Interview with Lori Richardson
Gryphon sat down with Lori Richardson, CEO of Score More Sales and President of Women Sales Pros, to discuss B2B strategy – specifically the importance of data, having an established sales process, successful onboarding, and women in sales. She is recognized as one of Forbes’ “Top 30 Social Sales Influencers,” and speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams. Read the full interview here.
Gryphon Networks (GN): Most people believe that the days of management based on hunches and manually-entered information are on the decline because of new sales technology. Can you share how vital you believe it is to have accurate data when managing a sales team?
Lori Richardson (LR): Hunches have always been trouble for sales leadership. I remember when I was a sales manager, I never was better than 50% right in terms of hiring the right reps for my team. Somehow, we feel like we’re good at it the longer we’re around or the more we’ve seen. Things like hiring the right salespeople or knowing where you’re at without analyzing sales data – it’s just not possible. I’m a huge fan of data in any way, shape, or form we can get it.
GN: From our perspective, selling a sales technology tool, we believe it is a combination of people, a sales process, and the technology that work together for the ultimate sales success. That’s how we built our methodology. Do you have a recipe for success that you might share with underperforming sales teams?
LR: I don’t disagree with what you’re talking about — it’s people, process, tools, and leadership. Those would be my four. Within the people piece, it’s so important to bring in the right people for sales roles. Many times, we don’t have the right salespeople in place, because in addition to being a craftsperson, you need to have the will to sell.
Salespeople need to have a strong desire and a strong commitment to sales success. Not only that – they have to be motivated, and they have to take responsibility. There must be leadership to support that as well. That’s a lot of plates spinning in the air. To have a methodology and forward-thinking leadership and tools – that’s a lot to get right.
GN: Transitioning now, let’s talk about the things you’ve been doing with Women Sales Pros and the state of the sales industry for women. There’s still a disproportionate amount of men in leadership roles compared to women in sales. As a leader in the industry, how do you think the sales landscape has changed for women in recent years? Has it improved? Is it getting better?
LR: The reason I started Women Sales Pros about five years ago was because I was looking at sales teams I was working with and they were groups of all men. All male leadership and there were one or two women. But there were never half women or even one-third women. I realized that in the number of industries, particularly Tech and SaaS, and manufacturing, telecom, and financial services, it’s a male-majority system.
There’s no simple answer to solve that because there are more millennial women than there are men that are getting into the workforce. A lot of millennial women don’t know what B2B selling is; that it is a profession that is admirable, flexible, and financially lucrative. One aspect is to educate women more in college and even high school, and another is that we need to hire differently.
We need to have offices where it doesn’t feel like a locker room. Again, not all companies are like that, but some are. Some give a bad name to the others. What I try to do with Women Sales Pros is to showcase companies that are doing great things for inclusion. It’s all about culture and having a positive culture for everybody that’s involved in your sales team.