients after they have been verified with before-and-after data. This leads to adoption of sales programs in the field, rather than shelf-ware.

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