38 Most Dynamic Women in Sales (The 2019 Edition)

Industry Insights

There are tons of roundup articles about top women sales leaders.

Most of the time, somebody does a LinkedIn search for “sales leader,” chooses the top 15 profiles with the most followers, and calls it a day.

That’s not really honest, is it?

What about the amazing sales leaders who aren’t well-known already? And why let LinkedIn’s algorithm decide who is the best? Why not ask those who really know?

So, we turned to seven sales leaders who have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on with sales:

  • Lori Richardson
  • Lauren Bailey
  • Cynthia Barnes
  • Alexandra Adamson
  • Brooke Bachesta
  • Shari Johnston
  • Rebekah Brewer

Keep reading to learn who they chose as the most dynamic women sales leaders and the most dynamic up-and-coming women in the industry — listed in no particular order. Then take a moment to celebrate all the amazing women in sales.

Most Dynamic Women Sales Leaders

Jill Konrath

International keynote speaker & bestselling author
Award-winning blogger and thought leader
2019: LinkedIn’s #1 B2B Sales Expert to Follow
Advisory board member at Xvoyant

Perhaps the most recognized woman in sales, Jill Konrath, was practically the FIRST female sales leader. She’s made her mark on the sales world, and blazed a trail for many women to follow. 

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve been in sales for virtually my entire professional career. 

In my 20s, I came up with a business plan for a service to large corporations. My advisor said the idea was great but that it wouldn’t work unless I learned how to sell. So, I decided to get a sales job and learn everything I needed to know in one year. Then I would take that sales knowledge and start the company.

However, my plans changed once I discovered the unique challenges of selling. It was very different from what I’d anticipated. I was exposed to so many different companies, people, and strategies. In short, I was hooked — and I’ve been in the sales field ever since.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

There are two things which I consider to be my greatest achievements.

One is getting notes from salespeople all around the world telling me how much my books and work has contributed to their success. Every time it happens (and it’s often), I smile, knowing that I’ve made a difference.

The other is serving as a role model for women in sales. For years, it seemed like the only experts out there were bald white guys. As much as I loved these men, I knew how much I needed to see someone successful who was like me. So, I stepped in to fill that void. And again, I know it’s made an impact.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

As a new seller, I lived in a constant state of fear, a fear of failure. I was afraid of not making quota, losing to the competition, making an embarrassing blunder, and the list goes on. I hated feeling that way. 

Finally, in frustration, I said to myself, “You haven’t failed. You just haven’t figured it out yet!” 

I repeated that to myself over and over during my first year of sales. It kept me focused on learning, practicing, and experimenting as opposed to getting down on myself. 

Ultimately, it became a mantra that I use any time I run into seemingly insurmountable obstacles — even today!

What’s your favorite sales book?

I’d have to say it’s either SNAP Selling or More Sales Less Time

SNAP Selling focuses on how to deal with today’s overwhelmed buyers. The buyers who are almost impossible to connect with, get distracted mid-decision, and choose to stay with the status quo. 

More Sales Less Time is all about helping sellers deal with their own sense of being overwhelmed. It helps you deal with having more to do at the end of the day than when you started, and how to deal with just being exhausted by the job.

For both of these books, I spent over a year researching the topics. I experimented with new sales approaches, distraction management techniques, and how to squeeze more out of a day while still feeling refreshed. Ultimately I discovered new strategies that totally changed the game — and then I finally wrote the books.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

I can’t go a day without challenges. I need to tackle an emerging, important issue — look for new and/or better ways to get to the end result — that’s what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

Figuring out how and where to leverage my lifetime of knowledge and body of expertise to solve problems and challenges outside the sales world.

 


Alice Heiman

Founder & Chief Sales Operator of Alice Heiman LLC
Co-Founder & CRO of
TradeShow Makeover
Speaker

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for over 25 years. I got catapulted into sales when I joined my dad and stepmom at their company, Miller Heiman (now The Miller Heiman Group). 

Looking back, though, I was in sales inadvertently even before that, as I had started a business called Book Adventures. It was a resource center for parents and teachers, filling a need in the community. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Besides raising my amazing son, it would be rebuilding my business after being very ill for several years. 

After leaving Miller Heiman, I had two record-setting years revenue-wise. Unfortunately I got ill after that, and I couldn’t work much for a few years. I had to let go of my well-trained staff and focus on healing. It took me 10 years to come back from that, but each year I was able to grow my business and get healthier.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started? 

Speak at conferences. It’s a great lead generator. Focus on becoming a great speaker, and get out there.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

Strategic Selling and it’s companion book, Conceptual Selling. Both are must reads if you have a complex sale. Even though these books were written years ago, they still are just as pertinent today, maybe more so. 

They are focused on the customer’s journey — although they were written long before anyone called it that. They teach you to understand who is involved in the sale and what matters to them. That way you can be better positioned to make the sale or quickly determine if it’s not a good fit.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Coffee. I make a pour-over every morning. I grind the beans, boil the water, and pour the water over the grinds so my coffee is just right. It’s a ritual for me. I love the process, the aroma, and of course, that first sip.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

To publish my book. It’s been years in the making, but it should be out by January 2020. My book is a labor of love. I hope it speaks to business owners who have a complex B2B sale and are stuck, or who want tremendous growth to build a strong sales organization to hit their goals.

My other goal is to start a sales minor at The University of Nevada.  There are universities all over the country that have sales courses, certificates, minors, majors and now, even some graduate programs. The dean, the faculty of the college of business, and I believe our university needs a sales minor to compliment its business degrees. I am dedicated to helping make that happen.

 


Amy Appleyard

SVP of Global Inside Sales at Carbon Black, Inc.

How long have you been in sales? 

I have been in sales for almost my entire professional career. I started with entrepreneurial ventures, then went to business school and co-founded a company.  As my family expanded, I made the decision to move to a large corporation, Staples. There I transitioned into sales leadership.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  

I consider it a great achievement to have created a life that lets me balance time with family (I am married with three girls) while also having a fulfilling and demanding career that I truly love.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?  

