Sales roles today are increasingly dominated by Millennials. Despite published misconceptions, this group is actually a perfect fit for sales. They are well-educated, collaborative, technologically savvy and want to make a difference through meaningful work.
The possibility for career advancement is a large part of what attracts Millennials to join – and remain—with your company. However, the challenge of ramping them up and sustaining their skills requires new and creative approaches to address the needs of this always-connected generation.
Based on a Webcast we recently delivered, here are five tips for making your sales enablement strategy “Millennial-ready.”
Establish a Sales Talent Brand
Not only will this attract new talent, it will help get buy in for your programs and methodologies. Ensure that it’s authentic, helpful and relevant. Whether it’s designed to respect work-life balance or create new career opportunities, make it the hallmark of your sales enablement initiatives. You’ll notice your sales team’s willingness to become brand ambassadors, collaborators and mentors go up significantly.
Embrace What Motivates Them
Find out what motivates your Millennial reps, and don’t be afraid to get creative in your response. Millennials love fresh ideas, so offer a chance to work on a big project, a day off, or some form of special recognition. Millennials also expect transparency, including information on how they stack up against their peers. In addition to financial and productivity metrics, set up dashboards that help them understand their unique strengths relative to their peers.
Get Digital, Go Mobile
Millennials have grown up with devices and technology, so they’re comfortable learning through websites, online discussions and videos. And because they tend to move quickly from one task to another, be sure your sales enablement strategy is mobile, fast, effective and simple. Create a sales technology advisory group to get feedback on the most effective tools and approaches. Given how Millennials prefer to learn, think about how to “repackage” sales training content to make it accessible. Podcasts are a great example for on-the-go access.
Build a Coaching Culture
When it comes to motivation, money is not always at the top of the list. But frequent interaction with managers is. For best results, go beyond the standard annual review process. Morning office hours, team huddles and monthly check-ins keep feedback open and continuous. A concept called “reverse mentoring” is also gaining popularity. This peer-coaching strategy pairs more experienced workers with Millennials to help educate one another on new skills and ways of thinking. Virtual coaching solutions and guided selling tools are other great ways to supplement 1:1 coaching.
Foster Collaboration and Innovation
Millennials generally prefer to share ideas with each other rather than listen to a “talking head” during sales training and kick-offs. Create opportunities for them to mentor and communicate with each other on a continuous basis. Some companies are natural Millennial-magnets just by virtue of their physical space. Ditch the cubes in favor of open, collaborative spaces. Embrace TED talks and short, multi-session events. Experiment with podcasts, short Webcasts, even sales best-practices SnapChats for folks on-the-go.
By incorporating these five tips into your sales enablement strategy, you’re well on your way to keeping your Millennial reps engaged, satisfied and ready to add value to your customers. Do you have a favorite Millennial-friendly tactic? Tweet it to us @Qstream #Millennials.