article | November 7, 2017
4 ways Sales Management can take ‘A’ players to ‘A+’ players
55% of your ‘A’ Player sales reps don’t think they are great sales reps because Sales Management has never told them. Our research has found that not informing ‘A’ Player sales reps that they’re on the “fast track” can create a talent drop-off later as they feel under appreciated and look to place their great sales skills elsewhere.
As the job market improves, those ‘A’ Player 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 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.
Your ‘A’ players sell 3X the amount of revenue than your ‘B’ players. However, the ‘A’+ sales reps sell 6X your ‘B’’s.
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 these key metrics:
#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+’?
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? Identify “A” Player Skill-sets by downloading and using our “A” Player Trait Scorecard. Also, access a complete resource of emerging best practices to develop sales talent, by reviewing the “How to Make the Number in 2018” or . Flip to the People Plan phase of the Workbook.