Whether it’s coaching from a manager or encouragement from a peer after the day’s 50th rejection, every sales rep needs a network they can count on for advice.
For reps from underrepresented groups, however, that network can be hard to find when sales teams aren’t diverse. While allies can help, there are some experiences, like workplace bias, that only a person from a similar background understands. The lack of diversity on teams can also impede access to resources, training and mentorship opportunities.
This is where networking communities come in. Organizations like Sales for the Culture, Sistas in Sales and the National Association of Women Sales Professionals, among others, have launched in recent years to provide access to peer support, mentorship opportunities and professional-development workshops for sales professionals from underrepresented communities.
Whether you’re new to tech sales, a veteran leader or someone hoping to break in, below are some networking communities that are working to bring together and support a more diverse and inclusive sales workforce.
10 Networking Communities to Know
- Blacks Excelling in Sales and Technology
- National Association of Women Sales Professionals
- Out in Tech
- Revenue Collective of Color
- Sales for the Culture
- Sistas in Sales
- Society of Asians in Sales & Success
- Women in Revenue
- Women in Sales Club
- Women in Sales Everywhere
Blacks Excelling in Sales and Technology
Employee resource groups from some of the biggest tech companies with offices in Chicago (including Google, Braintree and Salesforce, among others) came together on LinkedIn to form Blacks Excelling in Sales and Technology. The LinkedIn group, however, isn’t limited to just Chicago-based reps. It’s open to all Black tech sales professionals and includes a steady stream of job postings, career successes and updates on company workshops and events.
National Association of Women Sales Professionals
Founded in 2016, the National Association of Women Sales Professionals is a networking group dedicated to advancing the careers of women in sales. Founder and CEO Cynthia Barnes launched the organization as a response to the male-dominated sales training and professional development resources she saw throughout her career. NAWSP aims to change that narrative by providing webinars featuring women sales leaders discussing topics like how to create a more diverse and inclusive sales culture, as well as mentoring events every Monday and 30 hours of classes. Companies can also partner with NAWSP to attract and retain more women in sales.
Out in Tech
Out In Tech is a nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting and supporting the LGBTQ+ community in tech spaces. With chapters in most major tech hubs — including San Francisco, LA, Chicago and more — the organization offers networking opportunities, access to job boards and mentorship programs. It also offers the chance to mentor LGBTQ+ youth and help them develop the skills for a career in tech. While Out in Tech may not be a sales-specific organization, it aims to help anyone working in tech advance their careers. It currently has more than 40,000 members, according to its website.
Revenue Collective of Color
While tech sales lags behind in diversity across all positions, it’s even more pronounced at the leadership level. This can make it challenging for people of color in sales leadership roles to find a community of peers who can identify with their experiences. Enter Revenue Collective of Color, a sub-community within the networking organization Revenue Collective.
The broader organization is a place where sales leaders VP-level and above can seek honest feedback and talk through challenges with other members. Revenue Collective of Color was created to provide a space for people of color within that network to connect and talk about issues specific to them. The organization also aims to raise awareness and interest in revenue-related roles among underrepresented communities. Interested participants must be a member of the broader organization first. Sales and marketing executives must apply to join Revenue Collective, while sales leaders who haven’t reached the VP-level yet can apply to join the Revenue Collective Associate Program.
Sales for the Culture
Sales for the Culture launched in February to unite Black tech sellers across the country and help others break into the profession. Founded by sales pros Morgan Ingram from JB Sales Training, Jacob Gebrewold from Klue and Shelton Banks from re:work training, the nonprofit organization is free to join and emphasizes peer support and mentorship.
Members can connect with their peers in Slack channels for SDRs, AEs and sales leaders, attend professional-development workshops run by community leaders and gather for the community-wide virtual cookout. There’s also a Slack group for Black job seekers looking to break into tech sales, in which they can ask questions, seek advice and find mentors in the profession. The organization currently has about 650 members, according to Sales for the Culture.
Sistas in Sales
A little more than five years ago, Chantel George had hit a wall in her career as a sales professional. Without any women of color to look up to in sales leadership positions, she didn’t have a clear picture of what a long-term sales career could look like, she told Built In. It’s an issue she heard echoed among other women of color in the field, so she decided to do something about it and launched Sistas in Sales.
Sistas in Sales is an organization for women of color in sales to connect and support each other. Resources include Q&A sessions on topics like what emotional tax is and how it affects Black women, sales workshops and recruiting mixers with hiring managers. When possible, there are local events in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as an annual summit. Some resources are free, while others require a paid membership. Sistas in Sales also offers partnership opportunities for companies that want to attract, recruit and retain women of color in sales positions.
Society of Asians in Sales & Success
The Society of Asians in Sales & Success is a networking community that aims to support Asian sales and customer success professionals. The community hosts monthly webinars featuring Asian tech sales leaders on topics like interviewing, compensation negotiation and upward mobility — as well as conversations on challenges unique to Asian sales professionals and networking events. SASS is primarily based on Slack, but it also has a LinkedIn group page and a MeetUp page.
Women in Revenue
Women in Revenue is a nonprofit networking organization dedicated to providing mentorship and career-advancement resources for current and future women sales leaders. Founded in 2018, the organization offers frequent virtual networking events, professional-development webinars and a Slack group to connect with other members. Members can also sign up to be mentored or serve as a mentor to other women in sales.
Women in Sales
If you’re a woman in sales looking for a room to connect with peers on Clubhouse, then look no further than the Women in Sales club. Hosted by Gong SDR Manager Gabrielle Blackwell and Displayr Major AE Alexine Mudawar, the club meets weekly at 2 p.m. Central Time on Saturdays for in-depth conversations on everything from salary negotiations to imposter syndrome to owning your voice as the only women on a sales team. So far, the community has more than 2,000 followers and members, according to Mudawar. The room is also open to men interested in supporting women in sales and learning more.
Women in Sales Everywhere
Whether it’s helping members navigate a tricky sales negotiation or providing resources for women looking to break into sales, Women in Sales Everywhere (WISE) has it covered. The networking group is a division of the tech talent acquisition firm CloserIQ and is focused on helping more women reach leadership positions in sales. Members interact with each other in virtual groups called WISE Pods, in which they can network or discuss sales topics like maintaining customer relationships and prospecting with empathy. They also gain access to mentorship matching, virtual workshops and a job board featuring companies that sponsor WISE. So far, it counts HubSpot, Udemy and Rapid7 among its sponsors, and it has members from more than 41 countries, according to its website.
General Sales Communities to Know
Inside Sales Experts
This LinkedIn group has been around since 2008 and is a fit for anyone in inside sales. Members gather to share sales strategies, articles and webinars.
Modern Sales Pros
Founded in 2015, Modern Sales Pros is a community for anyone in sales-enablement, operations or leadership roles. The organization has more than 18,000 members and offers peer-learning opportunities and meetups.
Sales Best Practices / Sales Engineers and Managers Best Practices
These two LinkedIn groups are good for anyone in sales in need of practical advice from their peers. Members in the Sales Best Practices group share tips on day-to-day sales tasks like cold calling, closing strategies and productivity. The Sales Engineers and Managers group, meanwhile, is best for people interested in learning more about technical sales topics and managing teams.
SDRDefenders is a community that places the needs and issues of SDRs front and center. The organization provides hands-on coaching for reps and promotes strategies within organizations that help SDRs succeed.