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THE MOST DISTINGUISHED SALES WOMAN OF 2018 W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / N O R T H A M E R I C A - J U N E 2 0 1 8 1
Women In Sales Awards North America 2018 in numbers
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s women we spend most of our lives selling. We sell our ideas to our partners, bosses, colleagues, friends and especially our children. Think about how much time we spend teaching our kids to walk or potty train, working and waiting patiently so that we can reward them with the biggest applause we can master. If you do not believe that is selling then you are yet to discover the basic simplicity of sales.
As women we spend most of our lives selling.
All salespeople have an array of skills and techniques. However, research has shown that women often naturally bring qualities like nurturing, patience and empathy to the workplace. These are being seen as increasingly crucial assets in sales and as a gender we are now gradually climbing that corporate ladder. It is important for companies to recognise and make room for the qualities women can bring to sales leadership roles. Tonight we celebrated the achievements of the extraordinary women working in sales across North America. We could not have done this without the companies that nominated them and our esteemed panel of judges who took time out of their schedules to select this year’s winners. To our media partners, thank you for your support and commitment to the awards. We appreciate and value our partnership. Finally, congratulations to all of this year’s nominees, finalists and winners. Even if you weren’t shortlisted or did not win this year, we hope you have found the process interesting, challenging and worthwhile. Perhaps you will consider participating again in the future, or encourage colleagues to do so! Thank you for being part of the 2018 WIS Awards North America. We hope to see many of you again next year.
Managing Director, Zars Media
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THE WOMEN IN SALES AWARDS NORTH AMERICA MAGAZINE JUNE 2018 published by Zars Media
Printed by: HART PRESS Ltd www.hartpress.com
8 Heathfield Court, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 5DX England, United Kingdom Tel.: 01252612025, firstname.lastname@example.org
Design by: Brandbees www.brandbees.com
On the Cover: LAUREN KYLE, THE MOST DISTINGUISHED SALES WOMAN OF 2018
THE MOST DISTINGUISHED SALES WOMAN OF 2018 W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / N O R T H A M E R I C A - J U N E 2 0 1 8 1
In this magazine
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What woman can and cannot do about her leadership presence
Befriending Sales focused AI
Accelerating Gender Diversity In Sales
Women in Sales Awards North America 2018 Judges
Why Every Company Needs Millennials for the Sales Team
Keeping Your Sales Strategy on Target
The Judging Process
And The WINNERS Are...
Why Women Should Consider Roles In Sales
How Women Can Escape the Imposter Syndrome Trap
Women in Sales Awards North America 2018 Finalists
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OPENING KEYNOTE SPEAKER JILL KONRATH Keynote Speaker, Author of 4 Bestselling Sales Books, Selected by LinkedIn as #1 B2B Sales Expert to Follow
Jill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales acceleration strategist and bestselling author. Her newest book, AGILE SELLING, soared to the #1 sales book on Amazon within hours of its release. Her previous two books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, have been in Amazon's Top 100 Sales Books since their release. Fortune magazine selected Selling to Big Companies as one of 8 "must reads" for salespeople along with classics such as How to Win Friends and Influence People. Jill began her sales career at Xerox, then moved into technology sales and finally she sold services. As a consultant, she's worked with companies like IBM, GE & Staples. Plus she's been featured on ABC News, Fox 2, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Selling Power, The Business Journal and many more publications.
Jill is on the front edge of what it takes to be successful today — with fresh strategies for selling to the modern buyer.
The Power of the Third List
Critical Selling Skill – Learning (and Sharing) How Customers Buy
CLOSING KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Why We Need More Women In Sales
TAMMY DAVIDSON Senior Vice President, Client Services, Right Management Consultants
Tammy Davidson has more than 25 years of experience as a Fortune 500 executive and a results-focused consultant for national and regional corporations. She has extensive expertise and accomplishments in the area of strategic market development, advertising and implementing solutions through staff development.
Prior to joining Right Management, Tammy had a long and highly accomplished career as a Senior Executive with Federated Department Stores. Tammy was responsible for managing the largest volume department in Macy’s Florida and provided leadership support for the stores and team. Tammy received her Bachelor of Arts at Florida State University with a minor in Marketing. Her professional and community volunteer affiliations have included: VP Membership and Board Member for the Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management, Co-Chair for the HR Insights and Workforce Committee of the Miami Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Broward County, United Way of Dade County, Daily Food Bank of Dade County, and “Race for the Cure” Miami, Florida.
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Coming Soon Women In Sales Awards Singapore
ou may have a leadership title, or tremendous leadership potential, but that in itself doesn’t give you leadership presence.
These are typical comments I hear when asked to coach an up-andcoming female whose career has stalled:
Y G O MA
H . D.
CAROL K I
What Women Can and Cannot Control About Their Leadership Presence An international keynote speaker, leadership presence coach, and author of The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt How You Lead.
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“It isn’t that she couldn’t do the next job. It’s that no one on the executive team sees her that way.” “She has a great track record, but she doesn’t look like a leader.” “She’s warm and friendly, but she doesn’t have the gravitas we are looking for in a senior position.” Leadership presence is not an attribute automatically assigned to you because of your business results. It isn’t necessarily reflective of your true qualities and potential. Instead, it depends entirely on how others evaluate you. Being perceived as a leader when interacting with customers, peers, or executives, is the essence of leadership presence. Women face unique challenges when it comes to being perceived as leaders. They may even add to these challenges by buying into to the “Imposter Syndrome,” or using body language that appears submissive, or waiting for others to recognize and reward their achievements.
You can’t avoid making an impression on others, but you can control the kind of impression you make. Or can you? Here are three situations where you have absolutely no control over some aspects — and total control over others:
1. MAKING A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION WHAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL: Other people’s biases, prejudices, and negative past experiences with someone you resemble. WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: It takes less than seven seconds for people to assess your power, confidence, competence, warmth, and empathy. Here are seven ways to make your first impression a positive one:
ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, or enter an office for a business interview, or step onstage to make a presentation, make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody.
STAND TALL Pull your shoulders back and hold your head high. This is a posture of confidence and self-esteem.
SMILE A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. It says, “I'm friendly and approachable.”
MAKE EYE CONTACT Looking at someone's eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye colour of everyone you meet.)
RAISE YOUR EYEBROWS Open your eyes slightly more than normal to simulate the “eyebrow flash” that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement.
LEAN IN SLIGHTLY Leaning forward shows you're engaged and interested. But be respectful of the other person's space. That means, in most business situations, staying about two feet away.
SHAKE HANDS Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake. (Just make sure you have a nice firm grip, as your partner will “read” your level of confidence from the quality of your handshake.)
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2. PROJECTING AUTHORITY AND POWER WHAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL: Gender stereotyping — that (primarily) subconscious preference for females to be seen as nurturing, rather than powerful. WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: There are two sets of signals that people look for in leaders: Power/Authority/Status and Warmth/Empathy/ Likeability. Women usually get high scores in the warmth category, but may lose ground when it comes to projecting authority and power. When you are feeling sure of yourself and your message, you automatically display signs of authority and power. What interferes with this natural process is the Imposter Syndrome — the inability of women (more than of their male counterparts) to internalize accomplishments, resulting in the fear of being exposed as a "fraud". And that insecurity is often displayed non-verbally. To build your intrinsic self-confidence, try recording your small wins in a success journal (on a daily basis - perhaps right before you go to bed) and watch how this act of awareness boosts your self-esteem. Also, notice what your body is saying. Women tend to condense their bodies, keeping elbows tucked in close to their sides, tightly crossing their legs, stacking their materials in small, neat piles, and contracting their bodies to take up as little space as possible. When you sit in a manner that makes you looks smaller, it also minimizes your look of authority.
On the other hand, power and authority are non-verbally demonstrated through a command of height and space. When you sit up straight, claim space by hooking an arm over the back of your chair and spreading out your belongings, you appear to be more assured. While standing with your feet close together makes you look hesitant or unsure of what you are saying, widening your stance, relaxing your knees and centring your weight in your lower body give you a “solid” and confident look.
um h u m.
The quality of your voice can also be a deciding factor in how you are perceived. Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices. One easy technique I learned from a speech therapist is to put your lips together and say, “Um hum, um hum, um hum.” Doing so relaxes your jaw and throat, allowing your voice to find its optimal pitch.
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Remember: You don’t have to choose between warmth and power. You can remain likeable and still project more authority simply by exhibiting these subtle nonverbal cues.
3. BEING A SERIOUS CONTENDER FOR THAT SENIOR POSITION WHAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL: Favouritism or a “boy’s club” mentality. WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: Sharpen up your presentation skills. You impact and influence an audience best when your messages are clear, compelling and brief. Simplicity isn’t just a “nice to have” communication technique. It’s a necessity for being perceived as a leader. A good tip is to ask yourself: “In 10 words or less, what is my key message?” If you can’t state it succinctly to yourself, you are not ready to communicate it to others. I also advise using the “newspaper format” of stating that key message (the headline) upfront. Sometimes the smallest word choice can have a big impact. Use words that carry a sense of ownership and self-reliance. Say “I won’t” (which indicates you have decided not to do something) rather than “I can’t” (which implies you don’t have the skills or talents for the task). Say “I choose to,” not “I have to.” Just as important as it is to use self-assured phrases, it is equally important to eliminate qualifiers, fillers, and minimizers. People will judge you as lacking conviction if you use qualifiers such as: To the best of my knowledge . . . I could be wrong . . . This may not be a good idea but… Fillers like “um” and “uh” make you seem unprepared and uncertain. (BTW: Many fillers can be eliminated if you just pause between thoughts.) And minimize your use of minimizers – eliminating words like: “Maybe, “sort of,” “kind of,” “somewhat” – if you want to sound confident.
