Leadership: Women in Sales and Tech

4 min read

Patricia DuChene is the Vice President of Sales at Postal.io, an integrated direct mail platform for sales and marketing teams. Before Postal, Patricia joined Wrike as an account executive and rose to the ranks of vice president. Her shrewdness and practical knowledge of sales help companies build a simplified and efficient sales ecosystems.

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Time-Stamped Show Notes:

[06:08] What does leadership mean to you and what’s your leadership style? 

[07:59] What do you think is the most significant value to female leadership? 

[14:03] Can you tell me about female mentors? You have worked in technology, SaaS and how did you start those relationships and how have they benefited you and your career?

[17:21] Why do you feel that more women should explore careers in sales?

[18:55] How should women support other women in their organization?

[26:34] What policies can be put into place to move toward gender equality? 

[31:35] How do you balance your career as well as your personal life, and passion?

[35:18] What advice would you give to women starting their careers in sales? 

women in sales

In-Short:

Question: What does leadership mean to you and what’s your leadership style? 

Patricia: Leadership to me means you need to listen, like listening, and we talk about this a lot and sales and I think leadership qualities can kind of come into the deal process, but it means listening twice as much as you talk as leaders.

I think we often view ourselves as like where the commander in chief for a man to, like, command the troops.

I also think that there’s a lot you talk about like leading by example. And I think part of that is, you know, you’ve got to be willing to jump first and to do the hard work first. And with that comes owning your faults when you must make a mistake. I think it’s really empowering when a leader raises their hand and says, you know what? This didn’t work because of me. I will own that mistake. This is why it didn’t work.

And this is what I’m going to do to fix it, because it shows the entire team like this is how you handle mistakes. And this is how it doesn’t destroy your career. So don’t be afraid of mistakes, which I think is so pervasive within the entire sales culture, which is this terror of a mistake. Mistakes are part of the building process. And when leaders can show that they’ve made it. They’ve accepted it and they’ve moved past it, I think it’s really powerful. 

Question: What do you think is the most significant value to female leadership? 

Patricia: I think women offer a unique perspective on the world. I mean, if you consider the story or the story of the woman, especially a working woman.

Question: Can you tell me about female mentors? You have worked in technology, SaaS and how did you start those relationships and how have they benefited you and your career?

Patricia: I’ll be perfectly honest. I do not have really racking my head. I don’t have any female mentors in technology sales. I have been fortunate enough to have found a handful of mentors who are male in technology. But they have been incredibly helpful and supportive of me. 

And there were certainly powerful females in Silicon Valley, but there were none in my network, especially because I came from Ag but I think that I’ve got mentors that came in two different ways. 

Question: Why do you feel that more women should explore careers in sales?

Patricia: I think that women should be empowered to do whatever it is that brings them joy, even if they don’t see others doing it. And it’s not just, women don’t see others doing it. It’s also if their male colleagues don’t see other people doing it. It’s hard for them, obviously, to see it. And so I think it’s important, you know, women should be empowered to do whatever they wish.

Question: How should women support other women in their organization?

Patricia: I think that this mean girl storyline has picked up a lot of traction in the world because of Hollywood. But I think that it’s a little bit overblown. That said, I think that women need to make a really conscious effort in the workplace to see their female counterparts as their comrades. They’re in it together. All of you guys are doing something that a minority of people have accomplished and used that to empower you, use it to empower you to support each other.

Question: What policies can be put into place to move toward gender equality? 

Patricia: It’s a great question and I will say women in tech right now. I think we’re seeing this next generation come into the workforce. And they’re more empowered than their predecessors.

Now, there are so many ways you can put policies in place. I think that it’s important for a company to evaluate what is sustainable at its size. Large companies can put really strict policies in place because they’re large if they have a wide talent pool and a wide employee base. 

Small companies, it’s really challenging. But I think there are some really small things that even the smallest companies can do in order to show that they’re really supportive of gender equality and they’re doing everything within their power to incorporate more gender balance in their workforce.

Question: How do you balance your career as well as your personal life, and passions? 

Patricia: I love and I hate that question so much this idea of like work-life balance. Everybody wants it. And you know, I’ve certainly struggled with it. Anybody who’s ever worked with me and we’ll probably say the same. I am the first person who you know would raise their hand and is guilty of working weekends and late nights and all that stuff. 

But I will say that there’s one thing and I fought over this over with this because it’s there’s like there’s a guilt complex that it comes with being super passionate about your job and needs to repent being super passionate about your life and your family and with your family you feel guilty that you’re not getting that one more thing come for because you know, you’re probably you’re really nice and when you’re working late or working during family hours.

Question: What advice would you give to women starting their careers in sales? 

Patricia: Girls who are starting a career in sales. I would say you should do it. So don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t do it. I would say that I would ask so many questions. I would ask questions. I would be insatiably curious and I don’t mean this just in your deals. 

Of course, you should be insatiably curious about your sales through curious questions, even curiosity which is an incredible sales technique, but you should question everything and I don’t mean to be annoying but we leadership tells you to do something. 

It’s perfectly acceptable to just ask why he’s asking why we can give really incredible information and it gives you a deeper understanding of the business when you start understanding why you’re doing certain things and why the business is made certain decisions or pivoted and certain ways. 

You can start to think outside the box because now you have the end. So and so will everyone else may have the same motion you might find out that you have a really unique way of getting to that key-value point that key outcome. 

women in sales

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Sanjana Murali is a Marketing Specialist at Hippo Video. She is an award-winning blogger, one of her articles on “Customer Success” was selected from worldwide participants and won her MVP 2019 award. She has learned the knack of ranking her blogs and website pages in the 1st result of Google Search from her 6+ years of writing and marketing experience. She is also the host of #Limitless webinar and podcast series at Hippo Video. She loves to talk about branding and marketing with videos. An eternal writer, words are her lifeline.
Sanjana Murali

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