In 2016, Millennials surpassed Gen Xers to become the largest part of the American workforce. In 2019, Millennials will outnumber the Baby Boomers in overall population. Sales management is going to have to get used to the changing attitudes and priorities of these Millennials who will soon make up the bulk of their workforce.
Sales management is also going to have to prepare for a Millennial wave of consumers. It makes sense: the best way to reach Millennials is with a Millennial sales team. But to train Millennials effectively in sales you’ve got to provide training that Millennials will find useful and appealing. If you don’t, it may soon affect your top and bottom line.
To Reach a Young Audience, You’ve Got to Go Online
Millennials are much more comfortable with technology and the internet than the generations that preceded them, and the generations that follow will likely only grow further in this direction. Millennials expect online accessibility. While generally Millennials still have experience with a traditional classroom educational scenario, they will expect to be able to research, study, and complete assignments online. Anything otherwise will look dated and archaic, and not worth investing time in (from the perspective of a Millennial) because it is less efficient.
Interactive and Engaging Training Is Key for Young Learners
Young people value interesting and engaging content. Bombarded by different forms of media their entire lives, many have become incredibly media savvy and particular about what kind of content they like and don’t like to see.
It sounds intimidating, especially from the perspective of the dry traditions of old-school corporate learning, but engaging learning doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. Often the key to engaging corporate training is simple: provide useful training that proves your company is interested in investing in its workers’ potential, and give detailed analytics about how a learner is progressing so they can self-evaluate.
Provide Measurable Feedback for Your Sales Team
Millennials value feedback on their job performance. If your sales management wants to gear sales team training toward a younger pool of learners, you’ll want to make sure your e-learning is capable of providing measurable feedback.
Adaptive Learning is an excellent e-learning approach that engages learners and provides them with measurable feedback on their progress, and also gives them the ability to self-assess progress and competence.
Adaptive Learning corrects both unconscious incompetence (not knowing that you don’t know) and conscious incompetence (knowing what you don’t know); these are problems that disproportionately affect young hires. With this approach, you’ll be able to fill in knowledge gaps for any young (or old) workforce you need to, without disengaging them or seeming archaic. Better still, the results will directly affect your top and bottom line.