Good news, woman sales leaders! The percentage of women in sales has increased from 36 % to 39 % over the last ten years.
But, here’s the bad news: in the past decade, the number of women in sales has only risen 3 %.
“Especially in B2B sales, which is a very male-focused world,” said Lori Richardson, founder of Score More Sales.
Lori’s started her sales career with technology in the 1980s, which gave her a lot of experience working in male-dominated companies. Now, she helps B2B leaders solve problems within their sales teams. Such as: growing recurring revenues, hiring reps who not just can sell, but will sell, and on how to bring in more diversity.
Lori explains that sales managers and CEOs says they want more women on their sales teams. But, problem is that they aren’t sure how to find, hire or keep them.
“There’s better ROI for sales teams with both men and women,” Lori says. “And women bring some valuable characteristics to the table.”
There are different ways women can better position themselves for a career in sales. But, this article is going to focus on what sales organizations can do to be more inviting for women.
Start by including more than one woman in your interview process. According to research, the odds of hiring a woman are 79 times greater if there are at least two women in the finalist pool.
You read right, almost 80 times greater! That’s a big difference. Here are four tips for sales management to bring more women to your sales organization.
Try unconventional job search tactics.
Your current team members can be a valuable source of new sales talent. But when building diversity, asking reps for recommendations will likely result in potential candidates who are similar to the team members you already have.
Try searching in places you haven’t thought of before. Lori recommended recruiting from the hospitality industry, such as: people in the hotel, restaurant or even rental car industry business. You can also try to recruit at college campuses.
Use gender neutral language.
Consider your language when recruiting and writing job postings. Certain phrases or terms might turn people off to working for your company.
“There are a lot of war words associated with sales,” Lori said.
Instead of describing your ideal employee as “aggressive,” which can mean combative or threatening, opt for words like “vigorous,” “energetic” or “zealous.” Instead of saying you’re looking for “athletes” – often synonymous with “jocks” – ask for team players or high-performing sellers.
Balance environment for all personality types.
Your office sends subconscious signs to potential employees. Make sure the company environment represents a diversity of lifestyles.
Is your office filled with beer kegs, sports paraphernalia and football tables? That could be polarizing, or too geared toward one personality type. Try instead to balance it out with neutralizing objects that represent the type of attitude your company promotes.
Show women in leadership roles.
Potential job candidates want to visualize themselves having long-term success at the organization. When bringing women in for interviews, make sure they can interact with a female leader or executive. If you can’t see yourself in a position later on in the company, Lori explains, you’re probably not going to want to work there.
Use these tips to not only bring more women to your team, but increase diversity overall. The more differentiated your sales organization, the wider array of unique skills and talents it will contain.