Sales Executive Corner

Female sellers are key to unlocking future sales success

Mary Shea, VP Global Innovation Evangelist At Outreach's Avatar

Mary Shea, VP Global Innovation Evangelist At Outreach

I can’t believe summer flew by so quickly. Here in Falmouth, Maine the leaves have a hint of vibrancy that will flourish in October. In the world of B2B sales, the U.S. Open and Labor Day are harbingers that it’s time for the final push to ensure pipelines yield success as the calendar year comes to a close. Due to current economic headwinds, meeting targets this year will be more difficult than ever.

The number of female B2B sellers has fallen

In addition to challenges brought on by external economic factors, my research highlighted an increasingly worrying problem — the decline of women in B2B sales. Three years ago I conducted research on women in sales and found that women only made up a third of B2B sellers, despite representing half the global population. This June in an Outreach commissioned study conducted by Dynata the research revealed that the number of B2B sellers who identify as women fell by 10%.1

To succeed, sales teams must reflect the world around them

As a former seller and sales leader, these problems strike close to home and must be added to the growing list of problems sales leaders need to solve. Buyers and sellers alike want to purchase from and work at companies whose sales teams are representative of the world around them. And we all know there’s a business case for having more diverse selling teams. In a recent Forrester Consulting B2B buyer survey commissioned by Outreach, 85% of millennial respondents agreed or strongly agreed that sales teams need to be diverse and reflect the world around them while in the Outreach/Dynata study 90% of B2B sellers agreed that diverse teams are more successful.2 Female sellers typically achieve quota more consistently than their male counterparts. This is just one reason why diverse selling organizations have better sales outcomes than their competitors.

As Outreach’s Global Innovation Evangelist, part of my remit is to conduct trend research to help our customers and the market get a leg up in preparing for and adapting their organizations to thrive no matter what the future holds. Increasingly, millennial buyers demand values-based experiences. In the Forrester-commissioned study, 73% of millennial respondents said they would reconsider a purchase if the supplier’s values didn’t align with their own.3 Having a sales team with female representation will be part of those values and will impact buying decisions.

As we enter a new era of sales, B2B sales leaders who take the steps now to attract, hire, enable, and retain female sellers will outpace their competitors.

At Outreach, we are committed to helping organizations meet this challenge head on

We are so pleased to host the industry’s flagship women in sales summit. Join us in Napa, CA at Outreach’s 2022 Revenue Innovators Women In Sales Summit where I will be leading sessions focused on the future of B2B sales — and how B2B leaders can reverse the alarming trend of declining female sellers.

We have an amazing agenda with sessions that will be led by female revenue leaders and allies from iconic B2B brands. And don’t miss my interview with the one-and-only Venus Williams, a trailblazer for gender pay equity, on the main stage.

Outreach Women In Sales Summit

Endnotes

  1. Sources: Seller Motivation Online Survey conducted by Dynata on behalf of Outreach, June 2022. Base: 1201 (922 male and 279 female) Global B2B sellers and managers
  2. Sources: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Outreach, April 2022. Base: 212 B2B directors and above that influence purchasing decisions across North America and UK organizations in various industries. And Sources: Seller Motivation Online Survey conducted by Dynata on behalf of Outreach, June 2022. Base: 1201 (922 male and 279 female) Global B2B sellers and managers
  3. Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Outreach, April 2022. Base: 212 B2B directors and above that influence purchasing decisions across North America and UK organizations in various industries.