Is becoming a B2B Sales professional an intentional process or a result of your early career experiences and journey?
Alexine's goal after graduating from Purdue University was to become a retail buyer for a leading retailer, Neiman Marcus. Alexine's first manager within the Neiman Marcus buyer program suggested that Alexine might want to pursue a sales career based upon her performance in retail sales during her initial training program.
In college, sales was not highlighted as a potential career path and was often associated with the negative reputation of a used car salesperson. Alexine took this advice and took a proactive, driven approach to identify and earn an opportunity to join a training program for a B2B SaaS company.
Alexine finds certain innate personality traits have served her well in pursuing a career in sales, starting with being self-motivated and self-critical. Her task orientation and natural love for talking with people are also traits she credited for her sales success.
The catalyst for founding the "Women in Sales Club"? The original goal was just to find other women with who they could share their experiences, gain advice, and connect with other people in their field.
Clubhouse was the platform selected, especially due to the popularity of the platform early in 2021. The forum will expand to new forums including Zoom and live events. Clubhouse was viewed as a lower lift to jumpstart a new community.
When asked about any common themes that have been covered, one was diversity, especially how to attract and retain women on B2B Sales Teams. "Imposter syndrome" has been another topic that has been covered more than once. When asked if "imposter syndrome" really existed, and Alexine there are many interesting reads on this, and that exclusionary activities in the workplace may actually lead directly to this feeling of not belonging.
From the very beginning, Alexine and her co-founder, Gabrielle Blackwell were committed to making the forum inclusive, and that men were just as welcome to join. One of the questions asked was how the leading female voices in the B2B tech industry 1.0 influenced their journey. Alexine highlighted this is not the first and will not be the last forum for women in sales, and that they are simply trying to be as inclusive as possible, and provide a vehicle for learning and self-actualization.
Mark went on to provide his "hot take" that women might actually be better equipped for success in sales than men! Alexine shared her data-driven orientation, and that we have blended many of the cultural norms and personality traits that are assigned based upon gender. Her perspective is that sales is a highly "personalized" profession, and it is the individual's personality traits and goals that are the ultimate predictors of success.
For anyone interested in promoting and being an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion across the B2B Tech industry, this is an informational and thought-provoking discussion.