React Positively to Millennial Leaders

React Positively to Millennial Leaders

“React positively to the potential talents and strengths you identify in your up-and-coming Sales Leaders.” ~ Danita Bye


How motivated are your salespeople and how are they motivated?

This is one of the questions I ask business owners and sales leaders when we develop a strategic plan to boost their sales growth. Why is the answer to this question so important?  Because it will help you discover how to get the sales hunters on your team and keep them focused on winning new accounts to grow your business.

Here’s how one of the millennials I coach describe their motivational frustrations: 

“It’s deflating when a leader or boss gives great feedback and positive comments about your idea and then does nothing about it. If an idea isn’t going to be entertained, the respectful thing, in our eyes, is to actually let us know.”

I have developed an acronym, RESPECT (react, encourage, sensitivity, politeness, extraordinary kindness, considerate, timeliness). It can be a useful guide as you model respect and collaboration with your next-gen leader.

REACT is the first action step to help you develop Respecting Others as part of your Relationship Wiring.  

I have identified five important areas where you can react positively to help you build respectful, collaborative relationships with your sales teams:

Provide positive affirmation – Everybody loves knowing their superior thinks they’re doing a good job.  This is especially true for Millennial sales people and leaders. They need positive feedback and encouragement so they know they are on the right track. Be intentional in finding reasons to genuinely affirm them for positive actions.

Communicate with clarity – Based on rampant social media, one would think that 140 characters or less will attract and keep the younger generation’s attention. However, the Millennials I coach assure me they prefer clear expectations and clear instructions, especially when tackling a new project. And, if they have a low Figure It Out Factor, they will also need step-by-step instructions on how to complete the task.

Give frequent feedback – The days of an annual performance reviews are gone.  The new sales force wants you to check in with them frequently to tell them whether they are on track or not. Depending on your culture and who you’re working with, you’ll want to schedule a daily, weekly, or monthly rhythm to do your feedback.

Criticize Constructively – When you do need to criticize, do it with respect and with the intention of helping your sales person to improve their performance.  Then criticism is a win-win for everyone involved.

Ask for their help – Your younger team members are digital dynamos and most of them are naturally team-oriented.  They will feel highly respected if you enlist their help, especially in, for example, training more experienced co-workers to master new technologies. Plus, seek their perspectives and ideas on key topics. You’ll be amazed at how they stimulate your own perception of an issue. 

As an experienced business leader, you know that a relationship built on mutual respect can go a long way in ensuring your sales team’s sustainable success.  However, we might need to update our motivation model to meet the needs of our younger sales force. I hope these tips will help you as you mentor and coach your young sales hunters to win more new accounts and boost your business growth.

In the next post, I’ll tell you how Encouragement, the second word in our acronym, RESPECT, can help build respectful relationships with your sales team.

Leadership lesson: Mutual respect builds successful sales teams.

Leadership question:  What are you doing to positively affirm your team’s sales efforts?

​​© Copyright Danita Bye, 2017

Sales Leaders: Check out OMG’s cool new tool that allows you to compare your salespeople to others. I found it from this article:
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