I wish I had been advised to enjoy every step of my career and to not get too stressed out. Life has a way of leading you to what you are “supposed” to be doing, but that can change many times and there is nothing wrong with that.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

I love sales books and have a hard time choosing a favorite! But Cracking the Sales Management Code is always in the top three.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

There are several things I can’t live without: coffee, yoga, my iPhone, Slack, and of course, my family.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?  

As far as additional career goals, I would love to serve on the board of a technology company.

 


Andrea Johnson

Sr. Manager of Enterprise Account Development at Lucidchart
Co-Founder of Utah Women in Sales

How long have you been in sales? 

I have been in sales for around 4 years.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Building out a new enterprise development team, and scaling it from 3 to 14 reps over a one-year period. 

I am also very proud of the local Utah Women in Sales group that a couple of colleagues and I started. 

We hold events to break the stigma of sales as a man’s world, and to recruit women who never would have thought of pursuing it as a career. It’s so satisfying to see women get hired at all sorts of companies and crush it! We have our first full-day Summit coming up in October!

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

“Fail Fast!” So many reps are too cautious when they start to sell. They’ll question everything they do. 

What do I say?

What if other people hear me screw up on the floor?

I don’t know the product well enough to sell it

Dive in. Put in the extra time now. Learn your product, and then start talking to people. Get some “at bats.” You aren’t going to screw up a deal with one or two mediocre conversations. Put yourself out there, get feedback, learn from it, and do better next time.

What’s your favorite sales book?

My favorite book changes frequently. I like How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christenson. It talks about management being one of the most influential places you can be. Because you not only influence people’s work life, but you affect how they enjoy their family life as well. It also talks about the importance of not just focusing your career around money and recognition, but focusing on something more important.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Diet Coke!

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

My goal is to achieve an optimal work-life blend. I want to lead and inspire larger teams while being a successful mother. 

 


Ang McManamon

Global Head of Growth at Knotel

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for 18 years!  It’s something I never thought I would do growing up, but now I would never think of doing anything else.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Moving to London to kick-start sales for the local division of Amazon in 2012.  Not only was it scary picking up and moving across the pond, but I wanted to ensure I made an immediate impact with the team.  

There are obviously minor cultural differences and different ways of selling between the US and UK, and being a born and bred NYer, I needed to be cognizant of my aggressive closing techniques.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started? 

Slowing down. In the beginning of my career, I rushed the sale due to lack of confidence and experience. I thought I prepared well, but now, as I coach reps, I see the value of slowing down and taking more time to prepare.

There are so many resources to get information on your client prior to that first meeting. Finding a commonality between you and the client, or learning how to pique their interest, goes a long way.  

Lastly, never underestimate the power of building a rapport with your prospects and customers. That trust will help you win deals more often than not.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  I also love Jeffrey Gitomer’s books.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

Cold brew coffee — black.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

Exit a Unicorn — be a NYT Best Seller, and speak in front of 1,000+.

 


Anita Nielsen

President and Owner of LDK Advisory Services LLC
Founding member of the Sales Enablement Society
Advisory Board Member of NAWSP

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for 20+ years.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Completing my book Beat the Bots: How Your Humanity Can Future-Proof Your Tech Sales Career — I call it my love letter to B2B sales professionals.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started? 

Never let fear or doubt keep you from being who you are, or from telling the world what you stand for.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink (but good grief, it is hard to pick just one!).

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

My 15 minutes of gratitude in the morning.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

Being a professor teaching B2B sales at a top university.

 


Christin Myers

VP of Sales & Marketing at OpenWorks
#GirlsClub Mentor

How long have you been in sales?

I feel like I’ve been in and around sales since I was a kid, but my first real ”sales” job was while I was in college, back in 2006. I worked in B2B sales for a transmission shop in Tempe, AZ. My goal was to get regular mechanics to refer transmission repairs to our shop. It was fun. I learned about door-knocking and how to relate to all sorts of people. 

From then on, I was hooked. I love the autonomy, the ability to make uncapped commissions, and the feeling of winning when I close a deal. I guess it appeals to my competitive nature.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being a single mom with a badass career! I became a single mom at 20. No college degree, no real job, but I had big dreams. Being a mom while working my way through college, and eventually becoming a full-time employee has taught me so much about patience, hard work, dedication, and perseverance. It has also forced me to have a continuum of work-life balance. 

I’ve always been forced to balance it. Some days have been hard, but when I look back, it has also been incredibly rewarding. And when I hear my son, Noah, tell me he’s proud of me, it makes my heart overjoyed. In those moments it feels like it’s all worth it.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

There are two things. 

The first is understanding pipeline and funnel management, and how you always need to keep your eye on the long-term in your sales funnel. I wish someone had taught me how to master that when I first got started in sales. 

Second, I wish someone had told me how important it is to make your boss your biggest advocate, and that I needed to create a great working relationship with them. There have been times in my career where I haven’t always seen eye to eye with my boss, and I look back and can appreciate how much easier things would have been if I had figured out how to make sure my boss had my back.

What’s your favorite sales book?

Thrive by Ariana Huffington. It isn’t a sales book. It’s more about taking care of yourself so you can be the best possible version of yourself. But if you’re able to show up like that everyday, it will help drive sales, relationships, and overall health in your life. It will help you kick ass!

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Music. I would be totally and utterly lost without music. I have it playing constantly. It helps me focus, it makes me smile, and it gets me into a groove.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

I dream of being able to share my story with a broader audience! I love public speaking, and feel I have a story many people can relate to. Secretly, I would also love to be an interior decorator for Airbnb properties… Maybe in another life. 

 


Cynthia Barnes

Founder and CEO of NAWSP
Founder and CEO of Barnes Sales Institute
Keynote Speaker

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve been in sales since Girl Scout cookies were $1.50/box.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement has been helping 14,000 NAWSP members Dance on the Glass Ceiling™.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

I wish I had been told to set bigger goals. Set goals so huge that they scare you, goals that make you spring out of bed each morning and say, “I get to work on this today,” instead of, “I have to work on this today.”

What’s your favorite sales book?

The one I’m writing now. Keep an eye out for it.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Nootropics.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

My goal right now is to have 300,000 NAWSP members by 2025.

 


Heather Cange

Director of Sales, Anaplan

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales since 2000. I started as a communications major, but I had a new daughter and I needed to start making some real money. It didn’t take me long to realize that sales is where the money was made.

