The term “Millennial” is used to group those born between 1980s and 2000s. This generation thinks about work in a different way than their prior generations and it’s expected that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials, therefore it is important to identify the best practices to manage them. By understanding their generational differences, a manager can leverage their potential and obtain better results. At CPM we have gathered some tips that will help a Sales Manager manage their millennial workforce:
1. Technology is a main driver
Millennials are the first generation to grow up in the digital age and as such they are tech-savvy employees. Not only are they most likely to engage with a role that allows them to use their tech skills, but they will also learn how to leverage technology to increase sales productivity. As they are collaborative and team-oriented workers, they will appreciate when you ask them for advice on how to improve the efficiency of your sales apps/software.
2. They are motivated by purpose
According to Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey, millennials prioritize the sense of purpose around people rather than being only motivated by growth or profit maximisation. They are appealed by personal development and want to sell products or services that add value and make an impact in the world. As a Manager, you should point out how they are adding value by selling your service/product and always make visible the impact their job is generating.
They value companies that promote good corporate citizenship and are more likely to stay in an organisation with a clear purpose who take an inclusive approach rather than an authoritarian/rules-based style.
3. Be flexible
It’s well known that salespeople crave for independence and freedom. Millennial reps are no different; for them flexibility is their top concern. In fact, they consider that workplace flexibility helps them perform at their best and be more engage with their role and the company. They want the independence to lead, innovate, and take charge of their careers.
Millennials are usually perceived by their previous generations as lazy individuals but the reality is that they have a different concept of time management. They are discouraged by the idea of working from 9 to 5, so instead of having a rigid schedule for them, focus on specific daily or weekly sales-activity goals.
4. Offer feedback
Millennials are usually more open to feedback from their managers than prior generations, especially if they will receive actionable tips on how to improve their performance. They also liked to be recognised and getting a pat on their back from their managers can be a powerful motivator for them.
Due to their short attention span, they don’t respond well to hour-long classroom instructions. Instead of spending hours on training sessions, it’s more advisable to offer constant coaching and mentoring to your reps. By repeating the same information over several occasions, they will be more likely to retain that information and keep it top of mind.
5. Tailor your incentive scheme
Money is also a key motivator for this generation. Millennials are hungry for success and are driven to achieve milestones such as awards, recognition and promotions. They are used to instant gratification, which can make them a bit impatient. In that sense, it’s important to manage millennials expectations regarding their career path and their way into leadership. Having a clear incentive scheme, with defined goals and performance metrics, will help them to keep motivated and engaged at work.
At CPM we understand the main benefits that each generation can bring to the workplace. Sales is one of the oldest professions and one of the great characteristics of this timeless profession is that it can adapt easily to the market as well as the requirements of their professionals. If you are looking for a sales job, have a look at our current job opportunities. We have plenty job opportunities for different backgrounds and interests!