Women In Sales Awards 2019

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Congratulations from Zars Media, proud host of tonight's celebrations

AFI OFORI, Managing Director, Zars Media


his year we celebrate the 6th anniversary of the awards with a record number of nominations from 22 countries, (Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Denmark, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Switzerland, Israel, Singapore, Bulgaria, Greece and, of course the UK.) Every year I get the opportunity to speak with the judges, speakers and finalists. I know for many people, working life in the 21st century often makes it impossible just to stop and breath. So, for the finalists, taking part in the WIS awards, I hope it has given them the opportunity to take stock and reflect on their careers and their life as a whole. We owe it to ourselves and each other to occasionally pause, take a moment to reflect and appreciate ourselves, our journey and our achievements. It can provide an invaluable sense of wellbeing and help us move forward positively to improve and develop as professionals and people. We need clarity of mind to focus, the courage to look within, to be honest and to develop

the discipline to push past our automation mode. Hopefully, the process of the awards has encouraged the finalists to reflect, take stock, appreciate and enjoy all that has brought them to this point. I would like to thank the judges for their dedication, time, and energy during the 2019 awards. We would not be here this evening without their support. I would like to thank the speakers at this year’s WIS Summit. They have the important role of keeping the finalists engaged during the judging day through debates and discussions. I would especially like to thank Catherine Schalk who does an incredible job of moderating the panels and engaging the finalists and panellists. To all the companies that keep nominating each year the incredible women in your teams; to the companies that nominated for the first time this year, thank you. And of course, congratulations to all nominees, finalists and winners. Finally thank you to the WISA team who have worked incredibly hard to ensure you had a great evening. Thank you for celebrating 2019 European Women In Sales Awards with us, see you in 2020.

Find latest news about WOMEN IN SALES AWARDS EUROPE and share your experience of the event at: women-in-sales-awards




In this magazine

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Women Are Great Salespeople, Why Aren't More of Them at the Top?


How to Build Resilience in Sales by Becoming More Optimistic


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WISA Summit 2019 Speakers

Why Increasing the Diversity of Your Sales Team Improves Your Bottom Line




Customer Intelligence – The Real ‘X’ Factor

38 The Judging Process


WISA Europe 2019 Judges

Treat Your Sales Team Like A Sports Team...

WISA Europe 2019 Finalists


And the WINNERS are...


The Importance of Playtime at Work

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Why The Mental Health of Your Sales Team Matters


Want to Make a Deal? Stop Selling and Start Connecting



This is How the Future of Work-Life Balance Will Look Like


8 Heathfield Court Fleet, Hampshire GU51 5DX England Tel.: 01252612025 info@wisawards.com

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Great Salespeople, Women are

Why aren’t More of Them at the Top? By FRANCES BROOKS TAPLETT, Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Women in B2B sales perform as well as or better than their male counterparts, yet they’re dramatically underrepresented in top sales leadership roles. In fact, there are fewer women in top sales roles than almost any other profession, including STEM fields like IT, and engineering and design that have drawn substantially more attention for having a sizable gender gap. W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9



hile BCG research has shown that when companies get the culture right men and women are just as ambitious and engaged. In fact, our study (with over 80K respondents) has shown that women in sales are likelier than men in sales, and women overall, to consider switching jobs within 3 years, and are less engaged suggesting many women are not feeling sufficiently valued, and their organizations have an opportunity to improve the culture. The imperative for sales organizations to rectify the situation is clear. If they do, they can lift sales performance and drive higher revenue in the process. Selling has become a relationship business. Across the spectrum of B2B sales – whether you’re selling industrial machine parts or software applications – the effort has moved away from traditional ‘salesy’ tactics to sell individual products towards addressing the underlying business needs and focusing on customer success … and these are the engagement models where women consistently excel. To take advantage of this innate ability and improve the pathway for women to move into leader roles, sales organizations must make changes in key areas such as commitment and accountability to change, support and recognition, how work gets done, and more. A few of our recommendations:


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COMMIT WITH ACCOUNTABILITY We find that women in sales are more likely than their male colleagues to value an organization’s ability to be transparent, including transparency around progress addressing the diversity gap. Companies can take advantage of that and commit to progress and hold themselves accountable: •

Ensure public support for diversity initiatives from top company and sales leaders, and be transparent about the progress that is – or is not – being made

Demonstrate this commitment by establishing clear programs, like flexible working models, and codify anti-discrimination policies

Make sure women sales leaders are highly visible to the more junior team – and if there are no suitable role models in those positions, fix that—and identify more junior role models in the shorter term

Sponsor HiPo Women and hold sponsors accountable to help advance careers

RESTRUCTURE RECOGNITION Women care about more than pay, as long as the pay is the same. They also want to know when they’re doing well, and that they are valued as part of the team. This could take on many forms: being selected for high-profile strategic initiatives, having greater visibility into management decisions, being publicly and privately recognized and complimented, among many others.

OFFER FLEXIBLE WORK Sales might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of flexible work. But many B2B sales jobs are inherently flexible. Salespeople routinely toggle between engaging with clients – including traveling to see them in person - and performing other tasks. They’re also more likely to be paid based on performance, not how much they’re in the office, a compensation model that lends itself to flexibility. To support and promote women, build flexibility into sales roles on a formal basis. Offer multiple options to a traditional work schedule, including part-time work, and smaller territories or quotas. And make flexibility gender blind. Since research shows that women prefer to work in teams, rewarding teaming across territories or clients will not only drive better coordination & teaming within the sales team, but also drive greater retention of women. Creating sales teams also is a great way to mentor newer hires and build potential future leaders.

RETHINK HIRING Getting more women into leadership roles needs to start with hiring practices that overcome the inherent bias to hire people who look like you. How to do this: •

Identify candidate pools where genders are more equally represented, or recruit a higher percentage of women than are in the pool

Take bias out of interview processes by using structured interviews, where everyone is asked the same questions so they’re evaluated on the same criteria, or when feasible, apply blind screening

Use data analytics to understand the skills that are correlated with success and recruit for those skills

We’re continuing to drive research on this topic and develop it with our clients. In the meantime, we hope these four levers help catalyze progress for companies to start the journey to lifting sales diversity – and performance •

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How to Build Resilience in Sales by Becoming More Optimistic

By JEFF RISELEY, CEO and Founder of Sales Mentor Alliance and the Sales Health Alliance https://saleshealthalliance.com, https://startswithme.ca

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Gratitude plays an important role in helping salespeople remain grounded. In addition to gratitude, practicing meditation can also help keep things in perspective under times of stress. This article discusses why it can be easy to lose perspective and why these techniques can combat the negative rich sales environment. When salespeople begin to lose perspective, their performance can suffer and attachment to negative experiences can be their downfall. Meditation and gratitude offer ways to build more optimism in sales and protect mental health. When practiced consistently and used together they retrain the brain to become more resilient, happy and achieve better performance.

The Environment Every day, salespeople must persevere through an abundance of negative triggers, experiences and thoughts. To better understand their environment, reviewing metrics on a standard outbound sales strategy will explain this: Let’s say, you as a salesperson, starts with 100 new prospects. Through calling and emailing you generate responses from 15-35% of your list. The equivalent of 15 to 35 prospects. Of the prospects that you reach, 30-50% are qualified. This gives you an average of 8 to 12 qualified opportunities. Then, from those 8 to 12 qualified opportunities you convert 30-50% into customers. As a result, at the end of your sales efforts you have won an average of 3-5 customers from the initial lead list of 100 new prospects. That’s a lot of work to strike gold.


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Being Optimistic in Sales is Hard For most companies, these are generous conversion metrics and typically achieved by those with mature sales processes and good product market fit. Most outbound strategies being done by growing companies will yield closer to 2-3 customers – if they’re lucky. With metrics like this, it is clear that in order to be successful, a salesperson must be persistent. During this process they’ll face countless negative experiences that can impact their mental health. Negatives experiences like – Rejection, buyers ghosting, deals falling through and time spent on non-responsive buyers. Triggers and outcomes that are emotionally charged, which makes it easy to lose perspective. Opening the door to self-doubt, depression and anxiety.

To combat these forces, salespeople need to learn how to become more optimistic and focus their attention on positive outcomes that happen daily, but are easily forgotten. Positive experiences like – reaching the decision maker, setting a demo, or finally connecting with someone they have spent months trying to contact. Small wins that show progress, but are overshadowed by powerful negative events that impact salespeople long after they occur. Even when a salesperson has a good day on paper by hitting their metrics and closing a deal; they can still leave the office feeling discouraged. Understanding how salespeople perceive their environment can offer insight into why it is easy to become discouraged in sales and why their mental health can spiral when they become attached negative experiences.

Research on 12,000 journal entries found that the negative effect of a setback at work on happiness was more than

2x as strong as the positive effect of an event that signaled progress

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Consciousness Consciousness is how a person perceives their environment. Within sales, it includes everything a salesperson is experiencing in the moment. John Yates, PhD, does an excellent job of explaining consciousness in his book The Mind Illuminated.Your consciousness during a sales call is perceiving everything from the tone of the buyers voice; to your internal thoughts and feelings about them; to your colleague spilling coffee on your desk beside you. There is a lot going on in a sales environment and a lot of information for consciousness to try and process. Therefore, to be efficient, consciousness is divided into two parts.


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Consciousness is divided into two parts:


ATTENTION This part is focused on the object of attention. These objects can be internal experiences like your thoughts, emotions or feelings. Or the objects can be external experiences like situations, physical objects and events that surround you. When you are focused on an object of attention, it dominates your conscious experience. For example, during a sales call you may be focused on the buyer’s tone – the object of attention – and trying to understand what it means: Are they interested? Did I catch them at a good time? Are they in a good mood?

PERIPHERAL AWARENESS (AWARENESS) This part is scanning the environment around the object you are focused on and looking for new things that are more important. Scanning is being done both for internal and external experiences. For example, awareness is scanning the environment around you, while your attention is focused on understanding the buyer’s tone. As your colleague’s spilt coffee inches towards your computer, awareness brings the risk of computer damage to the focus of attention. Your attention moves away from trying to understand the buyer’s tone to now focus on stopping the spilt coffee. When attention is alternating between multiple objects (tone and spilt coffee) it is called multitasking. Focus between objects is alternating so fast, that it appears seamless – but it’s not. In our example, you’re able to clean up the coffee, while still being able to understand the buyer. But it’s not perfect and depending on how focused your are on the coffee, some important details in the conversation will be missed. This happens because consciousness has limits, just like your body getting physically tired during a workout.

Attention and awareness are sharing the same energy source. When you focus attention on one thing to gather more detail, awareness of the surrounding environment decreases and becomes less clear. For example, while reading this article – detail of the text is clear and easy to understand, but surrounding plants, people and sounds will be blurry. The energy consciousness is using to to focus attention and scan your environment is being shared.

Attention and awareness are constantly working together; feeding information to a salesperson about the world around them. This information needs to be accurate so they can respond and behave in a way that benefits them. When either one fails to perform we are likely to overreact, make bad decisions or misinterpret a situation. These situations are also more likely to occur when we’re deeply focused on something that requires all of our attention. Situations like this happen all the time. During heated arguments, a break-up or when an important deal falls through. Experiences that require so much focus to process, it has left awareness blind and unable to properly scan the environment. This is called losing perspective or having tunnel vision. Attention becomes so focused on one thing, there is no energy to process anything else. To make matters worse, negative thoughts or experiences are powerful and standout. Your attention and focus become obsessed with them, making it hard to breakaway. Research on 12,000 journal entries found that the negative effect of a setback at work on happiness was more than twice as strong as the positive effect of an event that signaled progress. Setbacks were also more than three times stronger at increasing frustration, compared to the power of progress in reducing frustration. With awareness being less effective at scanning, because attention is stuck processing negative experiences; positive experiences like a call going well or a demo getting booked are easily forgotten.

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MULTI-TASKING IN SALES Though an event like “rejection” may be over in an instant, negative experiences tend to hold a salesperson’s attention long after they occur. In many cases, you could still be thinking about getting rejected in the morning, while in the midst of talking to a new client in the afternoon. To make matters worse, it’s easy to be unaware of the impact it is having on your performance. While engaging with a new customer, you may be thinking: That person this morning was so rude…Did I say something wrong to them? Were they just in a bad mood?…SHIT…. What did the person I’m talking to just say? Was that a buying signal? Work and sales is go, go, go and rarely is enough time spent processing negative events and thoughts all at once. As a result, consciousness and attention keeps going back to the experience whenever there is spare energy.

Getting caught on these emotions and thoughts makes it easy to underperform. Distractions, mistakes and errors occur that can trigger more negative experiences, leading to spiraling and declining mental health.

NEGATIVITY BIAS This tendency to spend more time contemplating negative experiences compared to positive ones is completely natural. It’s called Negativity bias. Even when two things (positive vs negative) are of equal intensity, more negative natured experiences have a greater effect on your psychological state. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Ancestors who were more connected and aware of bad things, had a better chance of survival. This process helped our ancestors focus their attention and store details about threats to memory. Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford, states negative experiences generally require

more thinking and information to process. Therefore, this increases the likelihood of salespeople to dwell on negative outcomes compared to positive ones. Relationship research also confirms this idea that bad is stronger than good. It showed that increasing positive behaviours in a relationship will have less of an effect than decreasing negative behaviours. This provides further support for the diary research mentioned previously. Unfortunately within sales however; salespeople are not always able to control the negative experiences that occur in their environment. They can however, control how much time and energy is spent processing them. To do this, salespeople need to strengthen the quality of their consciousness. By increasing the quality of their attention and awareness they gain control of their thoughts, emotions and behaviors. They can learn how to unstick from the negative experiences and redirect focus towards the positive ones. Enter meditation and gratitude.

Even when two things (positive vs negative) are of equal intensity, more negative natured experiences have a greater effect on your psychological state


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Meditation John Yates explains how meditation helps improve the quality of consciousness and achieve two primary objectives: stabilizing attention and developing mindfulness

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MEDITATION 101 There are various mediation techniques a salesperson can use to achieve the two objectives above. The three most common are:

Breathing techniques — OBJECTIVE ONE: STABILIZE ATTENTION Stabilizing Attention means you’re able to intentionally direct and sustain your focus on something for longer. For example, when a bad call happens, you can fight natural tendencies to focus on negative experiences and focus on the positive learning instead. Stabilizing attention also helps you control the scope of attention. This means reducing the number of distractions that break your focus and capture your attention. In other words, you can be present with a client, rather than thinking about a deal falling through a few hours earlier.

