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Female sales leaders’ advice to women in sales

Sales Management Nehal Tenany January 21, 2021

Gone are the days when sales was a boys’ club. A new generation of women is at the forefront of sales, and they’re shaping the art of selling on their own terms. These sales leaders have valuable knowledge to share based on their experiences as they advance their careers and climb the corporate ladder.   

We recently asked women from our sales community what career-pumping advice they’d give other women coming up in sales. If you need a pep talk as you power up for 2021, get ready to feel juiced! These women deal in inspiration. Print out your favorite quote and look at it when you need a boost this year. 

Alexine Mudawar, Displayr

People will underestimate you when you’re one of the only women on a sales team. Let them. Allow your performance and skill set to speak for themselves! The best way to prove you’re a successful salesperson is by surpassing your goals consistently. Once you’ve proven your success, continue to reach back and pull other women up with you. There’s enough room for all of us at the top.

Galem Girmay, GoContractor

Advocate, communicate, and share! Speak up for yourself more often. Don’t wait until someone gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills. Be three steps ahead by documenting what you bring to the table. Make communication a two-way street by learning how others like to receive information, and provide it that way more often. Share your knowledge, experiences, and journey with those around you to have an impact.

Catie Ivey, Demandbase

Great sellers are great at figuring out what they can control and then taking total ownership over those things. They think like CEOs and act like a boss. 

In sales, 99% of things don’t go your way. You get told no a lot. Sometimes people lie to you and sometimes people ignore you. But there is always something you can influence, so make it your mission to find that one thing. 

I cannot overemphasize how important grit and resilience are in B2B sales. Remember, those are traits that no one can teach you. Regardless of how great your boss or your manager may be, grit is something you’re going to have to work to cultivate within yourself.

Gabrielle Blackwell, Gong

You must know who you are, and I’m not talking about your position or title, your wins and losses, or how much money you did or did not make. Who you are is how you behave when you set goals and journey through the ups and downs on your way to achieving them. Who you are is the character you develop along the way. Who you are is the infinite potential that you possess. Keep hold of that—keep hold of yourself, and you’ll never be led astray.

Rakhi Voria, IBM

Be yourself and believe in yourself. According to Gartner, our profession has the second largest gender equity gap across all business functions. You may often be the only woman in the room, but use that to your advantage and don’t downplay the qualities that make you unique. As women, we have characteristics that make us a natural fit for sales, like our ability to build relationships and trust. We often come across as more empathetic and understanding than men. So be sure to capitalize on your strengths as women as they are top-notch leadership attributes!

Chantel George, Linkedin

Leverage your superpowers. Do not be afraid to lean into what makes you unique because that’s also where your authenticity comes from. If you naturally connect with prospects about what they did last weekend, or what their hobbies are, then lean into that. Don’t change how you create relationships to fit into a potentially homogenous environment. Be yourself.

Sarah Brazier, Gong

Often, when I speak with women in sales, they’re under the impression that being a woman somehow limits them … that they won’t be able to get ahead, or they’re starting three meters behind everyone else in the race. I find that problematic. Statistically, when you look at the top 10% of male salespeople and the top 10% of female salespeople, women outperform men. So, the first thing I think we ought to do is stop thinking about gender as limiting, and start thinking about the job we’re here to do. We’re here to listen to our customers so they feel understood. We’re here to solve their problems and articulate those solutions in compelling ways. The second thing is to know our worth as salespeople. You can walk away from any deal. And from a company that isn’t willing to compensate women on a level playing field with men. Being a woman in sales isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. So embrace it.

Do you have advice or encouragement for women in sales?

Add it to the community discussion below!

Nehal Tenany

Content Marketing Manager @ Gong

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