Why Your Sales Team Needs More Women

WSI Blog
  • by WSI Editorial
  • Apr 01, 2021
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In modern times, there are a lot of conversations surrounding gender. Two major issues that are targeted regularly are the pay gap between the two main genders — male and female — and the participation of women in the workforce particularly women in sales. Unfortunately, the latter type of discussions are usually almost exclusively about women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Let’s take a moment to talk about why that is problematic.

STEM fields are far from being the only ones where women are conspicuously missing from the workforce. According to a LinkedIn study, women constitute just 39% of the workforce in Sales professions in the US. Worse still is the fact that this percentage reduces drastically as we go up the corporate hierarchy. In the US, only 21% of Sales VP and CXO positions are held by women. If this is the status in a ‘developed’ Western economy, we can only imagine what the scenario in India must be like. 

But the social issue of gender disparity in these matters is not the only reason why companies like yours should be pushing to incorporate more women into their sales teams. Here are five reasons why you should be hiring more women in sales.

1. Women Outperform Their Male Counterparts

An extensive study on gender equality in sales conducted by XactlyCorp in 2019 found that 70% of women in sales meet their targets while only 67% of their male counterparts do the same. This is in spite of the fact that women make an average of 4.1% in commissions whereas men make an average of 4.8%, on top of women having a lower average base pay than men. 

The same study also revealed that women stay in their roles for nearly one year longer than their male counterparts. Loyalty coupled with better performance is perhaps the most convincing reason to hire more women for sales positions. But there’s more!

2. More Women in Sales = Better Bottom Lines

McKinsey has shown through it’s 2015 research, ‘Diversity Matters’, that the top quartile of companies with greater gender diversity make a surprising 15% more in revenue than the bottom quartile. 

In fact, an even more compelling study on the matter comes from Catalyst. The report, suitably titled ‘The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards’ shows that Fortune 500 companies with higher percentages of women serving on their boards show a whopping 42% higher return on sales than their counterparts with fewer women on their boards. The same report also shows that companies with more women have 53% better returns on equity as well as 66% higher return on invested capital.

RELATED POST: Why are Women the Future of B2B Sales?

3. Women are Effective Leaders

America’s leading analytics company Gallup has enlisted a long and impressive list of reasons why women have proven to be more effective leaders than men. For starters, Gallup’s research reveals that male managers in the US are only 35% engaged as compared to 41% of female managers. Moreover, it shows that women managers’ teams are more engaged, too. 

The industry is replete with examples of female leaders who have achieved incredible statistics, such as Google Senior VP Susan Wojcicki, who is considered responsible for 96% of the company’s revenue in 2011. Cisco VP Ehrika Gladden and SalesForce President of Sales & Customer Success Maria Martinez are both stellar examples of exemplary leadership from women in Sales.

RELATED POST: The Impact of COVID on Women

4. Women Improve Workplace Morale & Productivity

It is generally known by this point that greater diversity in terms of gender as well as ethnicity, race, etc. infuses workplaces with fresher perspectives and greater energy. This goes a long way in building workplace morale. Now, research published by the University of Warwick has given further insights into the business case for workplace morale-building.

According to this research by the University of Warwick, people are 12% more productive when they feel happy in their workplaces.

Employee engagement is a big part of workplace “happiness.

So, considering Gallup’s research referenced in the previous point, having more women in the workplace, at all levels of the corporate Sales hierarchy, is likely to give you greater productivity from your Sales team.

5. Diverse Sales Teams Reflect Audience & Enhance Customer Relations

Research from A. T. Kearney shows that more and more women are becoming B2B buyers by taking up key decision-making positions across the board. Even in the B2C space, women are a large part of the customer base for companies in most verticals. This means that your target audience is beginning to include more and more women by the day.

It stands to reason that having a Sales team with a constitution similar to the composition of your target audience will prove to be beneficial for your company. Add to this the fact that women can help your approach to Sales take on a more empathetic tone, and you’ve hit the jackpot!

Companies like DealsInsight serve as excellent examples of female-led and female-managed firms that are doing very well for themselves.