Women In Business

Why female sales people are more effective than males

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Be it a large enterprise or a small start-up, a sales team is the backbone of any business. The effectiveness of a sales team is directly proportional to an organization’s profitability and ultimately its success. Therefore, it is exceedingly crucial to build a competent team of individuals who exude positive attitudes, are motivated to excel and work well together.

Steve W. Martin, in his article for Harvard Business Review, encourages us  to establish a “Darwinian Sales Culture” i.e. to introduce a highly capable recruit to the team; one who challenges the existing team to perform better and to establish a “stringent criteria” for performance that identifies the weakest members of the team. Consequently, you will end up with a cohesive team full of driven employees.

Moreover, in this digital age, marketing is no longer confined to the realms of personal interactions. You need it to build a team that is proficient in inbound marketing, utilizes sales pipeline templates and makes your product irresistible even from behind the screen.

In addition to hiring salespersons that are business savvy as well as tech savvy, you must also keep one other attribute in mind: their gender!

While gender equality is being demanded increasingly in the current age, there is no denying that each gender has its own specific skill set which allows them to fare better in certain scenarios as compared to the opposite sex.

So the question arises: Is a female salesperson more effective than a male salesperson?

To find the answer, let’s identify a few key characteristics of a good salesperson, according to some successful young start-up founders, and determine which gender takes the lead in the said characteristics:

Skilled listener

It is an established fact that, in general, women are better communicators – talkers and listeners — compared to men. But listening does not simply constitute of hearing the words of the person across from you. Being a skilled listener entails that you actually understand and comprehend what the other person is saying. It is a classic case of quality versus quantity. Women tend to listen attentively and register what is being said by the customer, understanding their basic requirements and acting accordingly, which makes them the more ideal salespeople.

This perception is further validated by research which states that the part of brain linked to the ability of listening is more prominent in women as compared to men; while motor skills and coordination are better in men.

Women also tend to make strong selling points and uncover important information while listening to customers, which allow them to be more persuasive and persistent.

Empathetic

A salesperson should come across as relatable and considerate to the customer to forge a sense of trust and reliance between the two parties. By being empathetic, you can gain a client perpetually which is preferable over a one-time quick sale.

According to popular stereotypes, women are more compassionate and understanding towards other’s thoughts and feelings compared to men. And studies have also proven this to be correct. A case study involving “participants from 127 community residents who completed self-report measures of empathy and forgiveness” demonstrated that women showed more empathy than men.

Good people skills

Mark Hunter, a keynote sales speaker and a bestselling author, states that “women are able to get more out of prospects information (from the clients) that men can’t get” because “women can come across as less threatening than men”.

In addition, women tend to possess better people skills that allow them to communicate more diligently with their customers at an interpersonal level and minimize conflicts to promote a more productive working relationship.

Marion Luna Brem, author of Women Make the Best Salesmen: Isn’t it Time You Started Using their Secrets?, asserts, Women, with their natural social skills and acute emotional antennae, have natural advantages both sexes can learn from.”

Confidence

Confidence in yourself and in the product you are marketing resonates with the clients as well. While some individuals are inherently more confident, others’ confidence level may fluctuate depending on the situation. Even though men appear to be more assertive in general, women who have fought against all odds to secure a position in the sales department are found to be more self-assured and confident as opposed to the opposite sex.

This is further confirmed by research which determined that females possess a higher self-confidence at tasks they are comfortable with. Thus, it is safe to establish that once a woman has positioned herself into a role she is content with, she is bound to excel.

A conclusive study

Apart from these characteristics, women have succeeded in carving a niche for themselves in the sales industry as proven by a case study in which data from 30,469 sales calls was analyzed to conclude that women, on an average, manage to close 11% more deals then men.

Furthermore, another study proves that women have better leadership qualities as they strive to achieve more in order to prove themselves worthy of the managerial positions.

Although it has been established that the corporate world is a male dominated society, women are routinely making a mark and establishing footholds that will only lead to better prospects and greater achievements.

About Kamil Riaz Kara

Kamil Riaz Kara is an HR Professional and Inbound Marketer with a Masters in Administrative Sciences from the University of Karachi. He frequently blogs on management, technology, lifestyle and health and associated with Airg team for development work. You can find him on LinkedIn

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