Unfortunately, women are still often largely underrepresented and underpaid in sales. Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggest that women are few and far between in B2B sales across most industries, including wholesale and manufacturing, where they hold just 27% of roles, and financial services, where they hold 30%t of roles.
In fact, according to LinkedIn research, while women make up about half of the entire workforce, women in sales have only increased by three percent in the last decade. This means that women make up just 39% of the salesforce. Moreover, they hold just 19% of leadership roles. Even the women who do make it to the top earn lower base pays and have lower average commission rates than their male peers.
The sales world could hugely benefit from attracting and retaining more women. A growing body of research suggests that women make successful sales professionals. They even hit their quotas at a higher rate than men, according to one study. Harvard Business Review calls woman the “future of B2B sales” for that reason.
If you're a woman in sales or looking for a career in sales, here's a list of resources to leverage in order to grow your network, find jobs, and learn more skills. The sales world needs you — and needs you at your best.
Build your network by getting involved in any one of the following active communities for women in sales. You'd be surprised by the thousands of women who are already involved.
In the FGB Community, you can reply to other FGBers' questions or post your own questions. You can also simply share experiences as a woman in sales. Regardless of how you choose to use the forum, you're certain to connect with other like-minded professional women in the community.
Women in Revenue offers a mentorship program for women in sales to grow their skills and network with other women in the industry who, studies show, tend to hire each other.
“Women in Revenue is a group of leaders and up-and-coming leaders in sales, marketing, and other revenue impacting roles,” the site reads. It was founded in San Francisco, and its members are women who primarily work within the tech industry. They are focused on 1) education and awareness of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, 2) giving back to women through mentorship programs, opportunities and access to resources, 3) Moving members careers forward and 4) having fun!
The National Association of Women Sales Professionals (NAWSP) is an organization for women who work in the sales industry. “NAWSP brings women together in what has traditionally been the boys' club of B2B and B2C sales professionals,” the site reads. “By working together, our 15,000 members develop new approaches to selling that shake up the establishment and make each of us far more effective than we could be by working alone.” The organization supports women in reaching the top one percent of sales professionals.
Women in Sales Everywhere (WISE) is an organization that supports women through the male-dominated sales industry. It’s a division of CloserIQ, which is a global community that is dedicated to women in sales.
“Our goal is to create a place for women in sales, regardless of geography or seniority, to meet peers, find mentors, and create growth opportunities, in order to systematically change the executive suite statistics in our industry,” the site reads.
Women Sales Pros is a community of women in sales who come together to lift each other up, share resources and learn from one another. It’s also a place where companies come to find, recruit, onboard, retain, and promote talented women in sales. You can check out the organization’s podcast, read the articles, or even attend in-person events to network with other female sales professionals.
The Unleash conference in San Diego is a place where you’ll learn go-to-market strategies, funnel insights and more from industry leaders. You can go to sessions about operational excellence, learn from successful sales representatives and network with other sales professionals in attendance, as well.
The Sales 3.0 Conference in San Francisco is another great networking event where you can meet and greet other successful women in sales. According to the conference site, it “provides sales, sales operations, and sales enablement leaders with strategic insight and best practices that drive improved sales performance and revenue growth.” Speakers at each conference are an awesome mix of sales VPs and CEOs from companies that lead the industry, influencers, analysts, and experts on management and leadership.
The annual SaasStr conference is a great place to mingle with more than 50,000 Cloud and SaaS Hybrid attendees, attend hundreds of workshops and go to thousands of mentoring sessions. You’ll meet tons of professionals who work in the sales industry at this conference, including executives, founders, and VCs alike.
Need help finding a job in sales? Use these resources to land your dream job.
Search for sales jobs on Fairygodboss. You can even filter by companies to help narrow down your search. All you have to do is type in a keyword that's related to a job or company that you might be interested in, and get scrolling through the various openings that align.
PowerToFly was launched in 2014 to connect Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing startups with women who wanted to work for companies that valued gender diversity and inclusion. Today, the organization has grown immensely and hosts daily virtual events, webinars, and more, connecting women with such companies. Plus, it boasts a number of tools for companies, too. So, if you're looking for a job with a company that'll respect you, attending one of these events is a great first step.
Want your resume to speak for itself? Try out one of Zety's many sales resume templates to plug in your experiences and skills. You can choose a template for tons of different types of positions. You can also, of course, check out Fairygodboss for our top resume tips that are sure to get you hired.
Sharpen your sales skills with the following advice columns and books.
Fairygodboss is chock full of thousands upon thousands of career advice articles. Just do a quick search, and you're bound to find the information that you need. Whether you're searching for the how to elevate your sales career, how to become better at sales, how to become a sales representative, sales career advice or anything in between, we've got you covered.
#GirlsClub is an organization for women in sales that is “changing the face of sales worldwide.” “#GirlsClub is committed to changing the face of sales by empowering more women to earn roles in leadership, helping reverse the zero growth trend of women leaders in sales,” the site reads. “We address this by providing a cross-company community and a six-month, exclusive training program.” The certification program for women in the industry helps these professionals to grow their skills and land better jobs.
Sales Hacker is an online resource for articles about all-things sales. Check out articles on the site, listen to the podcast, watch videos, take part in trainings and webinars, and more. You can even search for jobs on this site.
Yesware is a provider of sales tools and an online platform full of advices for sales professionals, including an all-in-one sales toolkit. It offers an email tracking product, a campaign creator, a meeting scheduler, follow-up templates, reporting and analytics tools and more. But you can also check out the site for articles to learn more about sales and develop your sales skills.
Chorus is a tool for capturing and analyzing customer sales calls, meetings and emails. The purpose is to “create visibility, drive process and behavior changes, and deliver bottom-line impact.” Besides the product, however, Chorus also has a robust resource center for tips and tricks for sales professionals.
The Salesforce blog is a great place to go to learn new skills. Find tips for sales leaders, inspiring customer stories, top sales strategies and more. You can also search products by industry, need, services, and more. Likewise, you can search for events, from in-person trainings to webinars.
If you're interviewing for jobs but navigating the various challenges for women in that stage of the game, pay a visit to Ladies Get Paid, "where women learn to level up." The platform will equip you with the tools and confidence you need to land a job that pays you what you deserve. For example, you can simply subscribe to the video library for an all-access pass to over 100 hours of expert courses. Ladies Get Paid also partners with companies on employee training, culture consulting, and marketing efforts to elevate women.
Forbes is a go-to resource for anyone working in tech sales to keep tabs on trends, find advice and more. One particular article, "How to Write a Showstopping Cover Letter as a Techie," is a must-read for anyone writing up a cover-letter for a sales job in the tech sector. This article offers advice from top tech professionals, including words of wisdom like this: "In tech jobs, your portfolio often speaks volumes more than your words, so make sure you have one that shows off your skills."
This book by Daniel Pink is a New York Times business bestseller, a Wall Street Journal business bestseller and a Washington Post bestseller. Pink teaches a popular masterclass on sales and persuasion, and his book explores the power of selling in your own life. He dives into the ways in which we employ sales techniques in our everyday lives and how to become a better overall sales professional.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.