3 Ways to Move ‘B’ players to ‘A’ players in Less than 3 Months

July 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Sales Managers consistently ask me the same question:  “How can I quickly move my ‘B’ to an ‘A’ player?”  “I need more revenue to hit the number now” or “I am down one on my headcount and the only way I am going to hit quota is if a ‘B’ player steps up” are also common phrases most Sales Managers tell me.   

“Tell me what I need to do to get them to ‘A’ players?” is a question we can answer. Sign up to get the ‘A’ Player competency tool. It’s 55 of the competencies ‘A’ players exhibit every day (previewed in the image below).

 move b players to a competency

But what can you do today?  It’s important to get the behaviors and actions going in the right direction.  But extra effort is required of you.  Extra coaching; increase accountability; more field rides--all actions that you need to be implemented immediately (along with a candid conversation on their willingness to put in the extra effort).  Make time in your calendar and block out the days.  The effort should give you a 2x revenue lift over what they are already producing. Remember, the revenue will show up according to your sales cycle length.  But behaviors can change today.

And during your conversations with them, implement the 3 steps below to reinforce the new habits they will need to learn to change these behaviors:

3 Ways to Move ‘B’ players to ‘A’ players in 3 Months or Less

  1. Raise their goal.  A simple but effective action. Raising a ‘B’ player’s goal by 10% will give you a 7-8% lift in their performance.  Why?  They will intuitively rise to the challenge if you set a SMART goal. But you might say (as my 10 year old daughter does):  “Duh, Dad”.  But have you done this simple step with your ‘B’ Players? Don’t overlook the fundamentals
  2. Coach them to slow down the sales process. (http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com/bid/81016/Will-This-Deal-Ever-Close-A-Compelling-Event)  ‘B’ players rush the process.  They can’t wait to ‘throw up’ all over the prospect/customer about their product or service.  Think a 9 year old on Christmas morning.  The kid can’t wait to tear open every present.  Slow down the ‘B’ player to actually use the buyer centric sales process you put into place. Uncover what the true needs/problems of the customer are.  Which leads me to the next way:
  3. Have them think like a buyer.  ‘B’s think like sales people, not buyers.  Thinking like a buyer will help them make the leap in performance.  We find too many times they want to slam dunk the prospect.  They think: “I’m pretty good.  Maybe I can close this sucker in half the time it normally takes me.”   Rut-Row….
  4. Don’t have them ‘Boil the Ocean’:   I threw in a 4th way--trying to do too much.  ‘B’ players want to try and accomplish everything.  They want to sell every industry, manage the huge book of accounts and volunteer for every project.  Ever heard the phrase:  ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’.  This is written for the ‘B’ players.

Let me wrap this up short and sweet:  Break the bad habits ‘B’ players don’t even know they have.  Pick one of them on your team, block your calendar for the next quarter with them and focus on the 4 ways mentioned above.  Actions will change, which leads to results.  And results lead to bigger commission checks.

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Topics: Sales Management, Sales Manager, Sales Manager Resources

Posted by Dan Perry

Dan Perry
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