There are fewer hot topics than the work ethic of Millennials. What’s not up for debate is their importance in the workforce. Today, 1 in 3 American workers are a millennial, making them the largest generation of workers. In my own experience, the most talented of millennial sales professionals are every bit as driven as reps from previous generations. If you’ve struggled with the results from your younger sales reps, the root of your problem might not be with millennials. It might be with attracting millennial sales reps that are top sales performers. Based on observing the mistakes of countless companies, we’ve put together our top 3 reasons why top millennial sales reps won’t work for you or your company.
1. It’s All About You.
When I graduated in 1992 we were in the middle of the gulf war recession and jobs were scarce. I was lucky when I found a solid job and I knew it. This isn’t 1992. White collar unemployment today stands at 2.5% in the U.S. This means that the most talented of millennials have choices. Lots of choices.
Unfortunately, many companies are still recruiting as if it’s 1992. Attracting the most talented of millennial sales reps means shifting your mindset from what you want to what they want. This starts by viewing each step of the recruiting process through the lens of millennials. For example, that brilliant job description that you wrote on your PC? It’s too long and unreadable when viewed on a millennial’s mobile device. Until you fully shift your thinking and approach you’ll be stuck interviewing B Players and complaining about the work ethic of millennials.
2. Social Proof.
More than any other generation, attracting top millennial sales reps means perfecting your online presence and reputation. Glassdoor, your company’s website and Linkedin are the first steps a millennial takes when vetting your opportunity. (For a deeper dive read How to Recruit Millennials.)
Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a highly recruited millennial sales rep. Are you impressed after viewing your company’s website, Glassdoor reviews and Linkedin presence? Do the same thing for your competitors but not your direct competitors. I’m talking about your competition for sales talent. Hubspot is a good example of a company that understands how to attract millennials (their Glassdoor page is here). For tips on how to improve your presence read 5 Tips to Turn Up Your Glassdoor Ratings and Perfecting Your Linkedin Brand. Simply put, attracting top millennial sales reps means improving your online presence.
3. Paint a Picture.
Just as important as attracting top millennial sales reps is impressing them during the interview process. Obviously it takes both to make a hire. A key roadblock in landing top millennial talent is their notorious “I want it now” mindset. The most astute of sales leaders have figured out how to work with, rather than against this. They paint a picture of where their opportunity can take a top performer internally or externally. Note that we’re not talking about appealing to the sales rep with 2 years of experience that wants to be the VP of sales in 6 months. We are talking about showing them a path to meaningful career progressions based on performance. Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of Linkedin, wrote The Alliance which spells out the hows and whys of this approach. Before you disregard Reid’s formula, we would suggest that a company that scaled from $243M in 2010 to $2.9B in 2015 understands how to attract top millennial sales professionals.
Attracting Millennial Sales Reps.
If we haven’t convinced you to reconsider your recruiting tactics consider this. By 2020 46% of all US workers will be millennials. Astute business leaders understand that winning the war begins by winning the talent war. Today you might be able to survive without a coherent strategy to attract younger sales professionals. Tomorrow it won’t be an option.