As important as they are, doing a great job and communicating well are only the prerequisites for being considered for a senior-level promotion. One savvy female executive stated it this way: “It’s not enough to be a legend in your own mind.” You need to make others aware of your talents and accomplishments. You need to broaden and deepen your network and look for mentors and sponsors who will guide and help promote you. Research with senior leaders in Silicon Valley found that the top criterion for promotion was visibility. Are the executives in your company aware of your talents and job performance? If not, you need to increase your visibility by volunteering for key projects, offering to give presentations, publicizing your team’s accomplishments, and taking an active part in your professional association. You don’t have total control over other people’s perception of you, but you may have more control than you think
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LY B L U M
Senior Manager at Gartner First published on gartner.com/smarterwithgartner
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ccelerating gender diversity in Sales expands the talent pool and brings broader business benefits. The fight for top talent in today’s sales workforce is fierce, now more than ever. This is because the current selling environment necessitates more advanced sales skills to handle a growing number of customer stakeholders, more complex products and services, and lengthier, more complicated purchase processes. However, finding the right sellers and sales leaders with these skills is difficult. Research from CEB, now
Gartner, shows that sales leaders across the globe report sourcing quality sales professionals as a top challenge and priority for 2018. That same research reveals that women are underrepresented in all levels of sales, despite the urgency to find strong candidates to fill open positions. “Unfortunately, the percentage of women in front-line sales management has remained flat for more than 10 years,” says Cristina Gomez, sales practice leader at Gartner. “To make matters worse, the sales function has the second-biggest gender equity gap of all corporate functions.”
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The sales function has the second-biggest gender equity gap of all corporate functions
MAKE THE CASE FOR GENDER DIVERSITY Not only are women underrepresented and underpaid in the sales organization, they also report not having the same opportunities as men in comparable roles. “Women hold just one in four mid-level sales manager roles, and only one in five sales leadership positions,” Gomez points out. “Investing in women leaders can help to stabilize the workforce and promote further diversity” Gartner found that 91% of men, but only 50% of women, agree that female sales professionals have the same opportunities for advancement as their male counterparts, despite having the same skills and qualifications. “This is not only a fairness issue, this is also a business issue,” says Gomez. “The success of every sales organization depends on its ability to attract, develop and retain high-performing sales professionals and effective sales leaders.” Accelerating gender diversity in the sales organization not only expands the potential talent pool, but also brings other business benefits to the sales organization. Gartner analysis shows investing in women leaders can help to stabilize the workforce and promote further diversity. That same analysis shows that companies with a high level of gender diversity more than doubled their annual revenue compared to their average gender-diverse competitors.
Prioritize Gender Diversity What can organizational leadership do to overcome this challenge? Gomez says there are two key steps sales organizations can take to drive greater gender diversity:
LEAD FROM THE TOP In order to recruit, develop and retain women in your sales force, ensure senior leadership has made a top-down commitment to gender diversity in the sales organization. This requires two key components — very visible and constant senior support and a strong case for why their commitment is so crucial to your business. Emphasize this effort at critical moments. If diversity is a priority, this commitment should be visible at your national sales meetings, town halls, etc.
SEEK INPUT AND FEEDBACK Ensure you have a mechanism and process in place to gather and act on candid feedback from high-performing female sales professionals and leaders. To understand why you may be losing high-performing women, consider investing in exit interview analysis conducted by someone outside of HR to capture candid, unbiased feedback and better understand whether there are issues that you need to address.
Forward-thinking sales organizations follow these two key steps to ensure they make attracting and retaining high-performing female talent a priority. And, in rectifying the lack of gender diversity, they are able to capitalize on overlooked talent in the global labor market. Consider what your organization needs to do to ensure that it too can capitalize on the benefits of hiring more women in sales
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Why Every Company Needs Millennials for the Sales Team There are many stereotypes surrounding the millennial generation and they focus mainly on the negative aspects associated with the generation, rather than focusing on the positives including the fact that they are actually more tolerant, educated and optimistic compared to previous generations. With all the speculation about the career choices for millennials, I thought we should explore why every company needs to hire a millennial for their sales team.
WHY SALES IS A GOOD FIT FOR MILLENNIALS While you may be proficient at many things or offer many different types of products, it is important to remain focused on the needs of your client. If you lose focus on what their primary needs are and try to sell them products or services they may not need, you may end up losing that client. One of the keys to keeping your client happy and building a long sales relationship is focus.
ABILITY TO INTERACT WITH MANY PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE DAY
AUTONOMY EXPERIENCED IN THE WORLD OF SALES
VALUE BEING REWARDED FOR THEIR PERSONAL EFFORTS
SALES HAS BEEN RATED AS THE 5TH HAPPIEST JOB AVAILABLE IN AMERICA
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SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY EXPERIENCE
WHY SHOULD MILLENNIALS WANT A SALES JOB?
It will come as no surprise to those already in the field of sales that the specific set of skills required to be a successful salesperson are the strongest among millennials. When you take into consideration their educational background and the types of jobs available for those with their level of education, it is no surprise that sales would be a good fit. The majority of millennials tend to have a strong background in research and communication which are excellent traits for any salesperson.
Their extensive experience with social media and technology can help millennials become successful in sales since so many consumers are making buying decisions online. They are the most technically advanced and experienced generation we have ever seen and, because of this knowledge, they have an advantage over older sales professionals who may not be as tech-savvy. When Millennials use this knowledge to their advantage they are able to broaden the scope of their sales reach.
For millennials interested in obtaining employment at a startup or even becoming an entrepreneur, a background in sales can be extremely beneficial. Knowing how to sell and close the deal is an extremely useful skill that can provide an advantage in the job market MRA BY D E
MILLENNIALS HAVE STRONG SALES SKILLS
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s e l a S
y g e t a r St
A great salesperson is similar to a great archer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they understand the importance of having their quivers full and staying focused on their target. In order to be a great salesperson and implement your sales strategy, you must always be prepared and have the tools you need to get the job at hand done easily. Below are some great tips on how you can increase your focus and hit the sales target every time.
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BY D E
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R IE M A ZEK
HOW TO KEEP YOUR SALES STRATEGY MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
BASE YOUR SALES STRATEGY ON CLIENT NEEDS While you may be proficient at many things or offer many different types of products, it is important to remain focused on the needs of your client. If you lose focus on what their primary needs are and try to sell them products or services they may not need, you may end up losing that client. One of the keys to keeping your client happy and building a long sales relationship is focus.
LEARN FROM MISTAKES TO STRENGTHEN SALES STRATEGY No matter how experienced you are, it is important that you accept the fact that mistakes will sometimes happen. You will not always hit a bullseye with your first shot. The world of sales centers around trial and error. However, once you figure out what you did wrong, you will never make the same mistake twice.
TO BOOST EFFICIENCY, AVOID MULTITASKING
BE PROFICIENT AND KEEP LEARNING
Many of us believe that we are capable of successfully multitasking, but the truth is, we’re lying to ourselves. When you try to accomplish more than your primary goal, you may end up losing sight of your true target. For the best results, and a happy client, focus on only one task at a time. In the long run, you will end up with far better results than if you tried to accomplish multiple tasks.
All successful salespeople understand the importance of being proficient. The more knowledgeable you are about what you are selling, the easier it will be for you to convince your clients of the importance of the product or service you are selling. When you are viewed as an expert on the topic, clients, and potential clients will take what you have to say more seriously. This is by far one of the best ways you can gain the trust of your clients.
ASK FOR HELP WHEN NECESSARY Just as any experienced salesperson or archer knows, sometimes you may need to accept help. Whether it is from a business coach or a superior in your field, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It may seem intimidating, but when you ask for help, most often you improve more quickly and have a better understanding of what isn’t working. Get help, fine-tune your sales strategy and move on!
As with anything, the more you hone your skills, the better you will become. Whether you are just getting started, or have been in the field for some time, there are always things to improve – so you can be the BEST!
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BEFRIENDING SALES FOCUSED
ID IQ BAL
Imagine living in a time when your favorite sales productivity tool categorically prioritizes emails to your prospects, provides strategic recommendations on next steps, automatically takes cares of the approvals needed to move your deal forward, applies the right volume discounts to pending transactions, executes correct incentives for a future purchase, creates and mails customer invoices automatically, and does much more for a sales rep without them asking for it. Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that be fantastic? Well, the good news is that you are already living in the time and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all happening thanks to Artificial Intelligence (or AI).
Co-Founder & CEO, Transformx.io
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has had a lot of positive and negative press as of late and is being considered by many corners and circles as the ‘biggest’ and the ‘baddest’ enemy of the human species. Article after article attempts to side on ways its direct and indirect effects will either eliminate every job created on earth or that every virtual personal assistant, robot, sci-fi character, or deep learning algorithm is just there to make the end of humans inevitable. And while this sends waves of scare across the folks that have some comprehension of the capabilities of AI, majority of us, chose to ignore its realities. Many don’t even talk about it (like a bad disease), yet it has so much to offer. It is one of history’s biggest enhancers of industries and professions and is aiding scientific, industrial, biological and other breakthroughs that were once unimaginable by humans. While it’s tough to tackle what AI represents as a whole, this article attempts to explore the side of AI that enables and amplifies the human ability to partner with machines to take on bigger tasks and be successful in doing so (especially in the context of business). And that, by definition is what AI represents. It is formally defined by some as the broader concept of machines making decisions or performing processes much like
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Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we'll augment our intelligence. — G I N N I RO M E T T Y, C EO, I B M
a human would. Machine learning is an application of AI that enables computer models to recognize shapes, designs, and patterns in existing data, allowing the machines to then learn for themselves the ways to take next actions or make business predictions. Each new piece of data received allows the machine to learn even more, update information, look for new patterns and continuously optimize recommendations.
