You’ve just returned from your worldwide sales kick-off and watched your Millennials-gone-wild sales team in full frontal view. Perhaps they got restless when the powers-that-be spent too much time on company vision and product announcements and not enough time on pumping them up for a year of “disruptive selling.”
If you read our Inside Sales 2013 Trends Report, the Strong and Steady theme applies this year when it comes to managing your team. Everything is illuminated with possibilities . . . as long as sales leaders get out of their way.
My upcoming book Smart Sales Manager (watch for our Spring release) is all about harnessing your inside sales Talent 2.0 and learning how to motivate and retain these bold sales superheroes. Remember: They are the ones who will bring your entire team to a new Sales 2.0 level of excellence this year.
So it’s time to rewire your Millennial teams’ innate talents and begin to transform them from Sales Slackers into Sales Superheroes. The cost of entry is thinking and talking and acting more like a Smart Sales Manager 2.0 instead of limiting yourself like a Sales Manager 1.0. Here’s some 2.0 mental floss:
1.0: “I hired these salespeople and gave them generous comp packages. Why should I always provide them with incentives to just do their jobs?”
2.0: Sales Millennials approach selling as a video game where they can #win. The rules are the same: it must be challenging, it requires endurance and tenacity, it’s competitive, and it rewards their accomplishments. That’s why gamification has become so important.
1.0: “We just finished training them on this stuff. Didn’t they retain anything?”
2.0: Sales Millennials thrive on regular — constant — feedback. They want to always know where they stand and are hungry for reinforcement. They need acknowledgement in order for them to learn and retain information.
1.0: “What? You already want to be promoted? But you’ve only been here a few months and barely know how to say the name of our products.”
2.0: Sales Millennials are ready to take on the world. They have high expectations of themselves. Many of them think they can do a better job then you. Don’t take it personally, they just don’t have that “paying your dues” mentality.
1.0: “I just called her into my office and she started crying when I told her I had something to talk to her about. What’s up with that?”
2.0: Sales Millennials are uber tough on themselves. They might act defensive when you provide them with feedback and may even try to assign blame. Keep it simple, provide lots of examples, and help them see that things are not always so black or white.
1.0: “I couldn’t believe one of my team members introduced himself to our CEO at kick-off by fist-bumping him and saying, ‘Hey, is it happy hour yet?’
2.0: Sales Millennials break the barriers when it comes to hierarchy, and they place more value on their workplace being fun and social. Company-sponsored happy hours have replaced meetings.
1.0: “We have changed up our metrics and reduced our phone talk time but we still want them to make 75 outbound calls per day.”
2.0: YAWN! Sales Millennials are bored with your metrics. Make your metrics more interesting by adding social medial, presentations, voice mail, email, and appointments into the mix.