Many companies are now hiring millennials – a move that expands generational diversity of their sales teams. It also raises a couple of significant questions like: How do you engage millennial sales reps? Sales Training Connection has addressed that question in several previous blog posts.
But the question we haven’t discussed is: Why might millennials make great salespeople? Mark Roberge – Chief Revenue Officer of Inbound Sales Products for HubSpot – published an interesting article answering this question in the SMM Monitor. It’s definitely worth a read. Here are some highlights:
According to Roberge, “Today’s buyers are empowered by the Internet and are demanding more personalized, more relevant, and more helpful interactions with salespeople. Millennials are well positioned to deliver on this expectation. This generation not only embraces the new playbook, they helped write it by leading the digital charge and tuning out old-school sales tactics from day one.”
He goes on to share the top reasons he thinks millennials will do well in today’s challenging sales environment:
- They’re digital natives – It will become increasingly important to be digitally savvy and it’s a sweet spot for millennials.
- They live and breathe your product – Young sales reps in general are drawn to a company’s mission which means they don’t just sell your product, they believe in it and that is transparent to customers.
- They’re entrepreneurial – In today’s market bring a business mindset to the engagement is exactly what customer are expecting.
- They’re data-driven – Millennial salespeople will approach selling as a science, embracing the tools and analytics that are increasingly becoming important as a foundation for success.
Roberge ends the article with this point: “The criteria for hiring salespeople have changed dramatically over the past decade. Customers don’t look for salespeople that want to control the conversation anymore; they look for reps that are data-driven, solution-oriented, and empathetic.”
Our sense is Roberge is correct. Customers want trusted advisors not product facilitators. They expect sales rep to bring fresh ideas for framing the problem and insights for generating creative solutions. Our bet is millennials are free from some of the history that will prevent that from happening and some of the talents to make sure that it does.
The challenge for sales management is to develop the mindset and skills to leverage that potential.