Does Gender Influence Sales Ability?
It was such a great question posed by Amy Quick on LinkedIn - does gender influence sales ability? I hear it quite often and have never written a post like this. Amy was also interested to know if in today's business world - do women feel like they are as successful as their male counterparts?
Amy asked me for my opinion. I knew I could not be brief since there is a lot to this - these are not simple questions nor answers. which is why the sales function in companies in North America has the second biggest gender equity gap of all corporate functions.
Women are underrepresented in every aspect of selling - especially at the VP-Sales and above level.
Is it because women are not as good at men in sales? No.
Many women are amazing in both sales and sales leadership roles. The data mentioned in my upcoming book, She Sells - Attract, Promote, and Retain Great Women in B2B Sales (pre-orders here) backs this up. Here are some highlights:
My research partner, Joel Le Bon (now with Johns Hopkins University) wrote this post about his students' sales successes when he ran the University of Houston's Program for Excellence in Selling - one of the top sales education programs in the country.
Spoiler alert: Over 8 years of tracking, they had 58.8% more female top performers than male. Also, the top female sales performers out-performed the men by 52%.
Chorus.ai looked at 100,000 calls that sales reps from their top 10 customers made. Full post here. The average "win" rate for the women reps was 9 points higher than the male reps AND average deal size was higher.
Gong.io has posted several articles about their data on women and men sellers - one area they looked at was who closes more when selling to men versus selling to women is here. Short answer? Gong's research showed that women are more successful selling to women than men are, AND women are also more successful selling to men than men are. Both.
Gong shared their research on the Hubspot blog here that showed women sellers in another study had an 11% higher win rate than their male counterparts.
According to the Sales Candidate Assessment we work with (which has been given over 1.9M times in the past 30 years), hunting and closing skills for women in sales versus men in sales are statistically the same, but overall, women have more selling skills and strengths than men do.
This may or may not be interesting to you. For me, what is more interesting is in discussing ways we can get more women into sales and help with a career path into leadership. It takes the men who are and have been in the sales profession to help make this happen. In future posts we'll share who some of those allies are and how they are making a big impact.
Lori Richardson writes and speaks on getting more women into sales and sales leadership to major corporations, startups, colleges, universities, and high schools. Join in the conversation on LinkedIn or find us on Instagram, Twitter, and here on Bravado