Many millennials have misconceptions about B2B sales roles, which causes them to abandon the lucrative job opportunities this field offers in order to pursue other careers. According to research conducted in 2014 by the Harvard Business School, employers spent 41 days longer finding suitable candidates to fill technical sales positions compared to the average 33 days they usually spend finding qualified candidates for non-sales positions.
Attracting the right talent is crucial to any company, and without it, business owners will most likely fail to achieve their targeted growth rates. This can affect company success. This article will explain the importance of hiring millennials for B2B sales and how companies can change their sales recruitment strategy to attract the right talent.
Employers need to rebrand sales roles
Various misconceptions affect how millennials view sales positions. First, most of them believe the digital world’s continuous growth makes sales a non-viable career path. Many also stay away from the perceived competitive nature of the sales world, while others commission-based remuneration to be unattractive.
These and several other doubts mean that employers need to rebrand sales as a modern career opportunity with attractive financial incentives. Reframing sales to showcase long-term relationship building, technical immersion, analytical skills, and dynamic B2B will help make it more appealing to millennials.
Reasons why it’s imperative to make this extra effort for the future of sales
The older generation is retiring: Every year, more and more ‘baby boomers’ retire from sales, leaving massive gaps that need filling. In addition, experts predict that companies may end up losing up to 40% of their sales talent if this trend continues.
Trending sales modules require digitally inclined minds: Digital solutions are an easy concept for millennials to grasp and appreciate. As the sales industry is beginning to incorporate various tech solutions, it is easier for millennials to take control of sales strategies. Also, most of them innately understand concepts like social selling, prospect data, and inbound marketing – all of which are gradually becoming game changers in the B2B sales model.
Businesses need millennials to scale their services: The business world is becoming increasingly competitive by the day. Businesses that fail to scale their services or products to match the growing demand changes will fall behind. Having a robust recruitment strategy plays a huge role in preventing personnel shortage, which, in turn, will ensure that corporate expansion objectives are met.
Rebranding sales roles
As mentioned earlier, the best way to make sales more enticing to millennials is to replace the old stereotypical ways with more attractive and modern strategies. The ‘rebranding’ effort could include three main strategies. These include:
Increasing salesperson’s responsibility: A salesperson is like an entrepreneur within an organisation, and businesses can paint this picture to attract millennials. Salespeople have increased responsibilities combined with the power to decide how to decide or author their career paths. Also, unlike other departments, they have no limits on how much they can earn or the speed with which they climb the corporate ladder.
Creating a purpose-driven job: According to a Deloitte Millennial survey, about 77% of millennials prefer a workplace offering a sense of purpose rather than merely going through the motions. The same survey suggested that companies that offer a sense of purpose make significantly higher top-talent recruitments while offering job satisfaction and financial success.
Using sales as external consulting: It is essential to abandon the old idea of natural salespeople and promote a new image that highlights negotiations skills, deep analytical thinking, and consultant-style reporting. There is a need to emphasise data-driven problem-solving skills.
Expand recruitment efforts to cover diverse backgrounds
Millennials come with various backgrounds and different educational levels. Instead of having strict recruitment requirements that target specific qualifications, you can expand your field sales recruitment efforts. You can also opt for program-based skills training to help them hone the skills they need to solidify their sales careers.
College-level millennials: Currently, many colleges prepare their students with some level of formal sales training. Most of such training makes it easier for them to adopt the skills needed for a sales industry that is becoming increasingly complex.
Aiming for more diversity: Emphasizing diversity can help employers to ensure that they choose the best candidates for the job and not just settle for ones that fit a particular demographic.
Relying on program-based recruitment: Through a program-based recruitment strategy, recruiters can ensure that they widen their net to cover a diverse range of potential candidates and build a sustainable talent acquisition pipeline.
Employers can use various internship programs, sales competitions, college recruitment strategies, and employee referral programs to create that sustainable talent pipeline they need.
A shift in company culture
Recruiting talent is one thing, but keeping the talent is quite another. The best way to keep and retain the talent you attract is to transform your company culture and compensation. Business owners can adjust to how they approach the following topics to keep the talent they attract and gain a competitive edge. The following strategies should be considered:
Work flexibility and autonomy: Millennials value work flexibility and personal freedom, and they’re likely to quit any work environment that hinders their autonomy and has strict working hours.
Clear career advance opportunities: If there is another thing that many millennials dislike, it remains in the same position for a long time. Anyone looking to create a solid career path will prefer to work in a company that offers a clear chance to advance through promotions.
Attractive compensation packages: Many millennials leave school already burdened with student loans to pay off, making it difficult to make a living off an average paycheck. Offering other attractive compensation packages beyond salaries is one sure way to attract their loyalty.
Currently, millennials take up a whopping 50% of the entire workforce, offering the most expansive pool of human resources to source from. Business owners that fail to adjust their recruitment efforts in ways that attract this demographic may find it difficult to retain or increase their sales team in time.