Lori Richardson is working literally to change the face of B2B sales. She is CEO of Score More Sales. A sales strategy company. Also, the president of Women Sales Pro, promoting more women in sales and sales leadership. Lori is a popular keynote speaker on Sales and Women in Sales and is recognised by LinkedIn as a top voice in B2B sales.
Advising on how to ride out this pandemic, Lori said, the most important things is a mindset, it is everything. The people who have been consultative sellers – keep doing what they are doing because we are all about adding value, we are all about listening to our buyers, were about understanding who our buyers and customers are. Keep doing that. Be more consultative and how more than ever be of more value as sellers. If you can get away from that vendor status, that is the dream.
Sales leader need to re-orientate what they are doing and do it better, not like a micro-manager. Setting a tone for every day they need to get on a group call and maybe an end of the day call to see, what their teams are working on, what they are excited about and let people know that we are all in this together. Folks are accessible now so; it is a great time to set up appointments, set up meetings and then talk to people when perhaps you can get their whole buying team on a conversation.
Talking about her book, She Sells, which will be available August September, Lori said, the inspiration came to her at a pivotal moment. She was consulting with a company, looking out at a room full of sales leaders and realising in this entire room of 70 people had only four women. She realised she needed to find out why, after so many years since she started in sales, little had changed. Over time, Lori collected stories and interviewed both men and women. Since Covid-19 looking at the state of diversity and inclusion and sales, there are still companies in crisis right now, companies are changing their messaging and how they do business, and where they do business. More than ever, it is critical that we have diverse sales teams because women bring so much to the table. When it comes to more empathy, more communication, strong listening skills, and just having diverse opinions,
women handle risk differently than men. These are the critical things that we need going into post-COVID unchartered waters, a time we have never dealt with before. The book, She Sells has pivoted and rewrote a couple of chapters to reflect why it is an imperative rather than a nice to have.
Biases are changing, for example, higher-level sales executives have massive amounts of travel, in fact, said Lori, we call them road warriors, right. This does not have to be the case anymore. It will be interesting whether companies adapt and the company leadership view of how things could change. I am curious to see whether some women get out of sales because of the quota, and having fewer customers or maybe it is chaotic at their company, who knows? And it will be interesting to see how all these things kind of shakeout.
Gartner recently updated their women and sales research, that chief revenue officers and companies think that the balance of gender is okay, and that goes against what we show in in the statistics. It shows that people still need to have compelling reasons to make an effort for more women and sales. And I do talk about the fact that it does take some extra effort because as women generally work extremely hard in a role and accomplish many things, but we will not shout it out to everyone.
There are some great male allies that support women; we need leadership to very clearly set out what the mission and the vision of the company what they stand for and then walk the talk. Women more than men care about working for a company whose ethics match their own and who will walk.
You can pre-order She Sells Attract, Promote, and Retain Great Women in B2B Sales, from Women Sales Pro https://womensalespros.com/shesells website.
I am a privilege white woman and share her experiences stating it is hard to say speak of other people experiences, who is not like me. This book is about gender, and she believes the next step, and she wants to enrol more people in helping share their story. Lori wants to see more extensive ethnicity and inclusion, noting ageism is a big issue, particularly in technology in companies. Those with less able and mental health, and more folks for the military.
Lori offered her tried and tested to scale. One of the most underused, opportunities is to build what she calls the third list of strategic referral partners. It is a great time to do this during the pandemic because you have a list of your customers, you have a list of your prospects. But do you have a formal record of people who could refer your multiple times on an ongoing basis, and do you have a consistent process for how and when you contact them?
Building a strategic refer network and having a process that you methodically work your extended network.
When asked, who is your Shero? Jill Konrath, she is a good friend now she is written four books on sales. They are all excellent, and they are all relevant, and I reached out to her and us over time, we built an extraordinarily strong friendship. Ultimately, Women’s Sales Pro was created because of Jill’s inspiration. Jill is standing up and wanting to see more women on the main stages in sales conferences and at company events.