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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

#WomeninSales Month: Working in Sales as a Woman

Women in Sales blog

According to a LinkedIn report, women represent 39% of the workforce in sales – and only 21% of Vice Presidents in Sales are female.

The State of Women in Sales report shows that the sales industry has the second largest gender equity gap in America. Why aren’t more women in sales?

Aside from being a demanding career, sales professionals are up against a lot of biases accusations such as being “manipulative,” “pushy,” and “dishonest.” Women are often preconceived as being too emotional for a sales career. But we’re here to debunk that myth.

2021 Media Sales Report - download nowInspiring Women in Sales

Regardless of the societal pressure and industry norms, HubSpot reports that women are 5% more likely to close a deal than men. Additionally, women are also better at connecting with prospects and clients.

We asked a few inspiring women in sales to share some insight into how they became a sales professional, how their approach is unique, and advice for other women in sales. Here's what they said.

Amanda RichardsAmanda Richards

Director, Business Development and Community Integration at Chartwell Retirement Residences



What/Who Inspired Your Career in Sales?

I actually didn't strive to work in sales. I originally viewed sales as a means to put myself through university but gravitated back it over and over again. Leaning into my desire to help people and my drive to achieve results created an ideal paradigm for working in sales. I started in retail and loved the thrill of the commission-based environment. After university I worked in senior living in operations but quickly moved back into the sales realm. My career was further influenced by some phenomenal leaders and coaches who took the time to help me hone my skills.

How is Your Approach to Sales Unique?

Sales is not about convincing someone to purchase a product or service; it's about educating consumers and helping people talk themselves into the solution that best suits their needs. My approach is to help break down barriers and show that sales is not about wheeling and dealing but about making genuine connections, being curious, and offering a suggestion. The more time you spend in discovery mode, the less time you will spend in 'closing mode'; it will happen organically.

Advice for Other Women in Sales?

Sales is an art and a science, and you have to invest the time and focus in each area to achieve success. Don't undersell yourself as a woman. Own the room, network, and be curious. Pick something you are truly passionate about; people can sense if you don't believe in a product or service you are selling.

Elissa NElissa Nauful

Director of Sales at The Center for Sales Strategy




What/Who Inspired Your Career in Sales?

Jimmy Sanders was my first boss at the smallest CBS affiliate in the country. He told me when I was in college if I ever wanted a job to call him. I did and he was the reason I started in sales, the reason I was able to STAY in sales was because of my sales training very early on, at the time it was VHS videos by Jason Jennings. It was the only thing that made it possible for me to understand what to do and how to be successful.

How is Your Approach to Sales Unique?

I like conversations in sales, solving true challenges. thinking like an owner. Having a natural curiosity is critical to sales success. Being authentic, human, and pleasantly persistent doesn’t hurt.

Advice for Other Women in Sales?

Find a few mentors and rotate them throughout your career you will have different challenges along the way, learn to work towards your innate talents, understand how to work around your non-talents. Ask for help. Listen. Learn the power of healthy boundaries and have fun.

Allison DAllison Delagrande

WMEE/WQHK General Sales Manager at Federated Media




What/Who Inspired Your Career in Sales?

When I was in high school, I participated in speech and debate. I had a great coach who believed in me, and that’s where I found my passion for communication and persuasion. Though I didn’t know at the time that would later translate into a career in sales, I can now look back and see that’s when I began to realize my potential for selling an audience on my ideas.

How is Your Approach to Sales Unique?

I am obsessed with identifying very specific client needs. I am uncomfortable asking for any financial commitment from a prospect or client until I know what challenge I am helping them solve and how we are going to measure results. I am looking to build a long-term partnership, not a quick sale.

Advice for Other Women in Sales?

Never limit your own potential to just what you’ve seen others achieve. Be kind. Have faith. Challenge yourself to keep learning new things. Set goals, map out a game plan to achieve them, and never, ever give up.

SusanSusan McCullin

Senior Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy




What/Who Inspired Your Career in Sales?

I always love helping people grow their businesses. My friend, Nicky Cassidy was very successful in radio sales and encouraged me to apply at every local radio station in Dallas. Back then, radio and tv jobs did not open often. It took me many months and many interviews to finally be offered my first sales position. I was ecstatic! Then the work as a new seller began...

How is Your Approach to Sales Unique?

I love it that I can help people grow. Whether that is grow revenue for a station or grow in their own individual talents. People invested time and money to help me develop my Talents and now I get to help others be their best.

Advice for Other Women in Sales?

Don't ever give up! It can be hard but stay the course. Be authentic. Never stop learning and surround yourself with people that you aspire to be like.

Sharon VSharon Vaughn

Associate Director of Sales at Hotel Effie Sandestin




What/Who Inspired Your Career in Sales?

I’ve always been entrepreneurial, and sales minded since childhood, but my sales career began when I discovered hospitality sales during my first hotel job in New Orleans.

How is Your Approach to Sales Unique?

My unique approach is that I’ve always felt I cared more about the human element of anything I’m doing. In hotels it’s two-fold easy.

  1. Success means making guests happy, groups that rebook and, of course, financial rewards.
  2. Success means the people that actually make those experiences better and create memories for our guests in the hotel are rewarded with hours and job stability.

That is what keeps me going - knowing everyone can work as much as they desire!

Advice for Other Women in Sales?

Find a “why” and use it to drive you. Use your innate ability to care and nurture as your competitive advantage. Take a beat to feel the losses and then put together a good pep talk to get yourself back in it! Rejection always comes with lessons.

Dani B-1Dani Buckley

VP/General Manager at LeadG2




What/Who Inspired Your Career in Sales?

The radio station I started my career at (in promotions and marketing) had a lot of really strong female leaders... including two General Managers. One of them in particular was a mentor of mine and spotted my sales talents early on and encouraged me to make the move down the hall. Having her see that in me and help build my confidence was invaluable as a fresh out of college young woman.

How is Your Approach to Sales Unique?

I care a lot about people in general. I'm a very curious and empathetic person, and I'm a true connector. So, these are things I've learned are what really help me shine because I genuinely care about the people I meet with and finding ways to help them. I really have learned over the years to be authentic to who I am - my personality and style - and that that will help me attract and connect with people in a really authentic way.

I also believe in really utilizing sales enablement tools and technology, along with relevant and strategic content, to sell smarter and faster. It's what I believe in... be educational, be helpful, and be authentic. And don't feel like you have to recreate the wheel every single time!

Advice for Other Women in Sales?

Don't ever put people on pedestals... no matter what someone's title is or how intimidating they might seem - we are all just a bunch of humans and if you can just connect with another human and be genuine, you can have valuable conversations. That's what it's all about.

The World Needs More #WomenInSales

Is there a woman in sales that inspires you? Take time to let her know how amazing she truly is and how she’s helped you grow in your career – and in life! For more insights from female thought leaders in sales, check out the #WomeninSales Improving Sales Performance series!

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Topics: women in sales