AI – THE SALES AMPLIFIER While enhanced automation and intelligence in almost every area of our lives is up for grabs when it comes to AI, sales is one of the bigger (known) beneficiaries of its advances thus far. The computational side of businesses that deal with influencing the ways humans acquire products and services is the frontier AI is starting to tackle well as the current toolset available within the AI and automation space now has the ability to take sales from reactive to proactive, and from instinctdriven to insight and data-driven. AI driven sales can now self-guide the customer journey from identification to customer retention with the help of self-improving mathematical algorithms that not only capture but analyze any and all actions, by any and all customers, prospects, vendors and communities at large but also continuously improve actions, offers, and processes for the organizations they chose to target. And while each automated area takes getting used to by the users, there are many ways in which this impacts sales in a positive way. Some of these areas are:
Most organizations have large sets of customer data (often in disparate systems) that can be leveraged and used by machine learning algorithms to provide insights into existing customer behaviors and predict future buying behavior. The algorithms can also analyze data about leads, predict lead conversions and score leads based on the patterns it identifies.
AI has the ability to generate revenue forecast predictions on both macro and micro levels that helps with resource allocations, pipeline building, analyzing team performance, and be cost-effective. With prescriptive insights, sales resources and their managers can now get perspective into sales trends in their markets and actions that may needed to be taken in order to make improvements to the sales processes.
AI HELPS WITH PROSPECTING
AI HELPS WITH CULTIVATING AND POSITIONING AI enabled bots can now provide proactive answers to initial customer queries about pricing, product features, or contract terms. Machine learning algorithms compare historical sales efforts with prospects data (company size, stakeholders, solutions they wish to acquire) and predicts the most effective solutions that fit the needs of the customer. It can also identify the influencers of the deal, recommend activities that would increase the chances of a sale, find potential cross sell and upsell opportunities and predict the time it will take for the deal to potentially close
AI HELPS WITH FORECASTING
AI HELPS BUILDING EFFECTIVE AND FOCUSED SALES TEAMS Customized trainings on productivity and effectiveness can now be created based on patterns of star performers where the focus on high value tasks is high and the administrative tasks are left for tools to manage.
AI HELPS CLOSE DEALS FASTER Thousands of manhours can now be saved in coming up with the right pricing and discounts that can be easily calculated using historical sales data as well as the type of discounting strategy used by top
I'd be more worried about being replaced by another salesperson who is empowered by intelligence than by a machine. — P E T E R SC H WA RTZ , SV P, SA L E S FO RC E
reps on top deals across the regions. Quotes are also now auto generated based on these trends and sent to the customer without human intervention.
AI USES DATA OVER INTUITIONS IN ACCOUNT PLANNING Many account plans are full of intuitions and swags when it comes to understanding the client’s needs, positioning the right types and amounts of products (or services) and other areas of the planning process. AI eliminates the guesswork, uses precision data to predict buying behaviors based on the right patterns and allows the right strategy to be created for the accounts.
AI MAKES CUSTOMER SERVICE FASTER Service is now considered the new sales. With customer service chatbots at the helm, customers and prospects get bulk of their questions answered through these automated bots and as a result, are much more in the know about the products, the potential issues it can face and are much more ready to buy than they were before.
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AI – THE PROVIDER OF COOL SALES PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
Every sales focused tool (including all major CRM’s) has its own version of AI baked in with a basic purpose of providing automation and intelligence for its customers to leverage. Niche players are starting to fill in gaps and identifying AI enabled offerings that can be used in conjunction with these CRM systems and can be very impactful. Some of these offerings combs through large sets of data to arm professionals with information and insights they don’t have the time or ability to find themselves. In doing so, AI driven sales helps many of these organizations significantly boost and scale sales productivity and achieve success in ways previously not possible through platforms that were not enabled with AI.
76% of early adopters are targeting higher sales growth with machine learning. — M I T S LOA N ST U DY
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SOME OF THE AI DRIVEN SALES TOOLS FOR ADVANCED PRODUCTIVITY ARE: (COMPILED FROM MULTIPLE ONLINE LISTS INCLUDING A NUDGE.AI ARTICLE)
01 / ANGIE An AI powered sales assistant by Conversica, helps companies better identify leads without sales reps having to manually go through their large database. Angie sends 30,000 emails per month, analyzes responses to identify promising leads, and assigns them to the appropriate salesperson, saving reps time and increasing efficiency.
02 / AMY AND ANDREW Virtual assistants by X.ai, respond to messages about meetings and calls without alerting the sender that they are robots.
03 / NUDGE.AI Provides sales teams with actionable insights on their target customers by leveraging AI and machine learning to source news and social updates on both the individual and account level. This is done by filtering through massive amounts of data from across the web.
04 / PEOPLE.AI Collects sales activity information to see where sales teams spend their time and then uses that information to identify stagnant deals, gives early warning alerts about deals that are slowing down, and creates an activity-based success roadmap for every opportunity.
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05 / CRYSTAL KNOWS
06 / TALKIQ
Offers personality insights at the point of need, helping sales pros improve their communication with customers, prospects, and co-workers.
Integrates with phone systems to analyze phone conversations between sales pros, customers, and prospects. It identifies key differences in approaches that directly affect success and assesses the effectiveness of sales tactics on sales KPIs.
07 / PERSISTIQ Helps pool sales pros together to move faster and sell faster than they were before. It automatically clones successful workflows and refines the sales process to lead them to success
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08 / CHORUS.AI Uses artificial intelligence to record, transcribe and analyze sales calls in real-time, revealing why deals are won and lost.
09 / ALEXA The popular household gadget by Amazon, is learning to recognizing speech patterns for better understanding of potential customers and prospects. Amazon is believed to be working on the next generation version that will make advanced speech recognition an offering for sales.
10 / GOOGLE ASSISTANT Recently demonstrated its abilities to make machine generated calls to humans to successfully book appointments. It uses data and machine learning algorithms to accomplish this and is on plan to be leveraged by sales professionals to aid them in automating sales and lead generation calls.
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AI – THE HELPER AND GUIDE Leveraging the right AI can be a strategic advantage in sales as the predictive nature of its analysis can amplify the ability of even an average rep to that of a super star. The business impact of that on the selling capability of an organization is big and while most professionals and organizations (at least in the continental United States) are starting to see the right value in AI and automation, some still have a hard time trusting the technology. They use data security, the fear of AI making errors, losing control over their data and most importantly, being replaced by an AI engine as excuses to not engage with it. The truth of what AI enables (as established by this article as well as the current business environment in general) could not be further from this as the professionals that have adopted AI as a philosophy and its tools (even at a basic level) have seen nothing but growth and success in achieving their goals and beyond.
SOME OF THE REASONS OF SUCCESS THEY SHARE ARE: •
THEY ARE NOT AFRAID OF AI AND AUTOMATION and allow them provide guidance on strategic matters of business.
THEY HAVE MADE EFFORTS to develop a basic understanding of what AI and Automation represents, have invested in the creation of Automation Success Roadmaps, instituted AI Governance structures, and have employed effective Change Management campaigns and strategies for their organizations to learn and execute this area well.
THEY MAKE AI THEIR ADMIN – let it handle their administrative and mundane tasks.
THEY USE THE ANALYSIS PROVIDED BY AI as a basic starting point and blend in their own business insights for excellence in transactional, operational and strategic areas of they use this for.
THEY ARE BEGINNING TO FORM A HUMANMACHINE PARTNERSHIP by allowing the tools to have access to the right types of data so the machines can learn more and guide more.
AI as a productivity and automation mechanism is here to stay and is already making strides as a strategic lever of business success and growth. Soon, it will be hard to find a technology tool that is not enabled with some type of AI in it and while the unknowns and negatives of the effects of AI still exist (and many are true), this is a reality that one cannot afford to ignore. It’s time to take AI and Automation head on and ‘befriend’ it for ultimate success in business and in life.
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Are YOU ready for the Sales Automation Revolution?
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THE 2018 JUDGES & THE JUDGING PROCESS
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WO M E N I N SA L E S AWA R D S NORTH AMERICA 2018 JUDGES
We are thrilled that the event is growing. This year we had to increase the number of judges to 27. We would like to thank the judges for so generously taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in the 2018 Women In Sales Awards. Without your support, dedication and effort, the event would not have been possible.
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Angela Boone District Sales Manager, Cengage Learning
Keynote Speaker and Direct Sales Trainer, Owner, The Success Walk
Regional Business Leader, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Dana Mata Digital Transformation Leader and Agile Coach: Speed to Market, Innovation Group, Wells Fargo
Founder and Managing Partner, National Association of Women Sales Professionals
President, The Sales Company
Erica vanderLinde Feidner Founder, PianoMatchmaker
Elizabeth Grande Cassidy Head of Market Specialists - Risk and Compliance, Thomson Reuters
Glenn Markham Executive Management, Business Development, RightAnswer.com
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Javaid Iqbal Co-Founder & CEO, Transformx.io
Jo Carol Rutherford
SVP / Chief Human Resources Officer, SBA Communications
VP Sales & Solutions Engineering
Kevin Thomas Tully Global Director of Social Selling Operations, Creation Agency
Organization, Talent & Performance Improvement Consultant & Coach, Creative Solutions
Senior Director of Sales Strategy and Operations, Infoblox
Lisa Muller Director of Sales, Technology Solutions, O'Neil & Associates, Inc.