OBJECTIVE TWO: DEVELOPS MINDFULNESS Developing mindfulness is the second objective of meditation. It allows you to recognize your options, choose responses wisely and therefore control how you respond to your environment. Mindfulness helps keep awareness strong, under times of stress to reduce tunnel vision. When salespeople lose perspective, their awareness narrows and attention on negative events or thoughts intensifies. Their perception of the world around them fundamentally gets smaller and darker. Improving mindfulness helps keep awareness open so it can continually scan for positive experiences that attention can latch on to. By keeping the positives visible, it stops thoughts and emotions from becoming entangled on one negative experience.

By achieving both objectives salespeople can learn to become more optimistic and stay focused on the progress being made. Progress that gives meaning to their work and helps them feel in control of their performance. Research done on insurance agents measured how important optimism was in sales. As it turns out – optimism is very important. Results showed, agents who scored in the top 10% on an assessment of optimism sold 88% more than insurance agents who scored in the bottom 10%. Practicing meditation regularly can help stabilize attention and make salespeople more mindful of the environment around them.


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where the object of attention is the breath.

Guided meditations —

where the object of attention are visual images being described.

Body scans —

where the object of attention is physical parts of the body.

They all train consciousness in roughly the same way. First, they stabilize attention by strengthening the ability to focus on one object for a period of time and control the direction of this focus. This is done by focusing on the movement of the breath, the movement of visual images or the movement between parts of the body. They also help improve mindfulness, by helping salespeople become aware of their thoughts. During meditation, while you’re focusing on your breath, awareness will naturally try to bring new thoughts or experiences forward for you to focus on. Thoughts that appear more interesting and tempt you to shift focus and give them attention. Sometimes these will be very sticky negative thoughts or experiences that are emotionally charged and hard to let go of. Mindfulness does not mean you never break focus, it simply means you build awareness of these wandering thoughts and when attention gets stuck to them. With practice and using a technique called noting, meditation teaches you how to let go and detach from negative experiences. By learning this skill, salespeople can remain objective under times of stress and not lose site of the “big picture.” Meditation helps keep the positives in perspective so optimism can remain high.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT With consistent practice, meditation strengthens consciousness and increases the amount of energy that attention and awareness can draw from. With more energy, salespeople will perform better and improve their mental health. When you exercise and workout, you have more energy to be physically active. Meditation is a workout for the brain. It increases your endurance so you have more energy to be aware of your environment and control what experiences you focus your attention on. By increasing the amount of available energy, Yates says the quality of both attention and awareness improves.

Studies have shown that mediation can improve everything from reducing stress; to anxiety control; to enhancing self-awareness. Improvements that will improve sales performance and protect mental health. It’s easy to imagine how much better a salesperson will perform if they experience even a small improvement in how they control their thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Meditation provides one way to improve the quality of consciousness that helps salespeople keep progress in perspective. Practicing gratitude compliments meditation by training awareness to scan for positive experiences in their environment more frequently.

Meditation is a workout for the brain. It increases your endurance so you have more energy to be aware of your environment and control what experiences you focus your attention on.


Your awareness fades less when attention is very focused on an object

Awareness does a better job providing context and makes individuals more sensitive to how objects relate to each other

Awareness processes information more effectively making it better at selecting the right objects for Attention to focus on

Attention becomes clear, more intense and can analyze things more effectively

Attention is directed toward the most important objects more frequently

Awareness remains strong, reducing the times attention get stuck. Perception remains more objective with less time for attention to turn them subjective

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Gratitude Practicing gratitude means learning how to focus attention on positive experiences. Positives that get overpowered by negativity bias and sticky negative experiences that occur more regularly within sales. When learning about gratitude, one concept that is important to understand is: Attention trains awareness on what to prioritize when scanning the environment.

As already discussed, negativity bias means humans are naturally primed to scan and focus more on negative experiences. Gratitude helps rewires this process. The more time and effort attention spends focused on an experience, the more salient related objects in the environment will become. Essentially attention is teaching awareness: “Objects or experiences like the one I’m focused on are important. Keep an eye-out for more.” This process is easy to relate to, by thinking about things that stand out to you on a daily basis. If you are a dog owner, your awareness will be more likely to catch the cute dog walking across the busy street than your friend who is a cat person. 20

A person with tattoos, will be more aware of the fine details in the design of tattoos on others, compared to someone with no tattoos. If you spend several hours a day focused on your phone, you’re training awareness to prioritize notifications as very important. As a result, you might be mid-conversation with someone at dinner and one notification will break your focus. Your attention leaves the conversation, prioritizes the notification and narrows in to check the phone. This happens all the time in Media as well. The more time and attention a story receives, the more important the audience will perceive the topic to be. Topics that are negative will be more sticky, captivating and hold attention for longer.

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GRATITUDE IN SALES The same is true within the sales environment. Not only are negative experiences more common, negativity bias will make consciousness prioritize these experiences. Then, the more time our attention is stuck focusing on these experiences, the more potent other negative experiences will become. That’s why it’s so easy to lose sight of progress. Even though you’re doing the right things and advancing sales, it can still feel like you’re drowning, failing and not cut out for sales. But this is not true. You just need to regain perspective and train your attention to spend more time focused on positive experiences. Overtime your awareness will learn to prioritize positive experiences that also become more sticky.

GRATITUDE RE-TRAINS CONSCIOUSNESS When gratitude is practiced consistently, more time and effort is spent focused on the positives. This is how a salesperson can become more optimistic. They spend less time dwelling on the negatives, remain objective and keep the bigger picture in mind. Positives lead to more positives, creating momentum and more happiness. This momentum a salesperson feels is the result of neural pathways in the brain being strengthened, which releases more dopamine and serotonin. Focusing on small wins means progress, which leads to you feeling happy (serotonin) about what you have accomplished. Progress also makes work meaningful and makes daunting sales targets

Key Take-Aways Negative experiences within sales will happen and all salespeople have internal biases that make consciousness stick to them. When this happens it becomes easy to lose perspective, which impacts both sales performance and mental health. Spending time practicing and learning a new skill or technique is never easy. In particular, practicing gratitude and meditation requires discipline, because the benefits will not be immediate. It takes time to reprogram how your brain naturally wants to perceives the world around it. If you stick with it, however, your sales performance, happiness at work and mental health will change for the better. Your thoughts, emotions and behaviour will be in your control and no longer things that are reactive. The sales environment is harsh and you’ll finally be able to respond and navigate it – in a mentally healthy way.

appear more achievable. When sales targets are perceived as achievable, dopamine levels keep motivation high and continue to drive more success. Research done by MIT showed that the pleasurable feeling that comes with success (even small) is brought about by a surge in dopamine. This chemical surge tells brain cells to keep doing whatever they did that led to success, causing success to soar. Going back to the journal research done by Teresa Amabile – her team found the best way to motivate people on a daily basis to facilitate these small wins. Keep positive experiences in perspective. Data shows that consistent small wins are better at producing happiness than one big one like closing a deal. Life satisfaction is 22% more likely for those with a steady stream of minor accomplishments than those who have one major one.

BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE Benefits of practicing gratitude can also be seen across many areas of a salesperson’s life – not just performance. Research has been done to support all of these findings: Allows toxic emotions to be let go, Reduces pain, Improves sleep quality, Aids in stress regulation, Reduces anxiety and depression. By practicing gratitude salespeople can reprogram their brain to combat the negative rich sales environment. A technique that will help protect mental health and keep performance consistent, rather than suffering from ups and downs.


1. Keep positive experiences that happen daily – visible to you – by improving the quality of consciousness (awareness and attention) and how the environment is being perceived. 2. Combat the effects of negativity bias. 3. Increase the amount of conscious energy that keeps them grounded and resilient during stressful periods in sales. 4. Become more mindful of when their focus and attention gets stuck processing negative experiences. 5. Learn to let go of negative experiences and thoughts that can hurt performance and mental health. 6. Focus and control their attention on the buyer so they can be more effective at closing business. 7. Become more optimistic by focusing on positive experiences, which increases happiness and sales performance. 8. See progress and build momentum from one small positive experience to the next

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Why Increasing the Diversity of Your Sales Team Improves Your Bottom Line By MERHAWI KIDANE, Founder/Lead Content Writer, WinningBlogs.com

There’s a lot more to workplace diversity and inclusion efforts than simply making your company appear more “progressive.”


ocusing on diversity in hiring can have a significant positive impact on your company’s bottom line, especially when it comes to building your sales team. “People want to see themselves represented at companies they buy from, and a diverse sales force can more directly relate to the needs and wants of the people they are selling to,” says Stan Kimer, President of Total Engagement Consulting. Before we dive into how to develop diversity on your own sales team, let’s take a moment to understand the benefits that increasing diversity can produce.


WHAT DOES “WORKPLACE DIVERSITY” REALLY MEAN? Although people are quick to assume that workplace diversity only means having more people of color in your office, the technical definition is hiring and retaining employees who represent a number of different characteristics and walks of life. Your organization can increase its diversity of gender, education, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, age, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs, among other traits. The chief business advantage of diversity is the ability to apply a range of perspectives to the problems your company needs to solve. If your sales team is made up of a bunch of people with similar backgrounds, they might approach challenges in

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a similar manner. So what happens when they come across a problem that none of them can solve? And what if they come across a client or market that they have trouble relating to or understanding? A study by the Harvard Business Review found that a team with a member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% more likely to understand that client than another team. The study also discovered that having a lack of diversity in leadership presented a significant barrier to diverse perspectives seeing the light of day: “Without diverse leadership, women are 20% less likely than straight white men to win endorsement for their ideas; people of color are 24% less likely; and LGBTs are 21% less likely. This costs their companies crucial

market opportunities, because inherently diverse contributors understand the unmet needs in under-leveraged markets.” “I think the key point to the diversity issue is not that it needs to happen, but rather what happens when it’s not included in your hiring strategy,” adds InsideSales.com VP of Growth Gabe Larsen, who has spent 15 years building and scaling high performance sales teams. “A non-diverse environment doesn’t foster innovation, it’s not flexible, it just produces more of the same ideas,” Larson told Nutshell. “Lack of innovation and creativity is the death of any company today—the markets are changing too fast to allow survival of companies that sit still.”

PROMOTING AN ENGAGED OFFICE Another benefit of increasing the diversity of your sales team is that it brings about higher levels of employee engagement, and anyone who is familiar with sales environments knows that engagement is crucial to getting your reps to perform at their highest level. In fact, engaged sales reps are not only more profitable, but they create stronger customer relationships and stay longer with their companies than less engaged employees. Considering the rising cost it takes to replace a sales rep, driven by the massive time and effort required to recruit and train each new employee, having sellers that prefer to stay with your organization is a huge benefit that business leaders can’t afford to overlook.

A team with a member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% more likely to understand that client than another team. – HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

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Five Ways

to Increase Your Sales Team Diversity Now that you’re sold on the idea of having a sales team with more diversity, let’s go over five recruitment strategies that are perfect for attracting more diverse talent.


your biases from the recruiting process

MARLINA KINNERSLEY CEO and Co-Founder of Fortay.ai “What you want to avoid are personality (or psychometric) assessments, which can focus too much on ‘culture fit’ and can be homogenizing a predictive culture recruiting and analytics platform. Instead, you want to focus on values and beliefs alignment, which is more inclusive, and a better predictor of which candidates will thrive on your team.”

All of us have our own personal biases and preferences that may impact our judgment when recruiting employees. For example, if you’re meeting with a candidate who went to the same college as you, you might view them more favorably than a more qualified candidate who didn’t. Having a wide range of team members involved in the recruiting process can act as an important check against individual biases holding too much weight. When it comes to initial assessments, make sure to focus on the attributes that really matter.


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GABE LARSEN VP of InsideSales.com “As managers, we often have biases even if we try not to have them, and I believe AI software can help eliminate some of that struggle. I suggest using a web-based assessment which determines whether the candidate has what it takes for the role. This means assessing their drive, ego and personality—not their skills. If they pass the assessment, then you can move from there to the interview process.”


your old sales stereotypes

Sales is too often seen as a male-driven industry, where aggressive alpha-types rise to the top. But buying into that stereotype when you’re hiring can be detrimental to a team’s performance, especially when you consider the range of communication and relationship-building skills that are required to generate success in a modern sales environment.

JEFF BUTLER Workplace Expert and Author “In the first company I founded, the employees were all male. I’ve never been the type of employer who tried to ‘balance the scales’ by hiring one gender or race over another. I don’t care what a person’s background is, as long as they can perform the task that needs to be done. But when I started my second company, I decided to focus our hiring on people who could connect both over the phone and email, based on particular qualities we discovered that our business development team required. Oddly enough, the company shifted from mainly male, to 90% female. The impact of this was a 200% increase in revenue from our previous year’s Q1—simply by changing the initial point of contact.”

CRISTIAN RENNELLA CEO & Co-Founder of oMelhorTrato.com (financial services company) “Our team was formed by young entrepreneurs under the age of 35, and we decided that we needed to balance our team better by hiring people over 55 years old. Basically, we realized that our service, with some modifications, could also be useful for a market segment of customers 50 years old and above, something that we hadn’t realized at first because nobody in our team was in that segment yet. After building a more age-diverse team, we were able to increase our sales by 24.4%, which represents $14.2 Million USD in increased revenue per year. We did this partly by adding specific products for the elderly—for example, one of our items is the comparison of loans, so we added products that focused on retirees and pensioners. We even enlarged the default text on our website by four points to make it easier for older visitors to read. It seems obvious, but I assure you it is not.”

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Be candid

about your efforts and open to outside help

TASH JEFFERIES Co-Founder of Hirekind (offers resources and education to promote diverse hiring in the tech industry) “People of under-represented groups don’t expect perfection in efforts—we simply honor an organization’s willingness to ask for help and make steps to improve its inclusive culture. Share your journey with your customers and clients, and explain the steps you’re taking to improve your diversity and inclusion efforts. This shows that you’re taking action, not simply paying lip service. Whether you work with an organization that focuses on inclusion, or you work with service providers founded by women, people of color, or other under-represented groups, it’s important for your company to support diverse organizations in your greater community and learn from them.”

