25 Top Sales Tips From Powerful Women Leaders
As increasing diversity and reducing gender biases in the workplace continues to be a problem, there has never been a better time to explore the importance of women in sales.
Saleswomen bring in unique talent for businesses. While men generally rely on improving and driving outcomes to close sales, women tend to emphasize building connections, shaping solutions, and collaborating.
By combining both men’s and women’s skillsets, a sales team can only be stronger. A gender-diverse sales team is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart move!
We’re proud to share with you 25 top sales tips from the most powerful women leaders that are shaping the future of sales:
Joanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling. She works with sales leaders and their teams to build a referral culture, get introductions to top prospects, produce a qualified pipe, and ensure prospects convert to clients more than 50% of the time.
She is the author of two books, No More Cold Calling™: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust, and Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal.
Find out more about Joanne here.
Joanne’s Top Sales Tip:
“Step out of your comfort zone: There’s a saying in American baseball that you’ll never get to second unless you take your foot off first. You might get tagged out, but the chances are greater that you’ll be safe at second. If you’re not consistently trying new approaches and techniques, stretching and strengthening your capabilities, getting advice and guidance, you’ll never score those big deals. You rock!”
Deb Calvert keeps sellers at the forefront of change. She founded The Sales Experts Channel, wrote two bestsellers based on buyer research, and is an international keynote speaker and consultant. Her work and writings in leadership development and soft skills give sellers an edge and boost sales managers' effectiveness.
Find out more about Deb here.
Dev’s Top Sales Tip:
“Sales managers can impair sales productivity. They prioritize the wrong things, fail to develop sellers’ competence and confidence, or emphasize short-term results over long-term growth. People leadership engages sellers and, by extension, builds customer satisfaction. Employee engagement is linked to increased productivity and better business results. The number one driver of engagement is how a manager behaves. Those who lead (inspire, challenge, enable, encourage) sellers are far more effective in boosting productivity and sales results.”
Alice Heiman is a nationally recognized sales expert and trainer who brings profound changes to her clients' business and sales practices. She’s the founder and Chief Sales Officer at ‘Alice Heiman, LLC’ and a sales keynote speaker.
Alice’s innovative sales leadership programs, coupled with her top-down approach to creating long-term change, set up sales leaders and sales-managing business owners to get consistent and sustainable growth.
Find out more about Alice here.
Alice’s Top Sales Tip:
“Be prepared to bring insights, add value and guide the sale. Start by doing your homework. Research! Know the people, the industry, the company, and their customers. Get to know the people involved in the decision and the problem they are trying to solve so you can understand the value you provide. Use a Mutual Action Plan – MAP to lay out all the steps with the buying team and decide who will do each and by when. This makes the process very transparent and makes it easier to buy from you. Rally your team. Make sure you have the right people on your team from your own company and be sure they are introduced to the right people at the right levels.”
Michelle Tillis Lederman
Michelle Tillis Lederman is a connection creator and CEO of Executive Essentials, a company that provides customized communications and leadership programs. She is also one of Forbes Top 25 Networking Experts, and the author of four books including the internationally known, The 11 Laws of Likability, and her latest book The Connectors Advantage.
Find out more about Michelle here.
Michelle’s Top Sales Tip:
“People will choose to buy based on who they are working with rather than what they are purchasing. They are buying the relationship and will choose the person over a better product and over a better price – the relationship wins. People do business with people they like because they know when they need something, you will take care of them.”
Viveka von Rosen
Viveka von Rosen is co-founder and CVO (Chief Visibility Officer) of Vengreso. She is a contributor to LinkedIn’s official Sales and Marketing blogs, and their “Sophisticated Marketer’s” Guide. She is also a contributor to publications such as Fast Company, Forbes, Money, Entrepreneur, and The Social Media Examiner to name a few.
Viveka uses the LinkedIn experience she has perfected over the past 10+ years and transforms it into engaging and informational training. Through her training, she has provided over 100,000 people with the tools and strategies they need to succeed on LinkedIn.
Find out more about Viveka here.