Once I made the move, I fell in love with it. I knew this was where I needed to be.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

My greatest achievement has been promoting 67 different people into leadership. 

I love sitting down with people and having honest conversations about their strengths, and helping them determine where their strengths would be best utilized. 

I had an unconventional path to success, so being able to impart on these young professionals that there are many paths to success, and then helping them find their way has been great.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

Embrace failure. 

I think most sales people want to be liked — I know I did. Because of that, I took my first failure hard.

Once I realized that failure was normal, and part of the learning process, I grew much more confident and began to take more risks.

I’ve been a part of 6 different start-ups. Some of those have failed, some have succeeded, but If I hadn’t learned to embrace failure, I never would have had the confidence to be a part of those.

What’s your favorite sales book?

It’s not a sales book, but I tell all my reps to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It teaches time-management, prioritization, and the importance of proactive vs reactive language. All of these things are very applicable to sales. 

If I had to pick a sales book, I would say Beyond Selling Value by Mark Shonka. I read it early in my career, and it helped me establish my way of thinking about sales. It’s about selling value and solutions, not just a product, and that thinking has helped me a lot in my career.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Coffee, but I doubt that’s a very original answer. 

Honestly, connecting with my reps is something that I really enjoy and need each day. I get energy from other people, so, talking with my reps, and learning about them every day is a must.

If I don’t at least say hello, I feel very disconnected.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

I want to sell internationally. I love the idea of taking my family to a new place, and selling in an entirely new culture. The challenge of having to learn an entirely different sales culture is really enticing.

 


Jami ThomasJami Thomas

Senior Director, Rental Sales at Zillow Group

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for nearly 10 years.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

I am extremely proud of having the opportunity to lead and develop hundreds of sales professionals and sales leaders to achieve their professional and financial goals.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

Be ready to clearly articulate what you have accomplished, what you are proud of, and/or track and keep a record of your success. 

It is incredibly important to vocalize your success, your impact, and your progress in order to grow in your career.

What’s your favorite sales book?

The Challenger Sale by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

I can’t live without coffee.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

I plan to break records, leave a lasting legacy of creating destination sales teams, and continue to develop and grow each day.

 


Jamie Crosbie

Founder and CEO of ProActivate
National and Global Speaker of Mindset Science

How long have you been in sales?  

I have been in sales officially for 22 years, but I think I have naturally been in sales my whole life.  

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Professionally, I consider my greatest achievement to be leading a successful global business for almost 15 years. 

I always knew I wanted to start my own business, and I intentionally chose to work at entrepreneurial companies to provide the experience I would need to lead a business myself. I believe what gives us the ability to do something big is the discipline to do something small consistently. Each small step in my career led me to do my something big — to start ProActivate. 

Personally, my greatest achievement is to be a devoted and intentional Mom to my two precious children, Campbell and Caden.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started? 

One piece of advice I wish I had when I started would be to always have a mentor who is ahead of you in your career but who is committed to help you grow and succeed. 

As I’ve grown in my career I have been blessed to have mentors like Alice Heiman and Gerhard Gschwandtner. They have truly inspired me, guided me, and changed the trajectory of my success.  

What’s your favorite sales book? 

Purpose Driven Life, it is not a sales book but it is about living with a purpose, and that is where true success starts, whether it be in sales or any part of our lives.  

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

I start each day by waking up an hour before my kids so I can get my heart, soul, and mind set in the right direction for the day.  

I read my devotionals, pray, state my positive affirmations, drink hot water with lemon, and do a little mini meditation session. This time in the morning impacts everything else I do that day. 

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

I am already a speaker in the area of mindset and overcoming limiting beliefs, but one thing on my career bucket list is to become a Ted Talk Speaker!

 


Jessica Dodge

Senior Director, Demand Generation at Unitrends
Founder of Salestread

How long have you been in sales?  

I’ve been in sales for 12 years.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

In 2018 I seized the opportunity to lead a marketing organization after spending the previous 11 years in sales.  

The early days were spent learning — late nights, weekends, and early mornings, you could find me listening to podcasts, reading books, and studying numbers. Fast forward to today, and the program ROI has gone up, our SDR team is more productive, and we have a marketing team that deeply understands the needs of Sales.  

What I’ve learned has been invaluable. I believe that if your goal is marketing then you should begin that journey as a sales development rep. If your goal is sales then you should spend some time working in marketing. 

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started? 

Time is our most valuable asset. Decide on your goals, commit to them, and fiercely pursue them through daily habits.  

What’s your favorite sales book?  

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger. I love the quote from that book, “We’ve got to cut ourselves out to be whatever we want to be.”

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?  

My two kids and the coffee needed to keep up with them.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?  

My goal is to do a Ted Talk one day.

 


Lanette Richardson

Enterprise Account Executive and Sales Leader at Lucid Software Inc.
Co-Founder and Board Member of Utah Women in Sales

How long have you been in sales?

I have been in sales for over 25 years.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is probably being named one of the top 5 women in Software Sales in North America just a few months ago.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

Don’t keep fighting a situation that isn’t working. I wasted a lot of time trying to make situations work. When I learned to just let go and move on, I was much better off. 

I wish I would have been more open to change — change jobs, change what I am selling, Change methodologies, etc. Don’t get stuck. Always learn new things, be open to change, and grow as fast as you can. 

What’s your favorite sales book?

I think the most effective book on methodology is The Challenger Sale. I also really like Extreme Ownership. A good classic about selling is Selling Above and Below the Line

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

The one thing I can’t live without is great people. Of course, you need a computer, software, cell phones, etc., but unless I have great people to work with and for, what’s the point?

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

I want to be able to teach, coach, and mentor younger sales reps. The next generation of sales reps are so much more advanced than I was when I began. I would love to help that next group become the best ever. 

 


Lauren Bailey

President, Inside Sales Advisor, Digital Sales Trainer, and Speaker at Factor 8
Founder of #GirlsClub

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for 20+ years between sales leadership and sales training leadership.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  

Figuring out the little skills that make the biggest difference to build confidence for new sellers and managers.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?  

Be ok being young. I tried to be older and wiser for way too many years so I’d be taken seriously. I wish I’d enjoyed that process more.