Step up

your college recruitment efforts Another avenue that will help you increase the diversity of your sales team is to invest in college recruitment efforts to specifically attract women and minorities. This strategy has been growing in popularity in recent years due to it being more effective than traditional methods like mandatory diversity training and “unbiased” job tests which managers and workers tend to ignore or rebel against. The Harvard Business Review found that just five years after a company implements a college recruitment program focused on women, the amount of women of all races in management roles grew by about 10% on average. With a program focused on minorities, the amount of black men in management positions grew by 8% and the amount of black women in management roles grew by 9%. If your company is serious about tackling the issue of diversity, blaming the talent pipeline is no excuse. Focusing on college recruitment helps you find smart, energetic candidates proactively, instead of waiting for them to get in touch with you. 26

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for balance

When increasing the diversity of a sales team, a recruiter or hiring manager should start with an in-depth understanding of the team already in place, to understand which perspectives and talents are lacking.

MEAGHAN DAWSON Recruiting / HR Professional and Writer for The Grit & Grace Project “Sales teams should be assembled with the care of a coach putting together a great team of athletes Strengths balance weaknesses, and complimenting talents create a unified team that can meet the needs of any client, regardless of background. Being well-versed in the talents and holes within your sales team allows you to know which strengths to screen for. The hiring process has to take into account the needs of the team to make it a whole. And contrary to popular belief, a well-rounded team does not mean a bunch of well-rounded individuals. In fact, a team of people with lopsided talents and strengths who play well off of each other can make the strongest and most focused teams in sales.”

One final thought: Although you may have high hopes that each of your sales reps will come in and set the world on fire, you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that different people want different things in life. Some may want to work their way up the ladder while others may want a good work-life balance. Just because someone has different goals does not mean that they lack drive, commitment, or ambition. It’s important to value the goals of each individual and promote different career paths and opportunities within your organization if you want to reap the benefits of a truly diverse sales team.

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Customer Intelligence –

The Real ‘X’ Factor By JAVAID IQBAL, CEO, Transformx


hen delving into intelligence in the customer realm, one peculiar experience always comes to mind. In the fall of 2012, on a usual pizza night in Chicago, I decided to give the Giordano’s/Lou Malnati’s routine a break and order Domino’s. Domino’s was becoming known for its rapid delivery times and innovative use of technology (live tracking of the pizza and delivery processing, etc.) and I wanted to test the trackers out. My past experiences with them were neutral/positive but this time it was different. The delivery took unusually long (over 100 minutes) even though the tracker was showing the pizza in route for over an hour. The kid I spoke to when I called to inquire was clueless. There wasn’t even a major

event happening nearby in downtown Chicago that could have caused the delay (I checked). So, in the vein of any self-respecting modern consumer (imagine my entitlement), I took to Twitter to ask Domino’s about the real point of a pizza tracker when they just couldn’t deliver on time. To my shock, Pizza Hut (their closest competitor) wrote to me before Domino’s could, suggesting I use them next time and added in a nice introductory discount code for when I decided to do so. Now, in 2019’s world of automated social tools, constant point-scoring and blazing one-liners, this less than perfect experience may not be as alarming as it was back then, but it did demonstrate a new and unflinching intent by a brand in taking an open and direct shot at capturing a rival customer. Times have changed since. Customer is now perceived as THE competitive

advantage and the level of investments and advancements in the creation and consumption of Customer Experience Management (CX), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and AI-driven predictive tools and engines to gauge trends and behavioral shifts to target better, sell better and serve better are mind boggling. But above all the amalgamation of customer focused data, analysis and methods is this ‘X’ factor that really shapes it all and Customer Intelligence (CI) sits right within it. As a concept, CI is not easy to define (let alone implement). Vision Critical suggests CI’s goal to “producing insight into customers that are both smart and useful”. The closest definition I could drum up is ‘the use of tools and methods that aim to provide actionable, practical and predictive insights that evolve with a customer’s journey and forms long-term relationships and loyalty to brands’.

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Of the 4 Industrial Revolutions, 2 have occurred over the last 25 years (World Economic Forum). Innovations like social media, subscription economies, fintech, intelligent bots, blockchain and others that are a major staple of modern life are the phenomenon of just the last 15 years. The result of this proliferation is a monumental shift in behaviors, attitudes, and expectations of modern consumers, who, equipped with advanced technological capabilities and a heightened sense of entitlement are a major reason why 52% of Fortune 500 do not exist anymore (they have merged, been acquired or folded). Such fast-changing behavioral variables are not only difficult to pin down, they make it harder to figure out the direction in which the human mind is headed and the type of innovation that should be created for their consumption. 30



From Amazon (US led Retail) to Alibaba (Chinese wholesalers) to ThinkGeek (niche, enthusiast offerings), the geographical boundaries of competition have blurred and a world of goods has opened up for customers to access from any other part of the world. Even developing economies that are nearly 60% of global GDP (IMF) are experiencing brisk overhauling of retail standards because of this and the use of intelligent data is on a very serious rise to segment and target leveraging regional and cultural nuances against competition. McDonald’s added a custom-vegetarian menu in India based on user preferences it learned through machine learning and used similar data tactics back in the US to overcome a negative stigma of a campaign that allegedly promoted the Filet-O-Fish sandwich using child bereavement. This brand of personalization and intelligent segmentation is a surefire way of promoting customer loyalty and fending enhanced competition in today’s AI infused environment.



Innovators from all over consider it their obligation to take stabs at incumbents from any industry of their choosing. The Financial world as an example, once the darlings of the regulators is under constant attack by Apple, Samsung and every fintech out there. Modern consumers, preferring convenience and timesaving over comfort of an immovable financial partner, have enabled these technology-led entrants to find success against traditional mainstays. According to HBR, identifying the factors which lead customers to

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choose these disruptive products despite long-lasting relations is key, even more so than the command over technologies involved. Incumbants need to act quickly on uncovering behavioral variables in real-time and create relevant offerings using CI. Other industries should also follow suit as none of them are safe from such savages (or at least that’s how incumbents see them).



Every new generation brings with it its pertinent behaviors into the fray. Generation-Z, the populace born between the mid-1990s & early-2000s, is on course to become the largest spending US consumer segment by 2020 (Forbes) and is known to break all historical norms by doing things differently, be it buying, consuming, or complaining. Nearly 80% of them prefer businesses that allow personalization to their needs (Epsilon, 2017). They also pride themselves in showing a nearcontempt for loyalty by their tendency to switch brands after just one bad experience. I guess their 4 hours a day of regular smartphone usage and a culture of instant gratification and social entitlement makes them experts in customer loyalty. And if you think these mavericks are hard to cater to, wait till you experience Generation Alpha (2010-2025) that will be the first to be born into Artificial Intelligence. Alpha’s are growing with the machine and their entitlement of personalization is at an unimaginable level, a level that many CI solutions are probably not even equipped to cater to yet. But by in large, CI solutions are doing a decent job of tracking these shifts in preferences in real-time, plucking unforeseen trends, and predicting future actions in line with the expected service demands, preferred communications channels, and

overall expectations of customer experience. Most-importantly, they provide a single view of the customer throughout the organization, allowing all sales, service, and marketing efforts to be coordinated towards acquiring them, retaining them or growing them with the right levels of intelligence baked in.



Economic crises like the dotcom bubble and the Great Recession caused organizations to intensify and rethink cost-cutting measures, leading customer retention to become the preferred strategy over customer acquisition. Retention, which is 6 times cheaper than acquisition

Modern consumers, preferring convenience and time-saving over comfort of an immovable financial partner, have enabled these technologyled entrants to find success against traditional mainstays.

(HBR), has resulted in the widespread focus on loyalty programs, building long-lasting relationships and the rise in KPI’s like Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Defection Rate (DR) and Customer Satisfaction Rate (CSR). Retention typically depends on the right attitude and the right delivery of service by the brand, a strategy that requires businesses to regularly collect feedback (data), predict business needs (CI) and act on issues even before they become issues to have a shot at upsell and cross-sell of products and services. During my Salesforce days, the Customer Success Group religiously worshiped the Early Warning System, a carefully crafted internal CI tool that predicted churn way before time so appropriate actions could be taken by the account teams to salvage the relationship/ account in a timely manner.

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The mainstreaming and constant evolution of AI has broadly enhanced the power of CI in a global AI market expected to grow from $20.67 billion in 2018 to $202.57 billion in 2026 (Forbes). Natural language processing and machine learning are expected to lead the pack which aids CI further in impacting day to day business activity from matching riders to drivers in Uber, to notifying users of larger-than-usual bills by Wells Fargo and much more. Enterprise Solution vendors also continue to pour R&D dollars into their platforms. SAP just went through a $15B overhaul with bulk of its investment spent in enhancing infrastructure, security and the customer experience toolkit. Salesforce is deepening its Einstein offering with predictive insights on all aspects of sales, service, marketing tasks. Microsoft’s Insights application adds ‘knowledge mining’ and ‘bot support’ and IBM’s Watson support agents are best in class for customer service. Many of these solutions come with the right built-in predictive functions that suggest next best offer/service based on the defined customer journeys. Such solutions

can be both specific and non-specific to a platform e.g. Vonage’s Nexmo is used for generating insights and pushing marketing communication on voice and text. Voice being a growing medium and essential for evaluating and monitoring consumer behavior where the likes of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are mapped with Google Analytics and Facebook Insights Tool to uncover the right actionable insights on the customer.

AI market expected to grow from $20.67 billion in 2018 to $202.57 billion in 2026 – FORBES



The rise of technological and social tools is giving customers more of a say in product development than they ever had. Kickstarter alone has seen consumers pledge $4.5 billion to products they wish to buy. Dimensions of customer feedback is now increasingly vital in shaping the future of a brand, by deliberating insights from brand health, product and service performance, etc. Major marketing campaigns from the likes of Pepsi, Dove, and others have been swiftly dealt-with after drawing backlash from consumers in one market or another. CI enables organizations in providing consumers more control over their products, thus allowing brand affinity to flourish. Cases in point include Netflix and Amazon, both of which revived popular shows like ‘The Expanse’ that were previously discontinued but were still in demand as per streaming data. CI also leads targeted marketing campaigns on all channels to automatically push ads that customers will likely relate to. As a result, a baby boomer might receive a coupon in the mail while a millennial might get a QR code delivered in an app (only if Domino’s had this in 2012).

In the end, what is needed to be realized is that modern consumers, with their ever-changing behaviors and demands, are the most-important stakeholders businesses have today. Their needs are constantly evolving and customer focused intelligence tools (that can also continue to evolve) are the ones that are needed. Pizza Hut won that night in Chicago but Dominos could have easily done the same if it had the right customer game back then. I bet they both now employ the best in class CI tools and strategies to win as without them, the only path ahead is of irrelevancy, and demise. Welcome to the intense Age of Customer Intelligence!!!


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Women in Sales Awards Europe 2019 T H E J U D G I N G DAY / T H E J U D G I N G P RO C E SS / T H E J U D G E S / W I SA SU M M I T S P E A K E RS


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Women In Sales Summit & The Judging Day 36

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The Judging Process

The judges were organised into 12 groups; each group was made up of 3 judges and interviewed a number of finalists within their assigned categories. Nomination forms and any supporting documents were reviewed by the judges prior to a nominee being selected as a finalist. Each nomination was evaluated and scored out of a total of 5 points. The next stage of the process was the in-person interview with the judges.


THE JUDGES A group of 41 senior executives from various industries were carefully selected as an evaluation panel of independent judges. Their objective was to review the nominations and interview each of the finalists.

This was an opportunity for the finalists to engage the judges by telling them the story of their success. Each judge awarded points across the same criteria. After the interview, all finalists answered one final question: “why they should win the award in their category?” to a separate panel of 2 judges. Each finalist’s overall score was the sum of the scores from the interview with the 3 judges for their category plus the scores from the other 2 judges on the final question. The finalist with the highest score in each category was selected as the winner in that category.

WHY AN INTERVIEW WITH THE JUDGES? An in-person interview allows the judges to further assess each finalist’s sales skills, strategies and process etc. The interview also complements their review of the submitted nomination forms.

THE DISTINGUISHED SALESWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD This award is for the finalist who impressed the judges the most and scored the highest among all the finalists.

FAQ’s WHO ARE THE JUDGES? WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? Zars Media invites judges from countries all over Europe. Judges may be executives with social innovation expertise, businesspeople, educators and university administrators and leading practitioners in the field. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE JUDGES? We usually look for executives with sales backgrounds and with more than 20 years sales experience. We actively recruit and take suggestions from partners, mentors and past judges.

WHAT DO THE JUDGES EVALUATE? Judges review all the entries within their assigned categories and give their scores as per the guidelines. This will include reviewing the nomination forms and any confidential supplemental documents and project information that is included in the application.

IS THE JUDGING BY INVITATION ONLY, OR CAN I APPLY TO BE A JUDGE? We recruit judges after screening their profiles using LinkedIn and other news sources. We are happy to consider suggestions.

If you would like to be considered, or suggest future judges, please email judges@wisawards.com


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Your Diversity Journey At what stage of the journey is your organisation? How do you know?



