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Looking to hire Sales and Business Development Talent in Boston

Hello, fellow War-Room Sales Pros,


I'm managing the Sales and Business Development Team at an awesome startup in Boston and we're looking to build out our Sales and BD Team here.


I'm looking to add some diversity here to our Boston Sales Team and we absolutely need more Woman Talent. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to approach this? Our male-to-female ratio is going to be 10:2 in August when 3 new hires start. In today's age, it's hard to get this message out or even post something like this on Linkedin, because it can potentially get me canceled, so I'm leaning on the War Room for some help... Does anyone have any advice or recommendations on how to approach this?


Thank you!

👥 Hiring
56
GeneralCorp
Notable Contributor
+14
General of The War Room
Im very interested in this thread. I came here to delete it (cuz I thought it was recruiting), but this is actually what the WR is about. 
ReigningStacks
Enterprise Account Executive
The Ole Bait and Switch @GeneralCorp   Reading, unlike all the reps in the brackets. hahaha. Verkaladata
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Thanks Corp
Jackywaky
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
Always watching in the shadows.

This comment was removed

Incognito
WR Officer
+10
Master of Disaster
Fuck all the way off with that comment @justatip.topproducer 
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funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
Kahluapons
Our company has pretty much the same ratio as yours...from what I hear from our hiring managers, it's just that not many women apply. Hiring any qualified person for sales is tough and there are way more men in sales than women.

As long as you're giving a woman's resume the same consideration you'd give a man's, you're doing fine. I don't believe in "trying" to attract women or any other minority - nobody wants to be or feel like a diversity hire, they want to feel they got the job because they were the best candidate.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Thanks, @funcoupons I'm 100% with you on that one. We deff don't want to just hire to hit a diversity metric. Finding the right candidate with the talent and experience is absolutely more important to us than hitting a diversity metric. What I'm afraid of is that ratio going to 15:2 in September and for this to be a bigger and more growing challenge as we grow. 
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
Kahluapons
It's just the reality of trying to hire women for a position that's more appealing to men...you're unlikely to ever get a 50/50 split between men and women. Same goes for a hospital trying to hire male nurses. 
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iworkinchonies
Politicker
+4
Growth Enablement Manager
Include women in the hiring/interview process! I've found women/BIPOC are much more likely to continue on in the hiring process if they've seen people like themselves throughout the interview/hiring process. Also, make an effort to keep the ratio of interviews as even as possible. In sales that can be difficult, but if for every 3 interviews you have 1 with a woman, you're more likely to hire a woman in the end. 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
That's great to know we'll keep that in mind and let our recruiters know.
no
nowimdun
Opinionated
+1
Account Executive (SaaS)
^^^ Representation is critical! Another thing to address or be conscious of is the tendency for people to gravitate towards people they see themselves in. I’ve heard that “there’s not a deep enough talent pool” when it comes to hiring more women but in reality men are often hired based on potential and women based on past accomplishments. It’s because it’s far easier to put yourself in the shoes of someone you see yourself in and it’s harder to see yourself in the other gender. Not to mention that it perpetuates the issue when companies are bring in and training diverse talent. 

final thought is that you should  have short and long term goals for creating a more diverse team. Put more women on your panels, interview fmore women even if they don’t check all of the boxes, take some fliers on women who you find potential with (already happens with men) and work towards a long term tangible goal. 
Incognito
WR Officer
+10
Master of Disaster
Have you tried looking at recruiting outside the industry? Like in areas where the women have similar soft skills, so you know that they will adapt quickly? 

Diversity is always a good idea. If you’re not hiring with it, you’re losing a sale to that one demographic which relates better to someone similar to themselves. 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@Incognito do you have any examples or ideas about some industries you're referring to? 
Incognito
WR Officer
+10
Master of Disaster
I don’t sell SaaS, so I’m not entirely sure. Think about what the soft skills of your ideal hire would have, and then try to brainstorm about other jobs which would also use them. Need someone who is constantly looking for revenue generating opportunities while having thick enough skin to be told to fuck off constantly? Parking cop comes to mind 🤷‍♀️

I know there are a LOT of women in my former industry who are straight up underpaid, overworked, and full of grit. The ratio of women to men there is 10000:1. 
Show 8 more replies
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+3
MId Market Sales Manager
My team has had a ton of success hiring women from the restaurant industry. They often have the skillsets needed to be strong SDR/BDR. Typically waiters/bartenders that we have brought in understand hard work, the idea of a commission driven income since most of their current income is from tips, and have thick skin from dealing with shitty people all day. 

