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Lori Richardson commented on

Why You Should Apply for that Sales Role You Are Not 100% Qualified For


If you are a woman and have been told by a manager or leader in your company to consider a sales (or sales leadership) role but feel that you are not 100% qualified, I’m suggesting you APPLY ANYWAY. If you are looking at roles at another company in sales or sales leadership and you don’t match 100%, apply anyway.


Yes, apply anyway.


For three reasons.


  • Companies write a job description hoping for “the perfect” person that meets all 100% of their criteria. Men tend to apply when they meet 60% and women won’t tend to apply unless they meet all 100%. The women top sales leaders I’ve met and work with WANT you to know that you don’t need to meet all of the criteria to apply for a position! Step up and see what happens.


  • A job listing doesn’t rule the hiring process. Women often act like it does. If someone encourages you to apply for an internal role, find out more – see what the upside is of applying and what, if any, downside. Most likely it will be a good exercise in learning more about your champions (or lack of) and you will learn something about yourself.


  • There is no downside in a sales role to ask to step up and handle more responsibility. SDRs (Sales Development Reps) and BDRs (Business Development Reps) do it all the time, looking to become AE’s (Account Execs).


  • Know what the basics are to do the role – and then go for it – apply.


Don’t think that women are not applying for lack of confidence, either.


Women Leadership expert Tara Mohr didn’t believe the often-quoted HP Study and did her own research. Turns out that most women don’t want to waste their time or energy applying for something they don’t think they will get.


Sales is an admirable profession.


We need great women in sales roles – especially sales leadership.


If you like the idea of a business growing because you are out there helping to solve buyers’ issues through the exchange of your company’s products / services for dollars, you should really think about a sales role.

Lori Richardson
B2B Sales Growth Strategist; Help Company Leaders Build a Better Sales Pipeline at Score More Sales
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Taryn Lanaghan
Head of Recruiting at Avenue Talent Partners
Yes to this! As a woman in sales turned recruiter, I've experienced this from both sides. I've said 'no' to something I didn't think I was qualified for and regretted it later. Now, as a sales recruiter, our clients are begging (seriously!) for female sales executives and leaders! 
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8 months ago
Jula Pereira
Marketing Consultant at PBHS
I 100% agree. Men will often take that risk and fake it 'til they make it. We need more women to act with confidence and just apply.
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11 days ago
Lauren Elliott
Operations Director at Teem - Global Software Sales Recruitment
Hey Lori Richardson - is there a report or anything that talks about that stat in point 1? Would be great to read more about that!
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10 days ago
Lori Richardson
B2B Sales Growth Strategist; Help Company Leaders Build a Better Sales Pipeline at Score More Sales
HI Lauren - thanks for the note. Take a look at https://hbr.org/2014/08/why-women-dont-apply-for-jobs-unless-theyre-100-qualified  - it's funny because that statistic is from 2014 so it would be awesome if we did a survey and see what we'd hear in 2020. I'm convinced that it was not because women were less confident, but rather because women take a... See more
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2 days ago
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