It’s ok to be new, to make mistakes, and to grow. 

Favorite sales book? 

Anything by Jill Konrath or Shari Levitin is excellent.

One thing in your day you can’t live without? 

Coffee — but not just the coffee — I need the vanilla almond-milk creamer that goes in it. It’s a serious addiction.

One thing on your career bucket list?  

Being flown on a client’s private jet to speak. Boom! I’d feel like such a big deal, I’d have to immediately retire. Haha!

 


Lisa GoughLisa Gough

Corporate Vice President – Transformation – National Sales Optimization at Sysco

How long have you been in sales?

I have been connected to sales for 20 years.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

It’s hard to pick one.  Certainly completing my MBA in a year while working full time. However, helping to elevate the careers of others is right there at the top as well.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

That there will be moments of failure, and when they occur, the lessons you should learn from them become clear.

What’s your favorite sales book?

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

I need 30 minutes of quiet time every day.  It gives me an opportunity to reflect and prepare for the day.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

Become a board member for a Fortune 500 company.

 


Lori Richardson

CEO, Speaker, and Founder of Score More Sales
President of Women Sales Pros
Founding Member of the Sales Enablement Society

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for my entire adult life — several decades. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  

My greatest achievement has to be supporting a family as a single parent (which included paying for elite sports) while being a professional seller and sales leader.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?  

I wish I was taught to negotiate my salary.

I began my career thinking I was going to be compensated equally (through commissions and bonuses), and yet I didn’t realize my male colleagues were being paid more (even though I was the single parent). 

Favorite sales book? 

I am a voracious reader and have read hundreds of sales books. My favorite sales books are all of those written by the Women Sales Pros sales experts. 

One thing in your day you can’t live without? 

I can’t live without getting outdoors for fresh air and a walk. 

One thing on your career bucket list?  

One thing on my career bucket list is getting my book, She Sells, published by the end of this year. 

 


Megan Bowen

Chief Operating Officer at Managed by Q

How long have you been in sales?

I have had a 15-year career where sales was always a key component,  whether as a seller, an account manager, or as a leader of sales and post-sales revenue teams.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Becoming the COO at Managed by Q after the WeWork acquisition. I credit this to what I learned being a seller/account manager.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

Focus on what’s right for your customer and truly solve their problems. Everything else (hitting quota, growing your career, etc) will fall into place if you focus on the customer first. 

What’s your favorite sales book?

The Challenger Sale and Never Split the difference are both fantastic.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Taking time to be positive and grateful.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

I would love to do my own TedTalk!

 


Rachael RohnRachael Rohn

Regional President, Chicagoland at Compass
Mentor at VentureSCALE

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve been in sales since my first job selling golf balls back to the golfers who hit them over the fence when I was a kid. In all seriousness, I’ve been in sales for about 15 years.   

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Professionally, my greatest achievement is hiring, coaching, and learning from thousands of individuals in Chicago’s tech community. 

Personally, it’s the life my husband and I have built together over the last 12 years.  

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

You know you’re getting good at sales when you’re no longer afraid to walk away from a deal. The faster you learn that, the easier your sales life will be.  

What’s your favorite sales book?

To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink. 

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

I can’t function without my coffee or my team!   

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

Becoming a Chief Executive Officer is still on the top of my bucket list.

 


Shari Levitin

CEO of Levitin Group
Advisory Board Member at Vengreso
Speaker and bestselling author

How long have you been in sales?

I started in the hospitality industry 30 years ago as a marketing rep, quickly advanced into sales, then to management, and ultimately led a team of over 350 reps. 

Regardless of my title, my love was always training and development. I was fortunate to have a great mentor early in my career. He laid the foundation for me to sell in an ethical and principled manner. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Adopting my son. I used to be “that woman.” Before I had a child, I used to bark at my employees, 

“What do you mean you need time off to go to the school play? Don’t they record them?”

“Who doesn’t work the Friday after Thanksgiving?”

Caring for a child took my life from black-and-white to color. I learned what I now refer to as compassionate prioritization. I now connect more deeply with my clients and understand the true meaning of patience, compassion, and empathy. 

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?     

For years, I had a bad case of the “if only’s.” 

If only I had that management position, then I’d be happy and successful. 

If only I had better leads, a different product, more money, better hair, a great husband (before I was married), you name it. 

Happiness fuels productivity, not the other way around. Rather than banking on the hope that one day I’ll be truly successful and spiritually fulfilled, at which point all my problems will go away, I instead learned to reverse the formula. I call it Forced Optimism. 

I work hard at choosing rituals and actions that lead away from feelings of lacking and fear, and instead focus on things that lead towards optimism and gratitude. True fulfillment isn’t about being there; it’s about getting there. Or as Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote, “The road is better than the inn.”

What’s your favorite sales book?

Snap Selling by Jill Konrath.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Exercise, preferably outside. I prefer to take conference calls on a hike, strategize with co-workers on a trail, and listen to podcasts when I’m hiking alone. I think better and feel more when I’m moving. A couple of years ago, I was so engaged in Mario Martinez’s podcast, I didn’t realize I was within 15 feet of a moose!

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

To help women in third-world countries who either aren’t permitted to get an education or don’t have the necessary resources. 

We’re so lucky in this country to be able to choose a school to study at, and to have countless opportunities to learn and develop our skills. This year we’re launching a program to donate a percentage of our profits to “Girl Rising.” 

I believe we can all do more to inspire and educate those who can’t do it for themselves.

 


Stephanie Chung

President at JetSuite
Sales Expert

How long have you been in sales? 

My very first sales job was as an outside sales rep for USAir. I was 25 years old and I had a quota of $25M dollars. 

Having such a large sales quota for my first sales gig was a bit daunting. I spent the first six months tripping over myself because I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but eventually I got the hang of it, and the rest is history. 

I guess the saying is true: “It’s not where you start. It’s where you finish.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Being married to the same man for 30 years, raising a daughter who is an incredible person, and developing countless numbers of amazing sales professionals over the years — many of whom are now well-established as sales vice presidents. 

And oh yeah, becoming the first African American female to lead a major private jet company. That’s pretty cool too.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started? 

