Dissecting your top performer

Most organisation’s split their sales people into 4 categories

Lower Quartile
Agents who may be underperforming or new to the organisation.

Mid Quartile
Agents who are moving along the competency curve from being new or existing agents who are under performing.

Achieving Quartile
Agents who are competent and deliver consistently.

Upper quartile
Agents who consistently over achieve regularly – these are the agents that can be high risk to competitors and or promotion internally.

A lot of Team managers time is taken up by the lower and the mid quartile and quite often I hear from sales managers or team leaders about upper quartile sales people “I just leave him/her to crack on as they will it target regardless so I don’t have to worry about them.

You should worry about them…

Typically, organisation’s will get more value from moving their bottom performers to middle quartile and middle quartile to achieving, whilst this must happen and absolutely, we should be supporting our lower and mid quartile performers the upper quartile has a wealth of knowledge and experience that we can draw down from to spread good practice and great performance.

So, what do your high performing agents really do to achieve the results they get?

Their Mindset

Your top performers are self-assured they don’t achieve the results they do for you as their manager as much as you would like to believe it they do it because they have a goal in mind, they have a lifestyle they either need or want and they are self-driven to do this, high performers are self-starters motivating themselves to want or to be perceived as the best for their own satisfaction – sometimes this means high performers can be hard to manage as they are aware of how good they are and what value they add so can be demanding so require strong leadership to keep them engaged.

Time Management

They are very aware of time – they achieve success by making them selves more available and use time effectively – They do what they need to do and do this to a high standard and repeat this behaviours, observe your high prefer if you are in a contact Centre they will typically have a consistent handling time not to be mistaken for the lowest , they will have low admin or after call work as there thought are to get back to speaking to more customer and more customer contacts means more opportunity and more sales.

Repeatable formula

If you listen to what they say and how they say it there are key statements and descriptions that work for them and they use them on all sales interactions. Your high performers don’t underestimate the importance of activity that will drive the result, namely servicing customer instruction, they prioritise existing customers over taking on new ones, where as mid or achieving often will absorb more into the pipeline to be opportunistic reducing their overall effectiveness. High performers see delivering to existing customers as high priority, they make call backs based on customer demand and are religious in doing this, observe the volume of outbound dials to your high performer’s sales prospects v’s mid or achieving quartiles.

They avoid distraction – they are there for them and whilst your middle tier may achieve targets the upper quartile makes more and higher levels of over achievement because they see there job as “the job” so again are militant about time and productivity.

A key measure for any organization is to look at your high performers Cost per sales or sales per productive hour typically they will exceed and stand out outside of your average sellers.


Knowledge is power to your high performers they want to know everything about their product so they will embrace change, albeit sometimes with a heightened fear for themselves as change means potential risk on the rewards but they will get under the skin of the change and make it their own. They strive to understand process and make it their own, they are very close to product knowledge, systems and are often seen as the experts because they want to make sure they sound confident and knowledgeable to their customers so they can build Trust.


People buy from people but more importantly they buy from people that they trust – your top performers foster trust in various ways – they build rapport, this is built by the smaller details that your average performer might not pick up on for example your high performers pick up on external factors that aren’t as relevant to the sale but foster interest and trust as a result example – children’s names, activities, pet’s, hobbies and they use these to enable them to earn the right to Close


The phrase “always be closing” is particularly relevant here, they have high call to quote ratio’s meaning they turn more opportunities into someone they can sell to by establishing needs, they also have high quote to sale ratio’s with often high first call resolution rates – why because they aren’t of afraid of asking those immortal words – “shall we go ahead and put that in place for you?”

This is linked to their ability to build trust – they have earned the right to ask for the business and as a default feel more comfortable asking for the business as the same times.

So in summary, invest more time into finding more of the above attributes in your recruitment strategy and do all you can to value and retain these people, emulating the behaviours they display in the rest of your sales teams and you will naturally see more people gravitate from lower quartiles into the upper quartile as high performing sales professionals.