Women’s impact on the workforce has continued to grow over recent years. Roles and industries traditionally filled by men are now expanding to include female young professionals and executive leaders. Sales has always been a male-dominated field, but this is changing. Surprisingly, female sales reps routinely hit quota at higher rates despite being paid a lower base pay than their male counterparts. Back in March, we celebrated International Women’s day and kicked off our female executives blog series, where we introduced Xactly Chief Marketing Officer, Micheline Nijmeh, and VP of Human Resources, Leanne Bernhardt. In a later post, we also shared Xactly Chief Financial Officer, Elizabeth Salomon’s story. Today, in honor of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, we’re introducing Xactly’s newest addition to the executive team, Lisa Welch, VP of Enterprise Sales.
Meet Lisa Welch, Xactly VP Enterprise Sales
Lisa Welch is a sales executive with more than 25 years of success building high-performance sales teams and exceeding quota. She is a galvanizing individual focused on collaboration and has managed national and global sales organizations in the high-tech industry. Outside of work, Welch enjoys cooking and entertaining, vacationing at the beach, and music.
Throughout her career, Welch has learned many lessons in the importance of perseverance and determination, sales management, and being a female leader in a male-dominated field. Here’s a snapshot of her advice and tips for young sales professionals:
- Patience is a key skill for any professional
- Young professionals should find a mentor; totally fine if a mentor is from another industry
- Sometimes you fall into the right career; be open to trying different things
- “The most powerful relationships are women supporting women.”
Below is a Q&A with Lisa discussing her sales career and advice for young sales professionals, courtesy of the Xactly HR department.
HR: When is a time that you failed and grew from it? What did you take away from that experience?
LW: Losing deals and/or keeping poor performers too long are primary areas of failure for me. Learning to "fire fast; hire slow" is great advice and there are a multitude of learnings on the deal side of things.
HR: If you could go back in time and give your younger self advice, what would you say?
LW: Try and be more patient; don't make knee-jerk or emotional decisions.
HR: Do you have a mentor - how did you meet them and describe the nature of the relationship? How has your mentor helped you or shaped your path?
LW: Yes. The CEO of a local museum and nature center who I met by volunteering for an annual fund-raising event. She has become one of my best friends and we often spend time discussing our professional experience. She is a steady, thoughtful, discreet, wildly successful executive who has helped me in many ways including developing patience and thinking in a more strategic, long-term way. The fact that she is in an entirely different industry is one of the most helpful aspects of our relationship.
HR: What factors did you consider when choosing your career path? Was is it intentional or did you fall into it?
LW: Taking what I majored in in college (management information systems) and applying it to something that I actually enjoyed and was good at (selling technology). I really fell into it when I was working for the IBM Product Centers during college. [callout side="right" description='Download our "Ultimate Guide to Sales Compensation Planning" for incentive best practices and everything you need for a sales comp plan design project.' button_text="Download" button_link="https://www.xactlycorp.com/guides/the-ultimate-guide-to-sales-planning-season/"]
HR: Anything else you'd like to add?
LW: The most powerful relationships are women helping and supporting women. While we have our own "pitfalls," the particular insights and experiences we all share are a profound source of strength, knowledge, and influence.
Pushing for More Female Executive Leaders
Leaders like Lisa Welch are inspiring other women and young female professionals to pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated fields. The increasing opportunities are helping women strive for equality and diversity in the workplace. At Xactly, diversity is at the heart of our culture, starting with our CEO, Chris Cabrera. Each day our company strives to provide top-quality service to customers, while encouraging a diverse workplace for innovation and culture (read more about Xactly’s CARE values here).