Trust yourself and trust your training. School is never out for the pro. You must continually sharpen your skills, because the competition out there is fierce.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

I’m biased, but I’m a fan of Neuroscience Selling (which I co-wrote with the late Judith Glaser). It’s designed to help sales pros understand how the brain shows up in a sales conversation. 

If you practice the techniques outlined in it, then you’ll have an advantage over your competition.  

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

My iPhone. It helps me stay on schedule, answer emails, manage my time, and listen to music.  It’s hard to recall what life was like before cell phones.  

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

I don’t believe in bucket lists. A bucket list is something you hope to accomplish. I think hope is good for positive thinking, but not as good as a career strategy. I tend to set my goals, execute, and achieve whatever goals I set. 

I don’t hope. I do. 

 


Trish Bertuzzi

Founder and Ceo of The Bridge Group Inc.
SDR/AE/CSM Evangelist
Author

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve been in sales for 38 years. I started out as a waitress, and I served the CEO and the CRO of a tech company during the days of the three-martini lunch. They would get hammered, and I would torture them. 

One day, the CEO turned to me and said, “You’re rude, obnoxious, arrogant and hungry. You should be in sales.” 

So I turned to him and said, “Then give me a job.” 

He did, and that’s how I got started in sales.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is building a professional services organization focused on sales that’s been a thought leader in the tech space for several decades.

I’m also pretty proud of my book. It’s sold over 25,000 copies, and we were only planning to sell about 500 initially.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

Just because you’re successful doesn’t mean you’re the shit. Keep your ego in check, and always be doing self-assessments. Early on I didn’t, and it led to me being fired when I was the top-performing sales rep at my company.

What’s your favorite sales book?

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore is something I still refer back to regularly. Jill Konrath’s Selling to Big Companies was an eye-opener for me. I also love Keenan’s Gap Selling .

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Outreach and Chorus. I call them my dynamic duo. I really love Outreach. It makes me so productive.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

My focus now is on making sure I successfully transition my business to the next generation of thought leaders. I want to make sure that my company can move away from Trish Bertuzzi and into just The Bridge Group land.

 


Whitney Horton Leberman

Director of Sales at DroneDeploy

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for 16 years. It wasn’t my first job out of college, but it was close. It was my second. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I’m so proud of the relationships I’ve built with clients, and seeing the people on my teams grow their own careers and do great things. 

Fellow former athletes know there’s nothing better than winning at a team sport. 

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

It took me a little while to learn this, but in order to have longevity in this profession, you need to disconnect the outcome from the process. 

It’s a really, really hard thing to do. There’s usually a lot of internal and external pressure to win the deal. You can run a great sales process and still not win, but if you consistently run a great sales process, you will win more than you lose.

What’s your favorite sales book?

Drive by Daniel Pink and Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I am a Sinek fangirl!

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

We had our second child 3 months ago, so right now, it’s a shower. All joking aside, I know you asked for one thing, but I can’t pick just one. Sleep and gratitude are probably the two I can’t live without.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

I want to help lead a private company to a successful outcome.

 


Most Dynamic Up-and-Coming Women in Sales

Adrienne Greenberg

Account Executive, Public Sector at Salesforce

How long have you been in sales?  

I’ve been in sales for over 4 years.

Why did you choose sales? 

I actually ended up in sales by accident! I wanted to join a start-up that aligned with my mission-driven values and found a spot as a Business Development Representative. 

Right away I knew sales was the right career for me. I enjoy the mix of creative problem solving, partnering with customers to reach their goal, and working as a team to hit our numbers for the year.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

There are always 3 no’s before you get a yes. 

What’s your favorite sales book?

Demonstrating to Win: The Indispensable Guide for Demonstrating Software by Robert Riefstahl is a fantastic book.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

I really rely on my to-do list/journal every day. 

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

My goal is to one day be the founder and CEO of my own company.

 


Amanda Edelstein

Cloud Solutions Strategist at Amazon Web Services

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve worked in sales for over 14 years now.

Why did you choose sales?

For me, sales was a calling. I’m a people person to the core, so sales always seemed like the right path to take.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

Never give up. People have bad days, and sales is cyclical. You have to just keep going.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

The Sales Enablement Playbook by Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey — and Rebel Talent: Why it Pays to Break the Rules in Work and in Life by Francesca Gino.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

There are two things I can’t live without. One is water. Staying hydrated helps with brain function. The other is Spotify. When I’m prospecting and doing admin work, I gotta have a few great tunes to keep me pumped up!

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

Working for Amazon Web Services was at the top of my bucket list career-wise, and I was lucky enough and worked hard enough to make that come true in March of this year. 

Next step I’m not sure — the world? Just kidding.

 


Amy Volas

Founder and CEO of Avenue Talent Partners

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve been in sales for more than half of my life, 20(ish) years. 

Why did you choose sales? 

It chose me. I was a recruiter, and the company I was working for, which I loved, was suffering from multiple layoffs after the dot com bubble. After a serious sit-down with the CEO, I had a choice: enterprise sales or no job at all. 

There was nothing left to recruit for, so the choice was pretty obvious. I chose door #1, and the rest is history.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

“What you put into something is what you’ll get back from it.” I was given this advice as a young girl, and it’s the mantra I live by.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

Yikes, I don’t have just one favorite. I have many that I take bits and pieces from.

Honestly, some of the best sales books I’ve read weren’t sales books at all, but they had wonderful lessons that apply to sales.  

The sales books I’ve read multiple times with tattered edges, dog-eared pages, and notes are: The Transparency Sale, The Challenger Sale, Sales Management Simplified, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and The Little Red Book of Selling.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

I hate to say it out loud, but my iPhone.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

I want to start a little restaurant or catering business when my work is done here. I’m not sure that it ever will be done though.

 


Brittany May

Sales Manager at FundApps

How long have you been in sales?  

I’ve been in sales for 4 years. 

Why did you choose sales? 

Sales was a no brainer for me. I am extremely competitive, I love interacting with people and learning their unique stories, and I am motivated by the idea that my success in sales is heavily correlated with how much I wanted to contribute. 

Technology has the ability to have a massive, positive impact on our world today, and I love the idea that I get to be a part of that. 

