Does your sales team structure get the best out of who you’ve got?
A sales team structure isn’t so different from a sports team structure. Take basketball. If you’re the coach, you look at your talent and see who can jump, who’s got the outside shot, who has a second sense for defense. You assign positions and run drills that play to strengths and support weaknesses. And then, you win.
So, okay, it’s not always that simple, but sales team structure runs on the same principle. This is even more true when you’re managing a team of Millennials. Why? Because their energy, ambition, and potential are untapped reservoirs—but they have unique strengths and weaknesses. With the right sales team structure, they can put your product over the top. Without it, you’ll have a team of grumbly twenty-somethings who can’t deliver. Here are three top tips for building a solid Millennial sales team structure.
1. Millennials need guidance, not instructions
Younger sales reps generally excel when they have a clear system to work within. But they still want to be able to put their own personality, strengths, and spin on what they do. “Millennials are at their best in the sweet spot between micro-management and free range,” writes content marketing specialist Jared Lasonde at Bullhorn.
2. Training isn’t done in a day
Millennials operate at their best when you consistently train and coach them. Think back to our basketball team. How could they pull off a fast break if they practiced it once? Your sales team structure has to include consistent coaching. As Heinz Marketing CEO Matt Heinz says in B2C, “it’s scientifically proven that repeating the same information to people at intervals over time is the best way for them to retain that information and keep it fresh in their minds for the duration of their professional careers.”
3. Cash isn’t enough incentive
The promise of a year-end cash bonus alone will not motivate Millennials to operate at the top level. Instead, the quality of the workplace is a huge motivator. Even more importantly, Millennials respond to a sales team structure with immediate rewards. Balloons when you land a sale? A flat screen TV when you top your quota? Sure. As Jeremy Boudinet notes on Business 2 Community, companies with younger sales teams are asking, “What cool things can we do for our employees that ensure they love working with us?”
Remember, you don’t need to do a 180 on your sales team structure. Millennials aren’t aliens. But if you want to optimize the team you’ve got, then tweak that structure to get the best out of your young talent.
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