Sales is no longer a boys’ club. Throughout the decades, women like Brownie Wise and Sarah Breedlove Walker have pioneered innovative sales strategies that have become commonplace. Now, a new generation of women is at the forefront of sales, paving the way for future generations of female sales professionals to lead.

A few of these incredible saleswomen were kind enough to answer some questions about their keys to success and provide insights into sales trends. They’ve also dished out advice to other women hoping to develop and advance their sales careers. Read on to see what they have to say about the future of sales and what you need to succeed.


Change your mindset from “what can I sell you” to “how can I help you” – Melonie Dodaro

Lauren Bailey – Founder of #GirlsClub, President & Founder of Factor 8

Lauren Bailey has over two decades of digital and inside sales leadership experience, earning her the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals’ (AA-ISP) title of “Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Inside Sales.” In addition to being the Founder and President of award-winning sales training company Factor 8, she is also the founder of #GirlsClub. Inspired by conversations with her peers at the AA-ISP and Women Sales Pros, Lauren began her mission and life’s passion to help women find their confidence and their place in sales leadership.

Blog – Factor 8: Inside Sales | Blog – We are #GirlsClub

What do you think are the most important attributes to be successful in sales today? How about 5 years from now?

“I can’t say enough about the role of confidence in sales (hell, in LIFE!).  I think confidence is like the volume dial on our engagement with customers, our risk-taking, our success, and just our enjoyment in life.  In the next five years, we’ll see our teams filled with newer reps with fewer skills and higher dependence on technology.  Those with the confidence and the curiosity to truly engage a customer and have meaningful value-add conversations will be lightyears ahead.”

What one piece of advice would you give to other women who are hoping to develop – or advance – a career in sales?

“Curiosity + Confidence = Conversations. . . this may be exactly why women do so well in sales!  I so strongly encourage women to consider a sales career.  The freedom, the compensation, the learning. . .come on in ladies! The water’s fine (and getting better)!”

Deb Calvert – President at People First Productivity, Executive Coach

Deb Calvert succeeds by putting people first. As the President of People First Productivity Solutions, Deb offers leadership development, executive and sales coaching, and sales training programs. She’s the founder of The Sales Experts Channel and author of DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected and Stop Selling & Start Leading. She illuminates the buyer experience for sellers.

Twitter – @PeopleFirstPS | Blog – Connect 2 Sell, Lead, & Win

What do you think are the most important attributes to be successful in sales today? How about 5 years from now?

“I think critical thinking has become more important than ever. It’s emerging as a way to differentiate yourself, create value, and get an edge on the competition. Our buyers want help cutting through complexity and co-creating original solutions. By thinking critically, asking purposeful questions to stimulate new ideas, and really focusing on their needs, sellers can succeed more than their peers who lapse into lazy thinking and status quo approaches.”

What one piece of advice would you give to other women who are hoping to develop – or advance – a career in sales?

“Be yourself. Bring value that only you can bring by staying true to who you are and the unique traits you can offer others. Don’t try to be some stereotype of selling — you’re going to be far more effective with the real, authentic, awesome you.” 

Melonie Dodaro – CEO of Top Dog Social Media, Speaker, Author

Melonie Dodaro has earned a global reputation as a no-nonsense speaker, trainer, and author in the field of LinkedIn and social selling. She guides companies through a digital transformation and prepares them to compete and excel in the new digital selling landscape, improving businesses’ bottom lines.

Twitter – @MelonieDodaro | Blog – Top Dog Social Media

What do you think are the most important attributes to be successful in sales today? How about 5 years from now?

“Changing your sales mindset from ‘what can I sell you’ to ‘how can I help you.’ Customers are becoming more sales savvy and aware of generic selling techniques. If you want them to buy something from you, they need to know you care about them and their business. Sales in 5 years from now will be almost completely digital. Cold calls are barely working now and within 5 years they won’t work at all. If you want to ensure a long, successful career in sales, make sure you start developing a compelling personal brand now and learn everything you can about digital sales.”