Having transitioned from healthcare to tech sales, the ability to help and serve others and have every sale be a win-win situation was important for me to maintain. I’m energized by the fact that the technology I represent truly helps others and makes their lives at work better.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

The idea of breaking your life into thirds, and living by the expression, “Learning, Earning, and Returning.” I am passionately curious, extremely competitive, and if you look at my career bucket list, you will understand just how much giving back means to me. 

What’s your favorite sales book? 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book focuses on personal change, and being proactive as opposed to reactive. It teaches the importance of:

  • Having a vision for what you’d like to achieve
  • Aligning your actions to reach your end goal
  • The power of prioritization 
  • Striving to create win-win situations 
  • Listening and seeking first to understand before being understood
  • Valuing the differences that each individual brings to the table 
  • Taking time to preserve and enhance yourself 

These are all valuable lessons to live by, but they can also have an incredible impact on your ability to reach the next level in your career.  

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

A good workout to keep me centered. In sales, there will always be more to do, but I’ve found that a good workout and yoga allows me to decompress, stay focused, and keep my mental game strong. This is my “sharpen the saw” activity.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

I would say my ultimate goal in life is to get to the point where I’m able to “return” more — to give back to the world and the people within. 

I’m inspired by people who work hard — people with the “never stop learning” mentality — who recognize all of the opportunities they were given, the people who helped them, and then make a point to pay it forward. 

My mentor told me early on that, in his eyes, a true indication of success would be getting to the point where one of his mentees became his boss. This, mixed with playing team sports my entire life, has given me a different perspective on what it means to be competitive. 

We will all see far more success, and be much happier if we support and encourage one another while having an ongoing competition with ourselves. If we each make a point to be better than we were yesterday, and stop comparing ourselves to others, we’ll go much farther.

 


Brooke Bachesta

SDR Manager at Outreach

How long have you been in sales?  

I’ve been in sales for 5 years.

Why did you choose sales? 

It was a total accident! I studied literature and sociology, and I wasn’t ready for grad school. I applied to 100+ jobs, and I got a bunch of call backs for SDR roles. I tried it out and loved it. 

It’s competitive, it has a great  team environment, and it’s super clear if you’re doing well or not. There’s a ton of upside.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

Be yourself! 

I had someone tell me to get rid of my “phone voice.” That helped shape my whole perspective around bringing my authentic self to work and connecting with prospects/teammates on a human level before selling.

What’s your favorite sales book?

I’ll have to say Predictable Revenue it’s an oldie but a goodie. As an SDR manager, I wouldn’t have a job without it.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

Coffee, a steady stream of carbonated water beverages, in-person meetings with my team, and cranking the tunes in the SDR pit. 

If it’s too quiet or if I feel like I haven’t connected with my folks throughout the day, then I’m missing something.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 
Take a company to a successful IPO or buyout.

 


Cassie Young

Chief Customer Officer at CM Group (Sailthru | Campaign Monitor | Emma | Delivra)
Advisory Board Member of Venture for America

How long have you been in sales?  

I’ve been in a direct sales role for 2 years, but I’ve been operationally involved with sales for 7 years.

Why did you choose sales? 

I actually started my SaaS life in customer success, where the focus is 100% on the customer. We found that 80% of our new pipeline was coming from referrals. This was because of the trust we had cultivated with our customers. 

So, I thought, “What could we do if we brought that customer-first mindset to the sales side of things?” That’s when I made the shift and took on the direct management of a sales team.

I like to think of the customer experience as either a bartender relationship or a personal trainer relationship. A bartender may listen to you talk and seem like they’re your friend, but at the end of the day, their goal is to sell you something. 

A personal trainer’s focus is on making you better and healthier, coaching the customer to achieve their long-term goals. We don’t sell to someone unless we think our product will actually benefit them (i.e., that we can help them meet their stated goals), and that transparency and trust has built a huge amount of referral business for us.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

The best sales advice I’ve received is, “No is just the first opportunity to get them to say yes.” It is critical to have that challenger mentality in sales, especially if you’re convinced that you can help the buyer elevate their program.

What’s great is that with our customer-first philosophy of selling, we don’t pursue a sale unless we’re certain it will help the customer. This gives us the ammo and motivation to chase after that “no,” because we are confident that our product can solve our customers’ problems. 

What’s your favorite sales book? 

Selling to Zebras by Chad Koser and Jeff Koser is fantastic. 

While not a traditional sales read, Customer Centricity by Peter Fader is something that I refer to a lot. It’s about creating a decision framework that’s based on the type/value of the customer you are serving.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

Our customer risk tracker. It’s an insightful document that we’ve created with our own metrics which determines how at-risk a customer is of leaving our service. 

Since successful customers are critical to our overall business growth, I practically live my life out of this document. 

To that end, I meet with at least one customer live every single day; the customer risk tracker helps me to prioritize, but of course I also love spending time with customers who have no risk of leaving as well!

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

My career bucket list is to run a company. I look forward to ultimately being a CEO of a truly customer-obsessed company.

 


Jillian Clancy

Sales Leader, Sales Consultant

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve been in sales for 9 years!

Why did you choose sales?

I accidentally stumbled into my first sales job at EF Education First. It was the best combination of learning incredible sales skills, learning how to lead teams, and being able to travel the world. 

I’ve stayed in sales because of the incredible colleagues and customers I’ve met, and the impact that each of those stories has had on my life. I love to meet new people, learn their stories, and find out what motivates each individual. 

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most?

“Create your own personal Board of Advisors.” My first VP of Sales (and now mentor) gave me this advice. It’s stuck with me the last 10 years and has been a pillar of how I lead. 

There are many situations you’ll encounter throughout your career that will require different expertise and experience. If you’ve curated a group of mentors with a variety of strengths who you can reach out to — it’s a beautiful thing! 

My own personal Board of Advisors has helped me in many different situations throughout my career. Curating a similar group of mentors is one of my first pieces of advice to new reps on any team I’m leading.

What’s your favorite sales book?

It’s a tie. Trish Bertuzzi’s The Sales Development Playbook was a game changer when I first became a sales leader. The title explains itself — it guided me through a lot of decision-making. 