Viveka’s Top Sales Tip:
“My top tip is to get over our fear of the camera! Chances are things will never completely go “back to normal”. A recent McKinsey article stated that 80% of B2B buyers like things the way they are and aren’t really interested in going back to the endless carousel of conferences, trade shows, and site visits. This means the Zoom (or Microsoft Teams or WebEx) meeting is here to stay. And we need to SHOW UP! On camera, I mean. And while I’m on my soap box, if you are going to do Zoom calls, you might as well start using video email, video texts, and video messaging. It will help you stand out from the crowd - and give people a real sense of who YOU are. It’s time for us to show up (on camera) and shine!”
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, a sales development firm specializing in the integration of emotional intelligence, sales and sales leadership skills. She is the author of three books, Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success, Emotional Intelligence for Sales Leadership, and Growing Great Sales Teams.
Colleen has receivedmany awards for her work in sales development and thought leadership. Salesforce named Colleen one of the most influential sales figures in the 21st century and is recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Sales Gurus.
Find out more about Colleen here.
Colleen’s Top Sales Tip:
“Sales can be stressful, especially if sales professionals don’t learn and master emotional intelligence. A key EQ skill is self-awareness, which is developed by carving out quiet time each day. “That which you are not aware of you cannot change.”
Without self-awareness, it’s easy to become a “reaction machine.”
- We react without thinking of how our words and actions will land on another human being.
- We overreact, allowing ourselves to get stressed out and burned out.
- We under-react, allowing emotions to paralyze us.
Increased self-awareness improves your ability to choose how you want to show up each and every day.”
Tiffani Bova is the Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business, and host of the podcast What’s Next!.
Tiffani’s time on the front line of innovation, combined with her insightful candor has resulted in her unique perspective that inspires businesses and individuals to get smarter about the choices they make and increase their growth IQ.
Listen to Tiffani’s Outside Sales Talk podcast: Remote Selling through an Economic Crisis.
Tiffani’s Top Sales Tip:
“I believe it's time to focus on the customer and not necessarily the prospect. Many sellers are enamored by the next logo they are going to get, the shiny new customer that they've been trying to win for a really long time. However, this singular focus ignores is the existing customers you already have. You've spent a lot of money and time and effort in acquiring them in the first place, and so many sellers ignore the gold they already have.”
Brynne Tillman is the LinkedIn Whisperer and CEO of Social Sales Link. For over a decade, she has been teaching Entrepreneurs, sales teams, and business leaders how to leverage LinkedIn for social selling.
Brynne is also the author of the book The LinkedIn Sales Playbook, a Tactical Guide to Social Selling.
Listen to Brynne’s Outside Sales Talk podcast: LinkedIn Selling Tips & Tricks that Get Big Payoffs
Brynne’s Top Sales Tip:
“Client referrals are often the best way to grow our sales opportunities, but just asking for them is not enough. Connect with your client on LinkedIn and search their connections. Make a list of the professionals they know that you’d like to meet and run the names by your client. Whittle the list down to a select few and ask for introductions or permission to drop their name when you reach out.”
Shari is the founder of the Shari Levitin Group and the bestselling author of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know, now in over four languages. As CEO of Levitin Group, she has helped create over 1 billion dollars in increased revenue for companies in over 40 countries.
Shari has been awarded as one of LinkedIn’s Top Ten voices in sales in 2019, and was premiered in the Salesforce film “The Story of Sales”.
Listen to Shari’s Outside Sales Talk podcast: How to Sell with Authenticity and Build Trust with Anyone
Shari’s Top Sales Tip:
“People are emotional beings. I always say the best way to win a battle of logic is to fight it with emotion. But in order to do that, we have to uncover what their emotional motivators are. And they are often hidden. Our ability to get at the emotional motivators of our clients will dictate our ability to close the deal faster and create urgency. Once we uncover those emotional motivators we can move that deal through the pipeline a lot quicker.” - Quote from the episode "How to Sell with Authenticity and Build Trust with Anyone" of the Outside Sales Talk Podcast
Christina Wong is the Vice President of Sales at Badger Maps, the #1 route planner app for field sales reps. With more than 10 years of experience, Christina is directly responsible for turning a start-up from zero into an industry leading firm.
Christina’s Top Sales Tip:
“Top-performing salespeople on modern sales teams are those who are the most organized, most efficient, and are able to get leverage from technology. Setting yourself apart from the competition requires constantly thinking about new and innovative ways to do things, the key is to find ways to “work smarter”, not harder.”
