What’s changed for women in sales over the past 10 years?

We are calling on women and men in sales and sales leadership roles to be a part of our Women in Sales & Sales Leadership Research.

Ten years ago Barrett undertook specific research into women in sales, which underpinned Sue Barrett’s ‘Sell Like A Woman’ concept. The initial 2006/07 research project aimed to understand the experiences of women in sales: their challenges, successes, experiences, and selling styles. Over 150 women in sales and sales leadership participated in the research and shared their experiences. The initial results were interesting.

Here are some of the demographics findings from 10 years ago:

  • A vast majority of women (over 92%) who took part in this study had had a long established career in the sales profession, only a few had been at it for less than 5 years. Also, 80% of the women participating in the survey had had over 2 years of management experience.
  • The participants came from diverse industries, ranging from Consulting to Cosmetics, Retail to Pharmaceutical, Publishing to Advertising, with predominant ones being Real Estate, Banking and Finance.
  • Over 50% of the women had a Bachelor’s degree or higher, however we didn’t find that their level of education related to the positions they occupied within their organisation or how successful they were. With a few exceptions, all of these women held managerial, directive or CEO positions.
  • Also, 78% percent of the women had over 3 years of management experience in two or more industries throughout their career.
  • Only 16% of the women interviewed, said that the function of selling comprised 80-100% of their role at that moment; 54% percent of the women said that selling constituted less than 50% of their role.
  • 24% had no external training –mainly those working in retail, advertising and health.

Now we are looking to revisit this research and see what’s changed over the last 10 years. We are also looking to expand on our research and look at the different views and experiences of men and women in sales and sales leadership.

This research has been commissioned by Barrett Consulting Group, a full service sales consultancy firm established in 1995 to help people and businesses to sell better.

Your feedback is important to helping us understand and communicate the differences, if any, between how men and women sell today, how they see themselves as salespeople, and how they see each other in the world of selling. It will also help us determine how things have changed for women over time, and whether they are still facing the same barriers to success in 2016 that they were in 2006.

Your participation in this process is voluntary, and your views and opinions to closed ended questions will only be shared in aggregate form. Some direct quotes may be used in our final report and book, but will not be linked to your name, should you choose to provide it. NB: the survey consists of 48 questions some of which are open ended and others are multiple choice or rated scales.  The survey is not timed and you can take as long as you like to do it; however, we recommend that you set aside at least 20-30 minutes to complete it.

If you have any questions about this research or would like more information about the previous research or about selling in general, please contact Barrett Consulting Group on +61 03 9533 0000 or send us an email here.

Thank you for participating in our survey. We look forward to providing you with the preliminary findings in a comprehensive white paper with a book in the making.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Sue Barrett is the founder and CEO of the innovative and forward thinking sales advisory and education firm, Barrett and the online sales education & resource platform www.salesessentials.com. Get to know her further on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.


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