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Sales is a Meritocracy Regardless of Gender w/ Bridget Gleason [Episode 155]

My regular guest on Front Line Friday is Bridget Gleason, VP of Corporate Sales for SumoLogic. In today’s episode, Bridget and I discuss crazy quarter end deals and how the sales department and sales managers should be balanced in gender.

Bullet Points:

  • Learn about some of the crazy deals Bridget and I had earlier in our sales career at quarter end.
  • What can sales reps and managers do to get balance during the hectic quarter end?
  • How to get the best deal control.
  • The key challenges women have in sales.
  • Why listening to customer wants and needs helps during the hiring process.

Don’t get caught in the quarter-end madness; make sure to map out each deal when the decision might happen. If you have a good pipeline in place, you can solve all the problems with deal control. Bigger deals create more lumpiness – they aren’t as straightforward as a SaaS mode,l which doesn’t have the huge ticket price.

There aren’t many women in sales or sales management positions. Being a minority makes that harder to overcome. Job descriptions are written more for the aggressive, outgoing, extroverted traits, which most women self-identify themselves out of these characteristics. The environment can be more of a boy’s locker room, which most women will not identify with at all.

People gravitate towards others that are like us. As the unconscious biases persist we keep hiring more and more individuals that look and act like us. Sales is a male dominated industry, in turn, this attracts more men.

There was a study done that shows on average, women sales reps perform at a relatively higher level as customers gravitate more towards the traits women naturally have. These traits include: empathy, problem solving skills, analytical abilities, and natural curiosity, instead of what companies are typically hiring for, which is the archetypical, aggressive extroverts.

Sales need to be balanced gender-wise. There are a lot of things each of us can learn from one another. One issue is that there isn’t a big pool of candidates to choose from, especially for women sales managers. Sales is meritocracy regardless of gender.

More About Bridget Gleason:

My first job in sales?

Selling and networking products and desktop computers for Xerox.

My most powerful sales tool?

LinkedIn Navigator.

One book every salesperson should read?

Winner’s Dream by Bill McDermott.

Music that psyches me up before an important sales call?

I tend to go quiet and focus and role play the call instead of listening to music.