Right now there are a TON of former restaurant employees not going back to work because of the gov't assistance and hot job market outside of their industry so going after women in that segment may lead to success for you.  


In my experience hiring for entry level roles, we have more success taking someone with no sales experience but the soft skills to win (hard work, resiliency, coachability) than someone with prior sales experience that is unwilling to change their ways. Outside the box thought for you that might help point you in the right direction. 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@UrAssIsSaaS I'm already on it 🙃, I 1000% agree with you... plus they'll have weekends off so they'll appreciate that and grind even harder.
AlexT
Opinionated
+2
Account Executive
Heard the same about recruiters from agencies specifically. Better women/men ratio, tough sale since commoditized service, great negotiators since it is hard to justify their fees.  Bonus: They know the cold calling grind for B2B. 
Show 1 more replies
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+5
Sales Associate
It's kind of tough to target a job towards women, most sales roles are dominated by men. The women that I have worked with are absolute quota crushers, so I think more women in this space would be a good thing. 

Not sure if this is something that would work, but can you potentially register for career fairs/alumni lists at some of the community colleges/universities? Might be a good chance to find some talented individuals there. 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Thanks @DrunkenArt I'm 1000% with you on that. Every Woman I worked with within sales and BD has absolutely crushed and destroyed it. And yes, this is absolutely a male-dominated role, so it makes it so much harder to find a woman that is unhappy and looking to change companies. Career fairs at community colleges and universities are on my list for next year. It might be a little too late now but I'll start getting into it, we're gonna get on top of it for next year though. Thanks again for the feedback! 
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+5
Sales Associate
It's always tough to keep women in the role as well. With men dominating the ratio, it's always a lot sports and inappropriate topics as well. Keeping a really positive and open office environment will help as well. I wish you the best of luck on your search as well! 
Show 1 more replies
Ladycloser
Fire Starter
+3
Sales Executive
As a female- I would hate to know that part of the reason why I was hired was bc I'm a female. Maybe this is unpopular opinion, and I do think diversity is important, but at the end of the day I think that hiring based on merit is the #1. 

On the other hand though- I do think that a woman can bring a special touch that you may not get with your typical male. Again maybe this isn't a "PC" answer but men and women have different strengths, so diversiying your team is super smart in this regard.

I agree with the previous posters- not really any way to "target" women to apply, but once they have- make sure you include women in the interview process and try to include women in your leadership as well.

But at the end of the day- Merit should always come first.
CorpBroette
Opinionated
+3
New Business Account Executive
@Ladycloser totally with you on that I want to earn it through merit and believe I always have.  

That said the above comments about subconscious bias and hiring people like you are correct and proven so I do believe you have to make a conscious effort to mitigate these and ensure the process is not favourable to male applicants.  

@TheRealGMoney There has been a lot of research on Gender Bias in Job Descriptions (my HR team arranged for an external analyst to  present on this to us however you can find a lot of info on this with a simple Google, or Bing, search). It is also true that women will often, not always, only apply for jobs if they hit ALL of the criteria whereas a man will if he his 50% so consider moving some of your "must haves" to the "nice to haves" and focus the interview questions on those you have moved.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Thanks for the feedback @CorpBroette this all new to me but its supper helpful and makes so much sense!
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@Ladycloser I'm with you on that 1000%... Trust me, we're not just hiring woman to hit a diversity metric.. at the end of the day, whoever is more qualified for the role will earn that position, we need revenue generators. The 2 woman we have here on the US Team are actually both leaders and are a part of the interview process.. The challenge here is sourcing Women candidates, because sales is such a male dominated industry and women in sales absolutely crush it/dominate (why would they leave a role and company they're comfortable at and making $$$$$), it makes it super challenging getting them in the door.. hope that makes sense ? 
Ladycloser
Fire Starter
+3
Sales Executive
Totally makes sense! And I can see why you came to answer the question in the first place bc as far as a helpful answer on how to source talent... I don't have much!

