Topgrading your sales team involves evaluating performance. Rather than just looking at the bottom 20%, it can involve taking a “top down” view to evaluate the entire team.

What is topgrading?
Topgrading is the practice of creating the highest quality workforce by ensuring that talent acquisition and talent management processes focus on identifying, hiring, promoting, and retaining high performers, A players, in the organization.
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Greta Shultz of Proactive Training asks these questions:

  • What if the bottom quarter of your sales team produced as much or more revenue than the top quarter?
  •  What would that do for your company?
  • What if you ignored the 80-20 rule and only expected the best results from your sales team?
  • What if you replaced the bottom quarter of your sales team with “A” players, those who qualify among the top 10 percent available for that position?

In her article – How to Topgrade Your Sales Team with “A” Players – she answers the 10 biggest concerns business owners and sales recruiting firms face when moving to an “A” sales team approach.  Businesses who are in a hurry to grow sales reject the recruiting approach as too time consuming. Greta responds:

The worst mistake here would be expecting “A”-player results out of the existing “B” and “C” players. This would make stress levels rise and drive the best remaining talent to quit. You should never just drift with “C” players. By topgrading, you will improve short-term results.

As critical as addressing the bottom performers may be, making sure the consistent top performers are also recognized can be equally as important. Over-performers who are not recognized may be ripe candidates for sales recruiting firms to steal away.

Headhunters for sales jobs in Chicago and other large cities around the country look for those individuals who excel in sales performance. If those sales associates are feeling underappreciated, they may be enticed to a competitor. Make sure you recognize these “A” Players with leadership opportunities, compensation or special awards.

The Bottom Line?

An “A” Sales Team doesn’t happen without a strategy, mutually understood expectations and regular measurement of results to performance.

Is topgrading your sales associates the best way for your company to build a successful sales team? Perhaps, but one thing is for certain; expecting different results from your sales team by doing the same things as you did last month, quarter or year is a definite plan for disaster.

At CreativeSourcing, a Chicago recruiting firm, we work with our clients to understand the company culture, expectations and skills sets necessary to ensure that each new candidate is the best fit for your “A” level sales team. We can help to establish that “top down” view within an efficient time window.

Please get in touch if you need help in this important area. We are happy to help.