National Vice President of Sales, UnitedHealth Care Community & State
Vice President, Client Solutions, Right Management
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Maureen Haga President, M2Execution
Strategic Performance-Driven Sales Leader, Wolters Kluwer
Area Sales Manager, Central & North Texas, Oklahoma, DHL Express USA
Skip Gumble Sr. Director, Global Business Development - Horizon Cloud Services & Application Delivery, VMware
Principal Consultant, GlobexLink
Tom Pitts Senior VP, Talent Management, Right Management
Tammy Davidson Executive Vice President, Client Services, Right Management Consultants
Tracy Huber Specialty Sales Leader Aon, Health & Benefits
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The Judging Process
THE JUDGING DAY The judges were organized into groups; each group was made up of 3 judges and interviewed a number of finalists within their assigned categories. Nominations and any supporting documents were reviewed by the judges. The next stage of the process was a 30 minute interview with the judges. THE JUDGES A group of senior executives from various sales backgrounds were carefully selected as the evaluation panel of independent judges. Their objective was to review the nominations and interview each of the finalists. You can read more about the judges on the awards website www.wisawardsna.com
WHY AN INTERVIEW WITH THE JUDGES? An 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 FINALISTS TIME WITH THE JUDGES This was an opportunity for finalists to engage the judges by telling them the story of their success, failures, challenges etc. Each judge awarded points across the same criteria. After the interview, all finalists had to answer one final question: “why should you win the award in your category?” Each finalist’s overall score was the sum of the scores from all 3 judges. The finalist with the highest score in each category was selected as the winner in that category. The finalist with the overall highest score was selected as the Most Distinguished Saleswoman of the Year.
FAQs WHO ARE THE JUDGES? WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? Zars Media invites judges from countries all over North America. Judges may be executives with social innovation expertise, business people, educators and university administrators and leading practitioners in the field.
WHAT DO THE JUDGES EVALUATE? Judges review all the entries within their assigned categories. This will include reviewing the nomination forms and any confidential supplemental documents and project information that is included in the application.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE JUDGES?
IS THE JUDGING BY INVITATION ONLY, OR CAN I APPLY TO BE A JUDGE?
We usually look for executives with sales backgrounds and with more than 15 years sales experience. We actively recruit and also take suggestions from partners, mentors and past judges.
We recruit judges after screening their profiles using LinkedIn and other news sources. We are happy to consider suggestions. If you'd like to be considered, or suggest future judges, please email email@example.com
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MEET THE 2018 FINALISTS
C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S from Zars Media proud organiser of the Women In Sale s Awards Nor th America 20 18
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BEST WOMAN SALES DIRECTOR 2018 FINALISTS
K I M B E R LY B A L D W I N
Your mind shines brightest when you enlighten others; your heart, when you encourage others; your soul, when you elevate others; and your life, when you empower others. — M ATS H O N A D H L I WAYO
M A R Y KOVAC PA R R I N O
Well behaved women seldom make history… — L AU R E L T H ATC H E R U L R I C H
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It’s our unique and personal experiences that shape and define us. How I aim to be perceived in the workplace is built on the foundation of willpower and a desire to persevere.
Be so good that you can’t be ignored
BEST WOMAN SALES MANAGER 2018 FINALISTS
Opportunities are not offered. They must be wrested and worked for. And this calls for perseverance and courage.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— I N D I R A GA N D H I
— M AYA A N G E LO U
S A R A H C L AY T O N - K U E H M E I E R
True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact last in your absence.
— S H E RY L SA N D B E RG
— S H E RY L SA N D B E RG
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BEST WOMAN IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SALES 2018 FINALISTS
If someone offers you an opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say Yes – then learn how to do it later!
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
— R I C H A R D B R A N SO N
— W I N STO N C H U RC H I L L
L I N D S AY T U R C O
The best way to predict your future is to create it.
I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
— ABRAHAM LINCOLN
— JIMMY DEAN
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BEST WOMAN IN FINANCIAL SALES 2018 FINALISTS
You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
— OPRAH WINFREY
— ST E V E J O B S
KRISTEN TINER BREAREY
Bring your whole self to work. I don’t believe we have a professional self-Monday through Friday and a real self the rest of the time. It is all professional and all personal. — S H E RY L SA N D B E RG
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BEST WOMAN IN SALES SUPPORT 2018 FINALISTS
A J E TA S I N H A
Don't wait for SUCCESS to define you, YOU define it.
When one stops thinking something is not possible, the possibility presents itself and success is inevitable.
H O L LY S A I S P H I L L I P P I
TA M A R A D E W S
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. — AY N R A N D
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I learned from my mom, at the age of three, that the word ‘can’t’ had no place in my vocabulary.
B EST WO MAN IN SO F T WARE & TEC H N O LO GY SALES 2018 FINALISTS
Be part of something amazing.
No one is perfect, so just do your best and do not be afraid to fail.
Stop selling. Start helping.
A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.
— ZIG ZIGLAR
— N E LSO N M A N D E L A
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BEST WOMAN SALES NEWCOMER 2018 FINALISTS
C A S S I DY H OWA R D
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
K AT I E W I N E B A R G E R
The key to success lies in knowing how to both strive for a lot and fail well. — R AY DA L I O
We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.
Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.
— MARIE CURIE
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— G. D A N D E RSO N
B E ST WO M A N SA L E S CA PA B I L I T Y M A N AG E R 2018 FINALISTS
K AT I E M A N C H I N
LU CY PA R K E R
The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
— SO C R AT E S
— OSCA R W I L D E
TAT U M S M I G E L S K I
Experience broadens your perspective, and a broader perspective bolsters you confidence… be an experience seeker.
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B E S T W O M A N I N H E A LT H C A R E S A L E S 2018 FINALISTS
TA R A C L O P TO N
Try not to become a (wo)man of success. Rather become a (wo)man of value
Each one of us can make a difference but together we can make a change!
â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A L B E RT E I N ST E I N
Hard work, dedication, staying true to yourself, and loving what you do equals success!
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BEST WOMAN IN FIELD SALES 2018 FINALISTS
C H R I S T I N E PAVA L O N
Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. — TO N Y RO B B I N S
The (wo)man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there. — V I N C E LO M BA R D I
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BEST SALES MENTOR 2018 FINALISTS
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. — M AYA A N G E LO U
M E L I S S A W H I TA K E R
Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
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The need for gender equality is as clear and urgent as the need for equality full stop, whether for rights, recognition or opportunity. To make it happen, everyone needs to do their part to come closer together and accept a new and exciting reality!!
M I C H E L L E M c G OWA N
It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success. — ELLEN DeGENERES
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AND THE WINNERS ARE...
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Each day I am proud that I am leading a team that helps individuals who live with serious and rare diseases.
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BEST WOMAN SALES DIRECTOR 2018 WINNER
Kimberly Senior Director, Account Management
received the news that I was a finalist for Best Woman Sales Director while at an airport traveling to Hawaii. I was with my husband and heading to celebrate Ipsen’s Circle of Excellence. I was beyond excited, while feeling both honored and grateful to be considered for this award. I was especially happy to be able to immediately share this with my husband, a strong supporter of my career development for 25 years. My first phone call was to my Vice President, who had nominated me for this award. I then called my family and my team. I find this award both an honor and a humbling experience. When my Vice President notified me that he had nominated me, I had to prepare an application. This was a very positive exercise in reflecting on both my personal and professional journey. Tracing my career took me on a path from sales, to sales leader, mentor, senior director, while being a wife and mother of two (now teenage) girls. I recognized how blessed I have been with an amazing family, great friends, dedicated colleagues, and the many women and men who have inspired me to reach beyond my goals. I spent time over several weeks reaching out to say thanks to those people who have helped shape my life. I also have been humbled and overwhelmed by the congratulations received on social media and in person. I mention gratitude as I have a great appreciation for the opportunities I have found in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically with Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals. Each day I am proud that I am leading a team that helps
individuals who live with serious and rare diseases. I was hired by Ipsen in 2014 to build and lead a team of high performing and talented individuals. This incredible team consistently has exceeded Ipsen’s goals and objectives. I am inspired by their commitment to Ipsen and the patients we serve. I am honored and privileged to work with them. I have a deep-rooted passion for guiding and encouraging people throughout my organization. This passion extends to mentoring a young woman making the transition from college to the work place – a challenging move. I have been extremely fortunate in my career to be mentored by remarkable women and men. This inspires me to help others achieve success. Winning this award simply encourages me to find new ways to inspire, develop, mentor and promote women within Ipsen and in my industry. I consider it a privilege to work for a company that is supportive of women in the workplace. Recently, Ipsen endorsed a new employee resource group called Elevate. Elevate is focused on women in the workplace and “elevating” their awareness, connections, growth, and ability to make an impact. Participating in WISA strengthens Ipsen’s commitment to supporting women. I would encourage Ipsen and other companies to recognize the many high performing talented women within and outside their organizations and nominate them for the Women In Sales Awards. I consider this recognition both an honor for past achievements and a challenge to continue to bring excellence to my profession.
