Anatomy of “B Player” Sales Reps

Jennifer Preston


on April 30, 2020

Businesses often use labels when it comes to their employees or team members. The “A player” is your top performer (whether that be because of intellect, skills or work ethic or a combination of them all).  The “B player” sales rep usually gets along well with other but works inconsistently and rarely asks for help or guidance. The “C player” is the rep who just never hits the sales goals and is not a team player.

It obvious what to do with your “C Players” – you need to manage them out.  But what should you do with your “B Players?”  Should you manage them out?  Are they important to the sales team?

The truth is that while we all want “A Players” they are hard to find and often hard to hire.  An alternative approach would be to coach your “B Players” into becoming “A Players.”

Beginning too Late

As the quarter starts to draw to a close, we often see the B players in high relief. Deals that should have been closed do not show up in the pipeline or have just slipped away. The sales quarter that seemed so promising has managed to disappoint. The question is what happened? Often times there simply were not enough of deals in their pipeline to make up for any shortcomings.  Secondly, the deals that should have closed didn’t have the right follow-thru. Conversly, in addition to a more consistent and diligent work ethic, the A Player probably had a much more diversified and healthy pipeline that had a a combination of short-term and long-term opportunities that they were working.  And, due to the consistent and diligent follow-thru that the A Players have – they know which deals are moving and which deals are pushing out further. There are fewer surprises.

Sales Deals That Slipped

As the sales leader, the best place to start is to help your B Player identify the deals that slipped or were lost in the sales funnel. Helping your sales reps to close those active deals with confidence and encourage them to engage more with their prospects.

Floundering Relationships

Many times, the B Player sales reps had spoken with the correct people at some point during the sales process. Conversations via phone and emails were exchanged. The number one problem was not a lack of communication. The problem arose when the relationships were not cultivated and flowed through. A Player sales reps were particularly good at following up with everyone in the buying process. The rep will build strong relationships with multiple stakeholders and make sure that all questions and problems are addressed and resolved.

Technology and automation can make communications easier with multiple people. Those relationships that have slipped along the way should be flagged and followed through.

Single Thread Relationships

The difference between a good salesperson and a great salesperson often depends on the types of relationships formed. Many B players will have a single-threaded relationship. A single-threaded relationship is just with one person versus multiple. B players are often satisfied with a single contact made within an account. These sales reps do not try to engage with other departments within the company which should include leaders in operations, finance, and IT. All players in the buying decision process should be contacted and communicated with.

By identifying those relationships that should be made early in the quarter there will be more time to make sure the rep is engaging with the right players. This is a perfect way to coach your reps and to have them make those sales.

Providing Data Automation

One of the keys to your sales reps making their quotas is having the right data in the CRM and keeping it updated. If your sales reps are not entering the data and keeping it up to date, there will be sales that fall through.


SalesDirector’s Autoscribe allows for 100% of automated contact and activity capture when it comes to the data in the CRM. This allows your team to continue to form relationships and nurture them.

Autoscribe also allows you as the manager to be able to coach your reps in real-time. This is a valuable tool that can help you coach and guide your B players so that they become A players.

This tool allows for contacts to be automatically updated, automatically log emails, and works with Office 365 and Guide. Simply set it and forget it with Autoscribe and things are made easier and kept updated.

Taking your B players and turning them to A-players can be accomplished with understanding the problems, coaching your reps, and supplying the right tools to get the job done.

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