Before you try and evaluate potential hires against a subjectively defined term, you must apply science and objectivity to its definition. The term ‘A’ Player was originally used by Dr. Brad Smart in his book, Topgrading. “It is one who qualifies among the top 10% of those available for the position”.
The second step is to define what performance looks like for a given sales role. Follow the acronym MAC. There are 3 easy steps:
Mission—what is the strategic value of the role to the organization? Avoid corporate speak; be brief and define why the role exists. What is its purpose?
Accountabilities—what results must this role produce? Every accountability needs to be quantifiable.
Competencies—what are traits or behaviors are most important in the people that will be tasked with producing these results?
Once you have established WHAT the role must do you can now decide WHO you must attract to this role. When defining the competencies, Jonathan Davis’ team at Hirebetter published a great post on A players which can be found here . I have attached a snapshot of a competency map to help generate some thoughts as you define an A player in your organization.
A players are the secret sauce. Is your ‘A’ player definition published? Do you have one?