Andrea Waltz: Women in Sales Talk Productivity
In this series, we delve into the personal and professional dimension of female thought leaders from the world of high tech sales to explore their views on productivity and sales effectiveness.
This week, we connect with Andrea Waltz as part of Cien’s Women in Sales Talk Productivity series. Andrea is the co-author of best selling Go for No!, and speaks all over the US and the UK teaching the ‘Go for No’ strategies – embraced by professionals in a wide variety of industries and businesses.
Andrea, can you tell us where you are from, where do you live and what do you enjoying doing outside work?
I grew up in Southern California, but I currently live in Orlando, Florida. Outside work, I love the theater and movies and when the weather is nice, I enjoy visiting the Disney parks with my family.
How long have you been in sales and why did you choose it as a career?
I have been in sales since I was 16. My career is a professional speaker and author who focuses on overcoming failure and rejection in sales. But of course, I sell to this day. I love sales because when you get good at it, the right way, it builds your character. You learn how to really listen to people and solve problems. You build traits like courage, persistence, resilience and creativity. You are constantly learning and growing in sales.
What factors contributed to your success?
Mostly, my willingness to try new things even when I had no idea what I was doing and to stay persistent enough to learn and get better. I certainly have had periods of complacency in my business over the years, but every time I battled out of my comfort zone, success and growth followed.
Has sales changed in the last 5 years? If so, how?
With technology, sales is changing rapidly like most things. New apps, platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) have all contributed to sales evolving. These technologies can distance people from customers and prospects, however, they can make a sales team so much more effective. It will be interesting to see how businesses deal with that.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of being a woman in sales, if any?
I don’t like to think of being a woman in sales as being at a disadvantage, but the reality is that there has been major under-representation of women in the industry. In addition, I am shocked at times seeing a line up of 12 to 24 sales experts at an event and there are no women. Fortunately, it’s changing. At the same time, we need role models to continue to push through and they are.
Is there a particular female sales leader or influencer you see as a role model and admire?
I admire so many women sales leaders. Each woman is shaping the future for more women to come next in their own way. They all impress me, because I know the courage and the persistence they each have had to get where they are. I’ve learned so much from Kendra Lee who started KLA Group years ago after a successful sales career at IBM. The group focuses on helping high tech companies get more customers and generate more revenue. I’m sure her journey was not “easy”, which shows just how driven and passionate she is about her business.
In your opinion, where do you see sales leaders often falling short?
There is a constant need for sales teams to improve the way they identify and qualify prospects to not waste time chasing bad leads. To do so, I think sales leaders need to focus on behaviors, not just results. It’s easy to coach people on the numbers, but you need to break it down to actual behaviors and then figure out where the gaps are.
How do you see artificial intelligence impacting the way sales teams work?
As with all new technology, it works if you work with it. Sales teams need to trust in the data they are given and follow through to see if the results are there. That builds more trust and more reliability. But someone has to take the lead.
What advice would you offer to other women to be successful in B2B sales?
Never talk yourself out of pursuing a deal because you’ve made an assumption about what the client says or thinks about you. Be willing to fail, you learn so much more that way and ultimately you will create greater chances for success.
What publications, sites, podcasts or books about sales do you enjoy?
I am part of the SalesExperts channel on Brighttalk. It’s a great group of talented sales experts conducting webinars, often several times a week on a variety of sales topics. They get archived so you can attend later if you miss one.
About Andrea Waltz
Andrea Waltz is the co-author of Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There, along with her husband and business partner Richard Fenton. They have spoken all over the US and the UK teaching the ‘Go for No’ strategies – embraced by people in a wide variety of industries and businesses to rave reviews and amazing results. Andrea’s book hit #1 on Amazon’s “Selling” list and has remained in the top 20 of ‘Sales’ books for over the last 8 years.