Do you know who your C Players are in your Sales Organization? Making your number might depend on it.

Your C Players Are KILLING You

 

We all know the signs of the obvious C Player in your sales group.  The sales guy that couldn’t close door!  Just painful for any sales leader.  But the nonclosers are the obvious losers.  What is less obvious are the C players lurking in your sales organization.  The sales people that make their number from business won years ago.  Or they inherit a fertile patch where anyone would succeed.   The ones that suck up limited sales resources that should be going to A Players.  The ones that if not addressed will cause you’re A and B players to leave.  The ones that could actually be a contributor to morale issues in your company.  The ones that will hold you back from hitting your number.

 

For help identifying sales talent, read our article, “How to Identify the Top 1% of Sales Talent.”

 

Download the Talent Impact Calculator to see how “C” Players will negatively impact you making your number, input your specific variables to identify both your strong points and your weak points, and assess the impact of your sales talent.

 

Your C Players Will Prevent You from Hitting Your Number

 

The challenge for any sales leader trying to grow revenue is winning the fight for more resources.  The second challenge is finding those critical sales people to help you grow revenue.  Lastly, is onboarding these critical new hires to be as productive as soon as possible.  Nothing new here.

 

The reality is that most sales leaders already have the necesary sales headcount.  They just don’t have the right number of A and B Players to make their number.

 

The following shows the negative impact of C Players.  It shows how C Players will impact you to make your number.  This company had the right number of sales people.  They did not have the right type pf sales people.  Their C Players are pulling down their sales productivity.   Even their B Players are bit of a strain.  But the strain from the B players is not as bad as from the C players.

 

 

The Average Production Multipler (APM) shows the average relative production of your overal sales team.  This is across A, B, and C Players with their relative production levels. This production levels follow industry best practices but can vary depending on who you ask.  What is clear is that A players outform B Players.  And B players outperform C players.

 

Still not convinced? Below is a Quota and Talent Assessment we performed for a large organization whose stock price has risen 35% in the past 6 months.

 

 

What this chart shows is the high cost of C Players.  It shows that moving your sales teams APM up has a direct impact on sales production.   It also shows you can take cost out with less heads and similar sales production.

 

Read our article, “No Time like the Present to Upskill Your Sales Team to All  “A” Players. “ 

 

Your C Players Are Hurting Your A & B Players

 

Any sales leader knows that their sales team needs sales support.  Sales support is the wing man to any effevctive sales force.   But these resources are often stretched thin with no shortage of work to do.  As with any sales organization, support is available for all.  That means A, B and C players are all fighting for the sames limited support resources.  Sadly, from my experience, C players often ask for more support than A & B players.  C players should get the least support because they are not pulling their weight.

 

Here is the challenge for the sales leader.  When you A players and B Players need help….. it is not available.  Why? Because your limited sales support staff are tied with C player opportunities.   So the very people that you want to have the most support are getting the least.  Many sales leaders overlook this hidden cost of keeping C players.  C players will contribute to you not making your number in two ways.  They will produce less than A and B players.  They will also suck away value sales support resources from A & B Players.   But the impact is worse than that.

 

 

Your C Players Are Pulling You Down

 

   

Everyone has been part of a working group at some point in their career.  Either at home or at work, this working group has things to get done.  The resources in the group are tasked with completing those tasks.  But what happens when someone does not pull their weight?  The others need to step in and fill the void either willingly or by decree.  So if you C players are not pulling their weight there is only one option.  Your A & B players need to step up and fill the void left by the C players.

 

My experience is companies with high proportion of C players often have moral issues as well.  The employee surveys show the data if you know to look for it.   The A & B players are not happy.

 

So to recap your C players will:

 

  1. Cause you to miss your number because they don’t produce as much as A & B players

     

  2. Pull away scarce resources from the A & B players who need it the most.

     

  3. And drive away your better players because they are tired of pulling the weight for the C players.

     

So, the prevalent question is, “Do you know who your C Players are in your Sales Organization?”

 

Making your number might depend on it.

 

 

My current company, SBI, works with companies in all industries to grow revenue faster than the market and the competition. Here are some good resources to help your journey:

 

Download the Talent Impact Calculator to see how “C” Players will negatively impact you making your number, input your specific variables to identify both your strong points and your weak points, and assess the impact of your sales talent.

 

 

Additional Resources

 

Download the SBI App for all SBI Content, on the go.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ralph Vetsch

Works with clients to uncover hidden revenue potential and sales friction that are hampering growth.

Ralph brings his decades of experience both in numerous vertical markets and geographies to help clients realize there untapped growth potential.  His strong technical and engineering background allow him to extract the compelling business value proposition of his customer’s solution. He also brings 25+ years of global. expertise in channels as an effective primary or complimentary go to market path for his clients, both for new and existing products and throughout the world. His experience spans high tech start-ups through billion-dollar publicly traded companies. He brings a passion for “cracking the code” for why his clients have not realized their growth potential and help them make their number.

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