N U M B E R O F D & I I N T E RV E N T I O N S














We are Voice At The Table, a gender diversity and inclusion consultancy. We can help your organisation move from wherever you are to the next stage of the Diversity Journey. Visit us on www.voiceatthetable.com or email info@voiceatthetable.com


The 2019 Judges Field Sales Judges


Professional Services Sales Judges

Neil Steven

Claire Harris

Daryn Edgar

Sales Director - Commercial Performance/Capability, Nielsen

Director of Field Sales, BT

Digital Business Leader

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Hilary London

Jacqueline Hilton

Jacques Sciammas


Managing Director, Fidelis Partners

President, Selling to Executives

London Martin

“But the key part that impresses me was the judging process. I have judged a number of awards and have not come across one that is as well organised and thorough. I love it how candidates are assessed throughout the day, AND learn loads too. Really an outstanding day”

Technology Sales Judges


Software Sales Judges

Rachel Phillips

Musidora Jorgensen

Javaid Iqbal

Senior Sales Director Consumer Industries, ServiceNow

Regional Vice President, Salesforce

CEO, Transformx

Sales Director Judges

Gavin Dimmock

Anna Holness

Samantha Wessels

UK MD, Sitecore

VP of Sales, Worldpay

VP Sales EMEA, Elastic

Inside Sales Judges

Rebecca DeNiro

Karina Garcia Casil

Colin O'Flaherty

Managing Director GB&I, Dyson Ltd

Director, Global Sales Operations, Adobe

GM & VP Global Commercial Services U.K., Russia & Central Eastern Europe, American Express

Nabil Lodey

Val Agnew

Jo Harwood

“It was a truly incredible experience to be part of the WISA journey and I feel hugely honoured to have met the 9 finalists. I was humbled by several and impressed by all”

CEO, Envitia

Associate Director, Head Global Accounts EMEA, Verizon Business Markets

Sales Director, Burtons Biscuits


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“Yesterday was amazing, every detail of the organisation was flawless, the venue was stunning and the entire day was uplifting and motivational. I found it personally rewarding to be able to celebrate and recognise the contribution that the candidates had made in their field. Thank you for having me as a judge, I felt a real sense of pride being part of something so inspirational”

Key Account Manager Judges


Sales Manager Judges

Leigh Ashton

Nousheh Paris

CEO, The Sales Consultancy

Vice President & GM, FX International Payments, American Express

Advertising & Sales Capability Judges Scott Snell

Nicola Amiss

Shruti Dutta

Vice President Customer UK & I, pladis Global

Services Sales Director, Learning Technologies Group

VP - Client Partner and D&I Leader, Genpact

Sales Support Judges


Lorna Leck

Claire Curzon

Fraser Neil

Managing Director, Sales Activator

Managing Director, Brighter Directions

Account Director EMEA, Trax Retail

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Sophie Steel

Toni Redman

Pete Gilbert

Consultant, Sales Activator

Director, Sales Development, EMEA, Okta

Commercial Director, Roamler Tech UK

One Minute Judging Panel

“Such and energising and inspiring day” – NICOLA AMISS

Business Development Judges

Tedroy Newell

Cassi Roper

Founder & MD at Assess Renew Collaborate (ARC)

VP of Sales, Redgate Software

Sales Mentor Judges

Ronal Karia

Nicola Wilton

Miriam Meijersvan Maasdeijk

Sales Director UK, Adobe Experience Cloudl

Industry Sales Leader, DXC Technology

VP Strategic Accounts Europe, XPO Logistics Inc

Sales Newcomer Judges

Inge WoudstraVan Grondelle

Rina Goldenberg Lynch

W2O Consulting

CEO, Voice At The Table

Gary Pickering

Kate Derrick

Christina Gabardi

“I’ve been involved in many events during my career, but I have to say this really was something very special. I feel very honoured to have been involved in the judging, it was an absolute pleasure to meet such highly talented finalists, plus the other judges and speakers”

Director of Sales and Retention, SSE plc

Head of Direct Sales, npower Business Solutions

General Manager, GE Healthcare


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Alison Edgar Managing Director, Sales Coaching Solutions

Alison Hope

WISA Summit 2019 Speakers

VP Business Development, Europe, Emerald Publishing

Claire Thomas Senior Director, Business Development, Hitachi

Claudio Costagliola di Fiore Industry Director, Technology, Media & Telco, Introhive UK

Emma-Leigh Waters Account Director, Carrier, Indirect, Virgin Media Business


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Gary Oakley

Maria Duffy

Rina Goldenberg Lynch

Negotiation Strategist, INS Ltd

Large Market Sales, Global Merchant Services, American Express

CEO, Voice At The Table

Huma Khan

Marlen von Roth

Sales Psychologist and Founder, SalesPsych

Worldwide Sales Director Cloud Application Platform, SUSE

Ian Mills

Melanie Lilley

Chief Executive, Transform Performance International

Coach/Trainer Applying Commercial Neuroscience to Behaviours and Negotiation

Ian Moyse

Nis Arend

Sales Director, Natterbox

Founder, The Top 1%

Inge WoudstraVan Grondelle

Penny Orme

Rupinder Bahra National Key Account Manager, MetLife

Shelley Walters Executive Director, The Sales Counsel


W2O Consulting

VP Sales, Apperio

Catherine Schalk Founder & Executive Director, Inkwazi Kommunications

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By COACH DANA CAVALEA, www.danacavalea.com and @danacavalea on twitter!


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S 50

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03 /





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ARE YOU TRULY READY TO PLAY? ARE YOU TRULY READY TO PLAY? ARE YOU TRULY READY TO PLAY? ARE YOU TRULY READY TO PLAY? ARE YOU TRULY READY TO PLAY? We do this with our Athletes to make sure they are coming into each at-bat and each game with peace and clarity. That, along with a momentum based confidence and iron-clad self-belief can lead to epic levels of winning without "forcing it". Now before you go and "take the field" today, ask yourself if you are truly ready to play the game of business and take part in the sales game. You are talented enough. The question comes down to: ARE YOU TRULY READY TO PLAY? If not, remember, you must TRAIN TO WIN.







WISA By The Numbers


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20 19

Congratulations from Zars Media proud organizer of the Women in Sales Awards Europe

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Aurélie Gritun

Carolina Castillo

Alexandra Hagenah

“Being nominated for a WISA award was a first win. Acknowledging someone’s work is already a big deal”

“When you have the opportunity to make an impact... take it!”

“Don‘t let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve something. Prove them wrong, keep challenging yourself and encourage others to do the same. There is no greater feeling than to achieve something no one thought you could do.”

Anna Watkins

Anu Lindqvist

Agata Cook

'The more experienced I am, the more I realise the responsibility that I have to champion women and diversity in all its forms, because of the impact and the positive change I can bring about as a leader and because reflecting the world as it actually is makes good business sense

“To succeed in life, succeed at being yourself”

“The harder you work to achieve your goals and dreams, the better it feels when you succeed!”

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— Napoleon Hill

Elaine Allen

Amber McGuigan

Alexandra Kurschinski

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go”

“It's not brave to do something that doesn't scare you”

“Having the passion, being empathic and knowing your customer, this is the base. Delivering the best possible customer experience and building trust, this makes the difference.”

— Lena Dunham

— Sheila Murray Bethel

Alba Gomez Garrido

Carleigh John

Bénédicte Galibert

“Be self-motivated and adventurous. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come to you - go out there and make it happen! Enjoy being taken out of your comfort zone!”

“You must do the things you think you cannot do”

“Be authentic, passionate and move fast if you have the conviction, you’re doing the right thing for your team and customers”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

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Ellie Lamey

Claudia Haseloff

Liz Clarke

“ ‘Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it’ I love this quote as sales can sometimes feel lonely, if you always stay authentic to yourself and what you know is right you will always be successful.”

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”

“Remember nothing worthwhile is achieved without taking a few risks. Be passionate about what you do and work hard for what you want but don’t forget to have some fun along the way.”

— Abraham Lincoln

Becky Drawbridge

Al-Sharifa Bukhari

Celine Joergens

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement”

“Be the answer, not the question.”

“Why me?......, why not?”

— Ken Robinson

— Yogi Bhajan

— John Lennon artwork

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Emma Davey

Clare Brown

Melissa Strickland

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.”

“For me, sales leadership is about igniting the passion, belief and drive in everyone around you. ‘Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives’ ” — Daniel Pink

“Always seek out challenges that will push your boundaries, it's the best way to fast-track your growth and development”

— Richard Branson

Diana Vriend

Bally Ubhi

Jamie Dundala

“Each of us owes someone. We all benefit by reaching out and helping others”

“May my heart be brave, my mind fierce, and my spirit free”

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed” — Paulo Coelho

— Les Brown

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Kathryn O'Brien

Erin Cohee

Hannah Judd

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile”

“Teamwork makes the dream work.”

“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform yourself and your team to deliver beyond expectations

— John Maxwell


Jacki Naylor-Mayers

Mindy Basra

Sam Atkinson

“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however”

“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she'll conquer the World”

“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it”

— Marilyn Monroe

— Estee Lauder

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Georgia Sandom

Debbie Davis

Beth Burns

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

— Nelson Mandela

— Steve Jobs

“Sales is not about selling anymore, but about building trust and educating” — Siva Devaki

Caroline McCrystal

Iben Tarp

Danielle Ramsbottom

“Behind every successful woman is herself”

“Know how to listen and you will profit even from those who talk badly”

“Recognition is such a powerful tool: it creates momentum, it helps us build each other up, and it pushes our achievements into the spotlight”

— Plutarch, Greek philosopher, (46 - 120 AD)

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Khadija Toubi

Cynthia Defaut

“Dream big, push the boundaries, care, coach and support regardless of gender, background or culture. Make the difference, lead ethically to make a better world”

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”

Kelly Leonard

San Yau

Fiona Williams

“Take on something difficult in order to do something great”

“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”

“Sales is like a rollercoaster, if you can navigate your way through the twists and turns and surround yourself with the right team, nothing beats the euphoria at the end of the ride!”

— Carol Dweck


— Nelson Mandela

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Julia Roettgen

Julia Riedelsheimer

Holly Smith

“Take the risk of optimism”

“Always be grounded in data, fierce in pitching and attentive in execution”

“It’s not always about looking outside the box, sometimes it’s about creating a whirlwind big enough to destroy the box”

Laura Webster

Felicity Punnett

Joni Morriss

“When an opportunity presents itself, always make the most of it. You might not get a second chance”

“Growing is not just about identifying your strengths but believing those strengths can be improved”

“I believe you have to show people what brilliant looks like. Whether that is setting the standard for sales excellence or pitching clients the gold standard of solutions. Then great things can happen.”

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Ivelina Dincheva Mihaleva “If I ever stop challenging myself, then I am getting lazy and comfortable and I am no longer growing. I hope to use life's challenges as steppingstones to ever greater things.” — Roz Savage

Katie Harding

“When the drummers change their beats, the dancers must also change their steps”

“Never give up on the role you deserve. Even if your skills aren’t there yet, talent and determination will get you there”

— Ghanaian Proverb

Lamees Shafi

Malin Petersson

Marika Auramo

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”

“In business and in life, trust is an essential currency. By putting your customer first, in every daily interaction, this trust blossoms into mutually respected partnership”

“I strongly believe that new type of leadership that is nowadays required is blending personal and interpersonal skills to listen, impact, influence and inspire others. We women can lead the way!”

— Winston Churchill


Juliet Baker

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Alkistis Chatzidimitriou

Katrin Lamberger

Lisa Kurtz

“Listen to the criticism and react well to it. Both trust and respect will follow.”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from as long as you know where you want to go!”

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence”

— Kim Scott, Author of Radical Candor

— Sheryl Sandberg

Livnat Kopit

Helene Delay

Satnam Bhogal

“If you are able to draw other people dreams and have the passion to bring it to life, that’s where the magic begin”

“Don’t let anyone tell you who you are”

“Let’s get out of our comfort zone and have the courage to fly high with our gifted wings”

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Georgia Brown

Lucy Marriott

“I love my job, the new challenges I face and those I set myself to overcome. If you do what you love best the universe will take care of the rest”

“ ‘Opportunities don't happen. You create them’ — Chris Grosser. The harder you work the more opportunities arise”

Natalie Firth

Marjet Wijn

Natalie Ross

“The key to unlocking your own amazing potential is you. Know yourself well and be prepared to be yourself. Who knows where that might take you”

“Go out into the world with your passion and love for what you do, and just never give up”

“Success has been about never giving or taking an excuse, having an amazing plan b and assuming everyone has positive intent…. and having fun along the way”

— Dianne Reeves

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Lucinda Sharp

Lauren Wright

Louise Gain

“With hard work, determination, enthusiasm and passion anything becomes possible”

“Choose to surround yourself with people who always want the best for you, will be your biggest fans and have no limiting beliefs of what is possible”

“Have strength in your own conviction and courage where you’re not quite sure”

Katherine Simches

Olivia Appleby

Nila Patel

“Being a woman and a mom in sales is not a weakness, it is a superpower that allows us to connect with a larger range of customers on a deeper more empathetic level”

“BELIEVE, PERSEVERE, SUCCEED be the best version of you”

“My recipe: Passion, self-belief, empowerment, embracing my company’s values, fantastic colleagues and customers that have been with XPO for more than 20 years… what more can you want!” W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Natalia Ruzavina

Ruth Roberts

“Just do it”

“Listen to customers and get stuff done”

— Nike


Michelle Perks

Ozlem Ucuz

Sinja Mirel

“Take a chance. It’s the best way to test yourself. Have fun and push your boundaries”

“Integrity is the seed for achievement. It is the principle that never fails”

“People with passion can change the world for the better”

— Richard Branson

— Earl Nightingale

— Steve Jobs

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Shobana Rajamani

Maria Pilar Ballesteros

“Being a trusted advisor to the client is the mantra to successful sales”

“I have the right attitude to improve every day”

Beulah Davies

Patricia Lopez

Lindsay Kettleborough

Lucy Wells

“Never stop striving to being successful: only you can decide the good moment and the right place”

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”

“A key part of delivering capability is not just navigating the details and complexities of change, but also taking others on the journey and telling your story in a way that is meaningful to everyone”

— C.S. Lewis

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Mahreen Waqar

Stefica Divkovic

“In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity”

“My general attitude to life is to be positive, learn from your failures and live forward. Treat everyone with respect, trust and professionalism. Set clear expectations and expect ownership and high quality.”

— Albert Einstein

Scarlet Barber

Stephanie Brown

Manuela Bakenecker

“Nothing amazing ever came from staying in your comfort zone. So, take risks, be bold and be brave. Whatever you think you are capable of, double it and go for it!”

“Success is not defined by gender but is instead determined by hard work, a willingness to learn and most importantly self-belief”

“If you have not done that yet you may want to google what Carla Harris has to say about ‘Authenticity’, I find it very inspirational. So, let's bring our authentic selves to work”


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Shainir Amersi

Sarah Cole

Sarah Richards

“No human is limited" is what I would like to put forward”

“Strive to be better every day and success will come”

“For real change and growth, never take No as an answer. Nothing exciting has ever come from it”

Rini Sinha

Sindy Windisch

Sarah Hale

“You are not born with a fixed amount of resiliency. Like a muscle, you can build it, and draw on it when you need it”

“When you love what you do and you do what you love, put it together with hard work, determination, faith in yourself and you will see - success is no accident”

“People trust you when they can see your heart; observe your competence; and rely on you for win-win outcomes. My advice to women is to do your best to be the ‘real deal.’ ”

— Sheryl Sandberg

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Simone Sorge

Virpi Ahvenainen

Sarah Kennedy

“I hope, you stay as you are: particularly ambitious, particularly thoughtful, particularly fightable, particularly friendly, particularly fierce and simply a particularly special and great human being.”

