Getting Women Into Corporate Sales

Getting Women Into Corporate Sales:

It's no secret that corporate sales is a heavily male-dominated industry.

However, the questions are: How can we get more women into such a male-dominated industry? How can we get women to get into B2B sales and then get them to stay in sales?

A study done by Discovery.org discovered that only about 31% of individual contributors are women and about 26% are at middle-level management or frontline sales managers positions. The numbers plummet even further when it comes to executive level management where those numbers sit at 12.8%. The following include some of the ways that more women can get into the B2B sales market and how they can be kept there after they get into the field:

  • Review Your Ads: Companies can review their ads and look at the pictures, wording, and message that the entire ad sends. Ensure that these ads are not skewing the view that the company prefers to hire men over women or vice versa. Make sure the company's advertisement is equally appealing to both genders in order to have better chances of drawing in qualified women for these great career opportunities.
  • Educate Young Women on B2B Sales: Educating women on business-to-business careers and what these careers can offer them can help more women become interested in working in this field. Many women that are in sales aren't in B2B sales and aren't aware of the great, flexible career that B2B sales can offer. Educating young women who are in high schools or university on the option ofB2B careers and emphasize the great opportunities women would have getting into B2B sales. If women are aware of these options they will be more likely to go to into that role.
  • Build Young Women's Confidence Levels: Build a business culture where women are taught to be just as confident in their selling abilities and skills as their male counterparts. Encouraging such culture in one's company can help encourage women to reach for the next level of success while helping them maintain a confidence that they can succeed in that job just as any other male counterpart could. The more confidence that women are given the more likely they are to apply for positions higher up than the one they currently hold.
  • Provide Job Coaching: Companies that provide job coaching for all employees in "entry-level" sales positions give their employees resources to help them gain the confidence they need if they wish to move up the B2B sales ladder. Both male and female employees may use these services to help build confidence in their ability to achieve their dreams in the sales and marketing business. Simply just knowing that they are supported and coached well can help women gain the confidence to take the next step in their careers.
  • Emphasize Higher Pay & Flexible Work Hours: Many B2B sales jobs pay very well while also allowing the salesperson to maintain a flexible schedule. A good paying job with great benefits and flexible schedules are great benefits to have in one's career, especially for someone looking to have children and raise a family. This may appeal to many women trying to balance their work and family life.
  • Educate Companies On Hiring Women: Studies have long shown that companies that mix both men and women into their B2B sales often have the strongest "bottom line" or profit margins. Ultimately, companies need to understand that not hiring women is costing their bottom line. It's hurting their business.

Conclusions:

Creating a company culture where the contributions of both men and women are equally valued will encourage many women to step forward and rise to their potential. Companies who understand the value of both men and women in their workforce, especially at higher-up sales positions in B2B markets will be instrumental in leading the way for more women to rise up to mid or upper-level sales positions. If companies emphasize ability over gender women will learn to focus on their abilities and what they bring to the table in terms of adding to the sales team rather than on what their gender is or that they are in the "minority" just by simply being female.

The women who lead the charge will, in turn, inspire other women to step up to the challenge as well. This will create a culture where more women are in B2B sales. In the end, the companies who give women these equal opportunities will benefit from higher profits and a stronger bottom line for doing it.