The leaders who set an inspiring example in front of others are the ones who lead by example. With just their actions and ability to deliver results, they serve as an example for upcoming leaders to follow. Such inspiring business leaders are able to make a tremendous difference in the lives of people and the businesses they are leading. One such inspiring leader, we at Insights Success, came across is Lanette Richardson.
Lanette is the Founder and President of Utah Women in Sales, where she provides opportunities for women to connect, learn about new opportunities, network with sales professionals, and gain skills that will be valuable in the workplace.
Lanette likes to empower women to stand strong for themselves and help them being an inspiring example for future generations of women.
We caught up with Lanette to know more about her journey and how she is helping individuals become more innovative, ambitious, and well-connected.
Bringing More Opportunities to Women in Sales Leadership
Lanette has been in sales for most of her career except a few years in her early career when she was a small business owner. Over the years, Lanette has worked hard to bring equality for women in opportunity, pay, sales, and leadership.
Utah Women in Sales is an organization focused on serving women who are in sales or are interested in pursuing a career in sales. She switched to Tech Sales about 12 years ago and realized that the number of women on the sales teams was dismal; there was a time that she was the only woman on a team of 200 sales reps. Every time there were women on the sales teams, they were the top sales producers on the floor, and she made a commitment that she would do everything she could to bring more women to sales teams and bring more opportunities to women in sales leadership.
In 2017, after a sales conference, Lanette and a few of her co-workers at the time decided to hold their own Women in Sales meeting and see if there really was a group of women that would benefit from this type of group. They had 350 women show up to their first event, and the rest is history.
Educating, Empowering and Supporting Women
The mission of Utah Women in Sales is to open the door for men and women to learn how they can support each other on the sales floor. Moreover, it also aims at helping companies become more diverse in their hiring and set goals for pay equity and diversity. The organization is dedicated to creating opportunities for women to succeed and partner them with great companies. It helps women return to the workforce after a career gap.
Utah Women in Sales helps them find their first sales position and elevate their careers and skills. The only way it makes a change is to educate leadership and educate women. It provides a collaborative community where women will be educated, empowered, and supported.
Focusing on Skills and Personal Development of Women
Utah Women in Sales partners with many of the best sales trainers, speakers, authors, and bring in women who are successful in their careers, who teach and train its group of women to help them find what works for them. It holds in-person and virtual events monthly that focus on skills and personal development. It has full-day sales kick off every year and ends the year with a recognition dinner celebrating the best women of the year.
Encouraging Open Discussions, Learning, and Growing
Utah Women in Sales’ culture is of friendship, support, and mentorship. It has a no judgment philosophy among its group. There are a lot of hard topics that need to be discussed and covered, it doesn’t condemn anyone, but Utah Women in Sales encourages open discussions, learning, and growing.
Educating Women on Different Companies and Technologies
We asked Lanette how her organization is leveraging technological advancements to make its offerings resourceful, to which she answered, “Our group is made up of 80% sales reps selling technology. We educate on the different companies and technologies available in the industry. As a group, we leverage a CRM, a workflow platform, Video meetings, websites, recordings, podcasts, virtual event platform, and more.”
Besides, Utah Women in Sales is also using continual learning; there is no set time or criteria that is all-inclusive and continual shorter training sessions that are very specific to a skill set to enable quicker adoption and implementation. The organization uses three different platforms: in-person, virtual, and self-paced training, followed by mentorship and application.
Empowering Women to Stand Up and Make a Positive Change
Through Utah Women in Sales, Lanette has a goal for companies to have a 50/50 split between men and women on their sales teams. She would like to see expansion with diversity and opportunity. She wants to end the wage gap so that all people are paid based on their skills and not based on whether they are male or female or any of the other diversity gaps present. She would like to see its training and its communities expand to include all professional women or women seeking a good job with flexibility so that they can provide for their families, not only financially but also have the flexibility of work/life balance so they can continue to be a primary focus in the lives of their children.
Lanette wants to empower women to stand up and make a positive change for the next generation of women.
Seeing Women Perform on Both Local and National Levels
Taking about the future, Lanette mentions that she would like to expand Utah Women in Sales group from a local group to a national group. It has already begun that movement and has pockets of members in several states.
Lanette believes that actual learning that comes from leaders that are hiring is more impactful, which is why she is working on getting more of Utah Women in Sales’ sponsors involved in its group to help lead the direction they are heading. Lanette would like to see Utah Women in Sales has national events held every year in different parts of the country to enable more women to be involved in their local communities and at a larger national level as well.
Pursuing Goals to Make a Difference
In her advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Professional Training & Coaching sector, Lanette says, “Make sure you understand the why of what you are teaching. Teaching and coaching are powerful in shaping lives and careers; make sure you are leading with the right intent and in the right direction. Don’t do it only to make money, do it to make a difference.”
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