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”

“You need to believe in yourself and what you do. Be tenacious and genuine” — Christian Louboutin

Valya Pavlova

Shaira Yvel

“Be positive, enjoy life and try to learn something new each and every day”

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” — C.S. Lewis


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Nia Zumot

Valentine Depaillet

“Be yourself; always stand up for what you believe and never stop learning”

“Choose a job you love, and you won't have to work a single day in your life” — Confucius

Tine Vandenbreeden

Sophia Michail

“When in doubt, move!”

“In sales, women have a forum to demonstrate their resilience. I want to inspire young women to have the courage to choose sales as a viable, exciting and rewarding career path no matter what their background is”

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Margaret McCarthy

Tara Rule

“We all remember those who motivated us, encouraged us and, even when we felt unsure of our own ability, gave us the confidence to stretch our comfort zone to achieve something we didn’t think was on our life path.”

“Understand your values, believe in yourself and spend time doing what you love”

Jo Perrin

Angela Wood

“Mentoring is all about paying it forwards – passing on your learnings and experiences to help others believe in themselves and be the best they can be”

“A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows that she has none”

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— Marilyn Monroe

Andrea Hoffmann “I am thrilled by the potential I see in our young female sales associates and I don’t expect them to always be perfect. With my work I want to create a safe place for them to learn, to practice, to make mistakes, to recover and to grow.”

Sara Savidge

Johanna Barratt

“A mentor is someone who helps others find their own magic along with the inspiration and confidence to use it”

“There have been times in my career when I would have so benefited from a mentor for guidance; that’s why it is so important to me now to help others”

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W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9

This year we received a record number of nominations from 22 countries, (Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Denmark, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Switzerland, Israel, Singapore, Bulgaria, Greece and, of course the UK.) representing some of the leading and most innovative companies in the world today. After many hours of reviewing nomination applications and a full day of interviews, we are pleased to introduce you to the 2019 winners.



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W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9



Caroline McCrystal Inside Sales Account Manager

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I made my first sale when I was young, maybe 5 or 6. It was one of my brother’s toys. He, nor my parents, knew that I had set up a shop outside our garden gate. They had no idea that I had written pricing labels in my best hand writing, built a table using a skateboard and some bricks, raided his bedroom for stock and had ridden around the estate on my bike shouting ‘jumble sale’ an hour before. It was not jumble… and it most certainly should not have been for sale. I learnt a hard lesson about profit and loss that day!


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Fast forward and I thought people around me would have been more surprised when I told them I was moving into Sales. In reality they let out a sigh and said, “finally!” My background is an eclectic combination of elite athlete, videographer, sole trader and SME management alongside living in multiple countries across the world. I remember swaying between wanting to be a vet and a quantum physicist when I was younger! Sales was an accident that turned out to be exactly the right outlet for everything I had learnt and experienced along the way. I was delighted when I found out I was nominated. Being named as a finalist was when the reality settled in. In our professional lives, especially in sales, there is always another target. We are forever entering a new quarter, the next half or another financial year. We don’t slow down. Rather than stopping and reflecting on our achievements we are hunting for that next opportunity. WISA makes you take a moment and recognise your talents and ability, and then shows you that others see it too. The key to my success is being competitive with others and myself and always remaining positive. Defeat never meant that I had

failed though. We shouldn’t be intimidated by someone else’s progress. There has been many times I wanted to pack up and move to Bermuda and set up a smoothie shack on the beach. Then I realised that’s still sales..! To win is not only a proud moment for me but for everyone involved in getting me here. I’m truly thankful to the women leading the way in Experian and honoured to be representing them. Being shoulder to shoulder with everyone on the day of the finals made me feel both humbled and empowered. Being given the time to present and speak with influential business men and women was an opportunity I’m grateful for. My advice to future nominees would be to focus on who you are as an individual, be authentic and be yourself. You have been on your own journey which brought you here so make sure you get that across. Don’t be shy and do not conform to what you think you should be. I hope to see more of the women I work with nominated and winning a Women in Sales Award in the future and if I ever see a little girl selling toys, I’ll buy one and not ask who it belongs to!


“Wow, Caroline is a very impressive woman. She is articulate, supportive, caring and easy to talk to - yet also determined and committed. She has a great career ahead of her.”

“Very personable, articulate and confident. Clear how she has delivered the results.”

“Remarkable journey that showed strength character and determination.”

“Had a strategy to win and knows what she wants from her career.”

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Joni Morriss Group Agency Director

I actually can’t believe it!! To win WISA Sales Director of the Year is an absolute privilege, and the perfect end to one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, years in my career. You often hear people say nothing worth winning comes easily, and that certainly rings true for me.

I took on a very unhappy, broken team that were missing targets. In a relatively short period of time I transformed it into a team of high performers, now working in harmony (and having fun!) to smash 4 targets in a row. It’s taken commitment, passion, energy and absolute resilience to just keep pushing on, and I am so proud of what we have achieved. As soon as I found out I had won, I bought champagne for the whole team, as none of the great wins we’ve enjoyed this year would have been possible without every single individual committing to the success of the team. Oh, and obviously the WISA Sales Director of the Year needs a new handbag! The quality and standard of the candidates within my category was truly intimidating, and I often questioned my place in the final. How could my achievements possibly stand up to these other awesome women’s results? In those moments when I felt my confiwdence start to dip, I also felt that competitive fire start to rise, and I’d think what have I got to lose? What’s the worst that can happen? Worst case I get to be part of an amazing experience, that’s sole purpose is to celebrate great work. The sense of community at the judging day is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and everyone is so encouraging of one another.


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Being part of the WISA awards process has really made me appreciate the importance of recognising and celebrating the amazing work that women in our industry do every day. There are countless award bodies that recognise great work, in terms of output, but very few that call out the individuals, and their commitment and passion that produces that great work. I strongly encourage companies to nominate saleswomen of all levels in their relevant categories. It is the biggest compliment of their work and shows an employer’s commitment to celebrating amazing women producing excellent work in their business! I am already part of a women’s network (@dawnnetwork,) and as a mother of 2 beautiful daughters, I have always understood the importance of making time to help and support young women coming up in the media industry. Until I joined Hearst, all of the media companies I had worked for had far more men than women at all levels, and this was greatly exacerbated at a senior level. Winning this award is such a huge honour, and hopefully means that now I don’t just share my experiences of how to survive juggling parenthood, and a full-time demanding career. Now I have an award to say I’m actually pretty good at it, and that’s what women need to see. More and more role models who aren’t just surviving, they are thriving!


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Livnat Kopit Services Sales Manager

I was in NYC on vacation with my two older daughters, it was 3:00 am and I wasn't able to sleep due to terrible jetlag. I turned on my phone and saw that had been nominated to be one of the finalists for the Woman in Sales Award in the Sales Manager category. My first reaction was a big smile, one that came from the heart. I was humbled and proud at the same time and thought to myself – “I guess I've done something good”.

I waited patiently for my daughters to wake up, so I could share the good news with them. After winning the Microsoft Gold Club Award 2019 just few months ago, I was super excited and grateful to be nominated again for this amazing award. Participating in the “Woman in Sales Summit” was an amazing experience. It was both inspiring and empowering to meet so many successful women who really share a passion to be “The Woman in Sales”, but most importantly, to be women who really strive to make a strong impact in their company and in their lives. The judging process was nerve raking, exciting and also a time of growth. It was new experience, one I had never faced before. It gave me a precious and real opportunity to reflect on my journey, my success and my story. How do you tell your story in 5 minutes to people who have never meet you before? I really recommend to everyone to do this exercise, it’s a growth mindset experience. For me, this process helped me connect all the pieces of my life's puzzle: I am a mother to 3 incredible young women, a wife, a manager and a sales leader in one of the world's most amazing companies. And, I am also a woman who chases her dreams and passions without rules or boundaries, and a proud owner of a worldwide jewelry brand called LA LUNA. This is in addition to my day job at Microsoft. I believe that success lies where we find our authentic power, and when our personality is aligned with what energizes our soul. Who I am is what I do. This recognition is not only an honor, but a validation that there are no rules for success. We set our own rules and boundaries and we decide


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the extent to which we will allow ourselves to be wiled, to be brave and to act from passion without fear. This is what will determine the impact on our life and the lives of others. I’m living proof that woman can hold senior positions, lead large companies through transformations, grow and expand beyond our comfort zone behaving with professionality, respect, dignity, focus with passion on our customers success and drive a strong impact on the Israeli market, together with my passion to design jewelry and to own a successful and famous brand. I believe that we, as individuals, and especially as woman, can achieve so much more. I know that to “do it all” is a hard and often demanding task, and it requires a supportive environment and ability to know how to achieve balance. I truly believe that when you find your true passion in life, it reflects on everything you do, and the universe gives you the ability to manage it all. I have found mine, and I’m extremely grateful and honored to have won this significant and powerful award as the best Sales Manager at WISA. I wouldn't be able to do it all, chase my dreams and push my limits without the amazing support of my family. They are my balance, my quite place, my anchor and the roots that enable me to grow. In my one minute pitch I mentioned that giving the gift that I have to other people is not work for me, is a way of life, and now it’s my commitment. I feel empowered and very lucky that the Microsoft culture encourages and supports people to live and to be their authentic self. I believe that together with this win and with WISA we can create a strong message for others to push their limits for greater success.


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Lindsay Kettleborough Global Account Manager – Finance

Having progressed my career within the telecoms sector, progressing through new business sales roles, business management and account management I moved to Microsoft in 2016. Microsoft’s journey evolving from being a traditional computer software vendor to investing in skills and capability to support digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge, was just too inspiring and I wanted to be part of it. I now drive the digital transformation change programmes for one of our Globally Strategic Accounts within the Financial Services Sector.

Working with customers in this highly regulated environment is particularly challenging and so it is extremely rewarding to help them navigate through the blockers and achieve their growth aspirations through workplace transformation, data driven innovation and market making initiatives we build together. I was delighted to be recognised by my manager and peers and be nominated for this prestigious award. I am privileged to work in an organisation which takes time to reward our success in this way, it truly has made me challenge myself to look back and be proud of what I have achieved and its lovely to feel the confidence my organisation has in me. I cannot thank the team enough whom I work with around the globe every day for their support and commitment, while every sale takes leadership it would not be possible without the team. Making it to the finals day in November was exciting enough, I am truly honoured to have won this category alongside some exceptional finalists. I want to say well done to my fellow finalists and congratulations to you all on your achievements. Having worked in male dominated environments across IT, telecoms and finance I have worked to build the respect of my peers, striving to show through my actions the value of a diverse and inclusive team, and the merit and depth this can bring to our customer relationships and the long term strategic direction of our business. Being women should not hold us back, we are naturally very self-critical, so we often focus on the negatives of what we do and the failures. For me we learn more from the failed deals and the tough years and to be successful we learn and grow from them. It is


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important we also take the time to reward ourselves and highlight the positive things we do. I hope to take forward winning this award to help inspire the next wave of salespeople to proudly bring their diverse skills and abilities to help them succeed. Successful salespeople for me are not selling products or things but they work hard to become our customers trusted advisors. The skills and abilities we need should not depend on our gender or background but on our actions and attitude. I have found being part of this awards process a positive personal challenge, it has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and rewarded me with not only new friends but a newfound confidence in my ability. I really enjoyed the judging day; the judges were so inspiring and helped to put me at ease whilst offering some immensely helpful coaching as well. I would recommend for Microsoft to take part again next year; I saw the empowerment this gave those who were nominated and how proud they were to be asked to represent Microsoft. I also hope to see some of my peers as speakers at the WISA Summit next year, this year’s topics generated some interesting debate and discussion. Sometimes in sales and account management it is so easy to get tied down to month end closing, quota retirement and customer escalations that it is necessary to have a day to think about our own achievements and remember why we do what we love. I would advise any organisations out there considering nominating people to go for it! Empower your employees to showcase their talents and build their networks with like minded women. You add value to people when you value them.


Technology Sales W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Katrin Lamberger Solution Sales Executive

Three years ago, not many people would have thought that I could even be nominated for a sales award. Therefore, I was absolutely thrilled and honored when our senior management informed me about their nomination of me for the Woman in Sales Award. I did not always plan on working in sales. With a university degree in law, I embarked on the typical career of a lawyer. But a close friend recommended I move into sales and this brought me to SAP. Starting off in a marketing position, I knew within weeks that sales was where I wanted to be.

I made this my goal and worked my way toward it. Today, my background helps me greatly, for example, by the structuring my tasks, to being well-prepared with all relevant facts, in leading negotiations, and to acknowledging that each case is unique and requires a different strategy. The ability to combine these skills, work hard, and have the right role models, has helped me transform into a successful salesperson. Looking back, I can say changing my career from law to software sales was the best decision I have ever made. Firstly, because I have found the job that I truly love with a company that has the right values for me. And secondly, because I am convinced that sales will be even more relevant in the future as people will continue to buy from people and not from machines. WISA marks another milestone in my career and shows me that I am on the right track. The Women in Sales Summit was a remarkable experience. The preparation for the judging day was a valuable experience to reflect on my achievement within the last two years and recognize my strengths. While I am a successful sales representative within SAP, I have never reflected in detail what makes me unique and successful. This exercise gave me a lot of confidence and self-respect for what I have achieved in such a short time and let me approach how I can get better going forward. The day itself was a great opportunity to meet and network with all these strong and successful


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saleswomen from all over Europe and to get some new inspirations and ideas from the panel filled with top keynote speakers. Apart from that, it was very encouraging to see how SAP internally promoted my achievement as a finalist. The internal recognition, support from my management, and the many personal notes and feedbacks from my colleagues were a boost for my confidence and a further personal confirmation that SAP is a great place to work. I am immensely honored and thankful that I have won the award for the Best Woman in Software Sales. It represents the value of my hard work and dedication over the last two years. Along the way, I always had people who believed in me – in law, IT, and in my private life. I strongly believe that these role models were important to give me the confidence to believe that everything is possible. This award will give me the chance to give back and be a role model myself, especially to women, and to show them that everything is possible, no matter where you come from. Celebrating achievements and showing appreciation are more important than any financial motivation could ever be. Therefore, I can strongly encourage all organizations to get their best women in sales nominated for the next WISA in 2020. Thank you to everyone who made the WISA experience possible – I will definitely remember it for a long time to come.


