Millennials are set to form 50% of the global workforce within the next four years, filling employment gaps left by Baby Boomers as they leave the market. Their value cannot be understated, yet according to PWC, CEOs find attracting and retaining millennial workers to be one of their biggest talent challenges. And while these workers do present new challenges to the employers and the workforce in general, they also come with a whole host of opportunities, particularly for sales teams. Here’s why:
It’s no secret that millennials are more technology-savvy than any that have come before them. As digital natives, they’ve grown up in the world of the internet, social media and 24/7 connectivity, adapting to new technologies twice as fast as other people. WiFi, smartphones, laptops and even smart devices are old hat to them, making them brilliant additions to sales teams that have shied away from utilising newer technologies in the past. They bring this natural enthusiasm for and comfort with technological platforms to the workplace, helping to pave the way for new digital channels and ways of thinking within an organisation.
More than 40% of this generation prefer to communicate electronically at work, as opposed to in person or over the phone, and the majority think that accessible technology enables them to be more effective in the workplace. They’re equipped with the technological nous required to evolve with a changing sales funnel in the 21st century and know the benefits of utilising social media for outreach and communication. According to SalesLoft, nearly 80% of salespeople use social media to outsell their peers, and for millennials whose use of social media is second nature, this can be a real coup for sales organisations.
As our digital connectively increases further into the future, millennials’ technical proficiency and adaptability will be vital in taking your sales team into the future.
All new salespeople are hungry for sales and eager to get stuck in, and millennials are no different. They’re typically enthusiastic, driven and eager to do what it takes to get their footing in the industry, taking on new business that more established sales personnel might turn their nose up at and hitting the phones to secure new leads. This vitality can have a significant impact on the wider sales team who can benefit from the fresh ideas and enthusiasm of a new staff. Defined by their optimism and energy, millennials are ambitious and have a strong interest in career development. Studies show this is even more important to them than competitive salaries. By investing in raw people’s training and education when they’re at this stage, organisations are investing in their future sales stars and leaders.
With their natural entrepreneurial attitude and youthful determination, this generation of salespeople values autonomy, responsibility and the ability to tailor their own careers. Expect them to think outside the box and apply new strategies in their everyday sales interactions, encouraging more experienced sales staff to do the same.
They embrace agile working
Fresh out of school or university, millennial salespeople are used to working where they want, when they want. In the naturally time- and location-flexible world of sales, this is ideal. This generation of sales staff are not tethered to a desk and can be as comfortable working from a train or a coffee shop as they are in the office. They use portable technology such as iPads, tablets and mobiles to update Salesforce and chat to clients on the move, knowing that as long as they meet their targets and quotas they can typically be afforded more flexibility. They believe that success and productivity are measured by their output and the performance of their work, not necessarily the hours they’ve spent sitting at their desk in a typical office environment. Their technical fluency allows for more remote working, meaning they can get out and meet potential clients in the flesh while still maintaining workloads. In order to attract these types of workers, organisations need to emphasise the level of flexibility they can offer and their welcoming approach to new technologies.
With Baby Boomers retiring from the workforce and skills gaps opening up across the board, millennials are an increasingly attractive prospect for many different industries. As enthusiastic digital natives who are driven and flexible in their work, they make for excellent salespeople and can be invaluable for your team. So what are you waiting for? The future of your sales team is right in front of you.
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