The latest Move the Deal episode features Pam Hammers, sales performance consultant at Miller Heiman Group. With more than 15 years of experience and a focus in the manufacturing industry, Hammers’ expertise includes attracting, training and retaining millennial sales talent—and she’s sharing her advice with Move the Deal listeners.
Millennials will represent the largest generation in the workplace by 2020. Many of Hammers’ manufacturing clients employ a sales force made up of baby boomers with a wealth of experience and knowledge, and they have been slow to recognize the opportunity that millennials bring to the sales industry. Given the succession planning challenges that manufacturers face and the unique perspective that millennial sellers bring to the industry, it’s a passion for Hammers to improve the intergenerational relationships at sales organizations.
Hiring Millennials: It’s a Whole New Ballgame
There are some really powerful attributes that millennials bring, but companies need to engage a talent strategy to take advantage of those attributes, while also not being naive to the challenges that come with engaging this generation.
Sales organizations often assume hiring millennials is like hiring anyone else, but that’s not the case. It’s worth taking a step back and putting a system in place that reshapes how you hire, train and retain millennials.
Millennials are loyal when they feel empowered and have a passion for a company’s mission and vision. When they’re truly engaged and feel that they have a path for their future, they stay longer and operate with a strong work ethic. They are extremely tech-savvy. As sales leaders struggle with technology and how to use it externally or internally, they should remember there is talent in front of them that can be pulled into projects and used as an additional resource.
Keys to Attracting, Training and Retaining Millennial Sellers
As millennials apply for jobs, company culture is extremely important to them. They want to know about your sales technology stack and understand what you’re doing to stay ahead of competition and industry trends. When interviewing millennial sellers, organizations should understand their sales DNA and use sales skills assessments to match them to the right role and right sales training program.
Millennials stay loyal to companies who invest in their development, and want to know up front what kind of onboarding they’ll receive and how their employer plans to grow them. Manufacturers that put in place a training plan that mixes in communication skills, culture integration and products will see more success with this generation of hires. They want to be integrated into the company culture so they can contribute and grow as leaders.
What Organizations Should Do Next
Hammers ends the episode with advice for organizations looking to revamp or start fresh with their plan for hiring millennial sellers:
“Take an objective look at your strategy and ensure you’re taking advantage of their strengths and addressing some of the challenges they bring. Sit down with the millennials that work at your workplace and understand what they like and ways you can build loyalty and improve.”
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Outline of Episode
[2:45] What millennials bring to the table
[4:19] Hammers and her expertise on millennials in manufacturing
[7:20] Why attracting millennials is different from other segments
[10:30] Setting millennials up for success through training
[14:05] Secret sauce to retaining millennials
[17:45] What sales organizations should do next
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