Before Today I had Never Met a VP of Sales Who Is a Woman

Ali Powell
Jan 15, 2016 · 4 min read

Why should you care?

Because diversity in the workplace is a human issue.

Not just a women’s issue.

I have worked in sales since I graduated college. That is 10 years in sales.

I stood there today at an event we had at my office speaking to a VP of Sales and thought to myself. Holy Cow, Ali…

She is the first VP of Sales you have ever met in person.

That is nuts.

How have I never met someone in an executive or VP role in sales that was a woman?

This is why I care about creating a community for women in sales. I hope you will join me.

I just so happen to be a woman working in sales and I naturally care about getting more women into sales and keeping women in sales roles.

This is why we have created a group for women in sales at HubSpot.

  1. Why not create a group where women who are NOT in sales can learn about sales as a profession?
  2. Why not create a group for women in sales who can get together and feel supported by other women in sales?

This kind of community is important for human kind and for business. It is not a woman’s issue, this is a human issue that we can solve with some effort and focus.

We can solve this by bringing more awareness to the women who are in sales roles. We can solve this by exposing more women not in sales roles to what it is like to be a woman working in sales roles.

Women in business and women in executive roles is an issue we read about daily.

To make a difference in the numbers of women to men in sales at your company, you MUST step up and demand change. Be part of the change.

When people ask me why there needs to be a “women in sales group” my first answer is always, “why not?”

So I wanted to list out some reasons as to why I care about this and why you need to care about this too.

1. There tend to be less women to men in sales roles. You should want to improve those numbers.

You should want diversity of thought on your teams. One way to do that is by acknowledging your numbers of women to men on your sales team and working towards equality of numbers. Make real goals, stick to those goals and work towards improving those numbers.

2. Women should know that sales is an amazing and rewarding profession. Women can be amazing sales reps.

Women tend to be naturally curious.

Women tend to be people who question things.

Women tend to want to help.

These kinds of qualities can make really, really wonderful sales reps. We must expose this to women who are not in sales so they know that maybe a future in sales is the right thing for them.

3. Women in sales can make an amazing living and there is amazing flexibility in life style as a woman working in sales. There is so much talk about women stepping out of the workforce too early. So much talk about the costs of child care these days. Imagine if more women worked in sales and were making good money. These women might not have to worry so much about the costs of raising children. You tend to see really great flexibility in a sales role that allows you to work on your own time in your own way. That probably would come in handy as a mother raising children.

4. Having momentum in your career will keep you happy. Being in sales is something that will keep you happy as a person. Sales has momentum and sales has an excitement that makes your job fun and rewarding. If you want a long lasting career with excitement, sales might be a great option for you.

5. We must find mentors for entry level sales reps and sales reps early on in their careers in sales. To keep women in sales we need to mentor our early sales reps. If you are a woman who has worked your way through sales roles you should step up and mentor women in sales roles. As a woman working in sales you need to ask for a mentor just the same way you ask for the sale. To keep women working in sales we need to create a community that helps each other. That starts in your company and then needs to extend to other companies with women in sales to support each other.

If you are a woman working in sales you are likely naturally a curious person. If you are a woman not working in sales and find yourself naturally wanting to help people, naturally wanting to question things, and naturally being curious about everything- you might be a fit for sales.

The world of sales is changing. Our buyers know more about the product choices than they used to. Our buyers have so much content and resources before the sales process that we need sales reps who tend to think in a more helpful and curious way. We don’t need aggressive, mean reps. We need thoughtful, sensitive, inquisitive people who will help the prospect figure out what the best fit is.

We must support each other in this role. Sales is not for the weak in the stomach. Sales is for people who can roll with the punches. Sales is for people who like rollercoasters. That kind of stomach takes support. So support your fellow sales reps — men or women.

Sales is a role that allows us to “learn and earn.”

If you want to always be learning, always be helping and on top of that always be earning… then sales could be the right role for you. Let’s make sales a top profession for women in 2016.

If you want to help me in this quest to build a community for women in sales sign up here.

I started a women in sales slack channel too if you want to join or send to women in sales you know please do so!

Women in Sales

The learnings and lessons from being a sales rep, in tech.

Ali Powell

Written by

@HubSpot sales for 8 1/2 years. I run the #WomeninSales Slack community. I have a growing side hustle called Fetes de Fleurs that I am doing full time come Feb.

Women in Sales

The learnings and lessons from being a sales rep, in tech.