powerful women in sales

How the most powerful women in sales set themselves
apart and created their own success stories!

Many companies are seeking to make the workplace more diverse and fair with regard to hiring and salaries. While that is simply the right thing to do, there is also great news for women in sales and the industry, as recent research regarding trends in sales indicates that gender-diverse sales teams produce a powerful impact across the board in business.

Results from research collected by Gallup, Harvard Business Review, McKinsey, and the University of Illinois-Chicago indicate that women hit their quotas at a higher rate, build more diverse teams, stay in their roles longer, and are more effective across the board. Increasing gender diversity in the workplace is also linked to higher revenue, net profit, and increased sales performance.

The bottom line is that powerful women in sales are motivated self-starters who succeed as your top salespeople, and it’s positively impacting the industry.

lead-managerlead-manager Take a look at these five legendary, powerful women in sales and their best insights for success, and then schedule a demo  of our lead management software to put it into practice. 

Anna Bissell: Self-Made Sales and CEO Pioneer

“A successful businesswoman in an era where business was almost wholly a masculine field.”
– Anna Bissell

In the late 1800’s, when a small business owner invented the Bissell carpet sweeper, it was his wife who went from town to town, selling to homeowners and pitching to department stores. She also managed the assembly, promotion, pricing, and delivery of the product. When her husband passed away, Anna became the first female CEO in America and was “known for her familiarity with every aspect of the business.” In 10, years she turned Bissell into one of the largest corporations in the world at that time.

Mary Kay Ash: Defied Her Limitations

“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”
– Mary Kay Ash

While working in door-to-door sales, single mom Mary Kay Ash broke records while being passed over for promotions and consistently being paid less than her male colleagues. She began imagining a “dream company” where women would be able to create their own success with equal pay and fair treatment. Ignoring detractors who told her she couldn’t do it without a man, under her experienced leadership and her fair principles, Mary Kay Cosmetics went on to become the largest direct seller of skin care products in the country, mentoring and empowering generations of women to succeed in sales.

Anita Roddick: Went All In with Her Values

“Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.”
– Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick started The Body Shop with no experience or training in order to support herself and her two daughters while her husband traveled for work. The foundation of her idea came from personal experiences traveling and seeing people’s body rituals all over the world, along with a belief in environmental sustainability and the idea that businesses had the power to do good in communities and not just make profits. What if she could create products with natural ingredients in reusable containers that produced less waste? What if she marketed the truth about her wholesome ingredients instead of selling hype? Along with a straightforward mission statement, customers connected with her honest approach, and The Body Shop was the first of its kind to break into the mainstream. Her principles succeeded in tandem with her business, and it went on to be one of the top brands in the world before being acquired and run by the L’Oreal company. Perhaps more telling, the market now has many similar products and brands promoted as natural, sustainable, eco-friendly, and honest.

Sarah Blakely: Put Herself On the Line

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength
and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
– Sarah Blakely

When she invented Spanx, Sarah Blakely was trying to solve a personal problem: looking for comfortable, flattering undergarments to wear in the Florida heat. The perfect product did not seem to exist, even though there were many types of other “control” undergarments on the market. So, she began to research patents and chase perfection. While working a demanding day job, she spent nights on product research and design, traveled all over the country approaching buyers in person, cold-calling, and conducting demos. Her personal investment and best practices paid off in over $14 million in profits in the company’s first two years and made “Spanx” a ubiquitous name in fashion.

Erica Feidner: Master of Her Product

“If you cannot tell the difference and thus know which piano is right for you, I haven’t yet succeeded.”
– Erica Feidner

Coco Chanel once famously said, “I don’t do fashion; I am fashion.” In her footsteps, one thing most people learn about Erica Feidner within moments of first learning her name is that she doesn’t think of herself as being “in sales” but being a “Piano Matchmaker” who is driven to find the “right match” for each customer. She has built her reputation as an unparalleled master of the product, not just how to play the instrument but knowing it so completely, inside and out, that she is the go-to person to find potential buyers the exact right piano for their skill level, style, and even personality. This extremely personal and detailed approach in the field of sales is unusual, but perhaps it shouldn’t be. Many people in sales could learn a lot from her devotion, from starting off with a warm introduction to great follow-through with thank-you notes. For eight consecutive years, Feidner was a top representative for Steinway & Sons, resulting in over $41 million in sales, before going on to building her business and accepting clients independently as the Piano Matchmaker. Her knowledge and personality became her calling card.

These are only a handful of the legendary women in sales and business; let us know who inspires you in the comments!

lead-managerlead-manager Take a look at these five legendary, powerful women in sales and their best insights for success, and then schedule a demo  of our lead management software to put it into practice.