Most companies tend to invest most of their development resources in the underperformers, the salespeople who are struggling. They tend to pay far less attention to the top or even the mid-ranking performers.

Consider the flaws in that approach: If you’re a top performer bringing in the revenue, how does it make you feel to see all that attention being focused on the people who can’t get the job done? And if you’re a sales manager or company owner, does it make sense to spend a lot of time and effort trying to improve a marginal salesperson—or would it be smarter to invest that time and effort helping a top performer become even better? By focusing a significant portion of your development efforts on your top and midrange performers, you’ll improve your overall sales performance, and you’ll probably drag some of the ones in the bottom ranks up to the middle.

Though top sales performers tend to be motivated by money, they also demand recognition. It’s an ego issue. They want to know that they are seen as top performers.

At any given moment, almost half of the top sales performers—yours included!—are looking for another job where they will be better rewarded and recognized. If you want to keep your superstars, you need to figure out what motivates them and reward them appropriately.

Does this mean you should ignore the underperformers? Not at all. Train them, coach them, guide them—but not at the expense of your top performers. Your top performers deserve more than fat commission checks and annual awards; they deserve the resources that will take them even higher, the opportunities to sharpen their skills through training, coaching, and correction. Top performers are always looking for ways to improve, and helping them do that will pay off handsomely for your company.

Author's Bio: 

JK Harris is the founder of Flashpoints Consulting, LLC, ( and of JK Harris & Company (, the nation’s largest tax resolution firm. He is the author of Flashpoint: Seven Core Strategies for Rapid-Fire Business Growth, a popular and respected speaker, as well as a successful business consultant advising mid to large-sized businesses around the world. For a free subscription to Flashpoints newsletter plus a free copy of JK Harris’ ebook, The Mindset of High Achievers, visit

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