Although sales may have been a male-dominant industry in the past, today’s organizations understand the many benefits of gender diversity. According to recent industry research, both revenue and profitability of deals are higher when companies choose to bring more women into direct sales roles (click here for more info from Salesforce). Another benefit for employers is that female reps typically remain in their job an average of one year longer than their male counterparts.
For businesses attempting to connect with a diverse customer base, it’s important to have the same type of in-house diversity. The women briefly profiled below stand out for their leadership and dedication to mentorship.
Andrea Austin: Currently employed as the Vice President at Nokia Software, Andrea Austin has led teams and sales initiatives at several other big-name companies over the past 20 years. She is also a published author of the book Aligned to Achieve.
Cynthia Barnes: Ms. Barnes helps other women reach their potential in her position of CEO with the National Association of Women Sales Professionals. The 13,000-member group helps women network, learn new skills, get answers to common questions, and support one another’s career aspirations.
Joanne Black: Ms. Black assists business owners and teams with attracting more business by building their referral networks faster. She has also published two books, No More Cold Calling and Pick Up the Damn Phone, in addition to regular speaking engagements at conferences.
Bridget Gleason: Bridget Gleason specializes in teaching accelerated sales skills to start-up and early-stage companies. She also works with companies that have invested in PaaS and SaaS technology. Ms. Gleason frequently presents her thought leadership at various events.
Alice Heiman: As the CRO and co-founder of TradeShow Makeover, people recognize Alice Heiman as an international sales expert and coach. She helps client increase revenue by an average of 30 percent. She has won numerous awards and been the subject of feature articles in entrepreneurial magazines.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith: She holds numerous roles, including author, blogger, executive coach, and CRO of an international training and business coaching firm. Several organizations, including Twitter and Open View Sales Labs, have recognized Ms. Hoagland-Smith as one of the top female leaders in the selling profession.
Deanna Renda: While working in nursing and then medical sales, Deanna Renda knew she would never truly be happy until she owned her own business. She soon began selling her own brand of skin lotion at farmer’s markets and her own stores. Today, her company Naples Soap Company sells over one million units annually of approximately 400 unique products.
Lori Richardson: Ms. Richardson is the CEO and founder of Score More Sales and Women Sales Pros. She started the second organization after realizing that she consistently coached male-only teams. As part of running Women Sales Pros, Richardson launched a platform called Sales Shebang to help others connect with top female sellers.
Jill Rowley: Ms. Rowley has had a long and passionate career. In her current vice president role, she teaches her team members that selling all about building relationships. At a minimum, this means showing authenticity and relevancy along with a willingness to educate prospects to the point they become excited about buying a product or service.
Elinor Stutz: Smooth Sale Blog, in which Elinor Stutz acts as CEO, teaches other professionals to earn more referrals and returning clients. She also contributes to All Business, U.S. News and World Report, and Yahoo! Finance while keeping exclusive company as a Top 1 Percent Influencer in sales.
Although none of these women may have set out to set an example of achievement for other females in their industry, that is exactly what they have done.