Maybe try to find some "women in tech" groups that your current gals can get involved in and then post jobs in those type of groups to get some more gals seeing the posting in the first place. This way you can avoid stating anything about blatantly looking for women applicants in the post (which I'm sure you wouldn't do anyways).
Show 3 more replies
SaasyS
Major Account Executive
Great question and appreciate the openness and candour. A lot of good comments here but auditing your postings and language used can be a huge help. Verbiage like ‘warrior, ninja, beer Friday’s, ping pong, crushing’ etc is proven to detract women from applying as it perpetuates a certain culture. I’d run your postings and even language on your site in general through a DEI platform or consultancy. But agreed with folks who are saying ensuring you have women in the room when interviews are happening (which is hard if you don’t have many women at the company). Don’t hire for hiring sake but making it a priority will shift the diversity metrics over time 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@SaasyS Thanks for the feedback here, this one is really important and no one else has brought this up yet. Our messaging is on par with making this inclusive and not making people feel uncomfortable. We're deff trying to get ahead of this early on, and obviously, the skill and background matter more than just hitting a diversity metric just to do it. It deff helps us to have awesome women leaders on our team, that are open to having these conversations with candidates. 
MrsTechSales
Politicker
+9
Midwest Market Manager
Everyone I know who has gone from retail banking into sales has killed it. (Obviously only those with strong personalities have even considered it). I started by being a teller. Talk about getting kicked in the teeth all day! 10/10 recommend poaching someone from a Assistant Branch Manager or Commercial Development position. The ability to navigate those tough conversations with poise and grace while also having empathy is innate in the position. Also those positions mostly populated by women.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Love it! Thank you @MrsTechSales ill add that to my list!! 
MrsTechSales
Politicker
+9
Midwest Market Manager
Jesus... I can't believe you read that whole thing. I hate the app because it's easier to typo. Very embarrassed rn.
Show 3 more replies
GrindingSales
Opinionated
+5
Account Executive
There is a great book on this concept called The Broad Influence by Jay Newton-Small.  It goes into great detail and statistics supporting your goal of evening out the ratio.  According to Newton-Small, evening out the ratio leads to a significant boost in morale, workplace collaboration and revenue growth. 

Good luck in your search and curious as well!
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@GrindingSales Love it! I think so too, I can relate to those from previous jobs I've held
GrindingSales
Opinionated
+5
Account Executive
The percentages rise even higher as women are promoted into leadership positions due to a scientifically documented ability to show empathy and compassion and willingness to always have the bigger picture in mind.  I'm excited for your company!  You are awesome to be on board with this!
Jackywaky
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
Good Stuff - We have a 4:10 ratio in the company. Currently, the hiring process involves two recruiters (male and female) and two separate interviews. The reason behind that - in theory - is to ensure objectiveness and also make every candidate feel comfortable with the interlocutor. Long story short, if you feel more like sharing with a female/male then you can do it with ease. We also have this interesting policy in which we don't check the names on the resume - just the profile, which is interesting at some point because both, interviewer and candidate, arrive at the meeting expecting to get to know "someone". Make sure you give equal value to your female candidate's resume - many great women are more than overqualified to take your company from good to great. 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
I love that, I'll share this with our recruiters here!! Thanks @Jackywaky 
APalmoze
Good Citizen
Business Development
Any openings for CSM and Sales Engineer?
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Yes, CSM/AM
wHaTyAgOtCoOkInG
Catalyst
+4
Account Executive
Lots of great talent in boston, good post work culture too- im sure with the right agency / advertising, you will attract good talent
LordBusiness
Politicker
+7
Chief Revenue Officer
I've experienced this quite a bit over my career, as to be candid I think women are generally speaking better sellers (More organized, better time management, etc.)  I'd suggest connecting with some of the below and working up from there.   in.  https://sweetfishmedia.com/organizations-for-saleswomen/ 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Thanks @LordBusiness, I agree :) 
TheNegotiator
Opinionated
+5
Sr. Director, Global Sales
Gosh, please don't crucify me for this one.  Read my comment through before passing judgement... but my recommendation? Don't even try...

In my hiring experience, going out of your way to recruit a specific demographic is always a huge fail.  You really can't control what you can't control.  Make the opp. at your company as inclusive, as universally appealing, and as exciting as possible.  After that let the cards fall as they do.

I'm transitioning roles as we speak having given notice, but when I started here at the company I'm now leaving, I was brought in to revive our area sales and hire a new team from scratch.  I've been successful in doing that.  My first hiring round was 100% women.  I sent out 4 offers, and the 1 male declined, the 3 who accepted were all female.

