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Women in Sales

The Secret Key to the Talent War

As the current selling environment continues to evolve and require more sophisticated capabilities, finding employees with these skills is proving to be more difficult than ever. In fact, last year, member organizations of CEB — now part of Gartner — cited sourcing high performing sales talent as their number one focus area.

The gender gap in sales

Despite the fact that women make up over half of college graduates in the U.S., they are underrepresented at all levels of the sales organization. In a survey of over 18,000 employees in over 36 countries, CEB research found the sales function has the second biggest gender equity gap of all corporate functions. CEB then identified several ways that companies can act now by creating visibility into leadership opportunities for women, making flexible work schedules the default for all roles and enabling accelerated on-ramps back into leadership for women who temporarily opt out.

Why it matters

Accelerating gender diversity in sales not only expands the potential for finding high-performing talent, but also brings other measurable benefits. Xactly Insights found that women achieve higher quota attainment than men. Additionally, women stay in their roles longer than men, leading to lower attrition costs. Forward-thinking sales organizations are making gender diversity a priority and winning in the talent market.

Carolyn Heminger, Senior Consultant and Jessica Cash, Global Chair of Women at CEB (now Gartner), [email protected]

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