Are you a woman who’s interested in forging a career in tech sales?
As you already know, there’s been a lot of emphasis and active conversation around increasing diversity in field of technology.
“Right now, there’s a floodlight shining on women in the workplace, with topics ranging from gender dynamics in meetings to balancing professional and personal lives and career advancement,” – Alexandra Nation in a post for Marketo.
But, pretty often, that floodlight is focused on roles like development and engineering.
However, tech sales is another area that still experiences a pretty wide gender gap. In fact, industry statistics show that only 25% of salespeople in the tech industry are women.
That number becomes even more brutal when you look at sales management—where only 12% of sales leaders are women.
There’s no denying that both sales and technology are still fairly male-dominated fields. So, when you put the two together, it’s unsurprising that women are underrepresented.
But, as the conversation about increasing diversity continues to gain steam, there’s never been a better time for women to explore careers in tech sales.
And, once they wiggle their feet into the door? Well, as the three facts below illustrate, they’re sure to do a top-notch job in those roles.
1) Women Can Change the Perception of Sales
Those oft-repeated stereotypes of what constitutes an effective salesperson typically involve quite a bit of aggression, pushiness, and perhaps even manipulation—qualities that are more frequently associated with men in the workplace.
But, as customers have become increasingly wary of those age-old, slimy sales tactics, women have a real opportunity to shift the way that customers and colleagues alike think about sales.
“The notion that a good salesperson has to be pushy, aggressive, and have a don’t-take-no-for-an-answer mentality not only implicitly excludes many women, but it’s also dated and bad for business, especially in tech sales,” – Jordan Leonard in a post for Lever.
Leonard explains that things like relationship-building, attention to detail, and trust are the qualities that make for an effective salesperson today. And, those qualities are far more inclusive of women.
“If this were the common perception of the modern salesperson, I’m betting more women would think themselves a good fit for sales and re-consider the career path they may have previously ‘leaned out’ of,” Leonard adds.
2) Women Have Strong Emotional Intelligence
There’s no way to say unquestioningly that certain personality traits are only associated with each gender. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule.
Without a doubt, both men and women offer value. Men, for example, have proven to be better at processing negative emotions (like the fallout from failure, which is unfortunately a core piece of a career in sales).
However, studies have shown that women typically do possess more emotional intelligence than men—a capability that can serve them well when it comes to connecting with customers and closing the deal.
This is especially true when it comes to one facet of emotional intelligence: empathy.
“Women tend to be better at emotional empathy than men, in general. This kind of empathy fosters rapport and chemistry,” explains Dan Goleman Ph.D., in an article for Psychology Today.
That’s obviously an important skill to be successful in sales—meaning women can bring something different to the table in tech sales careers.
3) Women Tend to Be More Collaborative
Sales is traditionally viewed as a highly competitive career field. And, in many ways, that’s true—everyone is eager to meet their quotas and get new customers to sign on the dotted line.
But, success in tech sales also requires salespeople to be highly collaborative. From IT departments to product development to customer success teams, salespeople can be far more effective when they’re willing to collaborate across the organization.
This is an area where many women excel. As reported by Derek Thompson in an article for The Atlantic, economists Peter J. Kuhn and Marie-Claire Villeval state in their paper titled “Are Women More Attracted to Cooperation Than Men?” that, in short, women are more willing to work with others.
Why? Well, men tend to overestimate their own abilities. They perceive their colleagues as incompetent and are less willing to work with them as a result.
In contrast, women demonstrate less confidence in their own competence, which results in them placing more trust in the people around them—and, thus, being more collaborative than their male counterparts.
Time To Leave Your Mark
Convinced that tech sales is the field you’ve been looking for in order to make your mark and take your career to the next level? We can’t blame you.
So, where should you get started?
Create a profile on Rainmakers to highlight your skills and prove your value, so that interested employers can reach out about having you on their team.