In the old days, the inside sales team was cooped up in a room together, hooked up to an auto dialer on a landline phone and told to set as many appoints as they could in 8 hours. Today, not only is that no longer a viable way to find buyers, but no one from the digital generation will ever sign up for that thankless job.
Here’s how Millennials are changing the sales model.
If you grew up in with the digital natives, or the NetGeners as Don Tapscott is calling them, you have a lot of different perceptions about life and work than any of the previous generations. In a recent Pulse post Don Tapscott says “The idea of fixed hours at work, fixed vacation times, fixed location of work, and fixed compensation pay make no sense for this new generation.”
Millennials are fast becoming the majority of the workforce, and the thing is, your buyers are part of this same digital savvy generation, so they think differently too. Your buyers don’t adhere to traditional boundaries, timelines, buyer/seller relationships and channels that existed in the past, and are much better armed and knowledgeable than ever before. NetGeners are used to being connected anywhere, anytime via mobile and social. Today, your buyers expect you to Tweet, Chat, text and Skype with them. In fact, you will need their permission before you talk with them on the phone. So why not let them engage with sales the way they want?
Are Millennials lazy? Impatient? Will they leave your job at the drop of the hat? These perceptions have come about because Millennials have a whole different perspective than previous generations, as Don Tapscott points out. What if you give them great technology to engage with the buyers however they like? Or allow them to bring their own devices? What if you offer them immediate payouts, incentives and encouragement? What if they have a flexible schedule so they can surf in the morning and work the late shift, or come in at 6 am and leave early to support their kids at softball practice? How about adding a remote work day? What if you make it fun? And how about a clear career path – if they want it?
That’s the other thing about Millennials. You need to pay attention to what matters to them and a job description from 1970 isn’t going to cut it. A Millennial might be content to have a rewarding inside sales role engaging customers for the next 10 years. Or they might be your next superstar Head of Marketing. If you hire for a wider skillset, you will not only have a better Sales Development Rep, but they’ll be able to grow into Account Management, Field Sales, or Marketing roles easily if that’s something they want. And don’t forget the mentoring and reinforcement. Just because they are digital doesn’t mean they don’t like human engagement and encouragement.
It’s time to take a look at the old sales models and adapt for the Millennial Generation.
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