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Kelly Leonard Sr. Sales Manager Spain

I walked into the corridor a bit mesmerized and although I didn’t know it at the time, practically everyone was experiencing the same emotion. No one knew quite what to expect, considering the massive competition at hand, and in all honestly, this was not exactly my forte.

Here I was, an American living in Spain for 20 years, prouder of my tiny village in Alpedrete, Spain than any competition for personal recognition. Most of the people that surrounded me were buzzing with animation around the award process, and I was thinking to myself…What am I doing here? I must admit that I was quite intrigued and honored to be amongst so many qualified professionals, but my mind was elsewhere. As time approached to be judged, my watch ticked. And I thought, stop staring at your phone. I hadn’t seen the message yet. Time continued to pass. The organizer called us, and I started to walk towards the door. We followed with precision, as everything was so well executed. But again, I couldn’t help myself. I opened my phone and there it was - the call that I had been waiting for: the EMEA Business Development Director from Verizon had left a message to say that I had been chosen to meet with the President and Board of Directors of one of our largest accounts (I won’t mention names, but it was the opportunity of my career and I was walking into an interview for the WISA selection process). All eyes, ears, heart, and soul were focused on the same objective and I admit, it was not an award. I was overwhelmed and walked into the interview with my head in the clouds.


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Luckily, I am quick to judge the faces of my audience. As they stared at me, I knew my absence was evident. I clearly stated the reasons and apologized for the fact that I was elsewhere (they told me to be natural, right?). The lucky portion of this story is the fact that I was up against a panel of people that were clearly more experienced, engaged, and understanding than I was. As I shattered my story, but revealed the truth around my recent happenings, the panel quickly turned to interest and intrigue for my true value at that given moment. It was no longer about how qualified that I was for the award, it was about inquiries related to my end goal. A beautiful disaster turned into a conversation that I would hold with me in time—one full of mentoring, advice, next steps and reaching positive influence. The announcement a month later that I had won in the Business Development Category was just icing on the cake. I felt honored and proud to be selected amongst so many talented professionals. An experience that I was initially incapable of comprehending had turned into an opportunity for networking and a chance to make valuable business associations. Thanks, judges, the next story is really the one that I want to come back and tell.


Business Development W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Ozlem Ucuz Business Account Manager

When I was told by my line manager that I was nominated for WISA 2019, I was quite surprised, and I asked myself ‘Why? What for? I even tried to talk him out of it but he looked shocked. He replied by listing the great achievements and concrete results I had delivered along with the positive impact I have had on the wider team which made me feel incredibly proud & appreciated.

FMCG is a fast paced and ever evolving industry so it’s important to try and remain a step ahead of the evolution. With so much looking ahead, it is very seldom that we stop and ‘really’ look back and marvel at what we have achieved. Even though the judging day did make me feel a little anxious from the outset, the moment I entered the Ascot Race Course on the day of the summit, I felt this amazing positive energy. Suddenly, I was relaxed and looking forward to the day ahead and was honoured to be in the presence of so many other accomplished & passionate women, judges and panellists. The whole day was a great experience and I had met some incredibly inspiring individuals who I have connected with. The judges were friendly and supportive which made the whole experience even more enjoyable and memorable. I can see how the awards process with WISA can shine a light on why we should be proud of ourselves. The process engenders positive reflection as we can only question ourselves in a constructive way and see the great things we have done. It is a great privilege to win the 2019 WISA Key Account Manager Award. I am truly grateful to pladis for giving me the autonomy to excel in the business and to my line managers who have the utmost trust in me and nominated me for this award. Being nominated for WISA and journeying through the awards process helped me to ‘truly’ see and understand what I have achieved.


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Of course, it is wonderful to win, but the intrinsic rewards are what I have been cherishing greatly throughout the awards process. It has given me greater self-belief, confidence and reassurance that being authentic and embracing core values, such as a high level of integrity and always doing the right thing is fundamental to meeting and exceeding my own aspirations – but just as importantly, having the vindication to help others. I’ve always been recognised by my peers as being honest, trustworthy and very approachable for coaching and personal development. Now that I have won this award, I have the endorsement to offer my support to a wider audience at work. During the WISA process I made a commitment to the judges; to utilise the prestige of this award to compliment the support and guidance I offer to my peers so they can also take stock of all the wonderful things they have achieved with the aim of the end result being similar to my own; greater self-belief, confidence, vindication that we are good enough to exceed our own aspirations. I hope to be able to inspire future candidates for the WISA awards. I implore all sales organisations to get involved with the women in sales awards. For me, these awards are synonymous with women empowerment, emotional wellbeing and a sign of gratitude for all the great successes women achieve in all industries. It is fair to say that women feel undervalued in society & business – WISA is one way to show that we are not.


Key Account Manager W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Michelle Perks Account Support Executive (ASE) – Enterprise

I was totally shocked and humbled when I found out I had been nominated for “best woman in sales support” by my organisation Virgin Media Business but I also felt extremely overwhelmed that my hard work and dedication to my role had been recognised..

I began my career in Sales at the age of 40 and in an Industry, I knew nothing about, Telecoms. The last 5 years have been challenging to say the least but have undoubtedly been the best years of my working life, I have worked with some amazing people within my business who have supported me so much and helped me develop and grow within the telecoms industry but more importantly I have become a more confident, independent and stronger woman, I am eternally grateful to all those people as they have made me the sales woman I am today. Sales is such a rewarding career and I feel privileged to be part of such a great and successful team. Sales to me isn’t just about the next big win it’s about building great relationships and trust with my customers, it’s about teamwork and problem solving to ensure great outcomes for everyone involved. A company’s network is the heart of their business and it’s our responsibility to collaborate with those businesses to help them disrupt, adapt, thrive and strive and become market leaders in their Industry. Judging day at Ascot Racecourse was such a fabulous experience, the venue was absolutely wonderful. Arriving I was so nervous but after being there a short time I started to relax as the women I was surrounded by were amazing and everyone was so friendly. I got to my


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table and met the ladies I would be spending the day with, all of them were incredible, we built up such a great rapport immediately and supported each other throughout the whole day. The guest speakers were so inspiring, and the subjects discussed were so informative and so relevant to my sales career. The judges were phenomenal, and they made me feel at such ease I was able to be at my best during the interview which was great. I would encourage any business to get involved in WISA and nominate in 2020, the whole process is inspiring and such a confidence booster, being nominated by your business makes you feel so appreciated and you know your hard work has been recognised. Everyone I spoke to at the WISA 2019 said how overwhelmed they were to have received their nominations. Winning the award for Best Woman in Sales Support has proven to me that hard work does pay off, I am extremely proud of myself and all my achievements and am honoured to receive this award, being part of Women in Sales has given me so much more confidence and also the drive and passion to keep succeeding, I am eternally grateful to my fantastic team and my wonderful family for all the support they have given me as without them this would not have been possible.


Sales Support W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Lamees Shafi Client Executive

Last year, I was selected as the “Best Women in Field Sales” WISA 2018 winner, which was such an incredible honour and exhilarating experience. When I heard I had been shortlisted again as a finalist in the best field sales category, I couldn’t believe it. I was overcome with happiness and joy, I couldn’t contain my excitement, so I spread the good news to my family and my mentors, who have given their utmost support since my journey began in sales, 3 years ago.

Upon hearing my name as the winner of the category, I was speechless and felt humbled. The fact that I was a winner last year, and then to be a winner again this year, just demonstrates true recognition and is a testament to my motivation and achievements. To be valued and respected by my peers and WISA judges for my hard work ethic, diligence, and a “not give up attitude” on challenging accounts, is such a great honour. This will continue to serve as a further incentive to reach my full potential in all my endeavours. Even though I went through this experience last year, I was still quite nervous. Nevertheless as the WISA judging day progressed, I felt more relaxed, enthusiastic and confident. To be surrounded by such encouraging, inspiring, empowering and successful sales individuals was really a once in a life opportunity, as you never get to network with such incredible sales leaders and executives. I was able to listen and learn from their stories and journeys. During my preparation, I was able to reflect upon the challenges I faced and the hurdles I overcame on a demanding account. I created a unique business sales strategy account plan, built a strategic road map and stabilised the revenue. I built long term rapport with identified senior/ C-level key contacts and engagements whilst tackling one of my most challenging accounts yet to date. I had the courage to get out of my comfort zone and be more


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proactive to engage and deal with C-Level/senior executives to sell strategic core services, allowing for successful penetration of the account, something that had not be achieved before by previous Account Managers. Through persistence, patience, tenacity and positive engagement, this led to securing a multi-million pound deal. Winston Churchill once said “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”. I truly live by this motto. By not staying in the “comfort zone”, it truly shows when you challenge yourself and go the extra mile, anything is possible really. I would definitely advise my company, Verizon and other sales organisations to nominate other women for the Women in Sales Awards (Europe), who are passionate and tenacious in everything they stand for. Similarly, the WISA Awards is a great platform and recognition of women’s’ achievements, allowing for future sales career progression and prospects. This is truly a prestigious and highly credible stamp of ones achievements. This experience enhances your confidence being associated with such highly respectful sales figures, is truly eye-opening and worth it! I highly recommend all organisations to get involved with the WISA 2020 scheme as it is a means to identify and celebrate the achievement of women all over the world.


Field Sales W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Lucinda Sharp Account Executive – Enterprise

It was a true honour to be nominated by Virgin Media Business in the Best Women Sales Newcomer category at the WISA and I was absolutely thrilled when I was shortlisted for this prestigious award. As someone who finds themselves immersed in the day-to-day, I found this process a great opportunity to reflect upon my accomplishments and I am immensely proud to have been recognised by my organisation and to have the continued support and trust of my seniors, mentors and colleagues.

Following a serious accident 3-years ago and subsequent spinal fusion surgery, I spent the majority of 2016 learning to walk again. Despite these challenges, I was still able to graduate and secure a place on Virgin Media Businesses’ sales graduate programme. Going through such a life changing experience showed me that you must seize every opportunity and that mental attitude, hard work, determination and true resilience can get you the most incredible things. These are invaluable lessons that have helped guide me both personally and professionally. Hence, when joining VMB as a graduate, with no prior experience in the telecommunication industry, I was ready to embrace this new challenge. Now just 2-years into my sales career, I am one of our youngest Account Executive supporting Enterprise Major Accounts. With a continuous focus on revenue growth, I have been able to deliver complex solutions that support digital transformations, drive efficiency and ensure ROI. The Women in Sales Summit was an unforgettable experience for me. Given that my industry is still largely male dominated; it was a great to share such a valuable day with so many passionate and driven saleswomen. The judging process was an integral part of the day and I had mixed emotions when preparing. Although I initially found the thought of this process daunting, I was inspired and felt completely empowered by those around me. Talking about my accomplishments is not something that comes naturally to me, but my


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judges and fellow nominees put me completely at ease. It was wonderful to see everyone supporting each other despite having only just met. I met some fantastic people on the day with truly inspiring stories and ultimately, I feel their support on the day allowed me to perform to the best of my ability. I knew that irrespective of the outcome on the day, the event would be an incredible opportunity to network with successful businesswomen from across Europe and listen to topical discussions from guest speakers. I found the panel discussions truly inspiring, providing me with valuable insights that have helped me identify areas for development and mechanisms for improvement. As I have been completely astounded by the power of the WISA event and judging day process, I would advise any company to nominate their top female talent for the WISA 2020. It is a great way to show your appreciation to women within your organisation and provide your colleagues with the opportunity to stop, reflect and recognise their successes. I am extremely grateful and honoured to have won the award for Best Women Newcomer and I am tremendously excited to share my WISA story. I have grown in confidence throughout this process and am eternally thankful for the continuous support I have had. Through my personal experiences and my sales career to date, I have learnt that that despite challenges we might face, with the right positive attitude, there are no limits to what we can achieve!


Sales Newcomer W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Carolina Castillo Global Business Development Director

Being a finalist is both a great honour and a great responsibility. The people that have nominated you believe in yourself and your potential and I want to make them proud. External recognition gives you a massive boost of confidence and motivation.

It is a sudden realization that you are a role model. You must now continue to play that role and take it to the next level. Similar feelings came with winning the category. With it came an immense sense of gratitude for those people who nominated me, supported me and have helped me grow throughout my career. The first question that came to my head was who am I going to nominate next year? I would like more people to experience the process, as it in itself is a growing experience and at the same time an opportunity to be recognized externally. I love being part of groups and movements that create a ripple effect, as WISA has amongst the sales community. I am inspired and proud to be part of it. I am a firm believer of passing on the blessings we receive. This process has reminded me of my first leader back in Mexico. A wonderful man who coached me and led me to my first promotion. He helped me in many ways. I thought I would be working for him for many years to come. However, a couple of years later I got the opportunity to do a master’s degree in the UK. It was a huge dilemma. Should I follow my dream to move to the UK or should I stay loyal and grateful to


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a man that has already open a lot of doors for me? I went to speak to him with a lot of embarrassment. I told him of my plans to leave the company. I also asked him how could I return the favour for everything that you have done for me? How can I pay you back? I thought he would say, “Oh, don’t worry one day you will have the chance to return the favour”. But I was wrong, instead he said, “Carolina, just pass it on. Help other people”. It shocked me. He didn’t want anything from me in return. He just wanted me to pass on the lessons and the opportunities to other people. I felt relieved in a way, but also a huge sense of responsibility. It was now my turn to take the opportunity to help other people succeed. That is why I would love other people to also experience this. WISA is a great platform for leaders and top performers to inspire other people to excel and to pass it on. Companies, leaders and individuals should take the opportunity to nominate and support their nominees. To build on this movement of recognition and pass on the encouragement and inspiration. I would encourage all winners and finalists to proudly hold the baton this year and pass it on.


Professional Services Sales W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Manuela Bakenecker Sr Mgr-Enterprise Sales Ops

Sales Enablement is incredibly important for a high performing sales team. Creating impactful initiatives, then programmatically driving them and influencing collaboration across multiple functions - marketing, learning and development, product management, solution architects, HR and more - is instrumental to business operational success.

