How do women become successful in sales? Author and sales expert Jill Konrath spoke with Corey Eridon of HubSpot about the role of women in sales, including sales success, gender quotas, and getting ahead. Corey shares some of Jill’s insights that were captured during the interview:
Corey: What are some of the challenges women face in a sales role? What are the best ways to address them?
Jill: Women typically downplay their expertise. Linguistic research shows that it’s because women focus more on “connecting” rather than strutting their stuff. This makes them appear less confident and knowledgeable to both their customers and their colleagues.
For example, in a meeting they may pose an idea by saying, “maybe we can do this” or “it might help if …” But, because of the tentative way their suggestion was proposed, it gets passed right over.
Instead, they need to boldly propose their ideas — especially around guys — and be prepared to state why they feel this way. Personally, it took me awhile to get the hang of this because it’s not my natural style.
This is more important today with customers than ever before. One of the primary strategies necessary for success is to disrupt a prospect’s perception of their status quo. This involves making strong statements and backing them with solid evidence. The only way I know to address this is to practice ahead of time.
Corey: Anything else that women do that impacts their career success?
Jill: Yes. Women also operate under the mistaken belief that their results speak for themselves. While success helps, it’s not enough. If you want to move up in your company, what matters even more is your colleagues’ perception of you.
Management is looking for team players, strategic thinkers, creative problem solvers and leaders. Women in sales need to focus on getting involved in projects that demonstrate their strengths in these areas if they want to move ahead.
Full Interview: Sales Success, Gender Quotas & Getting Ahead via blog.hubspot.com