Advice from our Women to Watch

Post by: Anna Johansson
Published: 9 January 2023

We asked all the women we interviewed this year what advice they had for women in tech sales and here is what they said.

Kirstine Forrester

“I need to believe in the value of what I’m selling and have the ability to show how it is actually going to add value to the organisations we work with. Obviously the role isn’t entirely altruistic as there is a financial reward, but if that’s your sole motivation, it’s a bit heartless. I also believe that’s when it will feel really like a chore as it’s all about the numbers and hitting targets.”

Heidi van der Griend

“Be confident and willing to learn! As the tech space is constantly changing it definitely keeps you on your feet. If you are willing to be agile to these changes and confident in what you are selling, the world is your oyster!”

Rose Cullen-McKeon

“Customer success is a relatively new concept coming through in the last four to five years, particularly in the SaaS space. There was a requirement for it. It not just about selling, it’s really about getting to know your clients, their businesses and challenges, and what you can do to make their life easier.”

Sophie Pereira

“In the tech setting you rely so much on the tech itself, be gentle with yourself for the first few months. Every tech is completely different and new with all their technical elements, layers and infrastructure. I’m still learning a year and a half later so give yourself time and understand that it will take quite a while for you to feel competent in tech.”

Cleo Virgona

“You’ll be learning lots and it’s good to be vulnerable, don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ and then map a path to learning what you want/need to learn. Remember that no one is above any job. If you’re starting your career, any door is a door. Walk through it, seize every opportunity, see how you go, you can turn it into anything, learning or opportunity, and this is an important process to figure out what you like and are good at.”

Celin Teo

“There is always a lesson in every area of life. Look to the groups of women around you, your support group and other people in the role for advice, reach out and take a leap of faith. You will never know if you never try.”

Roxanne Vickerman

“Don’t underestimate yourself. Trust your gut instincts and listen to your intuition. If you have the customer at the heart of what you’re doing, and you have good intentions with how you’re solving their pain points, then you’ll win every time.”

Michelle O’Shanassy

“The most important thing to know is that you are not going to hit your number every month, or every quarter for the rest of your career. So I think it is essential to always work towards generating a sales pipeline and avoid being too short-focused.”

Grace Ponting

“My advice would be to build your confidence, surround yourself with inspiring people and just be yourself. There’s a certain preconception about what sales people should be like, often extroverted, talkative and outgoing and it can be easy to succumb to imposter syndrome, especially since the sales industry has been typically dominated by men. If these things don’t come naturally to you, as they don’t to me, it doesn’t mean you don’t belong in sales or you won’t be good at it. Prepare and practise for meetings and interviews, lean on a mentor and ultimately know your worth.”

Nao Ushio 

“We are all different people and that’s the beauty of the world. Self assessments are so fascinating to learn about yourself so that once you understand yourself you can respect others and admire differences.”