As our society becomes more open and accepting of women in the workplace, the world of sales is also opening up its doors to women professionals taking big strides. Women have been playing an increasingly important role in the sales profession. However, it can be a challenge for women at work to make the most of the deals they are responsible for.
This article provides tips from some of the most successful women in sales to help them find ways to win deals and climb the sales ladder. While your experiences in life may sound different, we are sure that each of these tips will prove useful for you. What’s more, they are equally useful for male sales executives, as well!
Tip #1 – Be confident
The first tip from successful women in sales is to be confident. Women often feel like they are not taken seriously in the sales field, but this is not the case. When an individual, man or woman, shows that they are confident in their abilities, they will be taken seriously. Confidence will also help them to make better deals and to negotiate more successfully.
“I always spoke with a lack of confidence during my sales calls. I would act open-minded and end most of my sentences with questions. I later learned that this made me sound less assertive and I was not the one in control. It made me train myself to be in control and sound confident without dictating things to the client too much,” said a woman sales associate from India.
Tip #2 – Stay organized
Another tip for sales leaders is to be organized at all times. Women in sales need to be able to keep track of leads, contacts, and sales figures. Being organized and having a proper system for tracking leads will make it easier for them to take full advantage of every opportunity.
“I maintain an organized excel sheet with multiple tabs for all my clients. One is full of closed deals, one full of partly closed ones, and the last is full of clients still in the starting stage. This helps me track my sales pipeline and follow up with my clients consistently without looking too eager or overbearing,” said a sales account manager from India.
Tip #3 – Remain persistent
Women must be persistent if they wish to get what they want effectively. Sales can be a long process and it is important to stay in touch with potential customers. Sales professionals need to make sure they are following up and staying in contact with customers. In some cases, if the client isn’t used to a woman sales executive, it might benefit from nurturing that equation to gain stakeholder consensus a little more. This will ensure they can close the deal when the time is right.
“I used to schedule all my emails and follow-ups with my clients in advance. This was one of the stupidest moves I made in my sales career as one strategy isn’t going to work for all your clients. You can’t just write a generic sales pitch and schedule three random follow-ups for the month within a day. It’s like you’re gearing up for a lack of response and the need for a follow-up. Due to this mistake made in the name of foresight and planning ahead, I always failed,” said a sales associate from Nepal.
Tip #4 – Welcome change and flexibility
The fourth tip is for women to be flexible and welcome change by staying adaptable. The deals can change quickly, and women need to be willing to adjust their strategies to fit the changing situation. Being flexible will help them to make the most of every deal and to stay ahead of the competition while tracking their sales pipeline.
“I need to meet my targets every month, but my focus lies on nurturing my leads. I am always flexible and set my goals low, so I feel good when I achieve more. Even if I closed only three deals that month, I ensure that they will stick around for at least two more years. That’s where a company thrives — with clients that trust you and stick around rather than leave after the contract ends,” said a sales lead from Singapore.
Tip #5 – Use your strength – Empathy
Empathy is an important skill for any sales leader, as it allows them to better understand their customers’ needs and wants, and to provide them with more personalized solutions to their problems. Women have been credited time and again for their superior empathy and compassionate nature.
“By showing empathy, salespeople can build trust with their customers, which can lead to more successful deals. This will also help build a strong rapport with their clients and nurture the relationship in the long run. This will also provide an edge over your fellow team members if you remain consistent,” said a sales executive from India.
Tip #6 – Accept risks as and when they come
Women need to be willing to take risks and challenge themselves from time to time. This tip is effective for almost all sales professionals, let alone women. Sales and client calls can be a risky business, and women need to be willing to take risks if they want to be successful. Taking risks can be a great way to find new opportunities and make the most of the deals they are responsible for. It will help women test their boundaries and explore opportunities they can create for themselves.
“Take risks but make sure they are calculated and worth taking. I used to take the leap very often and act rebellious because I trusted myself. After quite a few silly mistakes, I ended up with clinical depression and a lack of self-respect! It’s great to take risks but if you fail too many times, it will affect you both personally and professionally. This is, of course, without considering the major loss for your company!” said a female senior sales executive from India.
Tip #7 – Never get caught unprepared
Finally, women need to be prepared for all scenarios no matter how unpredictable they may seem. Before entering into a deal, women should research the customer, the product, and the market. This will help them make sure they are offering the best possible deal for their customers.
“Only after consistently following market trends and knowing how my competitors are faring, did I manage to close better deals. Rather than saying our prices are affordable and competitive with market rates, I learned to be more specific. I would research in advance and mention the name of a prominent competitor or someone in the same industry. I would quote their prices and the products they offer and compare them to my deal. 90% of the time, the deal is sealed!” said a sales associate from India.
We have just scratched the surface
These are just a few of the tips from some of the most successful women in the sales profession. Women who are willing to take these tips to heart and apply them to their work in sales will be able to make the most of the deals they are responsible for.
With the right attitude and approach, women at work can be successful and make a great contribution to the business world. We would love to learn more about your tips and experiences with your clients. We believe in the power of every woman to bring change through her stories and insights. Why not join our army and enhance your sales skills?