Samantha McKenna #samsales Consulting discusses the challenges and benefits of being a woman in the workplace
Are women still struggling to get a seat at the table?
We have seen so many challenges of being a woman in business and being a woman in sales. We’ve been kicked to the curb and made to feel that there are only so many seats at the table for women. For me, that’s something I fight every single day. I try to eradicate that line of thinking because there is a seat at the table. There’s enough room for every business founder, whether you’re a man or woman, and there’s enough room for all of us. We must support and capitalize on each other’s strengths, especially as women.
Part of the success that I’ve had, being a woman in sales and also a woman entrepreneur, is because relationships genuinely matter to me. I take an inordinate amount of time to invest in relationships. I think about how to help others first, give first, and have extraordinary empathy.
As women, we generally have more empathy, which helps us run our businesses. It makes us less selfishly focused on our goals, metrics, quota, revenue, etc., and instead, really thinking about the other person we are working with.
Tell me about your team
As you know, we’ve built an all-women team. What’s fascinating to me is how my team has all come together, building these relationships, and is having these open and honest conversations. Despite working in a remote environment, it’s helped us unite as a crew of incredibly devoted, dedicated women with the same goals. We’re all fighting for the same successes of our business and supporting each other inside and outside the office.
When we start to think about how we support women, how we highlight women, and how we think about underrepresented minorities and underrepresented individuals in this space, there is so much that we can do to lift each other, empower each other, and help bring up the next class of individuals that are going to follow in our footsteps to be the next great voices of their generation.
My team has had tremendous success utilizing our strengths from a personality perspective and thinking about others first.
Reaching for the stars is increasingly realistic for everyone previously underrepresented, and we get to set the standard for that. We can be that voice and set that standard of how to treat one another in the workplace.
Do you think women are still subject to stereotypes in the workplace?
When I was very junior, maybe two years into my sales career, I was told my bubbliness, excitement, enthusiasm, and the fact that I was always smiling made me look junior, untrustworthy, and unprepared. I found this hysterical.
That kind of stereotype of an enthusiastic person being ignorant can harm you and cause somebody not to want to work with you or not believe you will represent them well.
A stereotype that doesn’t get talked about is the assumption that you are here in a dog-eat-dog world. I’ll give you just a recent example. We were working with a partner at #samsales, who had introduced us to a prospective client of theirs who ended up signing a deal with us.
The immediate reaction from that partner was that we were out to steal that person’s business from them. We came back and said, categorically, that we would never imagine taking business from somebody who made the generous gesture of introducing us to somebody else. However, it was that immediate reaction by our partner that there must be something here, there must be an angle, you’re going to try to hurt me, you’re going to try and take me down. I think it’s just because I am a woman, from a woman to a woman. You think about how much that person must have been burned in the past by other people to have that as an instant reflex.
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Samantha McKenna, Founder and CEO of #samsales Consulting
Samantha McKenna, Founder and CEO of #samsales Consulting, is an award-winning sales leader, brand ambassador for LinkedIn, angel investor, board member, and highly sought-after speaker. She has broken nearly 15 sales records, believes great sales are rooted in exceptional manners, and consistently looks for opportunities to continue growing the company’s philanthropic efforts. Since 2008, Sam has worked for some of the most notable names in the Bay Area, including ON24 and LinkedIn. While with these organizations, Sam spent her time as an individual contributor in Enterprise sales before moving to scaling teams and revenue as an executive leader. With more than 30,000 LinkedIn followers, Sam has inspired sales professionals with her tangible sales tips and actionable advice used daily by executives and teams alike. Sam has been named a Top 50 Women in Revenue and Top 20 Women in Sales Leadership, appears as one of the faces of LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s marketing campaigns, and has been named a Top Ten LinkedIn Sales Star several times over. She has a deep commitment to helping women succeed – particularly those who are military spouses – as well as individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.
Sam is dedicated to shining a light on her trademark Show Me You Know Me and #givefirst mantras – and together with her team, raised over $50,000 for charity in 2021 alone with the innovative #samsales ‘Show Me You Know Me’ Charity Event. In its first 24 months, #samsales Consulting has scaled to multi-million-dollar revenue and added 17 talented team members. The #samsales team serves over 100 clients, achieved 312% of its first annual revenue goal, and surpassed all reason with 233% YoY growth in its second year!