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.


talent scorecard


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.


selling skills competency example
A players are the secret sauce.  Is your ‘A’ player definition published? Do you have one?


Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



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