By 2020, nearly 50 percent of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. They are diverse, tech-savvy, socially connected, and more comfortable “job jumping” to find professional fulfillment. The way Millennials evaluate job opportunities is very different from past generations. Although they require new levels of flexibility, office perks and management styles, the potential return on investment is enormous.
These diverse, tech-savvy and connected Millennials make prime candidates for your sales team. Retaining and motivating Millennials is a continuous effort that is largely dependent on company culture. If your culture is the type to help high-performing and hard-working employees thrive in their environments, you’ll see Millennials stick around longer, and morph into better sales people. To tap Millennials’ true potential in sales, start with these three things:
Give purpose at work. Let Millennials be the radical shift. They are looking for purpose at work, and they want a job that not only advances their career, but is also fulfilling on a day-to-day basis. According to Deloitte’s third annual Millennial Survey, 78 percent of Millennials are influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there. Create an environment that encourages continuous innovation and a space that allows for the implementation of new ideas. Millennials who are talented and motivated enough to join your sales team might cut their stint short if they fail to find purpose in what they are selling, or who they are selling to.
The more you know. Give Millennials the flexibility to be creative in how they get their work done. In my experience, the more Millennials are in the know, the more they are engaged and satisfied. Keep Millennials engaged across your processes. Ensure tight connections between sales managers who assign tasks and their employees. Try making sales performance metrics accessible to all team members.
Great sales performance deserves recognition. Millennials tend to approach their jobs with a “grass is greener” approach, so they are unlikely to stick around if they don’t feel appreciated and well compensated. It’s obviously important to offer competitive salaries, but employees should also be rewarded with other benefits and perks to make them feel valued. For example, at ClearSlide, our corporate sales organization is heavily comprised of Millennials. We use our software to measure customer engagements and run contests around Live Pitch time and email connections. In addition, we inspire a culture of public recognition – our sales reps ring a gong on the sales floor when they close deals and we immediately celebrate together as reps achieve their quota targets.
While we tend to assume all Millennials act a certain way at work, they fundamentally have the same long-term objectives as Baby Boomers and GenX-ers – they are seeking continuous feedback and progress. They also value being part of an important cause and to work in a transparent and innovative culture that supports their self-improvement and upward mobility. Millennials are more diverse, more tech savvy and extremely socially connected, and are already disrupting the way we buy and sell. Sales professionals, sales managers and marketers must keep pace with the changing sales environment by tapping the true ROI of their millennial sales team.
Dustin Grosse is Chief Operating Officer at ClearSlide, a leading sales engagement platform that empowers sales teams to engage customers and close more business.