Melonie is the creator of the 𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿™ method, which quickly transforms ineffective sales teams, using broken traditional sales methods, into effective modern sellers. She is also the author of multiple #1 best-selling books on winning at LinkedIn and an in-demand speaker on LinkedIn.
Melonie’s Top Sales Tip:
“It is hard enough to get your ideal client’s attention these days. When you manage to get it, don’t waste it with robotic, template-sounding messages and posts. A more expert when using LinkedIn for sales is to create great posts and personalized messages that sound like they just rolled off your tongue. How do you accomplish this? It’s simple. Say it out loud first. Literally pretend you’re having a conversation with someone. The easiest way to do it is through an app called Otter.ai. This is an amazing app that lets you speak your idea straight into your phone (just like with your voice memo app), except Otter instantly gives you a transcript of your words. Take that transcript, make a few edits, and voila – you’ll have the perfect social media post or message to send to a prospective client. No more staring at a blank screen for hours, wondering what to write. Just speak your mind, and let Otter transcribe it for you.”
Kendra Lee has built a successful career as a top seller by consistently exceeding sales goals. She is a prospect attraction authority, sales expert, speaker, author, and business owner who knows how to shorten time to revenue in innovative ways.
After starting her sales career in accounting with IBM, Kendra founded KLA Group on the philosophy that sales is not an art; it can be learned. She’s also the author of Selling Against the Goal: How Corporate Sales Professionals Generate the Leads They Need and The Sales Magnet: How to Get More Customers Without Cold Calling.
Kendra’s Top Sales Tip:
“With limits on in-person events, use webinars as part of your lead generation strategy. You may have heard they aren’t performing, but a compelling topic will draw people in. Give contacts enough notice so they can plan to attend live. One week is not enough! It takes 2-3 weeks of consistent email and social promotions to increase attendance. Use keywords and hashtags to get SEO attention. Consider social ads on LinkedIn and Facebook. Share valuable content and teach something new. Engage participants in the chat. The more engaged they are, the more they’ll want to interact with you after the webinar.”
Vanessa Van Edwards
Vanessa is the bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. She has developed a science-based framework for understanding different personalities to improve our EQ and to help us communicate with colleagues, clients, and customers.
She regularly speaks to innovative companies including Google, Intel, Facebook, Comcast, Miller-Coors, Microsoft, and Penguin Random-House. Her TEDx London Talk on the science of charisma has been seen over 2,000,000 times.
Vanessa’s Top Sales Tip:
“When we first see someone we are trying to answer two questions: Can I trust you? and Can I rely on you? Your introduction should be answering both of these questions.
For trust: use social proof, mention commonalities, smile, and use hand gestures.
For reliability: mention credibility, make eye contact, and use insightful conversation starters”
Lori founded Score More Sales in 2002 to help companies grow revenues through strategic sales efforts, using lessons learned from 20 years in B2B sales and leadership roles. Beginning in technology sales for companies like Apple, IBM, HP, and Siemens, Lori rose through the ranks from retail to corporate accounts.
In addition to coaching and training frontline sales leaders and sales reps, Lori also creates content for technology brands on selling.
Lori’s Top Sales Tip:
“It is great to think you know something, but you should always find ways to measure results through data if at all possible. Here's an example: top SaaS companies thought their managers were not strong but the sales reps were. After looking at the data from their reps and managers, we could show that it was the other way around. Find objective ways to measure success!”
Dr. Cindy McGovern is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, and consultant at Orange Leaf Consulting. She is an expert in sales, interpersonal communication, and leadership. She holds a doctorate in organizational communication and has worked as a professor of communication before starting Orange Leaf Consulting.
Today, she focuses on bringing companies and people together to grow their businesses and get what they want in life and in work.
Find out more about Cindy here.
Cindy’s Top Sales Tip:
“As a salesperson, planning is crucial to success, but in the last year, everything has changed. That does not mean you should stop planning. In fact, you should plan right now. Set your goals for activities and results and track them both so that you can see what is working in today’s virtual world v. what worked ages ago. If you can tie the activity to a result that brings you closer to your goal-do more of that. If you can’t tie it to a result, then stop doing it.”
Since 1983, Alice has been an international training solution provider as the founder of Sales Training Consultants and Sales Training Werks. Alice and her team use their exclusive 3E Sales Accelerator Method to engage, energize and equip sales teams to sell more day-in and day-out.
