|Amber Heard in Syrup|
While being a woman in sales does have its challenges (including a significant pay gap, more on that in a later post), there are also some advantages. Here are the five biggest advantages that women have as sales reps:
1) They have an easier time overcoming stereotypes - The misconception that people have about sales reps being untrustworthy is one that every rep -- male and female alike -- needs to overcome on a regular basis. The advantage that women have is that since they don't fit the mold of the "fast-talking alpha male," it's much easier for them to change a customer's perception and earn their trust. While women still need to overcome objections to cost, value, and questions about the product, concerns about trustworthiness are typically easier for a female sales rep to counter.
2) They're differentiated - Women have the benefit of what marketers call differentiation: the process of distinguishing a product of service to make it stand out and be more attractive to a particular market. The difference is that with a female sales rep, the differentiation takes place on the sales side of the transaction. In industries filled with male sales reps, if you're doing business with a woman, this will be highlighted in your mind, and make the experience more unique, memorable, and provide the female sales rep with an opportunity to stand out from her competitors.
3) They're more relatable to the buying public - It's estimated that women drive a staggering 70-80% of all consumer purchasing. Many of those women feel much more comfortable dealing with a female sales rep than they do with a male, creating a significant advantage for women working in sales. Relatability with a customer frequently leads to the most powerful factor when a customer is making a purchasing decision: trust.
4) They're networking pros - An often overlooked advantage of being a female sales rep is the myriad of gender-specific groups typically open for membership. Professional women's groups, industry or role-specific can open up doors that men can't access, along with potential customers who are already looking to connect with like-minded women.
5) They're collaborative problem solvers - While this isn't solely a female trait, females are known for being more inclusive and flexible in their problem solving. This comes in handy in sales where listening to the customer and making them feel a part of the solution is often critical. Women can make buyers feel like they're really being heard and that the rep is working with them to come up with a solution as opposed to simply pushing product.
We'd love to hear from you. What advantages do you feel women have in sales careers?
Vidya is the head of marketing for AppMesh, the makers of SalesMesh. Prior to joining AppMesh, she worked for Salesforce. Her favorite sales movie is Tommy Boy.
SalesMesh is the personal CRM/sales app that works the way you sell. Automatically track customer interactions, notes, schedule follow-ups, collaborate with your network, sync to and from Salesforce all from your iPhone and iPad -- even when you're offline. Learn more here.