What one piece of advice would you give to other women who are hoping to develop – or advance – a career in sales?

“In my opinion, women have an advantage when it comes to sales as they tend to be more empathetic than men. Being kind and caring is not a weakness, use that to your advantage. Women have the potential to outperform their male counterparts when they leverage all of the opportunities that are available to them.”

Alice HeimanFounder of Alice Heiman LLC, Sales Strategist & Coach

Alice Heiman knows that sales performance is directly related to a leader’s mindset. That’s why she coaches companies to integrate best-practices based on the latest research, enabling CEOs, business owners, and sales leaders to bring about change that leads to growth. Alice is an accomplished keynote speaker, writer, and coach. She recently co-founded TradeShow Makeover to ensure that her clients can generate qualified leads from the money and effort spent on events and trade shows.

Twitter – @aliceheiman @showmakeover | Blog – AH: Let’s Talk Sales

What do you think are the most important attributes to be successful in sales today? How about 5 years from now?

“Intelligent, knowledgeable, personable, insightful, resourceful, collaborative. In order to be successful in sales today, you must be smart and continuously learning. Research your prospects, their industry, and their customers. Understand how your offerings get the results they need. Bring them insights so they see you as a valuable resource. Collaborate to come up with the best solutions. In 5 years, the best salespeople will be those who can do the above and are seen as trusted advisors to their customers.”

What one piece of advice would you give to other women who are hoping to develop – or advance – a career in sales?

“Sales is a wonderful career for women. It allows you to use your ability to develop and nurture relationships, solve problems and make a difference. Sales is helping people get what they need. To advance in sales do what seems natural. Meet people, find out what you have in common, develop a relationship and determine if you can be helpful. I recommend finding a mentor who can help you use your natural ability, learn the needed skills, and blend the two to be successful. Never stop learning. Read or listen to learn from the experts. Attend conferences and webinars. Form a mastermind group of other women in sales to learn and grow together.”

Zeenath Kuraisha – CEO, Head of Sales Education & Advisory at APAC SMA

Zeenath Kuraisha is an active thought leader in the sales realm through her inside sales advisory and inside sales education work at Asia Pacific Sales & Marketing Academy. Having started her journey into a sales with a job at Luxasia, she’s now the Founder and Head of Sales Advisory and Sales Education at Asia Pacific Sales & Marketing Academy. Zeenath now leads inside sales training and accreditations programs for top-name international companies.

Twitter – @zeenathkuraisha | Blog – Sales & Marketing Insights

What do you think are the most important attributes to be successful in sales today? How about 5 years from now?

“Important attributes to be successful in sales today are customer centricity, empathy, agility, flexibility and customer intelligence. While robots are celebrated now, 5 years from now, having human contact points will be the most valued.”

What one piece of advice would you give to other women who are hoping to develop – or advance – a career in sales?

“Some women struggle to find a connection or they feel it’s tough to be in a sales role. Sales is not difficult. All you need is to first love helping people, love to educate and love to engage! And women are perfect for that. You can also plug in with sales mentors who can help guide you.”

Want to follow these awesome ladies? We made you a Twitter list!

Girl Power:

These female thought leaders concur that the advantage of being a woman in sales lies within your ability to be authentic, empathetic, inquisitive, and purposeful while engaging with prospects and collaborating with teams. While no one can predict the future (yet), these women in sales recognize that as the sales industry becomes more reliant on technology and digitization, it’s important to establish a strong, collaborative network of human contact points. Recent studies show that women consistently outperform men in emotional intelligence and soft skills, both of which lead to more effective leadership and superior business performance.

Women are 45% more likely than men to be seen as demonstrating empathy consistently.

A woman’s innate ability to be more empathetic can result in better sales engagement with prospects and customers– better sales engagement leads to an increase in sales performance. This also plays a role in developing relationships outside of a company, allowing for more opportunities to be a mentor or mentee.

As the presence of women in sales continues to grow, we want to thank you all– new and old– for each and every incredible contribution you’ve made to the sales community. Most importantly, we want to thank you for making sales a more diverse and empowering profession!

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