Alice’s clients boast of 5-35% sales increases within the first 10 weeks from their live, virtual-live, or done-for-you sales training options.
Find out more about Alice here.
Alice’s Top Sales Tip:
“The competition doesn’t have a better product - they have a better sales team. Because companies who out-perform others include bite-sized skill-building meetings, one-on-one coaching sessions to strategize about specific accounts and prospects, plus work through the barriers in the way of their reps’ success. Yes, you’re busy with marketing strategy, new product development, reports, and meetings. Is carving out 30 minutes a day worth it to you to guarantee your team will meet quota? If so, each day list the actions you will take to build a skill, strategize on accounts or enhance the mindset of as many of your sellers as possible and your team will out-think, out-sell, and out-perform the competition.”
Gina Trimarco is the Founder of Pivot10 Results, a strategy and training company dedicated to helping businesses shift from people problems to performance results. She is also the founder of the Carolina Improv Company, an improv comedy center for business training.
Gina has developed a strong reputation as an expert sales & improv coach and is an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council. Gina produces and co-hosts Women Your Mother Warned You About, the podcast for women blending business and life.
Listen to Gina’s Outside Sales Talk podcast: Sales Improv - How to Get Past the Sales Script.
Gina’s Top Sales Tip:
“Practicing Improvised Intelligence will organically attract buyers to you. Improvised Intelligence is the ability to make others look and feel good. It’s also the number one rule for improv performers to practice on stage. When we “make others look good”, we automatically look good and that creates instant trust and rapport. It’s simple to do this through a “Yes, And” framework of active communication, validation, and collaboration. To “Yes, And” the objections or resistance from others, you simply need to accept their perspective, without judgment. And when others feel accepted, everyone wins.”
Rachael O’Meara is a transformation leadership and executive coach. She empowers professionals to learn and build emotional intelligence skills to thrive at work and beyond. Her book Pause was named one of 2017's top business books for your career and was featured in the New York Times and on WSJ.com.
Listen to Rachael’s Outside Sales Talk podcast: Avoid Burnout with the Power of Pause.
Rachael’s Top Sales Tip:
“My top tip is to PAUSE! When stressed, lower cortisol OR raise feel-good neurotransmitters like oxytocin or serotonin to feel calmer and centered – that way we are more relaxed, connected, and more present so we can close that deal! Try taking several mini-pauses (1-5 minutes) during your workday. Shift your focus to your five senses (smell your coffee, look out the window), or try a state change – Move or dance around. Name a feeling. Look at a picture of a loved one. You will feel recharged and in your zone of genius.”
Sally Duby is the Chief Sales Officer at The Bridge Group, a leading inside sales consulting firm. She has built a reputation as an expert in building and transforming inside sales and sales development teams to achieve repeatable and predictable models combining next-generation technologies and services with innovative sales processes to accelerate revenue growth.
Sally was voted one of the most Influential Inside Sales Experts by the AA-ISP.
Sally’s Top Sales Tip:
“A recurring theme for SDRs is the need to be relevant to their prospect. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from SDRs about what does it mean to be relevant. Think of prospecting as similar to dating. How did your partner win you over in the beginning? It probably started with your partner focusing on you, your likes, interests, etc. If in those early dates all they did was talk about themself not about you, it probably would have turned you off. It's the same with your prospect. Early on in the relationship, they don't care about you as the vendor, how many awards you've won, or that you are the latest Unicorn and got billions of dollars in funding or the features and functions your product has. They want to know what you can do for them, how do you solve their headaches, and how you are going to improve their work-life. Be straight, honest, and direct about the business value your solution provides. Don't waste their time and in turn, hopefully, they won't waste your time.”
Shari Johnston is a partner and board member at Winning by design. She is responsible for account-based strategy and pipeline building. She’s also the founder of Women in Revenue, a group of women leaders in sales, marketing, and other revenue-impacting roles.
Shari is also an advisory board member at Toolbox, an online community for marketing professionals, providing discussion groups, blogs, research, and networking for our members.
Shari’s Top Sales Tip:
“The make-up of an amazing sales leader is putting yourself in the customer's shoes and making every engagement relevant to your prospect. Before engaging understand more about their business, their role, and what relevant pain and impact you may be able to help them with. Make memorable moments of relevant impact at each stage, which builds trust and credibility with your customers. A sign of a truly great sales professional.”
