Millennials have been the subject of limitless research over the past decade. Are they too entitled or tough to manage? How do we engage them without providing too much structure? Even though they’ll soon become a majority of the work place, the Millennial generation is still a mystery to many managers.
But don’t let this discourage you. Confident Millennials are ready to take on the world, and their assertive attitudes can certainly benefit your company. They require a new type of leadership, but with the right training they’ll quickly become a valuable asset to any sales team.
Do You Really Have to Train Millennials Differently?
The short answer? Yes.
The traditional training methods don’t work as well with Millennials and the classroom setting doesn’t engage them. Millennials are used to multitasking. Presentations won’t hold their attention for long and when they’re bored a smartphone is the perfect distraction.
Many successful schools seem to have found a solution for this problem: online education. Students learn their own way and at their own pace (which is usually much faster than an hour-long lecture.) The studying and traditional learning is done at home, and the practice and “homework” is now completed at school.
But what does that education model look like for sales teams? Very similar, actually. Millennial salespeople learn on their own at home and perfect their skills when they come to work.
The possibilities are endless for online training materials. Give your salespeople recorded presentations to watch or successful cold calls to listen to. If you have a product-based business, let them study your products on their own.
Then, when they come to work, training consists of practicing their skills and receiving feedback from a sales coach. New salespeople get to use the techniques they’ve seen or heard, and perfect their sales presentation before their first meeting.
Bellhops is a great, and somewhat unique, example of putting this training model to work. After completing an online form, applicants gain access to online training videos before they’ve even spoken with a Bellhops team member.
Use Their Strengths to Your Advantage
According to this Visual.ly infographic, 78% of Millenials are using social media to outsell their peers. And they’re not just using new technologies, they’re twice as fast to adopt them than the rest of the world. So while those smartphones might be distracting during a lengthy presentation, digital tools like Google Drive, Evernote, and of course, Callproof, can help streamline the entire sales process.
You’re also missing a huge opportunity if your sales team isn’t selling on social media — but don’t leave it up to your team to utilize social networks. If your product can be sold via Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, educate your salespeople on how to do it.
A good training platform is critical for every new hire, but especially multitasking, data-driven Millennials. They’re accustomed to digital materials and videos, so incorporate those into your training materials. It might not be traditional, but it’s engaging and effective.
And don’t overlook an important statistic from that Visual.ly infographic: the amount of commitment a Millennial will show to your company. They’ll live and breathe your product, so take advantage of that dedication and train them to sell.