It’s no secret that being a woman in sales can be a challenge. In what has typically been a male-dominated profession, it can be tough not only to find your voice as a woman, but also to set yourself up for progression in your career.
But remember: Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in heels.
On this episode of Sales Engagement, we gathered some of the best and brightest minds in the industry, from all different backgrounds and walks of life, to have a robust discussion all about finding your voice as a woman in sales.
The guests we heard from in this live discussion were:
- Hannah Ajikawo, Practice Lead, Sales Strategy, EMEA at Skaled Consulting
- Ashleigh Early, Head of Sales at The Duckbill Group
- Joyce Johnson, Founder/CEO at Why Sales Network
- Catherine Robles, Member and Co-Chair Women’s Chapter at Revenue Collective
Why Women Often Get Overlooked
It’s sad that we even need people focused on helping women succeed in sales today. It’s 2022! You would think the playing field would be leveled out by now. But sadly, this is not often the case.
Because the truth is, the playing field still isn’t level, and the ball doesn’t bounce the same for everyone.
When hiring for a new sales role, companies will often look at male applicants and highly consider their potential. Maybe they haven’t been in the profession that long, but they have a great attitude, and a character that matches the company culture.
Whereas in a lot of situations, hiring managers will look to a woman to fill the same role, but lean heavily on her experience, but not her potential.
Whatever metric you use to hire, whether it’s potential or experience, that same metric should be equally applied to all applicants, so that future generations of women don’t have to experience the same bias that women in the sales industry today face so often.
Positioning Yourself for your Next Role
Landing a role in sales as a woman can be challenging. Positioning yourself for that next role can be even harder. So how do you position yourself for the next level of your career? To move up the ladder?
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Go into the role with an idea of where you want to go next. Show up and be intentional about your plans and goals, and make sure you’re aligning yourself with the right mentors, and possibly a sponsor.
On top of that, far too many people wait to talk about their future plans until their annual reviews. Then their managers are shocked or blindsided by their desire to move out of their current role.
Spend your time talking to your leadership, the people in the role that you see yourself in, even raising your hand to follow them along on their tasks, calls, or things that they’re doing in their current role. Don’t wait until the last minute if you know what it is that you want to do.
Don’t Try to Be “One of the Guys”
At the end of the day, you are you. With all of the skills, talents, passions, and experiences that you bring to the table. And the company didn’t hire you because they wanted another clone of everyone else.
So don’t waste your time trying to be “one of the guys.” Don’t assimilate. Be yourself and stand out. Demonstrate to the rest of the team that you are every bit as competent and talented and passionate as everyone else around you.
You’re just demonstrating competence, talent, and passion as a woman in a largely male-dominated profession.