It’s rare to find a woman sales executive working in tech. According to this LinkedIn report, the average percent of Women in Director+ roles in Software Technology is only 18%. Yet multiple studies show that those qualities more commonly associated with successful executives --relationship building, active listening, fostering trust and communications-- are key strengths in women leaders. That’s why we believe that bringing more women into sales and leadership roles at every level is smart for business.

In celebration of International Women’s Day we reached out to inspirational women leaders in tech who continue to push boundaries and forge the way for tomorrow’s sales leaders.

We hope you enjoy their stories.

Margaret Weniger

Title:  Director of Sales
Company: SaaSOptics
Connect with her:  LinkedIn

Margaret Weniger is the Director of Sales at SaaSoptics, a complete B2B subscription management platform that provides subscription and order management.  Her sales management experience, competitive swimming background and athletic coaching experience provide transferable skills which she leverages as a sales leader to motivate and inspire sales reps daily.

Can you name someone that helped you in a pivotal way in your career? How did they impact your journey?

There are at least 5 people that come to mind immediately when I think about this question. Probably the most pivotal was my very first sales manager Shannon Stewart. She took me under her wing and taught me about the fundamentals of selling and when I became a manager she was patient when I stumbled. I owe my career in software sales to her willingness to take a chance on me.

Can you provide any advice for women looking to enter the sales space?

  • Look at the landscape of the sales org before you pick a company. How many women are there? Are there any women in sales leadership? Don't dismiss any intuition or subtle tones of sexism. As women, we have strong intuitions so trust your instincts when deciding on the best environment for you to start your career.
  • Let your intelligence, work ethic, and sales skills define your career.
  • Don't be afraid to go for something where you don't meet every qualification. You're always capable of more than you think.

Is there anything you're doing, specifically to make things easier for the next generation of women behind you?

Most of my contribution has been specific to the company I'm at. In my last two startups, I've been the very first expectant mother. As a result, I've needed to work with the leadership team to create a maternity policy, find an appropriate and comfortable location for a pump room, and help share what it's like with others at the company so that they can be more empathetic to the changes a woman goes through while pregnant and postpartum.

As a manager, I work hard to pour into my team members by sharing best practices with them and instilling what I've learned with them.

What’s a great lesson you learnt the hard way?

I learned it as a new manager. Early on in my career, I thought to be a good leader and manager you needed to present a strong front to your team. You should always have the answers, always seem put together, and never let them see you sweat. The flaw in my logic came front and center during my annual performance review. Although our team had crushed its number that year not one person on my team of 8 had anything positive to say about me as a manager. It was devastating. I learned that despite it feeling counterintuitive, vulnerability was incredibly powerful as a leader. It allows people to connect to you as a person and their respect actually grows when you admit a mistake. It was one of the most humbling moments of my career and one I'm grateful for.

So much of leadership is about the people you're leading - can you share an accomplishment from one of the women that have worked for you that you're particularly proud of or impressed by?

Again, it's difficult to pick just one. I've had the gift of working with several incredible women who have inspired me. I'd love to share all of their stories. If I have to pick just one, it would be Arin Nurani. I hired her at Active into her first software sales role. She'd previously been doing ticket sales for the San Diego Chargers. Making the move to software sales was a big change from her former industry but she was fearless from day one. Within her first 9 months on the team, she had claimed the #1 spot and never looked back. As she grew in confidence she became a mentor for new AEs and was instrumental in pioneering the SDR/AE model at our company. Arin was never afraid to ask questions, challenge status quo, and her work ethic and tenacity is unparalleled.

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