Unless you have a product that sells itself (no such thing?), then you need an overachieving sales team to deliver growth.

“A” players in the context of sales, simply means that they consistently
create revenue from thin air, outsell their peers and make the company look exceptional. Because “A” players are creative and successful, they raise the value of everyone around them.

Unfortunately, we too often see teams led by someone who over simplifies the sales mission and hires accordingly.  Most recently, we had the misfortune of watching a young, unproven sales manager build a team of journeymen salespeople who lacked the skills and experience to deliver revenues. He hired people who will fill the chair but not the bank account and is now dealing with the issue of missing targets and expectations.

Why did this happen?  A lack of experience, forethought and vision?  Hiring people who can provide the desired results requires a hiring strategy, a vision for how you will entice the candidate to join you, a demonstrable pathway to success, and a set of criteria in terms of skills, experience and personality traits.  You must also do a ton of due diligence to make sure you are hiring the person you think you are hiring.  If you are the hiring manager and you can’t see any of this yourself, you should consider stopping the process of hiring and ask yourself why you are there in the first place.

“A” players want to know how they are going to succeed. If this is not clear, they will walk to a place where the team is stacked for success with other “A” players. If you act like a “B” player or skip key steps in the process of hiring top talent, the best you can hope for is to attract other mediocre team members.

Whether you are the CEO or the hiring manager, when you are hiring, never settle.  Have a set of success criteria that is matched to the role and continue searching until you get those people.  Don’t be afraid to set the bar high.

As sales leaders we should always expect more as the companies we work for
will always expect more from us…



Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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