Being nominated for WISA and becoming a finalist has had a very positive impact on my ability to focus on the right Sales Enablement initiatives, highlighting their key benefits to my organisation. It’s all about enabling the sales teams to directly engage and activate initiatives to bring about a win-win outcome for our customers and our business. I am extremely grateful for the feedback I have been given during the WISA journey, as the related conversations throughout the nomination, preparation and judging processes have been an unexpected source of positive feedback and energising recognition. So for me, the participation alone has already been more than worth it. The Women in Sales Awards has been created to bring a greater awareness of the need for gender diversity in sales and executive leadership teams, as well as to help grow the pipeline of sales talent. Winning the Award creates a great opportunity to directly support existing activities within and without my organisation to encourage diversity in the workplace, as well as opening the door to conversations about what else needs to be done. I am working for one of the largest communication technology companies in the world, and have a fantastic female role model in my CEO, Tami Erwin, the executive vice president and group CEO of Verizon Business. She leads by example in advocating for women, social fairness and equal opportunity, and demonstrates that from the executive leadership team


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down, my company fully supports ideas and initiatives designed to help women to integrate, collaborate and thrive within the sales and support functions. Taking part in the Women in Sales Awards journey was and will be a very memorable experience. At the judging day at Ascot we got the chance to meet and be interviewed by our judges, and also had the unique opportunity of participating in the Women’s Summit. We enjoyed some very inspiring panel conversations around themes such as authenticity and Artificial Intelligence. The speakers came from different backgrounds, and as a result, made the content of the discussions genuinely diverse and fascinating. The whole event was organized with great professionalism and the impressive location helped to make it a huge success. For several years, Verizon has participated in WISA and the visibility of the nomination and selection process within the company is very high - everyone understands the power of recognition both for the one being recognized as well as for company culture. The winners and finalists become role models and inspiration for other women in and outside of the company. I would think that every company would naturally want to be part of this great experience and celebrate the achievements of women in sales roles. I am all-in to create more opportunity for women in sales and I am already now looking forward to the exciting prospects that the new year, 2020, will bring to us all.


Sales Capability Manager W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Mindy Basra Group Investment and Premium Lead

I joined the advertising industry shortly after university, that was over 15 years ago now and is a decision I have never regretted. The industry has dramatically changed during that time, we have gone from there being a busy marketplace to a place where large monopolies dominate the industry and once successful businesses are struggling to survive.

It is competitive and you have to be willing to work hard, have the passion, confidence and desire to succeed in order to be successful and thrive. When I was told that Verizon Media had nominated me as a potential shortlist for WISA I was extremely happy and honoured. I felt that they valued and appreciated the part that I play on the team. Of course, salary and promotions are amazing and are still important but knowing that your company would like you to represent them is extremely rewarding. Verizon Media already have some fantastic initiatives in place to help support women and this work is visible when you look at the makeup of our senior leadership team. It reflects a diverse workforce and illustrates how and why this is needed for a successful and thriving business. Hearing that I had been shortlisted for the Best Women in Advertising Sales category I had a range of emotions. Shock, excitement and I was honoured to have been chosen. It was one thing being nominated by your senior leaders but to have others externally recognise your talent is a fantastic feeling. The interview process initially made me nervous. It is not in my nature to shout about how good I am so that in itself was a challenge. The process has helped me reflect on how far I have come from when I started in the industry and where I would like to develop in the future. Having met the other finalists when I heard my name announced as the


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winner, I thought I had misheard at first. I was in a category with other truly outstanding women and to be the winner was an incredible achievement for me. The event was an opportunity to network with a range of women from different backgrounds, ages and experience. They were all successful in their areas and it was inspiring to hear their journey and how they had overcome the challenges they had faced. Based on my experience I would definitely recommend Verizon Media to take part in WISA 2020 and I also would encourage other companies to get involved. When your team feel valued and appreciated, they are happier and more productive. The sad fact is that although there are many companies trying to change their leadership team to include women there is still a lack of women in senior roles. This programme will help women to both boost their confidence and their profile. I came back from maternity leave and decided to join Verizon Media just over a year ago. This was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is important for me to give back and support other women and I hope that by sharing my personal journey it inspires others to challenge themselves and to not let obstacles deter them from reaching their goals and ambitions. I lead by example, I am not afraid to challenge the status quo and I am extremely passionate about what I do. I hope that I can show other women that although clichĂŠ you can have both a demanding successful career and be a great parent.


Advertising Sales W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Tara Rule Commercial Sales Director

Last month I asked my 9 year old daughter for some tips for judging day. She said, “Talk confidently, look the judges in the eye and tell them how you help people”. I listened to her advice and am so thrilled that it paid off and I won.

I’m honoured to have received the Women in Sales Award for Best Sales Mentor. When the finalists were announced I sat there hoping that I'd make the finalists, but not quite believing that I would. Fast forward 2 months and my hard work, preparation, passion and belief has shone through. I've mentored many people over the last 8 years and it really is the most rewarding part of my job. I could be up to my eyes in deadlines, presentations and meetings, but if someone comes to me and asks if I've got 5 minutes to help them, then my answer is always yes. Even though I know it will never really be just 5 minutes! I've spent a lot of time over the years understanding what my values are, where I get my energy from and what motivates me, and this is something I often help my mentees explore. During this experience and getting ready for the judging day it's been a great opportunity for me to reflect and spend time capturing all the things that I'm proud of and have achieved over the years. One of the things that I've loved about the whole experience is how much people want to pay it forward. I reached out to past finalists in Adobe and also at my last company Telefonica and everyone was really willing to share their top tips and advice. That’s really what mentoring is all about for me - paying it forward, helping others to achieve and getting real satisfaction


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from knowing that you can positively impact someone's life, however big or small. When just a few months ago someone approached me about potentially being nominated for this award my immediate inner critic thought 'No way! You'd have no chance!' But I'm glad to say that I decided to listen to my inner cheerleader instead who was saying 'Wow, what a great experience - and who knows, you may even win...' Sometimes we need to be nudged by someone else before we allow ourselves to listen to our inner cheerleader, so I'd like to thank the person who nudged me - you know who you are! If you're reading this thinking maybe, just maybe I have a chance of being one of the finalists for any of the Women In Sales Awards, then go for it - it's been a great experience and I'd love to motivate others to go for it too. And imagine, you may even win! When I recently asked my daughter what I did for a job, she said 'Are you Director of Women?' - I love that title - and although that's not actually my job title I didn't have the heart to correct her. I'm passionate about helping people grow and be the best version of themselves so I actively mentor many people and am a big driver of Adobe & Women. I'm passionate about paying things forward and driving an inclusive workplace so I've been thrilled to see how many people have got behind me for these awards.

2019 BEST

Sales Mentor W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9



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Congratulations to the next generation of Women Sales Leaders

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2020 Nominations are now open www.wisawardsna.com Contact: skye.seymour@wisawardsna.com #WISAwards



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Women In Sales Awards North America 2020 Timeline

Find latest news about WOMEN IN SALES AWARDS NORTH AMERICA and share yout experience of the event at: LinkedIn: women-in-sales-awards-north-america Facebook: WomenInSalesAwards Twitter: WISAmerica Google +: +Wisawards


www.wisawardsna.com W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S


JUNE 2019

*Dates Subject To Change

The Importance of

Playtime at Work By SOULAIMA GOURANI, Co-founder Women Reignite

Do you still play? With other adults (not just your kids)? A strange question? One of my five key fundamental values in life is to have fun. Many adults, I included, believe that they’re not supposed to have fun. I’ve used to be the type that never laughed, and I was not particularly creative when it came to party games.


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grew up at a time when having fun wasn’t considered particularly important. I’ve spent the past ten years working towards having more fun, especially when I became a mother for the first time 11 years ago. I wanted my kids to grow up being creative and happy, but how can they live lives filled with joy, games and creativity, if their parents don’t know how? Did you know that we learn best when we’re playing — a principle that applies to the rising trend of startups with offices incorporating playground-style amenities — slides, ping-pong tables and game rooms? Research indicates we learn a new task better when it’s fun, and it can even improve our mood and productivity. Some experts also subscribe to the idea that “playtime” can stimulate our imagination, helping us adapt and solve problems better and quicker. However, many of us lead hectic lives that revolve around work, housekeeping and other (family) obligations, leaving us feeling like we’ll never have enough time to have fun. However, having fun shouldn’t be something you set time aside to do but something you should be implementing in your everyday life. The World Economic Forum (WEF) held a summit in China

Top Left: Google Offices – Cambridge Playground mini Golf Area Top Right: Clean walls office room for playing with pool table British Columbia Bottom: Currency Cloud Video Games Corner

on September 2018, where David Gann, the author behind The Playful Entrepreneur, discussed how he became the “playful entrepreneur,” by incorporating playtime in his daily routine. Play, the author’s expressed, was a crucial component that led to his success. It encourages exploration, experimentation and curiosity. Could this be the reason why every year the global elite and the most successful people in the world go to Burning Man in Nevada? People travel from all over the country to spend little more than a week camping in the desert of Nevada while enjoying live entertainment, eye-catching “pop-up” installations, adult games while dressing up in all sorts of gorgeous costumes. Today a “good salary” is no longer the only motivating incentives that companies typically rely on to encourage people to do their work. Companies must motivate and

inspire employees in new ways. It’s no secret that the organizations who successfully engage and use the creative abilities of their employees know that creativity can’t be commanded; it doesn’t just flow at will. It must be stimulated. In society, we need to create the perfect conditions for growth in order to ensure that creativity blossoms and for creative people, the traditional workforce doesn’t usually work for them. You have to get hold of the inspiration, training and tools required to develop the skills that’ll allow you to create your future. Creativity, problem - solving abilities, visualization and teamwork skills are some of the most important elements in the workforce of the future. We need people who can think independently and be creative; for this purpose, fun and play are excellent sources of inspiration

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Why The Mental Health of Your Sales Team Matters By JEFF RISELEY, CEO and Founder of Sales Mentor Alliance and the Sales Health Alliance https://saleshealthalliance.com, https://startswithme.ca

Everyday salespeople are facing unrelenting expectations to perform and it’s taking a dramatic toll on both their mental health and sales performance. This article is going to look at why improving mental health among salespeople is important and how a sales leader can bolster the mental health of their sales team to drive consistency and increased performance.


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SALESPEOPLE NEED MORE MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT First let’s take a step back and review why mental health is being overlooked and what’s currently happening in most sales organizations. This will help illustrate why salespeople need more mental health support from their sales leader.

The weeks leading up to an exam ravage the mental health of students. This is primarily because schools do not teach students the skills they need to manage stressful situations. These situations bring increased anxiety, fear and stress they are to face in a healthy way.

Remember back in university when you had to write an exam that could have been worth up to 100% of your entire grade? The anxiety, pressure and stress leading up to the exam… Not fun and not healthy.

Only now are schools starting to look at mental health more seriously. Thousands of research papers have proven that maintaining good mental health during stressful situations can substantially increase performance and productivity.

Schools provide students with all the tools to do well on the exam. If the student attends class, listens to the professor and do the readings – they should pass. These steps work, but ultimately schools leave students totally unprepared from a mental health standpoint.

So why is this important to a sales leader? Because a similar scenario exists within sales except on steroids. It’s the environment sales people are living in every day and fluctuations in mental health impact sales performance.

Research has shown an average of 230% return on every dollar invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace. This represents a 33% decrease in absenteeism, presenteeism and disability claims. – PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS


A Nationwide survey showed 83% of Canadians believe stress itself is not universally negative. This asserts that workplace stress can be positive or negative depending on how the workplace supports and responds to the employee. – MORNEAU SHEPELL

Salespeople face an unrelenting expectation to perform at a high level all the time. Coupled by an environment that is filled with potential rejection and mental health pitfalls. Most companies give salespeople the tools they need to succeed. A strong sales process, scripts, KPI’s and a repeatable way to fill their pipeline and hit target. Though a strong sales process helps drive desired company results, rarely does it include a mental health component to protect sales rep well-being. Salespeople are continuously bombarded with client objections, the fear and anxiety of missing target, getting yelled at by their sales manager and the worst case scenario – fear of getting fired. Currently sales organizations and sales leaders are missing a massive, opportunity that comes with improving the mental health within their sales team. Studies consistently show improved well being leads to increased productivity, engagement and retention. Tthe foundation for higher ROI.

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BUILD TRUST BETWEEN THE SALES MANAGER AND SALES REPRESENTATIVE Every CEO, Director of Sales and Sales Manager has battled mental health at some point during their career. It is the responsibility of the sales leadership team to start the discussion about mental health. An easy first step for a leader is to have an open and honest conversation with their sales team. Talk about when they’ve struggled with mental health. What they’ve had challenges with and ways they’ve learned to overcome them throughout their sales career. Even though the discussion around mental health has become less taboo in society – very little has changed within highly competitive “Sales Culture.” Salespeople will often still feel embarrassed or fear talking about their mental health struggles in the workplace. Sales leaders need to start the conversation and create a culture where it’s comfortable to openly talk about mental health. In the past I’ve seen one meeting, openly talking about sale mental health, immediately strengthen trust bonds between a sales leader and their sales team.


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PRIORITIZE COACHING AND CREATING A COLLABORATIVE SALES CULTURE A great sales leader and former colleague once told me: “If your sales team can commit to getting better at just one thing every week – the rest will take care of itself.” Sales can be a roller coaster at times. It is important to build a sales culture that encourages sales reps to collaborate and keeps motivation high. Collaboration within sales teams helps teach salespeople it’s “ok” to ask for help – fostering a good mental health culture. Each week, sales leaders should start with a coaching session on one area within the sales process that’s underperforming. For example – “Closing questions.” In this example, get your team working together to generate a list of “top closing questions.” Then have your sales team narrow down the best ones and execute over the next week. Sales leaders can then create a small incentive that rewards the sales rep who successfully uses/reports feedback on the most closing questions that week. Throughout the week, the sales leaders can use this as an opportunity to encourage sales reps to share best practices with other members of the team. Getting the team to work together, reinforces that it’s “ok” to ask for help. At the end of the week, one aspect of the sales process will be better and sales team collaboration will garner better sales team dynamics that also support better mental health.


