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Millennials Will Take the Sales World By Storm: Are You Ready?

Sales teams are undergoing a massive shift from older, more expensive outside reps to younger, inside sales reps.

Social selling expert Jill Rowley recently found that approximately 75 percent of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials by 2025. This statistic has many companies contemplating how they’re going to handle these young adults and incorporate their values into the workplace.

This influx of Millenials into the sales organization presents unique challenges for the onboarding training process. Millennials are different from generations like the Baby Boomers and even Gen X, which proceeded them. For this reason, they need to be approached differently in terms of everything from onboarding training to daily prospecting.

Out with the Old
Perhaps the biggest challenge for businesses in terms of Millennials is understanding their viewpoint. Nielsen released a report that closely examined some of the misconceptions about Millennials.

These individuals are commonly seen as narcissistic and unmotivated. However, the truth is Millennials are passionate about expressing themselves and their creativity. While they may seem disinterested in learning about anything outside of their interests, they respond well to strong leaders – people who can inspire them and teach them valuable skills.

In terms of sales enablement and on-board training, these are all traits that should be kept in mind. The core of sales enablement is situated around helping salespeople boost effectiveness and efficiency. While there are several components that go into sales enablement, on-board training is a big part of propelling salespeople toward success. Ensuring that new salespeople are properly trained on brand messaging and company initiatives from the moment they start is crucial to increasing their effectiveness.

Tapping into Millennial Potential
Why are Millennials always glued to their mobile devices and seeking a constant connection with the outside world? The Nielsen report hints that this may be because they naturally crave personal communication – they want to feel connected, whether it’s to a particular brand, company or person. Companies should not ignore this loyalty trait of Millennials.

In terms of sales enablement, there is plenty of potential that can be brought out among this group of people. It’s important to understand that Millennials want to be a part of something big – they want to play a critical role in everything they do, whether it involves closing deals or prospecting.

As you train them to embrace your company values and brand messaging, don’t sell them short. Help them understand that there are actual benefits behind joining your sales team, and they’ll back your initiatives 100 percent of the way.

Teaching the Technique
While some people may tell you that sales can’t be taught, Jeff Hoffman, the co-founder of Basho Technologies, told Inc magazine that he believes the opposite.

“Sales, like anything else, can be taught,” Hoffman told the news source. “Sales can be scaled. Sales can be replicated. It’s not just randomness that makes organizations successful when it comes to selling.”

But how do you incorporate this philosophy into the on-board training process?

Teaching your salespeople that they should be selling logically rather than purely pitching with data is key. People don’t want to be bombarded with statistics – they want you to feel their pain, then show them that you can solve it. Understanding your target audience’s needs and discussing solutions with them logically can drive deals over the finish line.

Of course, this is one of just many training techniques that can be taken into account during training. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be trying to change the viewpoints of your salespeople. Instead, you should be attempting to broaden their horizons – tap into their open minds and give them something new to think about.

Approximately 24 percent of the U.S. population is Millennials. Are you ready for the huge wave of free-thinking, creative workers?
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Ed Calnan
Ed Calnan
Chief Revenue Officer, Seismic
Ed is the co-founder and CRO of Seismic, where he leads the company’s go-to-market efforts. Ed brings 20+ years of sales leadership experience from ADP, Thomson Financial, S&P and EMC to Seismic. In 2016, he was named a Top Boston Startup Founders Over 40 by Tech.co.