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BEST WOMAN SALES MANAGER & THE MOST DISTINGUISHED SALESWOMAN 2018 WINNER
Lauren Regional Manager
hen I found out I was shortlisted as a finalist, I couldn’t contain my excitement! One of the senior leaders at Stryker sent an email congratulating me on the nomination, and I immediately clicked on the link to confirm that it was indeed me he was congratulating! As soon as I saw my picture amongst the other finalists, I called my mom who has always been one of my biggest role models and cheerleaders. As a working mother, she taught me the value of hard work and authenticity at an early age. I also called my husband, and my Sales Director. I feel so fortunate to have such an encouraging support system both personally and professionally. As a sales manager, my job is to engage, develop and support my team- ultimately helping them achieve their goals. When I was announced as the Best Woman Sales Manager for 2018, I couldn’t believe that I was being recognized for doing a job that I love! I am also honored to work for a company like Stryker and very grateful for the Stryker Craniomaxillofacial Leadership team who not only nominated me but continues to create a culture of diversity and inclusion. I have always believed that culture does not make people, people make culture and I am proud
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Kyle to work for a company who values their people and is incredibly supportive of their female leaders. I have the pleasure of leading the Stryker Women’s Network for my division, and I plan to use this award as a platform and reminder for other woman that regardless of tenure or experience, if you are passionate about the work you do and wake up every morning with a will to win, you can achieve anything. As a mother of a one year old girl, I also plan to use this award to be a better role model for her. From start to finish, the WISA team has been fabulous, and going through this process has been a great experience. I hope winning this award will encourage other divisions of Stryker to nominate and recognize their female employees, and I hope it also inspires other industry leaders to take part in this award process. If your company is considering submitting a nomination for next year, I would highly encourage them to do so! I once had a mentor tell me that the best way to bridge the gender gap is for woman to empower one another and the WISA platform does just that. I am so proud and honored to represent an organization that celebrates the successes of woman all across the country!
I have always believed that culture does not make people, people make culture and I am proud to work for a company who values their people and is incredibly supportive of their female leaders.
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When diversity is identified as a valuable tool to drive employee satisfaction and overall company success, everyone reaps the rewards.
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BEST WOMAN IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SALES 2018 WINNER
Earnshaw Executive Principal Consultant
t is so humbling to even be nominated for an award like this, let alone win! Having only moved to the states 3 years ago I was so pleased to even be considered - thank you SThree and the Senior Directorship who initially put my name and application forward.
The next step in the process was to complete a number of in-depth questions which were reviewed in order to compile the shortlist of finalists. What I found interesting was that this approach gave me the opportunity to not just share my experiences and successes, but also encouraged me to personally reflect on the progress I have made since emigrating. In sales we are often straight on to the next venture so taking the time to take stock was really enjoyable. Moving from the Manchester, England to Houston, Texas has been a culture shock both inside and outside of work but I have really focused on making sure I adapt my style of sales to the market I recruit in - which is the electric utility industry. I moved across the pond to be a founding member of a new start up within SThree. Anyone who has been involved in a start-up like this knows the hard work involved in getting off the ground and it is something I am very proud to have my name
against. The team has grown at an aggressive rate as we have truly addressed the needs in our industry by creating bespoke plans for our client base. The basis of each plan is a fine tuned pricing strategy which has been the blueprint for my success. The exciting part of this, for me, is that I am currently in the midst of entering a new wave of development as I expand my client portfolio. It was surprisingly daunting to sell myself directly to the judges who interviewed me - usually I am selling my candidates, my service or a job! However the three judges created a relaxed environment and I was able to get across how passionate I am about my role in my industry. My companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s involvement of this event is a fantastic sign of their commitment to the women in our business and an acknowledgement of their level of interest in making sure talent is recognized and marked accordingly. When diversity is identified as a valuable tool to drive employee satisfaction and overall company success, everyone reaps the rewards. SThreeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nomination to WISA is testament to celebrating diversity and that makes me very proud to be a member of the company. Personally, I will absolutely be driving the WISA campaign to drive exposure to this award for future years.
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BEST WOMAN IN FINANCIAL SALES 2018 WINNER
McSweeney Global Business Director, Financial Practice Group
must confess I was a bit surprised when I heard I was nominated for the 2018 Women in Sales Award. I have been selling for many years and thought there are so many talented women to chose from in this industry so I am incredibly flattered. The group of women that are in this category are incredible and in fact, one is my peer at Thomson Reuters! This is a really pivotal year for women and to see so much change and progress with the Times Up and MeToo Movement is very inspiring personally. Participating in the award process has been really special. It allowed my to being incredibly introspective about where I am in my career and where I can still grow. I have been in sales almost 20 years and I must admit I do still love it. I take the responsibility of the customer relationships incredibly personal and serious. Managing complex large global firms is very challenging and working to do what is right for the customer and my firm is hard. I spend a lot
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of time thinking about balance and how to get it right is work in progress. I also try to be a role model for other women in our firm. Particularly important to me is that I am a working mother of four boys. I was lucky enough to take a hiatus from work to start a family and my company embraced my return. I want other women to know you can have a successful career and an amazing family. Thomson Reuters has been incredibly supportive of my journey and I am so thankful that my management team helps support my work and encourages my growth with full respect for my family time. For us all to be successful we need a very broad support network and I think not only of my husband, but also my colleagues. Everyone plays a role in a creating a successful sales culture. So I celebrate this award, with my family, but also my colleagues who I work with day in and day out. I am looking forward to the next chapter and where it may take me. But in the meantime I am going to take it all in and I want to celebrate the success of all the Women In Sales!
I want other women to know you can have a successful career and an amazing family.
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I have always given 120% to everything put in front of me, and to be recognized for my efforts is humbling.
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BEST WOMAN IN SALES SUPPORT 2018 WINNER
Andrea Sales Project Manager
y experience with finding out that I had been selected as a finalist was surreal. As one who typically is awake to start the day very early, I generally log on to read emails and texts to grasp what lay ahead for that day’s activities. The first text to come through was from my mentor, Nicole Lemus, who congratulated me on the selection. This news awakened my senses to a degree that coffee has never been able to in the past. The pride and joy that overcame me was immense, and I was humbled to see that all of my efforts have been recognized, not just by the team I work with, but by the initial judging panel as well. As such, I made it a point to see my daughter off to school as I have every other day, but especially reminding her that day that she is smart, strong and whatever she puts her mind to is possible. Having won tonight means a great deal to me. I have always given 120% to everything put in front of me, and to be recognized for my efforts is humbling. I firmly believe that my success in my position is truly a reflection of the team I work with as a whole. This win reaffirms to me that the risks I have taken, the deviations from the norm to achieve my goals, all have been recognized as having made an impact. This win is confirmation that I can achieve anything put in front of me. I plan to use my win to encourage both women and men, in all positions, to continually put forward their best efforts in all projects, regardless of the scale.
Simply taking a refresher course, or offering assistance to another department, shows a willingness to learn and go above and beyond. Truly knowing what one is capable of means stepping out of your comfort zone. Let no one tell you how far you can go, as only you know how much gas you have in your tank. I have enjoyed the experiences offered to me through the nomination, and the opportunities to network with those from various industries. I have never really taken the time to reflect on what I have accomplished, so this opportunity has allowed me to reflect on my run thus far. This experience, across the board, has been very humbling and I hope that I can inspire others to continue to pursue all of their goals, regardless of how possible or impossible they may appear. I would highly encourage International Vitamin Corporation in continuing to nominate talent present at the company. The immense growth our company has experienced has only been possible because of each individual’s contribution, regardless of the position they hold. Nomination of talent, in and of itself, is positive recognition for a job well done and helps to boost morale. For companies considering submission of a nomination in 2019, I would say do not hesitate. The nomination of a team member is an acknowledgment of a job well done. Simply, there is no more gratifying way of saying “thank you” to a team member than by recognizing them on a platform such as this!
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BEST WOMAN SO F T WARE & TEC H N O LO GY SALES 2018 WINNER
Lane Account Executive
ow! That’s all I could think when I heard the news that I was a finalist for the Women in Sales Awards. I was, at that moment and still am to this day, so grateful to be apart of this process. All the finalists are such accomplished and successful women, and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from these exceptional individuals and mentors. Winning tonight has been incredible! I am thrilled to be apart of this evening. They say it takes a Village, and I am a firm believer that no one achieves their goals without support from a community. I share my success and this award with many close colleagues, friends, and family, who have served as encouraging voices, mentors, and helpful players throughout my journey. I am especially grateful to the members of my company, InsideView, for creating an environment that promotes my continual development and the overall cultivation of my sales skill set. I would not be where I am today without the
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aid and encouragement from my manager, mentor, and the executive female role models at the company. This interview process has offered me the opportunity to reflect on my own career and identify one of the key levers to my success: longevity in sales requires a balance between professional skills development and the maintenance of interpersonal relationships. In the beginning of my career as a SDR, I consciously placed my focus on the former; however, as my career developed my emphasis seemingly started shifting toward the latter. I have come to realize through out the WISA application and interview process, though, that the most successful moments in my career possessed a balance between the two. I would encourage not only my company but also any company considering nominating their top Saleswomen to do so. WISA is an incredible platform to demonstrate a woman's ability to dominate in Sales (just like the men). I’ll share the insights gained from this experience with other women aspiring to forge a career in Sales and incorporate what I’ve learned into my relationships with the other Saleswomen within my organization.
One of the key levers to my success: longevity in sales requires a balance between professional skills development and the maintenance of interpersonal relationships.
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Empowerment is not only about opening doors for yourself, but also holding those doors open for the next woman to walk through.
