How to Motivate a Millennial Sales Team

Motivating a sales team of young millennials can be a challenge. For managers, it’s important to be able to understand and relate to your workforce in order to boost productivity and team morale. So how can you put yourself in the mindset of a millennial?

By 2025 the majority of businesses will be heavily reliant on millennials to deliver results and drive their success. While millennials have received plenty of criticism over the years, they are the future of work and they will need to develop the tools and motivation to thrive.

What are millennials looking for in a role?

Generally speaking, millennials are openly ambitious, confident and well-educated. They can, therefore, be somewhat ruthless when looking for a job. There are three key factors that stand out as being important to millennials. They are:

  • Opportunities for career progression
  • Flexible working
  • Competitive package (not just salary)

What are millennial salespeople motivated by?

Career progression is key for many millennials and they look for not just a job, but a career where they can achieve their goals and elevate their status. If millennials don’t feel like they are progressing within an organisation, they may be quick to start looking elsewhere. And a competitive salary is important to millennials, they tend to be more interested in the benefits package as a whole.

How can you motivate your millennial sales team?

1. Give them a clear career path

Millennials are sometimes considered to be job hoppers, however, they leave roles when they feel bored, under-stimulated or hungry for more. Creating a personal development plan for each member of your team is a great way to set goals and track success. Having a clear plan in place for career progression will help your team to work harder, be loyal and achieve better results.

2. Offer flexible working

According to a study referenced on Forbes, 77% of millennials say flexible work hours are a key to boosting productivity. Think about how you may be able to incorporate flexibility into your sales team’s day. This will boost productivity and results for you and make them feel happier at work.

3. Offer a strong benefits package

As a starting point, a competitive salary will motivate millennials but think about what else you can include in your benefits package. Can you offer a flexible package where your team can select what is important for them i.e. purchasing additional holidays, days off for charity work, healthcare, etc?

4. Communicate and give feedback

On the one hand, millennials like to have freedom and autonomy, but on the other hand, they want to know how they are performing and demand regular feedback. Giving honest, constructive feedback to your team on a regular basis (at least monthly) will keep them motivated and feeling fulfilled in their role.

5. Recognise and reward success

When your sales team perform well it’s important to recognise and reward their success. Bonuses and commissions are good incentives but they are expected in a sales role which means they’re not enough. Consider what other incentives you can offer e.g. holidays abroad, top dining experiences and vouchers. Simply saying well done and thank you for your hard work from time to time can have a big impact.

6. Create a team environment

Millennials are good collaborators and therefore like to work in a collaborative environment where they can share ideas. This can be more fruitful than creating a competitive environment as it allows innovation to flourish and gives a sense of community. Running regular team-building activities and regular team meetings will help to build relationships in your team.

How can you attract the best millennial sales talent?

Once you know how to motivate your millennial sales team, you will be in a much stronger position to attract the best talent. High achievers want more than target-related bonuses, they want a clear progression path, an all-round competitive package and flexible working in a collaborative environment.

If you need help recruiting sales talent for your business, find out more about the recruitment services we offer.

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