LEVERAGE GAMIFICATION Creating a team incentive or contest using gamification is a powerful way to improve team morale and drive higher sales activity on a specific KPI. Keeping morale and motivation high will maintain positive mental health in salespeople. Here is a very simple example of how you can use Gamification to increase Demo Sets by a sales team:

1. Buy a mini basketball net for the office (think a cheap plastic net that hangs on the back of a door).

2. On a whiteboard – create three columns for each sales representative: Demos Set, Shots Made and Total Points.

3. The rules – for every demo set this week the salesperson will get 1 point and one shot on the mini basketball net.

4. For every basketball shot a saleperson makes – add another point.

5. Total demo set points and basketball shot points for the week on the whiteboard and the sales representative with the most points at the end of the week gets a free lunch with the sales manager (or some other reward). The whiteboard creates visibility and team accountability. The small action of taking a basketball shot forces sales reps to take small breaks to limit their daily burnout and create sales floor motion. Then finally the lunch at the end of the week creates an incentive that rewards behavior. Using gamification is a very easy way to improve mental health, increase morale and get the sales team excited about hitting their numbers.


BECOME AN EXPERT IN MENTAL HEALTH AND SHARE KNOWLEDGE IN THE WORKPLACE It is important for a sales leader to become an expert in managing their own mental health. That way he can better support their team’s challenges when they arise. The Sales Health Alliance offers lots of best practices and content on how to do this. The brain is the strongest and most important organ in your body so it’s important to keep it healthy. Some initial tools that have been extremely helpful for me personally and sales teams I’ve worked with are: •

Daily meditation – open this up to the team to do during the day.

Journaling after a very stressful day before bed to release my thoughts, practice gratitude and limit spiraling.

Using apps like Headspace or Relax Melodies to improve mindfulness.

Reading books like The Untethered Soul that teach you how to keep perspective and stay grounded.

Maintaining positive mental health while working in an environment like sales that demands daily high-performance, has never been easy. The best way to improve mental health is to start having a conversation about it • W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / E U R O P E / D EC E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Want to Make a Deal?

Stop Selling and Start Connecting By JASON HARRIS, Entrepreneur Magazine Contributor The Soulful Art of Persuasion: https://www.thesoulfulart.com Twitter: @jason_harris, Instagram: @jason_harris

Sales isn’t about pushing. It’s about persuasion. Here’s how to be better at it.


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The “always be closing” approach to sales is the enemy of persuasion. It may have worked in the past, but today’s low-trust world demands an entirely different approach.


BC. “Always be closing.” Everyone in sales has heard that line. The rest of the world probably knows it from the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, where Alec Baldwin’s character treats it as gospel. It’s taken as truth in the sales world. But here’s the thing: It’s completely wrong. In fact, the “always be closing” approach to sales is the enemy of persuasion. It may have worked in the past, but today’s low-trust world demands an entirely different approach. The basic presumption behind that infamous saying is that everything a person says or does in the course of persuading someone should be aimed purely at getting to yes. It’s about aggressively pushing your audience to make the decision you want them to make, whether it’s in their interest or not. It’s about finding a way to close the deal at all costs. This is short-term thinking at its crudest. It’s manipulative, and it doesn’t work. Sure, persuasion is about getting someone to say yes. But people don’t want to be forced into a decision; they want to make up their minds for themselves. In order to create the conditions that compel people to side with you, you must be clear that you care about more than just your own immediate gain. Being an authentic human being in all your interactions is essential to developing a persuasive character. Emphasizing your humanity and

forging human relationships is what pays real dividends when your goal is to win someone over. When we’re swayed to a particular decision, we’re often evaluating the person delivering the message as much as anything else. We’re thinking, Is this person trustworthy? or Is this person someone I can see myself doing business with? or, more often, What’s in it for her? or What’s his angle here? If a person’s obvious objective is simply to get us to buy something or sign a contract, it will show through, making that person far harder to trust and much less persuasive. Persuasion, then, isn’t about coercing your audience to do what you want. Rather, it’s about attracting them to a particular conclusion, and letting them get there on their own. Being pulled is always preferable to being pushed. And one way to draw someone to your position is by engaging your audience’s emotions through that most human of activities – storytelling. More than any other form of communication, stories have the power to inspire loyalty, to take us out of the present moment and let us consider ideas from a fresh perspective, and to make us understand things on an emotional level. When told well, a great story draws people into the narrative, absorbing them in a world that is separate from their own. And once they’re immersed in a story, they’re far more willing to let their guard down and loosen their grip on preconceived notions.

To do that, consider that great storytellers are also great truth seekers. If you can’t state your message in a single, uncomplicated sentence, you might as well not have a message. I suggest sticking to a classic structure. IDENTIFY THE GOAL who are your characters, and what do they want?

THE OBSTACLE what’s in those characters’ way?

THE RESOLUTION what’s the preferred outcome? This format works equally well in a 30-second commercial, an in-person sales pitch, or just a conversation with a customer. You know you’ve got something special when you (or a client or a customer) are excited to repeat it. Storytelling moves, connects, and creates meaningful bonds between brands and consumers. It holds the greatest power of persuasion -- and not just to sell a product. We tell stories to communicate our values and compel others to adopt those same values. Once you’ve done that (and done it well), you’ll have won the customer – and their trust

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This is How the Future of

Work-Life Balance Will Look Like By SOULAIMA GOURANI, Forbes Magazine Contributor


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This is How the Future of

Work-Life Balance Will Look Like By SOULAIMA GOURANI, Co-founder Women Reignite

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here’s a new shift that suggests companies and their employees will have to start thinking in a different way when it comes to the way we work and live. This isn’t only because there are fewer of us to do more work, but because the workforce in 2020 is going to be occupied by five generations. We’ll have to work side by side, which will make it necessary for companies to work inter-generationally and design organizations that cater to the needs of all five generations. To get as much as possible out of our human resources, it is vital that we put the work-life balance in focus. If you look at the classic perception of balance, the starting point is that work and spare time are two irreconcilable components. For a lot of jobs, that might be a necessary distinction,

but that doesn’t change the fact that many of us fight to maintain this distinction even though it doesn’t necessarily benefit them in their professional (or their personal) life. This is especially true for jobs that require creative solutions, knowledge and innovation. Employees in these fields fight to reach the ideal balance with set patterns, when in fact they would benefit significantly from breaking the pattern of working from nine to five and instead of following a system based on the individual tasks and their own energy levels. A lot of families with kids might think it would be difficult to break with this pattern because their kids need to be picked up before 4:30 pm. But the truth is that breaking this pattern would likely result in more time – and energy – to devote to family. Instead of looking at your career as a marathon, you could try

to look at it as a series of sprints. You break into a sprint when you come across a demanding task with a fast-approaching deadline or when your industry is in a busy period. Break into a sprint when the task needs as much attention as possible, even if that happens to be at night when your kids are tucked into bed. When the sprint is over, you can take a breather. Take a day off. Spend the day with your kids or start working shorter days, bracing yourself for the next sprint. Building a balance based on energy and the requirements of the task rather than the nine-to-five rhythm has its own side effects. You’ll need to sacrifice family time during high-intensity periods, and you’ll need to be able to handle small doses of stress and not the long-term kind of stress that has a terrible impact on your mental health, but the shortterm stress that doesn’t linger.

Generation Multi-tasking Research show that baby boomers and generation X make little to no attempt to avoid burning out mentally as well as physically. Whereas, the younger generations (such as generations Y and Z) are more preoccupied with preventing things like burnout, so they think in terms of prevention. This means that they’re focused on changing the traditional way of working. This appears to be the direct consequence of them having seen their parents and older siblings work so hard; they burned out. They’ve experienced absentee parents who were too busy with a professional life focused on self-fulfillment, materialism and recognition. 122

A friend of mine recently told me the following anecdote: a mother told her 10-year-old son, “We didn’t use to have computers, you know,” to which the son responded, “But how did you get on the internet?” It’s completely unfathomable to them that all the knowledge, information and inspiration in the world wouldn’t be at their fingertips. The internet isn’t a good option, it’s their only option. Older generations may feel suffocated by the unorganized and uncontrolled way future generations prefer to work. All there is to say about that is that generations Y and Z grew up in a unique era with unique conditions.

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It wouldn’t be out of line to call them “generation multi-tasking.” We’re talking about generations that have been bombarded with information, constant media buzz, computers, TVs and radios their entire lives. They’re well-equipped to handle any number of distractions and many of them work well with distractions like heavy metal at top volume. The younger generations also want to burn without burning out, which means that they feel less of a need to earn lots of money. They would instead work for little money in a job they love than for lots of money in a job they hate. All they want is to earn enough.

The younger generations also want to burn without burning out, which means that they feel less of a need to earn lots of money.

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The market of the future demands flexibility The rebellious young generations aren’t the only ones to blame for the fact that the separation of work and personal life as we know it is changing. The market of the future will make it challenging to maintain a balance based on time and place. Throughout the next five years, we’ll begin to consider knowledge as our most valuable good. More and more companies will generate and trade knowledge rather than material possessions. We won’t be competing on price and quality. We’ll be living off developing, sharing and generating knowledge, research and concept development. We’re going to need innovation and creativity. Thinking that you can place employees in this field in an office chair is a pipe dream. They won’t be able to develop ideas and knowledge within a predetermined timeframe in a position where someone is always looking over their shoulder. The companies that don’t understand this won’t survive in the long run. And no, it’s not enough to give employees the option to show up at 8:30 am instead of 8:00 am or allowing casual clothing on Fridays.

We need to organize our work around the tasks that need doing. In some instances, this means that we need to reconsider our conventional way of working and realizing that a workday can be two hours long sometimes. Eight hours isn’t always necessary. We need to destroy the idea that hours worked, and the level of

We need to reconsider our conventional way of working and realizing that a workday can be two hours long sometimes. Eight hours isn’t always necessary.

productivity have a direct correlation. Who came up with the ridiculous notion that spending lots of time at work means you’re successful? The older definition of balance would probably make people between the ages of 15 and 25 roll their eyes in boredom. Is the most important part of a functional work life really that you can leave as soon as the clock strikes four? The fact that younger generations don’t agree with this definition of work-life balance doesn’t mean that future generations don’t care about their families or having time for their hobbies. In fact, the opposite is true. The generations that will take over the office chairs of companies around the world over the next 10 – 15 years will have a different definition of balance. It won’t be decided by quantitative factors like time and salary (to the same extent). Balance will have more to do with freedom and energy. Factors that can’t be described in terms of quantitative factors. The current definition of work-life balance won’t hold up for future generations. Generations Y and Z will go head to head with the definition of balance that generation X has. They won’t care as much about whether you can be there for a certain event at a specific time. Balance will be defined by the energy we’ll be able to bring to work and focus will shift to the freedom to work in a way that works for us. All that will matter is that the task gets done. But the leaders of countries around the world shouldn’t start clapping just yet. The future view of balance won’t mean that employees will no longer require things of their employers or that they’ll be busy bees who show up whenever you need them. The workforce of the future will demand more of their employers and they’ll be harder to control. They’ll want special treatment and the time they spend working needs to depend on the amount of energy they put into their work, rather than working seven to eight hours every day.


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Fans of the boss Within the next decade, the leaders of countries are bound to up the charismatic barometer and ease up on reporting and pre-established rules. The current tendency to focus on documentation and economic steering will come under fire when new generations join the market. Younger generations have no respect for hierarchies and authorities. They only follow the leaders that catch their interest and gain their respect. They don’t want to be controlled. They want to be inspired. They’ve seen Steve Jobs speeches, liked what they saw and wanted more. They want to be fans of the boss. They want to be able to give him a thumbs up on Facebook and tell their friends what a cool, committed, and visionary person they’re working for. Then there are people who think “ha, they won’t last five minutes. Nobody wants to hire a bunch of anarchic troublemakers.”

Probably not, however, here’s the thing, they’ll have to. Generations Y and Z own less than previous generations. They’ll be swimming in job offers as soon as the baby boomers stop working. Companies are going to be fighting to get them. They can try to offer higher salaries, bigger company cars and better insurance policies. They can tell them they can become partners five years earlier than what has traditionally been possible, but it will be in vain. Generations Y and Z grew up in a tsunami of materialism. They want to be inspired and motivated. Their job has to mean something to them. That doesn’t mean that they’re all going to work for NGOs of high social standing, but they want to see a point in what they do and their work has to make a difference.

Do you recognize this attitude? This is going to challenge the way leaders select, motivate and develop their employees. The traditional motivating factors are being pushed out by new factors. These newer generations want the freedom to design their own career, including the entire framework for how they work, who they work with and which projects stimulate them •

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21 May LONDON SALES Stamford Bridge CONFERENCE 20 London

24 - 25 November NATIONAL SALES Ricoh Arena CONFERENCE 20 Coventry







21ST May Stamford Bridge London


24TH - 25TH November Ricoh Arena Who Attends? Coventry



CEOs, Sales Directors, Heads of Sales & Sales Managers

L&D, Heads of Training/Talent & Sales Enablement

Account Managers, KAMs, BDMs & Field Sales

Inside Sales, SDRs, Executives & Telesales

Who Attends? Why Attend? • • • • • • • •

CEOs, Sales Directors, Heads of Sales & Sales Managers DISCOVER new methods to grow CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT L&D, Heads of Training/Talent & Sales Enablement MOTIVATE sales teams to be FOCUSED & PRODUCTIVE Account Managers, KAMs, BDMs & Field Sales LEARN proven techniques & achieve better RESULTS Inside Sales, SDRs, Executives & Telesales CPD Certified Sales Learning

CEOs, Sales Directors, Heads of Sales & Sales Managers

Who Attends?

Why Attend? L&D, Heads of Training/Talent & Sales Enablement

Account Managers, KAMs, BDMs & Field • DISCOVER new methods to Sales grow CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

Join UK’s Leading Brands

• MOTIVATE sales& teams to be FOCUSED & PRODUCTIVE Inside Sales, SDRs, Executives Telesales •

LEARN proven techniques & achieve better RESULTS

CPD Certified Sales Learning

DISCOVER new methods to grow CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT MOTIVATE sales teams to be FOCUSED & PRODUCTIVE LEARN proven techniques & achieve better RESULTS

Why Attend?

Join UK’s Leading Brands CPD Certified Sales Learning

Join UK's Leading Brands





Learn How To Prevent Burnout & Boost Resilience, Optimism & Collaboration Prioritizing your self-care is an integral part of success. It boosts clarity and creativity, and enhances energy, decision-making and productivity.

To join the new online self-care resource and community for busy executives, visit www.self-ly.com. @self_ly

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2 J U L Y 20 20 1 0 S E PT E M B E R 20 20

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3 D EC E M B E R 20 20 J U D G I N G DAY




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