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Tips and Advice for Women of Color to Thrive in B2B Sales


When entering the tech industry, I worried about standing out for the wrong reasons. As a woman and immigrant, I felt the need to hide these aspects to fit in. However, I was fortunate to receive mentorship and allyship from exceptional sales professionals both inside and outside my company who helped me realize the value of embracing my unique identity.

Here are some tips and learnings on how to overcome obstacles, build influential relationships, and shatter glass ceilings as you unleash your unique strengths and seize the opportunities that await you –

  1. Network Strategically:  Identify role models, mentors, and sponsors who not only inspire you but also share your background and experiences. By connecting with mentors who look like you, you can gain valuable guidance and support as you expand your business opportunities beyond your immediate circle.  What worked for me was reaching out to sales leaders who I heard speak in webinars, podcasts, and panels. I reached out to them with a note that contained perhaps a nugget of information they shared when they spoke.
  1. Continuously Learn and Grow by Being Proactive: Stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and professional development opportunities. Invest in your growth by attending conferences, workshops, and training programs to enhance your sales skills and industry knowledge. Take ownership of your career and don't rely on others—explore expense options for professional development courses, enroll in platforms like Coursera and MasterClass, and keep an eye out for internal career coaching opportunities within your company. Empower yourself to shape your own success. [Link to Sistas In Sales and Women in Sales communities]
  1. Find Executive Sponsors and Advocates Within Your Company:  Identify individuals, regardless of gender or background, who are supportive and share your values. Seek out allies within the boys club who can champion your accomplishments and help create a more inclusive environment. Allies can provide valuable support, amplify your voice, and help break down barriers. In my personal experience, senior leaders played a pivotal role in honing my negotiation skills. Interestingly, I found myself naturally gaining mentors without actively seeking them out. Without me asking, my advocates started vouching for my skills and accomplishments, helping me gain visibility and recognition within the organization. And if and when they leave the company and go to another one, who do you think they will likely want to hire? 😉
  1. Cultivate Confidence: Have faith in your abilities, and develop confidence in your expertise and unique value proposition. Recognize your rightful place in the sales field and embrace the right to succeed. Confidence empowers you to navigate challenges and assert yourself in the boys club. To achieve this, I engaged in role-playing exercises, honing my pitch, objection handling, and negotiation skills until I felt confident in the way I presented myself to my peers and managers.

Niyanta Khatri is a driven sales growth and business development professional with a diverse background spanning multiple locations. Passionate about advocating for women of color in sales, she has successfully driven revenue growth at F500 companies, while also co-founding 2 startups along the way.

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