Every Wednesday during Women’s History Month, we’ll be featuring a list of women we admire for #womancrushwednesday. This week, we’re sharing some of our favorite female sales leaders as a collective group.
We picked our top 3 most inspiring sales leaders across a diverse set of industries. Having a hard time thinking of female sales leaders you’ve heard of? That’s because there are far fewer women than men in sales. We found these two stats from a 2015 study called “Closing the Gender Gap in Sales” by The Guardian Life Insurance Company fascinating: 60% of women have not even considered a job in sales and 67% say sales reminds them of a used car salesman.
Those who buy a Steinway may only purchase it once. Despite the fact that her sales cycle was long and limited repeat purchases, Erica sold more than $40 million in Steinways before she retired. She insisted she wasn’t in sales, but instead a “piano matchmaker.” One of her clients, journalist James B. Stewart wrote that after her clients met Erica, “many soon find themselves in the grip of musical ambitions they never knew they harbored. These ambitions often include buying a specific piano that they feel they can no longer live without…”
After finishing high school, Estee focused on working with an uncle who was a chemist and made beauty products. She would rename blends he made and sell them at local salons. She also pioneered the idea of giving a free gift with purchase — now a common marketing practice for many companies. We love this quote from her: “I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.”
The 12th employee at Oracle, Anneke architected its multi-billion inside sales team. She joined Oracle even though she meant to pursue a career in medicine or public health. Her best practices include establishing measurable, repeatable processes and always recognizing that building relationships is key to success in sales. She co-authored “Sales 2.0,” which she describes as “a combination of the data, science, metrics and predictability that inside sales has always been known for combined with the art of really getting close to our customers and understanding what they are facing in their businesses.”
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