North American Association of Sales Engineers

North American Association of Sales Engineers

European Association of Sales Engineers

Increasing the Number of Women in Sales

By Misha Bartlett

Even though women make up just over half of the college-educated workforce, they hold less than one-third of B2B sales jobs. According to a 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, women are underrepresented in B2B sales in most industries.

The B2B sales scene has been changing to favor women in sales. Women’s skills are also becoming more valued in the once male-dominated realm of high-tech sales. 

Today’s digitally-savvy, independent, and more educated buyers have new expectations of salespeople. They expect salespeople to add value beyond what digital tools give. 

Salespeople need to be able to collaborate with customers and shape solutions. Skills like addressing customer needs have become more important than persuasion abilities. And this plays to women’s strengths.

Here are a few ways companies are boosting the number of women in sales:

Diversity-focused recruiting

Many companies are making gender diversity a specific goal for sales recruiting. They are committing to distinct objectives for attracting women. They are making job descriptions more appealing to women by using less masculine language like “aggressive” and “compete” with gender-neutral language such as “customer-focused” and “succeed.” 

Female mentorship programs.

Mentors helped salespeople get acclimated and can answer questions about topics women were hesitant to talk about with their male co-workers.

Better coaching

Companies are working to improve coaching for female salespeople, especially by male mentors. This means they have to break down stigmas for male-female mentorship relationships and ensure that women will get the same objective feedback their male co-workers would.

More promotions for women.

Female-led sales teams had approximately equal numbers of men and women, while male-led teams were more than three-quarters men. Encouraging more women into management and leadership roles is a great way to attract and retain more female salespeople. 

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