However, anyone who knows me well knows that I had a dream of being in the FBI, so I also have to go with Never Split the Difference. I love this book because it’s all about the importance of emotional intelligence and the small details in sales — tone of voice, asking specific questions, etc. While the book focuses on the importance of your EQ during the negotiation process, it’s applicable to all parts of the sales process and leading a team.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Being outside. It’s how I clear my head, process a decision, or think about how to lead my team. New England winters don’t always make this possible, but I take full advantage of the fresh air or being by the water when I can.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

I want to guide incredible female sales professionals into leadership roles. I love building and leading teams. Being able to see anyone I’ve managed achieve succeed is why I wake up to do this job every day. 

It’s my dream to look back in 10 years and see incredible women who I had the honor to lead early in their sales career stepping into executive roles. The sales world needs more female leaders, and I’d like to help guide some of them to those roles.

 


Jordan Arogeti

Senior Mid-Market Sales Executive at SalesLoft

How long have you been in sales?  

I’ve been in sales for 4 years — one as a BDR, the last three as a closer. 

Why did you choose sales? 

I chose sales because it was the best opportunity to match my skill set — communication, relationship building, and organization — with my ambitions and goals. Those goals are financial, but more so to have flexibility and autonomy to balance an evolving lifestyle of family and motherhood. 

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

The most important things in life, maybe even the only important things in life, are your health and the relationships with the people you love. 

What’s your favorite sales book?

Never Split the Difference. It’s my favorite because it tells the story of sales in everyday life, and not just in a practical work environment.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

A win — it can be a deal, an innovative idea, it could be big or small, or even just be doing the laundry, but I need a win every day.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?
I want to be an integral part of a company’s IPO or acquisition. 

 


Julia Bourne

Sales Manager — Axalta at MarketSource Inc

How long have you been in sales?  

I have been in sales for 6 years, but I have been around a sales environment since I was a child. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs, so sales is at the heart of who I am. 

Why did you choose sales? 

I initially started in what I thought was going to be a customer experience role, but my first week on the job, a position opened in business development, and I was given an opportunity to take on that role. 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I loved it. Naturally, I am a competitive person and I excel in driving results, so it was a great fit for me. 

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

I have two pieces of advice that coincide with each other. 

At MarketSource, our President, Rick Haviland, has a saying, “Keep the main thing, the main thing.” It’s a motto here, and I find that it is applicable to everything we do.

My boss, Ryan Holt, thought about that saying and told our team that, for us, “The main thing is developing our people and driving results.” We continuously check in with our people and customers to make sure we are aware of what success looks like from their perspective. 

What’s your favorite sales book?

There are so many great books to choose from, so I will go with the book that I recently finished and loved, Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. This book speaks to vulnerability in leadership, which is something I fully believe in. She teaches that if you lean into the tough conversations, you will see success come from it.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

My children. They are my reason. It makes me proud that both of them will get to see more women in leadership roles as they get older!

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

This is a tough one for me — I don’t specifically have a bucket list. I watch for opportunities as I move through my career, and I look at my career with a fluid perspective. I believe in staying open to opportunities, and I am always looking to take on new challenges!

 


Kaela Nichol

Senior BDR at Bolt

How long have you been in sales? 

I have been in sales for a year and a half since graduating from college.

Why did you choose sales? 

My degree and previous experience was centered in Civil Engineering, but as I neared graduation, I knew I wanted to build my career in a different direction. 

Eventually, I found myself at a Women in Sales event, and I loved networking with intelligent sales professionals who are driving growth for their companies. My career in sales has been exciting, challenging, and very fulfilling. 

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

Growing up, my dad had a note taped on the garage door that said, “Make it a great day!” It seemed cliche at the time, but it taught me to take accountability for my own actions and to actively pursue my goals. 

What’s your favorite sales book?

As much as sales is about talking, it is more about listening. No book communicates this better than the classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. 

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

I need time outside and away from screens every day. Whether that’s a walk, a hike, or shoveling snow in the winter. Fresh air and sunshine work wonders for my mood.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

Working abroad is definitely on my career bucket list. It would be an exciting challenge to take on.

 


Kathryn Nemmers

Senior Account Executive at Chorus.ai

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for a little over 5 years.

Why did you choose sales? 

I love the daily challenge of it, and I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. 

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

The best piece of advice I received was, “You can’t win them all.”

What’s your favorite sales book? 

My favorite sales book is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. 

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

I couldn’t make it through the day without the love and support of my family and friends.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

My goal is to retire early! 

 


Katie Ray

Territory Account Manager at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for almost 4 years. 

Why did you choose sales? 

I wanted to go into journalism to learn more about people and their thought processes. I learned a lot from the academic side of things, but then I had an internship working in sales and promotions and I learned so much more. 

I realized that you learn more about people by getting out and actually talking to them. That was the first step that made me choose sales. I learned that by having great conversations and listening, you can change the conversation from being “salesy” to being more of a consultation. 

Sales is simply finding a need someone has and filling it. 

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

Don’t stop calling. People say that phone calls are dead, especially in prospecting. They say you have to get fancy now, but I disagree! 

The other piece of advice that’s helped me a lot is that you can’t control everything that happens, but you can control how you react to it.

What’s your favorite sales book? 

Sales Engagement by Outreach. They have a lot of practical “use now” advice! 

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

My puppies! I have two huskies, Nova (4), and Ned (8 months), and they help me every day! I work remotely, so they are often my support after a tough call, and they’re my cheerleaders after good ones! 

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

I have always wanted to pursue a career in management. There is something electrifying about the moment you see someone whose been struggling finally get it, and knowing you were a part of it. I know that In management I would be able to have plenty of those moments. 

 


Kiersey McLaughlin

Inside Sales Rep at Vector Solutions

How long have you been in sales? 

I’ve been in sales for about 6 years. My first job out of college was an outside sales role selling craft beer. I made the move to inside sales 3 years ago.

Why did you choose sales? 

Sales has always appealed to me, even from a young age. My grandfather was a very successful salesman for a company that did advertisements in the yellow pages. I’m not sure that’s even a job anymore. I think he glamorized the idea of a sales career, but I was fascinated with stories of how he would persuade even the hardest prospects. 

