One- Women bring natural advantages to the table when it comes to the B2B sales process. We'll talk about those in just a minute.
Two -More and more women are on the B2B buying team. You're going to see more and more female purchase officers, compliance officers ,office managers, and in risk-assessment. If you're selling to business owners, you're definitely going to be selling to more women.
Let's break it down.
Women bring natural advantages to the B2B sales process
When you're presenting to a team, women can pick up clues as to who is with you and who isn't.
In a real-life example from Code Switching- How to Talk so Men Will Listen, Tom and Jean are in a meeting pitching their company. Tom is doing the presentation. Jean is surveying their prospective clients during the presentation. At the end of the meeting Tom asked Jean how it went. He thought it was very well received. Jean, however, picked up clues that said otherwise.
"I think we've got a problem," Jean said.
Tom was totally surprised: "What do you mean?"
"Well, I saw some negative reactions," she explained. "I don't think they're completely on board. I think we should set a follow-up meeting with the two members showing the most push-back."
Sure enough, Jean was right on. Those members did indeed have concerns. Left un-addressed, it could have torpedoed the proposal.
2 - Women are natural relationship builders. We've seen how important building trust is in the B2B sales process. The first step to building that trust is building relationships, listening to clients, and empathizing with them. Women excel at all three of these skills.
In Code Switching, the authors cite a study that finds women have an integrative process when negotiating. The process includes:
Questioning, making an effort to hear the other's views, and obtaining end results that are agreeable to both parties.
3 - Women suffer less from over-confidence. I actually think this is an area where men and women can really learn from each other. Men can suffer from over-confidence, while women can suffer from under-confidence. As a result, men can under-prepare for meetings, while women can over-prepare. In more complex sales situations with multiple decision makers, coming in armed with more information, rather than less information, can be advantageous. Women pay attention To the details.
More and more of your B2B customers are going to be women
1 - More women are going to be on the B2B buying team that gives the thumbs-up or the thumbs-down to your proposal. They are HR managers and office managers, they're working in compliance or risk-assessment. Chances are there's going to be a woman decision maker involved. You better understand how to sell to her or risk her vetoing your proposal.
2 - Women are starting businesses in record numbers, and are successful with those businesses. Women owned businesses are having a tremendous impact. If you're selling to women, having a woman on your sales team can be a real asset.
Folks, there is a HUGE opportunity here. Include women on your team and get an instant competitive advantage.