How to Attract and Retain Millennials in Sales
As the world of work becomes smaller and people become more connected, there’s a trend toward companies striving to create something that exceeds monetary value; from the culture, to the product, and everything in between. This is especially evident in sales positions, where mantras like “always be closing” might seem trite or impersonal to an engaged twenty-something.
As Millennials begin to gain majority representation in the workforce, it’s time to come up with some new sales aphorisms-- ones that respond to this generation’s desire to learn and grow at work. As part of this process, we should recognise and address certain assumptions about Millennial workers.
Enable Millennials to Stay Connected
Encouraging Millennial sales and marketing pros to seek less traditional methods of communicating with customers like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat allows them to make connections in ways that seem more genuine to them (and to others within their cohort). Moreover, trusting their instincts when it comes to new technologies and platforms can give you the inside edge when it comes to finding innovative ways to prospect leads.
Provide Skilled Mentors
Millennials have the reputation for job-hopping and autonomy which some attribute to opportunism that stems from their coming of age in an unstable market.
Millennials are motivated by chances to learn from an expert that will provide personal guidance to help them achieve their goals. Since their focus is on growth, sales organizations should enable Millennials to achieve the growth and development they desire with the help of a seasoned pro. With a a great mentor, Millennials will be more likely happy to stay put and develop.
Flexibility is Key for Millennials.
A good sales rep knows that rigidity in negotiation makes it difficult to get anywhere, so why shouldn’t the same apply to workplace culture? Millennials respond well to environments that allow them the freedom to work in ways that might not align with traditional 9-to-5 conventions. Introducing options like compressed workweeks or the ability telecommute are great, non-monetary ways to attract, compensate and retain Millennials.
While the extra efforts needed to attract, onboard and nurture Millennial sales pros might make them seem like a high maintenance group of people, as a group they are also high-performing. A survey by Great Place to Work included 15 questions describing behaviors that drive innovation and concluded that Millennial companies’ results scored an average of 14% higher (and in some cases up to 20% higher) than the results tallied for other companies.
For sales teams, this means fostering a culture of growth that allows Millennials to thrive will have positive impacts on your business as a whole. Finding ways to let Millennials use their strengths gives them a sense of purpose and creates a more meaningful work culture that can be more motivating to them than traditional methods of compensation. Millennials make up a generation that is anything but complacent when it comes to their values. It’s worth doing what it takes to keep them around - you might just learn something.