Hiding in plain sight, it would seem. It is 2018 and women in sales are still largely underrepresented. We do not see enough women in sales roles represented as speakers on conference stages, being interviewed on video or podcast programs, not enough women show up on leader lists and certainly, women are still in the minority in sales roles, and that includes senior level positions.
Perhaps what surprises me the most is the number of times I’ve been approached by hiring managers asking how they can find qualified women for positions in sales. My answer is to start with LinkedIn. When running a quick search on just the terms sales and women over 1 million profiles showed up in the results.
Women need to do their part too. I’ve noticed that many women in corporate sales roles are less likely to focus enough attention on building their personal brand and public persona. It is time to be more proactive! Many fear that touting their good work will be viewed as bragging. What I want women in sales to know is that their experience, expertise and insights are a benefit to all of us in sales, especially as we look to encourage more women to enter sales as a career. As women in sales, you are role models for others but it is hard to be a role model if you are not visible enough. Make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects the good work you do, awards you’ve won, expertise you’ve developed as you journey through your career.
As a long-time supporter of women in sales, I wanted to do more to showcase the great work women do around the globe. I started by creating a LinkedIn list of #WomenInSales to follow. The list has now morphed into a new podcast I’ve launched called Conversations with Women in Sales. In these interviews, my guests and I cover topics like leadership, career management, overcoming adversity, sales and marketing alignment, B2B sales, hiring talent, millennial workers, personal branding and more. And to any woman in sales reading this article, reach out to me if you’d like to be interviewed on the podcast.
Studies show that diversity of thought grows business revenues and has a positive impact on customer relationships. Diversity of perspective is also good for our sales profession. If you are a hiring manager, a conference organizer, a podcast host or a writer of business articles looking for people to interview, hire or speak, I encourage you to follow the women on my LinkedIn list, listen to the podcast interviews and follow them. Women in sales are out there. All you need to do is look!