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BEST WOMAN SALES NEWCOMER 2018 WINNER
Sarah Account Executive
mpowerment is not only about opening doors for yourself, but also holding those doors open for the next woman to walk through.
Being a woman in tech sales means that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m often one of the only women in every meeting I attend. This leaves me two options: learn from the male perspective or create my own path. I can choose to educate or accept the norm. With this award, I choose to use my platform to challenge the status quo in a way that increases awareness of gender inequality in the workplace. I will initiate uncomfortable conversations that create action plans for making people more comfortable.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire gender spectrum who provided references of their experiences working with me, allowing me to land amongst the company of such accomplished finalists. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d also like to thank Women in Sales Awards North America for hosting such a great platform for diversity awareness, something that impacts my world. I am blessed to be nominated for best sales newcomer by MindTickle, a company that believes in diversity, and am grateful for the judges that saw enough potential in me to win in my category. I hope that my success in this awards process inspires more companies to nominate their employees for all of the categories next year. Let us continue to hold the door open.
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BEST WOMAN CA PA B I L I T Y M A N AG E R 2018 WINNER
Smigelski Head of Market Development
have the pleasure of working at a diverse and inclusive company where there are numerous opportunities to empower and inspire my female colleagues. Taking pride in my personal brand, I work hard to give everything I can to developing and maintaining both our business and my reputation as a female leader in the workplace. Being recognized for ‘Best Woman Sales Capability Manager’ by the 2018 Women In Sales Awards North America is both thrilling and rewarding on so many levels. I applaud WISA’s vision to acknowledge the talents and recognize the contributions of females, thus promoting women as equal partners in the success, achievement, and profitability of their firms. There are definite benefits from supporting mentorship and empowering fellow female employees to achieve at high levels. Through WISA and the platform they’ve provided, I’ve discovered career development and skill-building opportunities. If I could sway any firm contemplating nominating individuals to do so, I would, because of the commitment and support it indicates to not just the nominees, but also the marketplace. Understanding the collective challenges we face, I recognize that our voices are stronger when united
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which encourages me to work harder to make sure that my fellow female colleagues feel as though they are valued. As a mother of two young boys, where I have an existing daily task of balancing work, family and running a household, I understand the outside pressures women face while pursuing a career. Having the support network of women at work who share similar loads and meet similar challenges is both rewarding and motivating. Being a role model to other women, at a fundamental level, all comes down to generating awareness and expanding your professional network. That is precisely what the Women In Sales Awards has done, with over 35,000 social impressions off the release of my announcement as a finalist, and an influx of connection requests, the awareness generated, and network expansion has been phenomenal. I am passionate about my work, something which is evident to my peers, and I strive to make an extra effort to mentor, sponsor and support rising female talent every chance I get. This recognition of being named ‘Best Woman Sales Capability Manager’ by the 2018 Women In Sales Awards North America will extend the platform we’ve collectively built to help other women in my firm and the industry by providing a venue for conversation, networking, and acknowledgment for a job well done.
Understanding the collective challenges we face, I recognize that our voices are stronger when united which encourages me to work harder to make sure that my fellow female colleagues feel as though they are valued.
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We have come so far and I believe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only the beginning!
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BEST WOMAN H E A LT H C A R E S A L E S 2018 WINNER
Clopton Sales Representative
hen I received the honor of being selected as a finalist for the WSA healthcare award I was elated. I immediately told my husband, who is also in medical sales, as well as my 6 year old daughter. I want to be a role model for her in the future, showing you can achieve anything you set your mind to! I am so thankful for the sacrifices my family makes every day so that I can further my career aspirations. It is truly an honor to be recognized as the Best among such an elite group of peers, especially at Stryker. These women are role models, working moms and record breaking sales representatives. Just being in the same category with them is a privilege.
I am so thankful Stryker Communications took a chance on me 8 years ago in a division where women were the minority. We have come so far and I believe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only the beginning! I am also extremely grateful that Stryker values diversity in the workplace and that this company has made nominating their own each year for the Women in Sales Healthcare category a priority. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my hope other MedDevice companies quickly follow their lead. This award makes me even more passionate about my mentorship role as woman within Stryker Corporation and will only drive me to future encourage recruiting, mentoring and retaining the most amazing Female Talent. Because each one of us can make a difference but together we can make a change!
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BEST WOMAN IN FIELD SALES 2018 WINNER
Christine VP, CX Engage Sales
hen I was notified by WISA that I was awarded Women’s Sales Leader of the year for Field Sales, I took a nice pause to reflect on what this meant. Obviously, any time you are awarded recognition there is pride that comes with that experience. In this moment, I was stuck with humbling pride. The knowledge that my nomination was received by both my former company PGi and my new home at Avtex was extremely meaningful. After 20 years in the Telcom & software space it was a tough decision I wrestled with to move on. I had experienced hyper success at PGi in the 8 years I was there and grew tremendously in my sales and management skills. The idea that so many previous colleagues took time to write such thoughtful and flattering nominations meant that they appreciated me as a sales woman and leader not because I had an upcoming direct effect on their business but rather in appreciation for all the success we gained together as a North America Field Sales team under my leadership. As if that high was not enough, I then took a big gulp and thought about the recommendations that were written for me by my new company family Avtex. To think in such a short time, we have worked together they believed, backed and trusted my vision and execution for the Field Sales team was beyond meaningful and touching. Both companies encouraged and provided great opportunity for me to hone my craft and go out on limbs to try new strategy and for that I can never truly express my gratitude. This is an important lesson I hope any women sales leader will take to heart and that is there are amazing company cultures out there and they will draw out the best in you, so if you are not in one then strongly consider a move. Remember we can all bear good fruits of labor with fertile soil.
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Beyond the recognition and nominations for my current and past companies this award meant even more to me. I remember in college struggling as I did not know my career path or passion. People would say “you will do fine you have the looks and personality, you will find your way” All though a comforting thought, I wanted more then that for how I would be measured. Sales gave me the opportunity to go farther and achieve more then I ever could have imagined. Sure, maybe my personality got me in the game, but what I found out quickly was I needed to keep stepping forward. I was surprised how many people did not and by applying a few more sales campaigns, taking a few more meetings, speaking often in meetings and offering thoughts accelerated me in this game of sales. It was almost like Super Mario gaining his super speed powers, I quickly advanced away from the pack. Once I figured that truth out in my sales career, the fun really started. With that said there were 100% failures along the way from reaching too far or trying an ill-fated plan, but even in those moments I won as the lessons learned although stumbling at first helped me to gain ground in the longer race. Again, another word of advice I would give to women in the Field Sales space is go the extra mile, and when you stumble take quick inventory and press on. Finally, I would say this award has also winded my sail. I am on a new adventure in the exciting Customer Experience and Contact space. Everything is new, and although there are times you my gingerly take inventory of the space before jumping in to the deep end, I tell myself daily no one has ever learned to swim standing outside the pool. The award from WISA and writing this piece allowed me to remember how great the race has been, and how I plan on now running my next leg of the race which translates to running with confidence, hustle, heart and determination. As Salvador Dali said, “No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.”
The highest reward for a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; J O H N RU S K I N
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To me, mentorship is about being available, having honest intentions, being supportive, being an active listener and, most of all, keeping that personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best interests in mind.
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BEST SALES MENTOR 2018 WINNER
Colleen Client Specialist Manager, Canada, F&R
was surprised and delighted to learn that I won the Women in Sales Award for Best Sales Mentor. The first thing I did was thank my manager, Lisa Rowsell, who nominated me and then I shared the good news with my husband and two sons. Without their support, none of this would be possible.
The award is special to me because it acknowledges the importance of being a trusted advisor and the impact it can have on your career. In thinking back to when I first became a manager, I can’t help reflecting on how much my perspective has changed. So often it’s the case that a person moves into a manager role because you excel in your current role. It is assumed that if you are successful governing yourself, this will automatically translate to others. I quickly discovered this was not the case and made many rookie mistakes but was lucky to learn from them. I have realized that mentorship means many things to different people. To me, it is about being available, having honest intentions, being supportive, being an
active listener and, most of all, keeping that person’s best interests in mind. Thomson Reuters has provided me the opportunity to develop and grow my own skills and I am delighted to work for an organization that endeavours to invest in our most important asset – its people. The award process was a positive and a thoughtful experience. By engaging with past and present colleagues, it allowed me to contemplate on my current skills, progression and future growth. It was a great reminder to be thankful and appreciative of the relationships that I have as a result of my career in sales. I would like to thank WISA for this honour and appreciate what this platform provides women globally. It recognizes women in an industry that are often underrepresented. I hope that my award demonstrates to other women that sales is a career they can thrive in and be successful at, and would highly encourage other firms to get involved with WISA. It is important to increase awareness and be advocates for other women so that we can drive this change.
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Congratulations to the next generation of WOMEN SALES LEADERS.
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Why Women Should
CONSIDER ROLES IN SALES
H I VO R I A
We often hear about the importance of getting more women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing more and more organizations encouraging women to consider roles in these fields. Sales is also a field with a low representation of women, but we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen as many efforts toward getting women to consider roles in sales.
