Why A-Players Hire A-Players? Sports vocabulary can trip you up. Managing a sales team, you start to put everything into sports lingo.
You train and develop sales reps because you want more strength on your bench. You hold tryouts for open positions. You are always looking for team players, quarterbacks, and play callers. The sales unit follows a playbook, and A-players are the superstars. And, incentives are awarded for achievement in sales games, races, and tournaments. The language values the A-players, so it makes sense to ask how and why A-players hire A-players.
People not the process
A sales unit staffed with talented and dedicated employees has the best possible chance at succeeding. Many experts hold that sales success lies in the people not the process, but process has been pretty worked out. What is not so clear is what makes A-players and what they bring to the sales game.
- Experience means something – not everything. Experience is multi-tracked. The best quarterback will exercise options, stepping up to challenges.
- Athletes are flexible. A-players move confidently, but they also recognize opportunity and pursue the space and chance to grow.
- Players take direction. The best athletes are where they are because they take direction well. They embrace coaching and put it into play.
- Leaders play well. A-players perform best in a framework that engages and respects performance. As playmakers, they understand their role on a team and their relationship to teammates.
- A-players will move the ball. A-sales reps will motivate the team. They “purchase” loyalty and support with collaborative mentoring and respect for the work of others.
Why A-Players Hire A-Players
- Money drives focus. Used to making money, they understand sales compensation structures. A-players just like making money. You do not have to explain or justify your system is it is attractive.
- Power is valued. For classic Type-A personalities, power and control are values. They are not necessarily ambitious for higher position if that takes them away from the play, but they want respect and praise from those in power.
- Speed is their passion. A-players have a need for speed. You want sales reps who prize activity and self-reliance. They are pacesetters and want the freedom to run.
- Learning satisfies hunger. A-players always eat at the training table. They are curious about their products. If this seems self-interested, it also means not wanting to be caught without the answer.
- Assists count, too. In team play, the stars value their receivers because they complete their plays. Rebounds and interceptions make other players valuable.
Most Sales Managers have been top performers in the past. They are most comfortable with peers in power, passion, autonomy, and self-reliance. The best A-players know one when they see one, and they will compete to get one on their team. Their self-interest drives them to succeed, but experience tells them that they need to surrender some acclaim to the teammate who can save their day.
A players hire A players,” he said. “B players hire C players. Do you get it?
When forming a sales team, an A-player Sales Manager wants to hire the first-string player who can bend the curve, cover all one’s bases, carry the ball, and play hardball. A-players know what they bring into the game, and the best of them know they need others to execute their plays. They may be gruff and strut their stuff. That’s why A-players hire A-players!
Steve Jobs’s Tips for Hiring Your A-Team, Jay Elliot, Forbes
How to Hire Insanely Great Employees, Steve Jobs, 1983
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