How to spot an A player in SaaS sales

August 22, 2023 - 2min. read

Clients often ask me what defines an A player in sales, and everyone seems to have their interpretation. Personally, I see an A player as someone with specific habits that set them apart. 

However, the other day I came across the book ‘Topgrading for Sales’ by Bradford D., where he describes an A player as someone who has a 90% chance of performing in the top 10% for their compensation level and someone who elevates the entire team’s performance.

The idea of making others better resonated with me because, in sales, it’s crucial to understand and leverage your team’s strengths. In this article, I’ll focus on the habits I’ve observed among A players in SaaS sales.

Let’s talk A player habits

Five habits stand out for me. These are the habits you must have to even come close to being an A player in SaaS sales. 

1. Never leave prospecting behind

An A player in SaaS sales never leaves prospecting behind. Be it 2, 5 or 10 years down the line, an A player is someone who keeps flexing his prospecting muscles and understands that a good deal is just a phone call away.

2. Act as their own sales manager

An A player in SaaS sales always keeps tabs on their numbers, stats, and data. They view them as valuable tools for improvement and take ownership of their actions.

3. Networking is a second nature

Networking comes naturally to an A player in SaaS sales. They recognize that opportunities are all around them and make it a habit to connect with others relentlessly.

4. Have extended knowledge of their buyer persona

A players in sales are top-notch marketers. They have done their homework on buyer personas, enabling them to understand exactly which buttons to push and what messages to convey. It’s like practising empathy to foster stronger connections with potential buyers. That way, you avoid being pigeonholed with ‘that’s a nice-to-have’.

5. Dealing with adversity

No matter how you look at it, rejection is just a part of a salesperson’s journey. The best ones set themselves apart by brushing it off and moving forward. It all boils down to having a growth mindset.

Track record in sales

One of the most reliable indicators of an A player in SaaS sales is their exceptional track record of success. Look for candidates who have consistently achieved or surpassed their sales targets, showcasing their ability to generate revenue and drive business growth.

Evaluate their past performance metrics, such as quota attainment, deal size, and customer retention rates. A players often bring a proven track record of closing complex deals, building a strong pipeline, and effectively managing their sales cycles.

Their impressive accomplishments serve as a testament to their skills, work ethic, and ability to deliver outstanding results in the competitive field of SaaS sales.

Being an A player is a mindset

When it comes to sales, it’s all about how a person behaves and thinks. As a SaaS company, if you can find those right habits in potential candidates, you can build a sales team filled with A players. It’s about spotting those individuals who naturally have what it takes to succeed in sales and bringing them together.