Are You Hiring “A” Players for Your Sales Team?

What if the bottom quarter of your sales staff turned into a team that produces more revenue than the top quarter? What would that do for your company?

What would happen if you replaced the bottom quarter of your sales team with “A” players that consistently get over-the-top results?

When I talk to CEOs about this issue and ask these questions, they often give me these excuses (that’s really what they are):

Belief: We are fooled into thinking they are “A” players when we interview them. By the time we figure out that they aren’t, we are already too invested.

Reality: You aren’t assessing them properly. Salespeople, especially ones that have had many sales jobs, are professional interviewers. They know what to say and how to say it so that you will be blown away by how much “potential” they have. You need an objective sales assessment as an additional tool to get to the heart of what this person is about.

Belief: We really can’t afford to pay for expensive “A” players. 

Reality: Guess what? You are already paying for them through your lost business! Additionally, if you do a better job of monitoring the progress of a new hire and stop allowing excuses to drag out the pain, you will be better off.

Belief: We have loyal “C” players in sales that have been with us for years, through thick and thin. We can’t just let them go!

Reality: Just let them go? How long have they been “C” players? If they just started performing at a “C” level, find out why and give them an opportunity to improve. If it has been going on a long time, warn them or find a better position for them.

Belief: We want to hire fresh players in sales, but we cannot afford to train them.

Reality: Getting raw talent and training them your way is usually the better option. You really can afford to hire them, put money into training and monitor them as you go. If they don’t “get it” quickly, cut your losses. 

Belief: I’m not sure where to find “A” players. 

Reality: Of course not! “A” players aren’t out looking through the regular channels. They either have a job, which means you need to seek them out, or they put out feelers when they are looking and are scooped up immediately! 

Here is the question I would ask you: If you found an “A” player today, someone better than your best salesperson, wouldn’t you find a place for him or her? Of course you would – so why aren’t you looking every day! You or your sales director should be interviewing at least two candidates a week. How else will you find the gold? ?

Greta Schulz is president of SchulzBusiness, a sales consulting and training firm. She is a best-selling author of “To Sell Is Not To Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to greta@schulzbusiness.com.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.