If 20% of your team delivers 80% of your revenue, the single most impactful thing you do will be centered on the development of your ‘A’ players. The impact of not doing this is twofold:


Quota– you will miss your number in 2012. The number 1 reason your role exists is to make the number.


Career – you will be branded as somebody that cannot develop ‘A’ players. ‘B’ and ‘C’ player managers are those that cannot retain and develop ‘A’ player sales reps.  You may be heading back to a sales rep job.


How to fix? Follow the ‘A’ player sales training letter below. This is written to you from the ‘A’ players on your team:


Dear Boss,

You continue to tell me that I am critical to your success and you value what I do. However, your actions don’t support your words. In order to make 2012 better than 2011, I thought I would tell you the 4 things you can do to get more out of me.


  1. Coach me:  Why do you blow off our time in the field together? I know you need to work with the other guys on the team and get them to quota.  At times, I feel like you assume I will always close business. I would enjoy some live customer and prospect time with you; I want to improve.
  2. Listen to me: Why do you ask for my opinion on the new initiatives and company changes but never heed my advice? Either show me that you are listening or don’t ask me and save us both some time.
  3. Develop me: I want to be promoted. I have asked you about a development plan and you have not helped me. I get calls from recruiters all the time; keeping me here is more than just paying me good money. Can you please bring some new ideas from other ‘A’ players to help me improve?
  4. Challenge me: Why do you never push me? In the last couple of years, you have been more focused on me liking you than respecting you. There are times I can work harder. Because you don’t push me and challenge me I don’t think you get all of me. Ask me to develop something to help our new hires? When is the last time you have had me lead a team meeting?


sales training grade


Call To Action:


• Ask the ‘A’ players on your team which one of the 4 items you have the most to improve upon. Use the graphic to help plot what type of ‘A’ player you have.
»  This type of vulnerability will endear you to them and they will want to help you improve
• Schedule 1 day in the field between now and end of next month working on whatever the ‘A’ player feels they need help with.
• Prepare for that day with focus and urgency; the ‘A’ player rep should leave better at the end of the day; if they don’t, your lack of developmental ability will eventually drive them to leave or you out of a job.


A world class talent management program involves a relentless focus on developing ‘A’ players; ensure your sales training cadence is centered on your best. 


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Matt Sharrers

Studies and works with the top 1% of B2B sales and marketing leaders who generate above average revenue growth for their companies.

Matt is arguably one of the industry’s most connected, and physically fit, sales leaders. He “lives 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. Because of Matt’s unique access to the best sales talent, private equity investors tend to turn to him first when they need to hire remarkable leaders to unlock trapped growth inside of their portfolio companies. Matt’s recent engagements include work commissioned by private equity leaders Permira, TPG, Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman.


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