3 Reasons Why Millennials are the Best Sales Reps Ever

Adam Honig

If you haven’t heard, Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers in the workplace for the first time. And with this takeover has come an obvious and inevitable shift in how, when and where employees work.

One industry heavily influenced by this shift is sales. Once dominated by the pin-striped suit-wearing, Montblanc-wielding sales rep from an older generation, sales is now dominated by the scrappy, almond-latte drinking, more casual Millennial. While many have their doubts as to how Millennial sales reps will perform, it’s time to put those doubts to rest, because Millennials have all of the right ingredients to be the best, most successful sales generation of all time. Here are three reasons why:

Unmatched work ethic and drive– Millennials entered the job market under tough conditions – following 9/11 and, for many, at the start of the worst recession since the Great Depression. As a result, they are aggressive, hard-working and ready to fight for their positions. Many Millennials walk into new jobs and companies, and assume their positions with confidence, which can make others a bit squeamish. This is even more present in sales positions, where salaries aren’t always guaranteed and quotas reign supreme.

Above all, this unmatched work ethic can be attributed to life circumstances – the oldest of the Millennials (who turned 18 in 2000) are now settling down and having families, buying houses and no longer viewing retirement as a mythical, unobtainable goal. There is no doubt that this phase of life impacts their drive to make more money. They are motivated and hungry to succeed.

Technology is second nature– While the up-and-coming Generation Z was all but born with iPhones and tablets in their hands, technology has also played an important and influential role in the lives of Millennials. They grew up with technology – many “came of age” at the same time the Internet did – which means they’re going to be more willing to adopt new sales software faster and get a leg up on their older counterparts.

Add a Chrome plug-in from Yesware? No problem. Try an iPhone app to keep them on top of their deals? Sure, why not!

Having decades-long experience with tech also allows them to venture out on social media and connect with prospects, clients and peers in ways Gen Xers just aren’t as comfortable with. This is a trend that is fundamentally changing countless industries, from sales to the medical field.

More aware and attuned to today’s buyers– More Millennials are moving up the ranks in organizations and taking over buying power from their boomer peers. This means that Millennials will be selling to their own peers, allowing them to be more perceptive of their specific needs and preferences, such as wanting immediate access to critical information and demanding more mobile-enabled solutions and offerings.

Millennials are the largest generation since the Baby Boomer generation, meaning everyone currently in the workforce – as well as the future workforce – will be targeting them as buyers as well. Who knows the selling persona of Millennials the best, and who will have the right tools and insight to close more deals? My bet is on the Millennials.

There Are Challenges
Even though Millennials have a leg up in the areas mentioned above, they also have their own set of unique challenges. The technological expertise of the generation has shown to come at the cost of ever-important face-to-face and telephone interactions. Millennials must remember that deals are made with actual people and it is important to make real connections with clients. Millennials need to know the right time to put down the smartphone and have a conversation in-person.

Millennials are also newer to the market. Many do not have the extensive networks that Generation X’ers have built, which may set them back when it comes to referrals and loyal, repeat customers. This is something that will come with time and diligence.

Lastly, Millennials need to realize that they still have room to sharpen their sales skills. The basic tactics that all sales reps need to practice include slowing down and really listening to their customers and prospects, knowing how to build rapport, and asking open ended questions to get them talking. Millennials may assume that their communication and skills are in the bag, so to speak, but that’s not always the case.

Despite some of these challenges, the positive qualities of Millennials ensure the future looks bright for this up-and-coming generation of salespeople. Not only will they be better sales reps than older generations, but their “power-in-numbers” will prove beneficial. As Millennials compete for the top sales jobs at the top companies, the best of the best will emerge.

Millennials have a serious leg up on sales reps of yesteryear – it’s time for Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers to watch their backs.

Adam Honig is co-founder & CEO of Spiro, makers of a personal sales app that breathes dramatic improvements into the lives of quota-carrying salespeople.