My 2nd round was 4 more, all offers accepted, 50/50.

My 3rd round, only 2 people, was all male.

I don't discriminate by age, sex, race, colour, size.  I couldn't care less.  If you're qualified, I see potential, and if we can work together, you're in if you want to be.  But you really can't control who you get.

I interviewed (and didn't hire) a guy who came out of the world of selling sports packages; box seats, season tickets, etc to companies as entertainment perks or performance rewards.  


The pandemic, for obvious reasons made his job quite challenging.  Out of interest and I told him as much, toward the end of the interview I asked about the M:F ratio of his colleagues.  He said it was 14:1 - and the 1 woman was their top performer.  They seek out women to hire, and can't find any who want to do the job of selling sports entertainment.  How stereotypical is that?  It was great money too, but that's just how things go.

You have the right mindset, you don't discriminate.  Build and run a great team, the demographics will take care of themselves.

Just my humble opinion.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@TheNegotiator thank you! It all makes sense and right on par with what we have going. My #1 focus is building the right foundation with the right talent, this deff helps!
RAA
Politicker
+2
AE
I’ve seen people with service backgrounds be successful in sales. (ex: waiters/waitresses) I worked in restaurants in college and find a lot of the people skills transferred well to SaaS. Also there’s 50/50 split with men and women.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Thanks @RAA we've been working on that, the tough part is not all of them are available/active on Linkedin. 
Lu
Lucy710
Politicker
+3
Account Manager, Corporate & Strategic Accounts
I work in DEI and sales (exact opposites)- and I can tell you that almost no company has the formula quite right! Props for actually THINKING ABOUT IT. If you are truly serious, you may want to reach out to women’s networking or women in leadership groups in your community or at a local college- not for straight recruiting!!! Sponsor an event, offer to mentor, encourage your team to get involved! This will give you a natural pipeline of talent down the road and might even have some saleswomen consider your company that may not have without your participation!!!
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Thanks, @Lucy710 I wanna stay on top of this early on as it'll be more of a challenge as we keep growing. I'm working on getting involved with Colleges and universities that are local and both of our leaders who happen to be Women are part/joining more Saleswomen groups/networks. 
Lu
Lucy710
Politicker
+3
Account Manager, Corporate & Strategic Accounts
You could also see if there’s a Boston women’s network and I know there is a Boston junior league! I’m only a few states away. :)
Jbeans
Contributor
+2
Director of Sales
When I started at my company, I was one of the few females - now after6 years we have more female directors or managers then men. Yet still in a male dominated industry. Slowly we acquired more female talent by using that female talent to attract like. 3 of the top tech females are connected from previous jobs so I’d ask your current females to put the good word out… Post on LinkedIn about inclusion and diversity- talk to their networks. It’s the best way imo to have them speak to their experience. Worked for us.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@Jbeans Thanks for the feedback and I can totally relate to it... 2/4 of our leaders are Women, 1 being promoted 2 months in the role. We have the type of environment for anyone to thrive in and the earlier we get on top of this and get the word out about our openings, the easier it will be to scale that growth and have an above industry average headcount. From my experience in Sales, Women in sales are always at the top of the leaderboard, this isn't a matter of diversity but it's a matter of getting that talent to help drive our growth! Thanks again! 
Jbeans
Contributor
+2
Director of Sales
Totally. By diversity- I think for me as a woman - I’d be more apt to want to join  a company with diversity promoted - or maybe a diverse culture is a better way to say it- to know that as a woman I’d be treated equally. Does that make sense? Lol. And yes women in sales are top in my company !! (We have some great killer guys too!! No disrespect to my boys!)
Gizzeff
Old School Bravo
Head of Business Development
The biggest issue for women over the last 20 years has been childcare. Have you thought about implementing benefits? Check out my company TOOTRiS for a solution there. 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@Gizzeff That's a hugeeee idea.. Thanks for the feedback! 
Gizzeff
Old School Bravo
Head of Business Development
🤜🤛 If you want to check out my company, shoot me an email gbarnett@tootris.com
Wi
Wildcard
Praised Answer
+2
Account Executive
If you have to force it, it is not a good fit.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Agree! 
Wi
Wildcard
Praised Answer
+2
Account Executive
In one year, this forum will be as woke and unusable as all the others out there. This is how it starts.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
At least we're talkin about it
RealAF
Good Citizen
+2
National Director of Business Development
Try to get female leaders in your company to promote the job on LinkedIn as well. OR Be Bold and post about how you traditionally only have men apply for sales roles and you want to encourage women to apply as well.
ChefK
Good Citizen
SDR
You need to go to PUT IN THE WORK. POINT. BLANK. PERIOD. just like recruiting minorities, you have to go where they are and start getting creative. Go to the universities in Boston that have sales programs and ask for help. If you can hire remote, tap into new networks. I went to a sales networking event last week and I swear to you ALL DUDES. Reach out to women in sales on Li, join their groups. Go to women In sales clubhouse rooms. Ask the best sales women if they know other really good women in sales. Also get women on your board and have them bring in other dope women. 
neversettle
Politicker
+4
SDR
Female SDR here - kudos to you for seeing our worth! We can kick ass with the best of em! 
425megs
Renewal Manager
My current company hosted Women In Tech happy hours and did small events a few times a week with groups of 20ish potential hires. That’s what got me to join! The company recruiter reached out on LinkedIn inviting me. It was a 2 hour event with a Q&A with sales leaders (not just women leaders) who talked about the culture and company plans and afterwards you got a chance to chat with hiring managers. It was also great because once I got hired, the people I met at the Happy Hour we’re in my same hiring group so I already knew some people :)
techsales
Good Citizen
Enterprise Account Executive
Woman sales savage here.

