Adam Sheehan, Senior Consultant at SBI, looks at 5 ways to eliminate talent deficiencies within your company, in order to negate complacency and Make Your Number.

Just as many people are shocked to hear they have a newborn on the way, there are equally as many surprised Sales Leaders learning something important about their organization by the end of H1. That is, you have an abundance “C Players” in your organization, that are impeding you to getting to your number.


SBI’s 2019 annual research indicates that:


  • “A Player” Sales Reps generate 5x more Revenue than “B Players”
  • “A Players” generate 10x more Revenue than “C Players”


Many Sales Leaders are suffering from complacent “C Players” in their organization. They are the ones who live off of an inflated base salary, and any incentive they earn is gravy. The pain does not stop there either. This kills morale, and ultimately leads to your “A Players” jumping ship and bringing their network to your competitors.


You Are Not Alone


If you are realizing you have talent deficiencies, you are not alone. You are not the only Sales Leader getting a big surprise halfway through the year. In a study conducted by the authors of “Top-Grading for Sales”, Sales Managers indicated their teams had:


  • 25% “A Players”
  • 35% “B Players” and
  • 40% “C Players”


So, what do you do?


Follow These Five Steps:


  1. Define an “A Player” sales role

Begin with the basics. Evaluate your current job description for your reps and ensure that what is described aligns to what you want your team focused on.


  1. Assess current talent and benchmark against “A Player” competencies

Start with objectively evaluating the Sales talent you have in-house. Execute this by looking beyond historical quota achievement. Assess sales reps against core competencies of star performers.


  1. Remove Identified “C Players”

Unfortunately, this group will not be able to meet expectations to be successful in their current role. Either find a more suitable role within the organization for their skill set or manage them out of the organization.


  1. Enable Your “B Players”

This group has the potential to improve. You also have a number to hit, so can’t get rid of your entire Sales Org. Talent Assessments from Step 1 allow Sales Managers to focus on their weaknesses, and develop Individual Development Plans (IDP’s) to help close the gap.


  1. Hire to “A Player” Tendencies Using the Top-Grading Methodology

As underperforming talent is funneled out of your Sales Org, they need to be replaced. Don’t continue to make the same hiring mistakes that brought in the group of “C Players”. Deploy the Top-Grading Methodology to ensure you are attracting and maintaining your “A Players”.


How do you get started with these five steps? SBI has given you a head start by providing a set of competencies that our research has identified as core differentiators of top Revenue generating performers. Download our “A Player” Sales Competency Assessment Tool to begin assessing your Sales Organization to Emerging Best Practices.


Need a Talent Strategy overhaul? Schedule a working session at SBI’s Studio. As a guest of The Studio, you’ll get unlimited access to SBI’s CEO, Partners, and a handpicked team of Sales Talent experts. Together we’ll focus on developing an action plan to bring in and retain difference-making “A Players” by getting a month of work done in just eight hours. It’s an amplified experience that you can only get in one place: The Studio. I hope you join us.



Additional Resource


For additional help evaluating your strategies, click here to take SBI’s Revenue Growth Diagnostic.


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Adam Sheehan

Blends his background in consulting and sales to deliver a detailed analytical solution for his clients to help them make their number.

Adam has built onto his Sales and Consulting background by being involved with a wide variety of projects at SBI. Adam has designed and implement best-in-class custom Sales Processes for multiple clients. He has redesigned territories, realigned quotas, and constructed sales compensation plans to provide the best opportunity for Reps to optimize their selling time and for the client to make their number. Adam has deep experience in campaign development as well. Everything from designing and executing  multi-touch campaigns, to developing a Field Marketing strategy for a global B2B organization.

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