Three Ways to Engage a Millennial Inside Sales Team
Categories: Inside Sales
For the first time this year the number of Millennials will exceed Baby Boomers in the workforce. For many companies, the inside sales function has become an attractive opportunity for these young adults to hone their professional skill and leadership potential. Yet, onboarding them effectively offers a new set of challenges for companies stuck in traditional approaches to sales enablement.
For the most part, Millennials have grown up with devices and technology to help them find whatever they need, when they need it. For example, if they want best practices on social selling, it’s unlikely that they will see the value in signing up for a two-hour training course when they can just watch a YouTube video – using whichever device they prefer.
In addition to technological freedom, these next-generation sales people prize workplace collaboration, innovation and flexibility above all else. They are great digital multi-taskers, expect rapid career advancement, and enjoy the ability to analyze trends, monitor activity or otherwise get feedback on how they’re doing virtually on-demand.
So the challenge of ramping Millennials and sustaining the skills that matter most is at the same time critical and challenging, requiring new and creative approaches to influence and retain them. With these preferences and characteristics in mind, here are three tactics that can help you prepare your business to succeed with this next-generation sales force.
They also value social media integration and cloud-based access. And, because Millennials expect technology to work for them, and not the other way around, mobile sales enablement solutions need to by fast and effective. The bottom line is that if you’re going to attract, train and retain the very best Millennial sales talent, then your business has to start thinking differently about how to engage them.
Command of the Message® customers leverage spaced-learning platforms like Qstream. The software makes it easy for reps to respond to simple, scenario-based challenges using any mobile device in just minutes. Challenges automatically synch across devices so they never miss a question, and onboard social, reputation and game mechanics keep them engaged as they compete for points on a leaderboard based on their responses.
Also keep in mind that Millennials generally prefer to share ideas and information with each other, rather than listen to a “talking head” in a traditional training course or sales meeting. So be sure to keep it collaborative.
One of biggest motivators for this generation, however, are opportunities for career progression. Simple steps are satisfying because they guarantee a shorter time spent in one role with strong promise to move to the next level on their team or into a new role altogether. If you can create a sense of organized career development, research shows you’ll be more likely to keep your new Millennial hires from making quick lateral career moves.
Performance benchmarks, whereby attaining a level of topical proficiency, combined with a particular business result, creates eligibility for a higher level designation, such as senior specialist or team lead.
Technology should be incorporated into your coaching rhythm, making it easy for managers to provide feedback and direction on particular topics or skills. Based on responses to scenario-based challenges, Qstream’s data engine suggests targeted coaching actions into a real-time dashboard that pinpoints gaps. This type of “micro-coaching” helps supervisors provide the most relevant strategies, ideas, techniques and tips closer to the point of need.
Keep in mind, too, that unlike generations before them, Millennials are fearless when it comes to calling high. And, most sales mentors agree that it’s better to shape these ambitions than squash them, so be sure to offer the coaching they need to be successful.
At the end of the day, rather than try to fight Millennials’ social appetite, career ambition and need for instant gratification, businesses should be trying to adapt to their preferred methods of self-improvement.
Editor’s Note - This post originally appeared on Qstream’s blog. The Qstream platform ignites high-performance sales teams combining mobile, science and software in a powerfully simple solution that’s helping today’s top brands outperform their peers by up to 3X in average annual revenue growth. Read more. . .