Chief of Staff to Microsoft CVP of Inside Sales, Co-Chair of Women@Microsoft
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n fact, CEB Global reports that the sales function has the second largest gender equity gap of all corporate functions after supply chain. A recent study by Gartner revealed that women are underrepresented at all levels in sales. What’s more, the percentage of women in sales leadership has remained flat over the past decade. I recently published an article in Forbes on why we need more women in sales, citing research on how women outperform men in sales, drive the bottom line and help companies better empathize and connect with their customers. I’m hopeful that we’ll see an influx of research like this to shed light on the impact that female sales
professionals can make, and that we’ll see more programs developed to help close the gender disparity gap in this field. While developing formal programs will help move the needle, we also need to show women why sales is a viable and worthwhile path. I myself had preconceived notions about the field when I was looking to enter the workforce and viewed sales as a more masculine profession. As I came across sales roles during my job search, I even saw some job descriptions specify that experience on a competitive sports team was a plus. As someone who can barely throw a ball, much less catch one, I can safely say that I’ve never been on a competitive sports team.
Here’s the thing — I fell into sales because of luck. When I applied for a marketing role at Microsoft, the recruiter put me in the queue for sales. She said I had great communication skills, a strong track record of success and that I exhibited empathy, a desire to learn and relentlessness in the face of adversity. All of those qualities, she said, made me a great fit for sales. Unbeknownst to me at the time, she was right. I exceeded my sales goals, helped turn my district’s scorecard metrics from the worst performing to the top performing and won numerous awards. Most importantly, I had fun. My advice to women: Throw out whatever preconceived notions you may have and consider making the leap into sales.
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FIVE REASONS WHY CONSIDERING ROLES IN SALES WILL PAY OFF:
Nº YOU’LL DEVELOP TANGIBLE SKILLS
Sales is a great training ground to build a variety of skills. Selling a product or service requires empathy for the customer, confidence, grit and perseverance. What better way to develop these skills than by having to build a relationship with a stranger? Not only will you develop soft skills, but you’ll also develop hard skills like how to position, influence and negotiate effectively. Sales requires you to learn a business at a deep level, as customers expect sales representatives to be knowledgeable and have answers. Let’s face it — we’re always selling, whether we’re interviewing for a job or convincing someone to go on a vacation. Learning how to sell, and learning how to sell well, is a great thing for a woman to have in her back pocket.
YOU’LL SET YOURSELF UP TO DO ALMOST ANYTHING Sales is a marketable and transferable skill. Marketing, business development and corporate teams, in particular, are often looking for people with sales backgrounds. Sellers understand what customers want, and this experience can be invaluable for building programs and offerings that are relevant for customers. Because sales helps you build a foundational knowledge of a company, there are a variety of career paths that you can take afterward. I personally leveraged my sales background to drive business development in a financing organization. Today, I’m using my experience to help build a new inside sales organization at Microsoft.
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YOU’LL MAKE GOOD MONEY WHILE HAVING A FLEXIBLE LIFESTYLE
Gone are the days where a woman relies on a man’s salary. Sales is attractive because it can be lucrative and doesn’t require an advanced degree. Income is typically based on performance, and commissions can be high depending on the compensation structure offered.
FlexJobs published a list of the 10 best family-friendly careers based on high earnings, flexibility and expected job growth over the next 10 years. At the top of this list was account managers, whose median annual salary is $99,000. The influx of technology has also made it easier for sellers to connect with their customers remotely, allowing for greater flexibility.
YOU’LL BE BETTER AT IT THAN YOU THINK Studies show that women are good at sales. In fact, Xactly reports that women are better than men at sales, outperforming them by 3%. Women have characteristics that make them a good fit for sales, like their ability to build relationships and trust. In my first sales role, I quickly noticed that many of the women on my team had different styles than our male counterparts, and often we were closing more deals because of it. We often said the same thing as the men, but in different ways. There’s nothing wrong with having different approaches in sales — it can help you come off as empathetic and understanding.
YOU’LL HAVE FUN
As Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson says, “80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?” Not only is it satisfying to close a deal and help customers achieve their business goals, but sales is fun. Working on a deal is stimulating and gives you the opportunity to exercise creativity, solve challenges and meet new people. Every customer engagement is different, keeping your days interesting. So ladies, if you’re on the fence about taking a sales role, don’t be. Give it a chance like I did and see if it works for you. You just might be surprised.
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How Women Can Escape the Imposter Syndrome Trap The Imposter Syndrome
Y G O MA
H . D.
CAROL K I
is the fear of being exposed as a fraud, of feeling unworthy of your success, of not being as capable as others. Both genders experience the Imposter Syndrome, but women are more susceptible to it and more intensely affected by it.
An international keynote speaker, leadership presence coach, and author of The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt How You Lead.
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Three Ways YOU CAN BREAK OUT:
andra was introduced to me as a highly successful business professional with exceptional leadership skills. She was being groomed for a top executive position, and she sounded perfect for my favorite kind of coaching assignment. I love working with accomplished women who are looking to become even more effective. It should have come as a shock when, at the end of our first session, this talented and successful woman turned to me and said, “I want you to know how nervous I was meeting you. I was afraid that you wouldn’t find me worthy to work with.” But this wasn’t shocking to me because I’d heard it before — but only from female clients. A female’s self-doubt can negatively impact her career when, as studies show, she pushes less often than her male counterpart for a raise or a promotion. Internal research by Hewlett-Packard found that women only apply for jobs for which they feel they are a 100% match; men apply even when they meet no more than 60% of the requirements. Research shows that men and women have distinct attributional differences in how they respond to success and failure. Men are more likely to attribute success to personal factors (their ability, talent, effort) and failure to outside forces. factors. Women tend to do the opposite: they attribute success to timing or luck, and failure to personal shortcomings. The good news is that if you have fallen into the Imposter Syndrome trap, you don’t have to stay there.
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OWN YOUR SUCCESS
Several years ago I was coaching a woman as she was preparing for a job interview. I asked her to tell me about the things she did exceptionally well that she’d want a prospective employer to know. She was silent for several seconds. Finally, she sighed and said, “I really don't know. I do a lot of things well, but when I do, I don't notice it.” Competence bears little relationship to confidence. It is only when you are aware of your how good you are that you become confident. My favorite tip for increasing that awareness is to create a success log. On a daily basis (preferably at the end of the day) write down all of the things you are proud of, situations that you handled well. You’ll see how even small successes, when recorded and reviewed, begin to make positive changes in the way you evaluate yourself And stop downplaying your achievements. No one gets to your level of success without talent and hard work. Even if luck played a role in your career (as it is has countless times in mine), it was no accident or quirk of fate that prepared you to take advantage of the opportunities presented. Lastly, don’t minimize or dismiss compliments by attributing your success to other people or outside factors. The next time someone praises you, just say “Thank you.”
TAKE YOUR PLACE AT THE TABLE
Too many women attending meetings sit at the back of the room, as if waiting/needing to be invited to take a place at the table. If that is true for you, I’d encourage you to stop waiting — invite yourself. Women can also fall into the habit of “waiting their turn” by holding back at meetings. When you don’t speak up and engage as an active participant in the discussion, you don’t look polite or shy — you look uninformed or uninterested. This behavior is so prevalent that former Secretary of State Madeline Albright advises young women to “Learn to interrupt.” At least start by making a comment (or asking a question) early in the meeting, just to get used to speaking - and so other participants get used to hearing your voice. Not only should you speak up, with enough volume to be heard clearly, you also need to be both direct and brief in your speech. When you structure your comments like a newspaper (headline first and supporting points later), your input has more impact. Don’t add qualifiers that make you seem insecure or powerless: “I’m not sure if you’ll agree,” “I’m no expert, but . . .,” or “This may be a stupid question.” Remember: you are at the meeting because you deserve to be, and your perspective is valuable.
POWER UP YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
If you think that body language is merely an “interesting” topic for women in business, think again. Nonverbal communication skills are not only interesting, they are a crucial part of breaking out of the Imposter Syndrome trap. In general, women are better than men at reading nonverbal signals, but they are less aware of how to present themselves in ways that optimize their credibility, confidence and power. Body language can sabotage your authentic self by making you look uncertain and insecure. Be aware that anytime you physically condense by rounding your shoulders, caving in at the chest, and pulling your elbows tightly into your waist (all of which women do more than men), you minimize your credibility. Conversely, status and authority are nonverbally demonstrated through the dimensions of height and space. Just by keeping your posture erect, your shoulders back, and your head held high you look (and feel) more sure of yourself. If you stand you instantly gain a status advantage over those who are seated. If you move around, the additional space you take up adds to that impression. If you stand with feet hip-width apart, you look grounded. If you are sitting, you can feel more solid by uncrossing your legs and putting both feet flat on the floor. Also, when seated, try claiming more space by widening your arms away from your body and placing your hands on the conference table or hooking one elbow on the back of your chair.
You don’t have to be a magician to escape the Imposter Syndrome trap. You can start by realizing that you, like my client Sandra, are VERY worth working with! W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / N O R T H A M E R I C A - J U N E 2 0 1 8 8 5
The Power of
Sales is an admirable role in business because nothing happens until someone sells something. You can have the most incredibly designed products or service â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and if your company doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell enough, ultimately the business is doomed.
BY LO R
The Third List
President of Women Sales Pros and CEO of Score More Sales. firstname.lastname@example.org
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here are common ACTIONS you can take to grow the number of conversations you’re having with future buyers – by phone, email and through social platforms. We know that for every identified sales opportunity, it takes many more of these conversations and this is one of the biggest issues for sellers. They don’t have enough prospects because they’ve not talked to, corresponded with, or followed up with enough potential buyers. I was recently asked what MY favorite growth hack for a B2B seller would be. It took me no time to respond. Although I have could have focused on improved social strategies, within LinkedIn, Twitter, and through content I have a special strategy that reaps more rewards over time. This idea actually can work through social connection – but it is not exclusive to it. It can be used with email, the phone, and through the regular mail.
