Sales Archives - TAB Corporate

7 Tips for Managing Your Millennial Sales Team

Millennial sales team

We often hear that millennial employees are a breed apart, and require a shift in management style and perspective. The same can be said about a millennial sales team and what’s needed to effectively manage and leverage their particular outlook and talents. Generally speaking, think of these younger salespeople as self-confident, positive thinkers who are thoroughly comfortable with digital technologies in all forms, and ready to take on sales challenges unique to your company and industry.

The key is providing the right type of guidance and training to maximize their efforts on behalf of your organization. Here are seven key tips:

1. Zero in on their motivation. Like any other employees, millennials want to be paid a fair wage for the work they do. But perhaps more than other generations, they’re often motivated by the need to “make a difference”—in their community or in the world at large. It’s worth the effort to meet with your sales team members to better understand what drives them on a personal and professional level.

2. Be prepared to offer flexible work schedules. You may have already instituted flexible work schedules in your organization, but if not, think carefully about trying to restrict millennial salespeople to a rigid 9-to-5 routine.

Again speaking in general terms, these strongly self-motivated individuals can be relied upon to attend to daily or weekly sales-activity objectives. But, they also believe they can do in a flexible way—and may bridle at being restricted to a strict 9-to-5 workplace schedule. Look into what type of flexible work schedules enable them to achieve maximum productivity.

3. Offer feedback (and plenty of it). Millennials thrive on feedback, especially when it’s frequent and constructive (as opposed to quarterly or semi-annual performance reviews). They want to hear from their managers that they’re doing a good job, which will make them work even harder. But they’re also open to critiques that let them build on their existing knowledge and experience.

4. Provide training bite-sized portions. Sales training is critically important for millennials, as it is for other generations of salespeople. Adopting a formalized training program, however, may not be the best approach.

Millennials favor shorter, condensed training sessions, not day-long workshops or other, more traditional classroom-style approach. Look into interactive sales training software that plays to their ability to absorb information in quick, interactive programs. You’ll likely see better results this way.

5. Give them guidance on selling to older generations. A key area of training for this generational cohort is guidance on selling to clients who aren’t millennials. It’s important to train millennials on the best ways to reach out to customers with different generational needs and desires. After all, if they can’t understand what drives these individuals and business owners, “they will struggle to maintain relationships with some clients and close sales with many prospects.”

6. Encourage collaboration. Back in the day, companies often found benefits in pitting one salesperson against another. That’s not the ideal approach to sales management for millennials, who tend to favor collaboration over competition.

Emphasize a team approach to sales management, with plenty of opportunities to brainstorm together, pair more experienced individuals with sales rookies, etc. It’s also a good idea to reward the entire sales team for successful deals, rather than only single out individuals for praise.

7. Take advantage of their digital know-how. Remember, millennials understand digital technologies inside and out, including how to sell via social media. Rather than shoehorn them into one approach or another, encourage your team to “continuously adopt new technologies and integrate the latest, most sophisticated digital sales tools into their repertoire.” They’ll benefit from the infusion of exciting new ways to approach sales and your company will benefit from their willingness to explore these new strategies.

You have a unique opportunity to draw upon your millennial sales team’s generational strengths and enthusiasm. Don’t let that opportunity slip by.

Want to learn more about sales management and training? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

Tips on Improving the Quality of Your Written Sales Pitch

help with written sales pitch

When did you last look at the email pitch written by your sales team? If the level of new sales isn’t what you’re expecting, it may be related to the quality of these emails being sent to prospective clients.

Here are tips for enhancing the message that compels prospects to take action:

First, recognize the difference between a verbal and written sales pitch. Your sales team may be outstanding in the realm of a verbal pitch, utilizing all the “soft” talents of tone of voice, appearance, body language, etc. None of that applies to the written sales pitch, so it’s important to be clear on the differences and focus solely on the choice of words and appropriate style (formal, informal).

Do the homework. Prospects are a lot smarter now than “back in the day.” They can tell by the opening line of the sales pitch whether your salesperson knows something about their company or is just winging it. With all the available resources at hand these days, there’s no excuse for not researching the prospect’s current executive team, annual sales figures, social media profiles, company website, corporate initiatives, and so on.

Whether or not any of this information makes its way into the written pitch (and, in most cases, it probably shouldn’t), this knowledge will affect the quality of the email pitch.

Get to the point. One common mistake with writing a sales pitch is thinking some sort of preface or introduction is necessary. Not at all! Busy prospects need to feel you’re getting to the point or they’ll simply click out of the message. Be concise. Let the recipient know only what’s absolutely necessary to know before moving forward.

“The only purpose of a prospecting email is to elicit a response,” notes sales strategist Marc Wayshak. Any “excess information in your email that does not support this intention is actually hurting you.”

Engage the prospect. Pay attention to the flow of the sales pitch. Avoid hopping around from one topic to another, or one tone to another. The trick to engaging a prospect is by moving them from one sentence to the next. And the best way to achieve this is by emphasizing—always emphasizing—what’s in it for them.

Stress value and benefits, not features. Your product or service likely comes with an impressive range of features, but unless you clearly demonstrate how those features offer value to the customer, you’re wasting your time (and theirs). Examples of value to communicate in an email include:

  • Brief description of how your product can boost sales
  • Offering to send an informative white paper or case study
  • Invitation to a value-added webinar

Another approach involves specifically identifying a problem or challenge your prospect faces. By naming this problem (which implicitly recognizes how well you understand their business and industry), you can then “tease” them with a concise description of your proposed solution and then invite them to learn more.

Make your call-to-action specific and compelling. By “learning more,” we mean ending your pitch with a single call-to-action that’s clear and to the point. What would you like the prospect to do after reading your email—opt-in to your newsletter, watch a product-focused video, set up an appointment? Specify your desired goal, while reminding them of the value they’ll receive by taking this action.

Spend time on the email subject line. Sometimes, the best email subject line comes after you’ve crafted a concise, informative and compelling email message. Here’s the place to get creative (while remaining concise), something along the lines of “Game-changing Idea for Your B2B Business” or “The Hidden Value You Could Be Adding to Your Business Right Now.” Any generic approach will likely end up in the prospect’s spam folder.

There’s a definite art and style to winning email sales pitches. Now might be a great time for a thorough reexamination of how your sales pitch is being crafted and take these steps to dramatically improve its quality.