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Talent & Recruitment
The Post-Millennial Generation in Sales
May 31, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

A new sales generation is coming. Generation Z, those born between around 1995 and 2009, now makes up the majority of the undergraduate population in Canada. That means that Generation Z are about to enter the workplace.

The big question for leaders of sales teams in 2020 and beyond is how will this new influx of Gen Zers impact the ways we sell?

How Will Gen Z Change the Sales Profession?

Let’s consider some differences between Millennials and their younger counterparts and offer predictions for the future of work.

The First Generation of Digital Natives

Unlike ‘Xennials’ and Millennials - who were first introduced to the internet revolution as children or teenagers - the next generation was born into a post-digital world. They truly are the first band of digital natives. Ubiquitous connectivity, on-demand video, the internet of things, curated social channels, and 24/7 news are part of Gen Z’s daily diet. As the digital revolution continues to pick up pace, expect this new generation of sales pros to lead innovations in how we communicate and do business.

Vocational Routes and On-Demand Learning

Millennials who were the largest generation ever to go into post-secondary education. Many of the Generation Z, in contrast, have been encouraged to seek other routes to finding a career and therefore avoid the crippling student debts of their Millennial predecessors. Much more emphasis, for example, has been placed on apprenticeships and other vocational qualifications. On-demand elearning solutions are also a major factor as Gen Z is naturally in-tune with teaching themselves how to achieve through webinars and platforms like YouTube. Expect to see even more online learning and virtual working in the Gen Z-dominated sales team of the future.

A Post-Crash Realism

A lot of current research suggests that three quarters of Gen Z expect to work harder than previous generations. Unlike their more optimistic Millennial counterparts, Gen Z salespeople will be more ‘realistic’ about the future global economy. This, in part, is a result of growing up during the biggest economic recession since the 1920s. Could we see shift from cause-based motives to more Boomer-like pragmatic approaches to business?

Independence

Unlike collaboratively-minded Millennials, Generation Z will be more competitive with their colleagues and will harness a do-it-yourself mentality at work. For example, most Gen Zers, it is claimed, would rather have their own workspace than share.

Privacy

Social media was tried and tested by Millennials. Generation Z are more security-savvy and will be more calculated about the information they share online. Gen Z salespeople will inherently understand the gravity of ensuring data is secure and the extents to which our data can be accessed. Snapchat, for example, is popular with Gen Z in part because of the restrictions around the length a post will remain live and accessible. Expect to see trends towards sales channels which best ensure the privacy of consumers.

Enjoyed the article? Check out the 2018 e-book from the CPSA and Shane Gibson called The Millennial Generation in Sales for more unique insights.

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