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Motivation Monday: Bringing Women to the Forefront of Sales Leadership

5 min read
Oct. 31, 2016

In an industry predominately monopolized by a single gender, women are finally taking the sales world by storm and jumping into the driver’s seat for the second half of 2016. From the top females in sales leadership, to the internal Lady Lofters at Salesloft, the growth within the sales community for women is exponential.

Women in sales are not going to let anyone hold them back. A few months ago, we sat down with sales leaders Trish Bertuzzi, CEO of The Bridge Group, Lori Richardson, B2B Sales Growth Strategist of Score More Sales, and Emmanuelle Skala, VP Sales and Customer Success at DigitalOcean, to talk about breaking down barriers and getting the workforce to 50-50.

Unfortunately, there continues to be a lag in the sales community, where companies are still hiring without gender equality in mind. While tons of organizations are striving to hit that 50-50 gender mark on their sales teams, the scales still lean towards more men, even in the modern sales organization.

But instead of focusing on the sheer lack of numbers when it comes to women in sales leadership, and let’s talk about the performance of the female leaders we’re seeing in the community. Over the past few months we’ve seen a change the mindsets of these imbalanced organizations, with a large focus on diversity, in general. While this is a great stride for all modern sales organizations, the most exciting thing to see has been the valiant climb to the top some of our favorite female sales leaders are making each and every day.

Take Salesloft Account Executive Milena Flament, for example. Week over week, this girlboss has been at the top of the sales leaderboard, either first place or close to it. But the biggest accomplishment thus far: Milena currently holds the record for largest deal size in Salesloft history.

“It was the end of Q3 and we were behind quota. And then in that last week, it was like BOOM email: Danny got a deal. BOOM email: Tyler got a deal. Gladney got a deal. Everyone was getting deals. But then Milena walks in and closes the biggest deal in company history.” -Stephen Settle, Salesloft Software Engineer

Now, obviously deal size isn’t all that matters in a modern sales professional’s performance, but it’s certainly a tangible measurement that’s hard to overlook. And when you take a look just past the numbers that made up that deal, what you’ll really see is the impressive effort, attention to detail, and intense determination that have lead Milena to close on deals such as those over the last few weeks.

It’s because of the determination and confidence of powerhouses like Milena that women are stepping up to the plate and making a name for themselves in the male dominated sales leadership industry. The gap is closing every day within modern sales teams, and it’s sales leaders like Trish, Lori, and Emmanuelle that are leading the charge. Women in sales are strong, confident, and impactful, and they should be empowered as such.

“We’re starting to get smarter, but we just have a long way to go.” -Trish Bertuzzi

So how can you, a modern sales leader, help in continuing this climb to more equality in the sales organization? Continue to be intentional about the language that you use in your marketing, job descriptions, and your social media outlets. What is your social presence saying to women in sales? What does your interview process say to women? What does your management page say about women? You need to be using language that opens the gate for both genders from the get go.

And it’s not just on you to close the gap. Statistics show that men will apply for a job if they feel like they’re only 70% qualified for a specific role, but women won’t unless they’re at 100%. This is where women in sales need to start negotiating their way to leveling up their career, and taking on bigger responsibilities and opportunities. As Trish says, “if you’re not embarrassed by what you just asked for at least once a day, then you’re living in your comfort zone.”

So today’s sales motivation is more of a rally cry for women in sales leadership. Ladies, listen up: You’re not going to get something that you’ve never asked for. It’s all a learning experience, and hopefully the person that tells you no can educate you on why you’re not going to get it. Learn for next time. Get out of your comfort zone — be brave, step up, and ask for things. Modern sales is human, and the more you learn to embrace your strength as a professional, the closer we’ll be to becoming a truly modern industry in 2017.

Download your copy of the Sales Problems eBook today to launch into greater detail on issues like this, how deeply they can impact a sales organization, and what using the right sales solutions can do to solve them.