I love the idea of having a new challenge to take on each day and that each day can be different depending on the potential client. I have a knack for problem solving, and a natural desire to be helpful, so a career in sales has been well-suited thus far.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

Glean from others’ experience and knowledge, but don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it. You can be your own competitive advantage.

What’s your favorite sales book?

My current favorite is Heart and Sell by Shari Levitin. An oldie but a goodie is The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon. 

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without? 

Music for sure! I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I could remember other things as well as I do lyrics. 

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

My goal is to one day create a scholarship.

 


Mary Browning

Senior Account Executive and Director of Sales Development at Emplify
Mentor at #GirlsClub
VP of the Indianapolis Chapter of AA-ISP

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve been in or around the sales industry for 10 years, managing sales teams, running sales development programs, and being an individual contributor.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

There are two things in my career that I’m extremely proud of.

In a previous role, I led my organization through some pretty difficult times. There was some churn of a couple of big clients, and our sales team was stalled out. Even though I hadn’t directly sold in my career yet, I jumped in to help pave a new path for our sales team. I ended up closing some of the biggest deals in our company’s history. It helped to right the ship and primed us for an acquisition.

The second thing I’m very proud of happened when first joining my current organization. We had a young woman join our sales group right out of college. She is talented and is an incredibly hard worker, but she found the adjustment from school to the work world mentally draining and anxiety provoking. 

We partnered together, and I was able to give her a framework for separating herself and her identity from results. With that, and some daily mentoring, she got through it with flying colors, and results followed!

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had when you started?

Your path to success depends on how much you focus on the work itself. Do this, and the results will come. 

It doesn’t help you or your organization to worry or pine over outcomes that aren’t there yet. Pour that energy into being committed and relentless about making the deals, bring your best self to every sales conversation, and learn from every encounter.

What’s your favorite sales book?

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Burtuzzi. Because it all starts with your ability to sell the next meeting, not necessarily sell your product.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

A cup of coffee and 15 minutes to take a deep breath and plan out my day. Oh, and a big hug from my little girl.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

My goal is to become a business owner. 

 


Melissa Murillo

Manager of Sales Development at Validity Inc.

How long have you been in sales?

I’ve only been in a straight sales role for two years. However, I feel like I’ve been doing some sort of sales since my first job waiting tables in college.

Why did you choose sales? 

I don’t think I chose sales, I think sales chose me. The majority of my career was spent in marketing, but I always gravitated toward the sales sides of my marketing role. 

My previous company went through layoffs, and I was a casualty. I had a friend call me about interviewing for his organization — they didn’t have any openings in marketing, but they did in sales. It was a risky move and completely changed my career trajectory, but looking back, it was absolutely the best decision I could have made for myself.  I felt like a fish that was finally put into water.

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

“Don’t be afraid to fail.”  It’s easy to play it safe, but without risk, you’ll never see the greatest rewards.

What’s your favorite sales book?

Heart and Sell by Shari Levitin.  She’s very candid in her approach, which reminds me to never lose my authenticity in my business dealings.

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

Hearing “I love you” from my daughter.

What’s one thing on your career bucket list?

To be a mentor to women just starting out in their sales careers. I wouldn’t be where I am today without incredible role models and women who shared their experience, strength, and wisdom with me.

 


Noelle Hunter

Senior Manager, Inbound Sales Development at Vonage

How long have you been in sales? 

I’m approaching my 6th sales-iversary in inside sales (basically my entire career after college). 

Why did you choose sales? 

Let me be honest, 6 years ago my reasons were money-oriented. I’ve chosen to stay in sales because I get a sick pleasure from the daily challenge that is sales leadership. Maybe I’m crazy. Who knows? 

I’ve always had a love for the “sales grind,” and over the past few years, I’ve uncovered a passion for leadership, creating teams, and developing others. 

What’s one piece of advice that’s helped you the most? 

Don’t let fear of failure stop you from moving forward. Even the most successful people have a collection of mistakes that they learned valuable lessons from. If you stay comfortable, growth won’t happen. Be thoughtful, but don’t be afraid to execute, fail, pivot, and keep moving and growing in a better direction. 

What’s your favorite sales book?

I think there are a ton of great sales and sales leadership books out there: The Psychology of Selling, The Sales Acceleration Formula, etc. Literally endless options are at our fingertips. 

That said, when people on my team ask me this, I give suggestions based on the areas they’re looking to improve. Then, I’ll ask, “When was the last time you consumed helpful information and consistently applied it?” 

My point here is that you can find great sales thoughts everywhere, but the crucial element so many of us miss (myself included) is practicing what we absorb. 

I encourage everyone to read books, listen to podcasts, and brainstorm with other thought leaders, BUT be intentional with practicing all those awesome techniques you’re hearing. Take the time to convert the knowledge you’ve consumed into effective habits. 

What’s one thing in your day you can’t live without?

A workout! I lift weights almost every day and have for about four years now. It makes such a difference in my ability to handle stress and keep a winning attitude. I am a much better saleswoman and leader since adopting the habit. 

What’s one thing on your career bucket list? 

If you had asked me this a couple years ago, I would have told you I wanted a C-level title. At this point in my career, more than any other accomplishment, I’d like to be able to say that I’ve inspired, challenged, and nurtured every person I had the opportunity to work with. 

Anyone can be given a title, I want to impact others in a tangible way.

 


What Do You Think?

The women in this list are the movers and shakers in the sales world, no doubt about it. They don’t settle for the status quo, and they strive to be at the top, wherever they are in their careers.

That’s something we want to highlight and celebrate. Women — bringing their insights and expertise to the table — are helping us elevate and modernize the entire sales industry.

A big thanks to these amazing women for helping to elevate sales, and to our panel of sales leaders who nominated them!

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:

 

Max Altschuler is currently the VP of Marketing at Outreach. He is as passionate about the sales profession as they come. He created the premier B2B Sales media company for all things sales innovation, Sales Hacker, and ramped them up to over 150,000 monthly visitors before joining Outreach through acquisition. At Outreach, he leads all things marketing, along with the continued evolution of the Sales Hacker community. Max is a highly regarded sales thought-leader published by Forbes, Time, Inc, Harvard Business Review, and Quora. He wrote the book on modern sales called Hacking Sales: The Playbook For Building A High Velocity Sales Machine, which was published by Wiley.