Danita executive leadership coach for CEOs, presidents, and owners who are committed to growing their businesses. She’s the best-selling author of the how-to leadership resource, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader. She was selected to serve as a sales coach for students in the innovative Harvard MBA program. Danita is a frequent contributor of articles as a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, she also a TEDx speaker on Millennial Leadership.
Danita’s Top Sales Tip:
“Markets, industries, and clients are changing rapidly, that’s true! And, obstacles and roadblocks are inevitable. However, finger-pointing, complaining, and excuse-making are unproductive and will leave you de-energized and stalled out. What’s a more productive and energizing approach? Ask growth-oriented questions such as, What might I do to:
- craft plans for wilder-than-imagined growth;
- create innovative solutions for tackling seemingly insurmountable challenges; and,
- contribute meaningfully in the lives of my clients?”
Aleasha helps solopreneurs and sales professionals win more business with custom sales frameworks, powerful processes, and strategy. She’s a master of the secret art of subtle selling for introverts.
Aleasha’s Top Sales Tip:
“One tip that really helps my clients is to not focus on selling the other person and instead focus on whether your prospect is a FIT. Design your questions to uncover what their situation is and if it’s something you can actually solve. Usually, this allows your expertise and passion to shine. So, instead of concentrating on how to come across smooth and charming, you will naturally say the right things because - you're an expert who can help them and is excited to do so! And that's the only thing that matters to your prospect.”
Joyce is the founder of “Why Sales Network”, dedicated to empowering the next generation of business leaders. Passionate about mentorship and student development, Joyce has published several books: Why Sales for College Students; Top 10 Sales Tips for College Grads; Get A Job Today – 5 Things You Need to Know. She hosts a podcast called Let’s Talk About It #collegelife.
Joyce’s Top Sales Tip:
“Many sellers simply forget to ask for the business. Trail close and close every opportunity. You must receive the YES to move forward. Don’t assume the close but ask for it. Mr or Mrs customer is this the best solution for you? Yes. Are the price and product acceptable? Yes. Are you ready to sign the agreement? Yes. Ask for the business!”
Heather R Morgan
Heather R Morgan is a serial entrepreneur, prolific writer, irreverent comedic rapper, and investor in B2B software companies with high growth potential.
She is the founder of SalesFolk, a company that helped more than 760 B2B companies optimize their email campaigns. Heather is also a regular contributor to Inc. magazine and Forbes columns.
Heather’s Top Sales Tip:
“Instead of talking about your company’s features or using marketing jargon, focus on one compelling benefit or pain point per cold email. Don’t use lists or bullet points in sales prospecting emails; we A/B tested this a lot, and it always decreases positive response rates.”
IN MEMORIAM: Barbara Giamanco was an author, podcast host, and founder and CEO of Social Centered Selling. Barb was the persistent voice advocating for women in sales. She was a mentor and a confidante to women of all ages and a dear friend to many.
Barb started a podcast: Conversations with Women in Sales—the only podcast dedicated to women in sales. She interviewed many women leaders and now Lori Richardson is continuing her legacy. Barb tragically passed away in May 2020.
She was recognized as Top 50 2019 Keynote Speaker and Top 50 Sales and Marketing Influencer by Top Sales World, a Top B2B Sales Influencer by LinkedIn, and a Top 25 Sales Leader on Twitter.
Find out more about Barb here.
Barbara’s Top Sales Tip:
“If buyers can block sellers, now what? Use social media to relate to prospects and identify opportunities for engagement at the right time. Establish authenticity and credibility in advance of sales opportunities. Participate in relevant social groups to stay visible and add value during the process. Establish relationships with multiple players involved in the buying journey.”
Businesses everywhere are increasingly recognizing the unique skills and perspectives that women bring to the workplace. However, even in this day and age, women in sales still experience gender-based challenges.
Companies should leverage a gender-balanced sales team by ensuring inclusive and diversity-based policies within their sales teams. This will ultimately enrich them and improve revenues.
At Badger Maps, we’re always seeking to promote and develop saleswomen talent by fostering an inclusive company culture that allows us to have incredibly inspiring woman leaders in all of our teams.
Today, and every single day, we celebrate them and all the powerful saleswomen that are breaking boundaries in this traditionally male-dominated field.
Visual assets designed by Gabrielle Serena.
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