"THE THIRD LIST" My top growth hack strategy is to always think about a third list. Your FIRST list that you have when you are in sales is your customer list, if you have been there long enough to have clients – periodically reach out to them to see how they are doing with your services, offer a new best practice or other idea, and see how else you can help them. This leads to referrals and upselling opportunities if you
build strong enough relationships and always add value. Your SECOND list that you have when you are in sales is your prospect list – or “future buyers” list. These are the people in your pipeline you are reaching out to on a one-off basis. Gain insight about them and reach out. Then another, then another. It is a slow but strategic way to grow business – all the while learning how you can help these buyers based on their situation, their needs, and their aspirations. Your THIRD list – this is where the magic happens. It is simply a list of strategic referrers and strategic partners. These are people that know you, appreciate what you do, and can refer you and recommend you to multiple people on an ongoing basis. This could mean millions or multi-millions of dollars – just from building these key relationships and again adding value. Jenna is working for a company and she sells sponsorships and vendor experiences for a big, annual marketing conference. We came up
with ten people who are on her third list – most are with companies who call on the same marketers and CMOs that she does – but for different services. The fantastic thing about the people on this third list is that they can refer you over and over and over again. [This might be a good time to mention that you must add value to their worlds, as well – referring them or helping them solve challenges or attain goals.] Grow your third list to 50 or 75 people – perhaps you start small and work to add one referrer every month. That’s 12 each year – within 3 years you’ll have at least 36 strong referrers and recommenders. Talk to the people on your list monthly or at the very least, every other month. Become the person they like to hear from because of your upbeat personality, insight, introductions and ideas that help them grow their business. This third list will grow you a solid, healthy business for now and for years to come. Treat those on your list as if they were gold, because they are
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And when uncertainty exists, delays happen. When delays happen, priorities shift. When priorities shift, opportunities can disappear.
VP & Distinguished Analyst at Gartner First published on gartner.com/smarterwithgartner
Critical Selling Skill – Learning (and Sharing) How Customers Buy In today’s B2B technology selling environment, there is a critical selling skill that can make the difference between success and failure. While it’s easy to focus on why customers buy, in the face of increased competition it may be more important to understand how customers buy. 8 8 W O M E N I N S A L E S AWA R D S / N O R T H A M E R I C A - J U N E 2 0 1 8
DO THEY HAVE TO DO A SECURITY REVIEW?
DO THEY HAVE TO ISSUE AN RFP?
DO THEY COMPLETE A TRIAL OR A POC?
ompetition, comes in many forms: the competitors for the opportunity you are working is the obvious one, but the bigger competitors may be other projects and inertia (i.e. sticking with the status quo). With more and more purchases being considered, and more and more people (in varying roles) involved in buying efforts, understanding why a customer will buy is not enough. Proving you can provide value and help them achieve the results they are looking for is not enough.
DOES PROCUREMENT AND VENDOR MANAGEMENT GET INVOLVED?
You have to help them complete the purchase. To do this you need to study how they buy. Work to uncover who is involved in purchases of things similar to what you offer. Learn when they are involved and what they are responsible work. Work to uncover the formal steps they must complete.
BUSINESS CASE PREPARATION (AND ADJUSTMENT) AND THE LIST COULD GO ON...
In recent Gartner research, we presented respondents that had been involved in buying efforts with a list of 12 or thirteen common steps. Most of them were things that logically should be done. But only 4 or 5, on average of them were identified as “always performed.” And that list varied. Others were performed often or occasionally. Fundamentally, we interpret this as buying teams not always knowing the exact steps that have to be taken. And when uncertainty exists, delays happen. When delays happen, priorities shift. When priorities shift, opportunities can disappear.
You can help the customers that want your solution in these situations – help them avoid it happening. How? Study common buying patterns and guide them on what other customers (that have successfully completed purchases) have done. Help them get in front of the situation. Think about, when a customer is buying a solution like yours, they are doing it once every few years. You are involved in buying processes for every one of your opportunities. Study patterns and you become an expert. Share things that work (I hesitate to call them best practices). Collaborate with others on the
sales team to continually refine this and embrace it as a key part of your selling process–teaching your customers how to buy. Let’s face it, in technology, products increasingly have similar capabilities. Any product that is worth it’s salt can produce value. You can standout by making your customers’ buying efforts easier. Make understanding how your customers buy a key part of your sales arsenal. I’m confident you’ll win more deals and accelerate your sales efforts–and create a memorable, positive customer experience
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Why We Need
in Sales Getting more women into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has become a hot topic over the years, as these fields have historically had a low representation of females. As a result, several organizations have surfaced to help close the gender disparity gap in STEM fields. Despite these great efforts, the US Department of Commerce’s 2017 STEM Update still reports that only 24% of STEM jobs are held by women.
H I VO R I A
E Chief of Staff to Microsoft CVP of Inside Sales, Co-Chair of Women@Microsoft
qually important is getting more women into sales professions, yet we don’t hear about this as much. According to this LinkedIn report, women represent 39% of the workforce in sales. This percentage has only increased by 3% over the past decade. Not surprisingly, the percentage decreases as seniority increases, with the lowest percentage of women represented in VP and CXO positions. Only 21% of Vice Presidents in Sales are female. There are a number of reasons why this might be the case. First, women may have pre-conceived notions
about what it means to be in a sales profession. Sales can have a negative connotation to people who still think of the stereotypical used car salesman, hungry to do whatever it takes to close the deal. In his book To Sell is Human, Dan Pink asked individuals to describe what they think of when they hear the word “sales.” The main adjectives used were “pushy,” “annoying,” “manipulative” and “dishonest.” These are words that no woman, or man for that matter, wants to be associated with. Pink’s research shows that there's clearly still a bias when it comes to sales, regardless of gender.
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The job descriptions for sales roles don’t help the issue. In his New York Times Op-Ed, author of Innovating Women Vivek Wadhwa argues that bias is already inherent in the hiring process. “Tech job descriptions are usually geared towards males and have long lists of skills, most of which aren’t needed or can be learned on the job,” he says. Sales job descriptions, in particular, tend to include masculine language like “hunter,” “aggressive” and “compete.” Some companies’ job descriptions even specify that they prefer candidates with experience in competitive team sports.
Research shows that women are hesitant to apply for roles unless they check all of the boxes. A Hewlett-Packard study revealed that women tend to apply for roles only when they believe they meet 100% of the qualifications listed for the job. Men, on the other hand, apply even when they think they only meet 60%. This is why it’s so important to craft job descriptions with gender-neutral language to appeal to a diverse set of applicants. But the question isn’t “Why aren’t there more women in sales?” The real question is: “Why do we need more women in sales?”
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Women represent 39% of the workforce in sales. This percentage has only increased by 3% over the past decade. — L I N K E D I N R E P O RT
62.5% M O R E F E M A L E TO P P E R FO R M E R S
+15% PROFIT INCREASE
WOMEN ARE GOOD AT SALES
WOMEN CAN BE BETTER FOR YOUR BOTTOM LINE
First and foremost, women are good at sales. In fact, Hubspot reports that women are 5% more likely to close a deal than men.
A diversity of perspectives, thoughts and backgrounds is better for your bottom line.
WOMEN CAN HELP YOU BETTER CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
Furthermore, Professor Joel Le Bon of the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business Sales Excellence Institute performed an analysis of his 989 students’ sales performance across 7 years. The results showed that there were 62.5% more female top performers than male top performers. Moreover, the female top performers outperformed the male top performers by 73.9%.
Frankly, the data presented in this article should not be surprising. Women have characteristics and skills that make them natural fits for sales, like the ability to build trust, nurture relationships, listen and provide recommendations. Whether or not they succeeded on a sports team is neither an indicator of these skills nor is it a prediction on whether women can succeed in sales. If you’re a startup and have the opportunity to build a new sales force, or if you’re a company rethinking your sales talent
Let’s let the figures speak for themselves on this one. A study from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that companies with higher gender diversity, in general, are 15% more likely to have higher profit. Additionally, companies with higher numbers of female board directors have a 42% higher return on sales compared to companies with lower numbers of female board directors.
strategy, evaluate gender diversity as a key component. Set goals for the number of female sellers you want in your organization and aggressively drive toward those numbers. In Microsoft Inside Sales, we’ve had the opportunity to hire 1,500 sellers over the past 18 months. Although we’re under pressure to hire quickly, we’ve set thoughtful goals for ourselves to ensure that we have a balance of gender diversity in our sales force not only for the reasons above but also because it’s the right thing to do.
Not only will having women on your sales teams be better for your bottom line, but it will also help you better connect with your customers. In order to approach customers with empathy, it’s important for your sales force to reflect the diversity of your customer base. Peak Sales Recruiting says it well: "A more diverse sales force also is more likely to reflect the make-up of customer organizations and have representatives that can connect and nurture strong relationships with a diverse customer base. If everyone in the sales organization looks the same and has similar experiences and viewpoints, they may not always be able to find common ground with customers and prospects.”
The approach is paying off. Women represent over half of our inside sales force in some of our markets, and we’re continuing to invest in acquiring female talent. I encourage other companies to stick with the same principle. The best part is, the net effect of hiring women is that you’ll attract more women. A study from the Founders Club shows that women tend to hire other women. So instead of focusing only on getting women into STEM, let’s add an “S” and start focusing on getting them into STEMS —Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Sales
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