Audit the job description to identify whether there are any gendered terms (great article here:  https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/10-ways-remove-gender-bias-job-listings/)

Pull up sales navigator and do a search for sales reps in a similar industry or competitor. I'm a native Bostonian and know a plethora of amazing women working as sales reps--I don't buy the idea that there isn't a talent pool.

Consider personalized outreach from leaders on your team via LinkedIn to qualified potential candidates vs. sending the generic recruiting emails.

The tendency at startups is to hire people you know, which in many cases means men leaders hire their man friends from other companies. Maybe you require people to interview at least one diverse candidate or woman for the role before awarding it to someone else.
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
@techsales Thanks you're the second person that has brought this up -- I'll bring this to our publishers and look over our job postings. This is really helpful. I'm also hiring and love your delivery.. Just saying! 
ju
justatopproducer
Opinionated
+1
National Consultant
Wow, my point since you missed it @chefk .. hire the best person for the job regardless of sex, race, or anything else tax benefits or not. I obviosuly offended you and apoligize as that wasn’t my goal. Please keep your childish insults to yourself and keep it professional. This isnt your twitter account. @therealGmoney of course bud, im happy to hear others opinions.. I just wish they made more sense rather than a waste of my time.
TechSalesQueen
Catalyst
+5
Sr. Enterprise Account Executive
Best advice I can give you as a woman who joined a company recently out of Boston who was focused on the exact same thing - if you don’t plan to make them feel safe and create an inclusive environment once you hire them - don’t bother wasting our time with coming to find us in the first place.
ReigningStacks
Enterprise Account Executive
Promote "Topless Tuesdays" for all the empowered women who want to burn their bras.

But seriously, Can you even call them Women anymore?  Do we have to ask for non binary, gender neutral persons to join our sales team?  

To @DrunkenArt comment, it's true.  I've met so many women reps throughout my career that are savages and it's a great vibe to have on the sales floor.  I've spoken with recruiters and they say they get less women applying than men, which i think is because most of us are degenerates and always end up in sales.  
Incognito
WR Officer
+10
Master of Disaster
There’s a lot to unpack in your comment. 

idk about anyone else, but it’s giving me a lot of “rapey” vibes. 
TheRealGMoney
Arsonist
+4
Sales and Business Development Manager
Its obviously a joke... but okay thanks
Show 2 more replies
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+5
Sales Associate
Completely understand the point you made, even if it wasn't the best way to word it. There's a certain stigma involved in the selling space as well, where many women just straight up don't feel comfortable even applying. I think the next group of millennials and younger will do a solid job of promoting more equality in the workspace. 
Incognito
WR Officer
+10
Master of Disaster
….when asshats think that promoting “topless Tuesdays” is a good recruiting technique and can’t understand how far their head is up their ass (even in jest), it’s no wonder women don’t feel comfortable in the industry. 
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