As the job market improves, those ‘A’ sales reps could be the first to leave.

 

Why should you be concerned? Other companies and recruiters do tell them they are ‘A’ players. Towers Watson recently reported over 67% of sales reps are not happy with their current company and 35% have been contacted by a recruiter in the last 3 months. OUCH!

 

Have you told your ‘A’ players that they are great?  The key thought is not to just tell them they are the best.  You must assess them and determine if they can be ‘A+’ players. Then turn them into ‘A+’ players.

 

Why?

Your ‘A’ players sell 3X the amount of revenue than your ‘B’ players.  However, the ‘A’+ sales reps sell 6X your ‘B’’s. 

 

Rep Quota Attainment - Sales Management

 

The market wants these people.  Your competition wants these sales reps.  You want to retain them.  You want the additional revenue.

 

What should you do?

Four ways to move ‘A’s to ‘A+’

 

#1 – Time.  You must spend time with your best people.  Time in front of customers.  Time with you.  And time developing them into all-stars.  Everyone wants to be appreciated.  These potential ‘A’+ sales reps are not everyone.  They are hyper sensitive. They need to be told they are great and expect your attention to even the smallest items.  Commit the time through deal strategy calls, senior leadership involvement and mentoring other sales reps.

 

#2 – Challenge.  Put your top sales people with your biggest challenges.  Give them extra work, increase their quota and ask more from them.  Super ‘A’s have the ability to use their time well, take on other work and multi task. They can deliver 6X the revenue, 2X the margin and lead the company with new products, solutions and ideas.  Make them feel special by giving them big goals.  They will love it.

 

#3 – Measure.  Use your Sales Performance Management system to baseline their performance and track the results.  ‘A+’ players should have:

 

Key Metric

‘A+’ Players Performance

Close Rate

75% higher than ‘B’ Players

Sales Cycle Length

25% shorter than the your sales force’s average

Average Sales Price

110% higher than the average

No Decision Loss Rate

90% lower than your ‘B’ Players

Forecast Accuracy

125% more accurate than average

 

#4 – Incentivize.  Make it worth their while to crush the number. That doesn’t mean more cash.  The best way to earn more money and predict future income is by new capability acquisition.  What?  They need to learn a new skill.  Maybe you set up a regular one on one with them and your CFO to learn financial business acumen.  Maybe it’s attending a seminar on complex selling.  How about a writing or communication class?  Or just exposure to the CEO.  Turn the heat up by using a carrot to move them to ‘A+’

 

One of our customers developed an ‘A+’ sales rep.  Shawn was always a great performer.  His sales management consistently identified him has an ‘A’ player.  He was near the top of the ranking and never missed his quota.  Although, the VP of Sales decided Shawn could do more, and committed to spend more time with him.  His direct manager challenged him to bring in bigger revenue and not just ‘exceed his quota’.  Their sales operations director used him as the benchmark to baseline the key performance metrics mentioned above. His general manager put some new incentives in place if he hit big goals. 

 

Shawn is now the top producer in a company with over 500 sales people.  He delivers 6x the revenue of a ‘B’ player.  He has literally helped the company make their numbers for several years.  He delivers better margins than their average sales reps. 

 

Initially, they decided and committed that Shawn had the right attributes, work ethic and skills to become an ‘A+’ player.  The sales management team consistently uses these four (4) key ways to make sure Shawn achieved the ‘A+’ status and stays that way.

 

What ways have you helped ‘A’ players become ‘A+’?  Tell us in the comment section below.

 

Do you have a potential ‘A’ player that can go supernova into an ‘A+’ player? Do you need to double your revenue from your ‘A’ players? Don’t know? Attend our next webinar and find out:

 

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Follow @DanPerrySBI

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Perry

Intensely focused on helping sales and marketing leaders in B2B companies make their numbers at SBI.
Learn more about Dan Perry >

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 is knows 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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