You can’t afford to guess the capabilities that define top salespeople

Join the number of leading Sales & HR Managers using AbilityMap to drive their sales team’s performance.

The Challenge

A typical sales team will experience a high degree of variability in sales performance. Usually, there’ll be:

  • A small group of stars delivering year-on-year performance above plan;
  • A group in the middle; and
  • Too many at the bottom who are underperforming.

From what we’ve seen through our work with clients, this bottom group can consist of between a third to half of the sales team who consistently deliver below minimum performance expectations.

The usual answer is to simply replace low performers with new people. However, many sales leaders have discovered to their frustration that this strategy produces essentially the same outcome. The same percentage of the team fails to deliver, with the added headaches of open territories, along with lengthy recruitment processes, cost-to-hire, and onboarding.


What sales leaders need from their teams is a greater number of people consistently performing above 75 – 80% of quota year-on-year. But how?

Unfortunately, we’ve found over and over that the capabilities that sales managers and HR leaders think are critical for success are not the ones that actually drive high-performance in their organisations.

In fact, when we asked this question of 32 sales leaders, we received (you guessed it) 32 different answers. Until the capability X-factors are defined, nothing will change.

Using AbilityMap to unlock the blueprint for success

Where should you look for a definitive map of critical capabilities for top salespeople? It’s no good reaching for a generic list because every organisation’s culture, product offering and sales environment are unique.

The answer lies with your organisation’s top salespeople who are already excelling in the role. They provide the blueprint for success.

Understanding the capabilities held strongest and in common by your top performers will enable you to:

Know what you're looking for in salespeople
Hire more people that possess those capabilities
Upskill promising team members with targeted training in X-factor capabilities

“AbilityMap defines the X-Factor sales capabilities that drive your best sales people to consistently check ‘Closed-Won’ in your CRM.   Comparing candidates & team members to them enables Sales organisations to lift their game & performance like never before.  It’s Moneyball for business and it’s changing the game.”

Mike Erlin

Co-Founder, AbilityMap

How it Works

With AbilityMap, sales leaders can map out the capabilities that exist amongst the entire team, define the capabilities that drive their best people, then compare the whole team to the high-performing group to understand the current state of capability and use this knowledge to take action.



Imprint: Understand what you have

We use our online capability evaluation tool – the Ability Imprint – to objectively define and catalogue the inherent level of capability of every member of your sales team using a 31-point capability framework.


Profile: Understand what you need more of

Next, our clients identify their top performers for Profiling either quantitatively (by selecting the salespeople who delivered in the top 10% within a set period), or qualitatively (by asking managers which salespeople they would definitely rehire).

Then, we use our Profile tool to analyse the Imprint of the top performers to identify the capabilities that actually drive their high performance. This Profile represents the “X-factor” sales performance capabilities that are held in common by your companies’ top performers and might include capabilities such as Business Acumen, Leading Others, Independence and Initiative.


Compare: Understand the gaps contributing to performance variability and take action

Lastly, we apply AbilityMap’s Capability Balance Sheet to compare your companies’ entire sales team to the high-performance group Profile. This provides insight into the percentage of the group that falls into highly-capable, capable, average or development need designations for each capability.

From there, you’re armed with the information you need to coach, develop and configure your teams.

Ultimately, knowing exactly what you’re looking for when recruiting and knowing precisely which skills to focus on when developing team members will result in more high performers and fewer underperformers in your team.

Try AbilityMap today!

Stop guessing and start Profiling your top performers. Contact AbilityMap for a free trial of our Job Profiler tool and learn how to pinpoint the X-factor capabilities that drive top performance in your sales team.     

What Customers are Saying

“AbilityMap dramatically reduces bad hires and has driven improved productivity and performance of my sales team. Now we are applying this to differentiate our value as recruiters to our customers.”

Managing Director, Cox Purtell

“AbilityMap cuts through the noise and bias with objective data that allows me to hone-in on the best talent with the sales capabilities we need.”


Global Head of Talent, Faethm AI

“AbilityMap enabled us to define the most important capabilities that drive our sales engine.  We then compared each sales person to these performance criteria & set up high-impact, personal development plans to improve each person’s capabilities in the specific areas they needed.  The team’s response has been very positive.”


Founder / Director, Sirius People

“My customer’s board & executive team needed to come to one mind on the critical capabilities needed for a senior sales executive role – quickly & effectively. The Collaborator Profile made it happen. They got value and noted it. Imprints allowed us to drill deeper into candidate strengths and weakness and present to my customer’s requirements with confidence.”


Managing Partner, Boyden

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