Photo of John Rydell

5 Tips for Managing Millennial Salespeople

How to Manage Millennials in a Sales Environment

Millennials are the youngest people in today’s workforce. They are also soon to become its largest component, accounting for 3 out of 4 workers by 2025.

Millenials present new management challenges – and demand different management style and substance than the generations before them.

With effective management you can bring a valuable and motivated group of salespeople to your team, better appeal to a new market of prospects, and potentially improve and modernize your systems. Without it, you’re likely to experience rise in under-performance, a decrease in satisfaction and production, and higher turnover.

So, how exactly do you manage millennial salespeople and help them reach their potential? Here are some tips and strategies that will help.

1. Find Their Deeper Motivations

Millennials aren’t driven by the same things as their predecessors.

Where past generations have been focused more on money and stability, millennials are focused on freedom, work-life balance, and a deeper feeling of meaning and significance.

To get the most out of each millennial on your team, you need to find out exactly which of these (or something else) drive them the most.

Take the time to get to know them, and embrace their differences. Once you understand their motivations, you can use the right incentives and leadership style to help them function at a high level.

2. Coach Them Up

Attention spans are at an all time low, and people are forgetting things more than ever. That’s why coaching – and more specifically, repetition – is so key for millennial salespeople.

Repetition and training will give your reps the practice they need to go from good to great. The beauty is that most millennials have been taught the value of continued education, and will openly welcome the chance to learn and improve.

3. Let Them Plug in to Tools & Technology

Millennials have grown up with the internet, mobile apps, and social networks as a centerpiece of day-to-day life. Not only are they comfortable using technology to streamline and automate tasks, they thrive on it, and excel at it.

While you might have a process that your sales team uses to build their pipeline (and would like your millennials to learn and follow it) don’t be afraid to let them explore and tap into the various apps and sales automation tools available today.

They may just help you modernize and improve your sales processes, in the process.

4. Give Real-Time Feedback

For better or worse, millennials grew up receiving trophies just for participating. And so, they’ve been trained to need recognition as much as possible.

Use this to your advantage by giving them real-time feedback. Let them know what they’re doing well, and give them constructive feedback to help them improve. They’ll thrive on this feedback and work to apply it in their craft.

5. Tell Them What to Do, and Let Them Surprise You

In his memoir, Phil Knight (the founder of Nike), repeats again and again one of the principles of his management style – the same style that allowed Nike to thrive and become the giant it is today.

“Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

This strategy worked when he started Nike, and it still works today – especially with millennials.

What you’ll discover is that many millennials have a sort of entrepreneurial spirit. They want the freedom to be creative in their work, and many desire to start their own businesses one day.

Give them a little wiggle room to come up with creative and entrepreneurial solutions, and they just may surprise you with their results!

Conclusion

Millennial salespeople present you with different management challenges. But if you take the right management approach and use these 5 tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving millennial sales team!

Are you a millenial salesperson? Do you manage millennials? What other tips do you have for effectively managing and inspiring millennials in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below!