Sales Strategy Winner: Recruit Collaborative Millennials to Boost Growth (Forbes Articles)
In the era of managing remote sales teams, no sales growth strategy will be successful without a solid recruitment process.
When was the last time you examined your recruiting process to ensure you’re implementing best practices for the virtual selling world?
It may be time to look at and strengthen your philosophy and process for hiring and fast-tracking high-performance millennial salespeople.
The Forbes Coaches Council published two of my articles – one on recruiting, the other on collaboration. Although these articles were written pre-Covid-19, they continue to shine a bright light on building successful sales teams and salespeople.
What are your biggest recruiting challenges in the current economic climate?
Finding the Right Millennial Salesperson for Your Unique Sales Strategy
You have set your target on finding a Millennial salesperson with great collaboration skills. Now, the first step is to understand the Millennial Sales Hiring Puzzle.
In the Forbes article, How to Hire the Right Millennials to Complete Your Sales Team Puzzle, you’ll learn about four common mistakes that hiring managers make.
- Hiring based on a gut feeling about the candidates;
- Relying on word-of-mouth referrals rather than an objective assessment;
- Focusing more on cultural fit than sales competency; and,
- Assuming new hires will bring accounts with them.
Watch this short video on hiring mistakes:
Hiring Mistakes Derail your Sales Growth Strategies
Hiring mistakes can be costly. So, why risk eating into your hard-earned profits when there are better options?
The best way to find the right Millennial salesperson is to view your sales force as an incomplete puzzle. That perfect hire is the missing piece.
To help you find the missing puzzle piece, here are a few key points from this Forbes article.
Sales Growth Puzzle Piece #1 – Study your Sales Conditions
Ask these questions to understand your unique sales culture:
- What is your competition like?
- How does your product or service meet market demand?
- Are you dealing with luxuries or commodities?
- Where will your new hire fall in the sales cycle?
Sales Growth Puzzle Piece #2 – Outline Your Sales Goals
Until you define your sales goals, you likely won’t be prepared to hire someone whose skills fit.
- Do you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish?
- Are you looking to boost volume or expand your market?
- Or is it both?
Sales Growth Puzzle Piece #3 – Define a Model Sale
Document a realistic model sales process from start to finish.
- Identify the specific steps, tasks, goals, and milestones involved in taking a prospect from the first contact to signed contract.
- Score every candidate based on their ability to accomplish each specific task in the process.
Sales Growth Puzzle Piece #4 – Detail Key Expectations
Every salesperson — millennial or not — likely needs internal and external forms of accountability. Vague expectations won’t do.
- Set key performance thresholds and
- Establish SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) goals for all team members.
Now you know much more about what your next Millennial sales superstar looks like. This puts you in a stronger position to find the right person for the right role.
Here’s the second step – finding a candidate with well-developed collaboration skills.
Collaboration Improves your Sales Growth
Success is based on all of us working together toward common goals. It requires valuing the unique contribution we each bring to the table. However, at the same time, we need to respect what others bring. This fuels communication and collaboration. ~ Millennials Matter, page 170
Why is Collaboration with Millennials an Important Sales Strategy?
You want your salespeople to consistently meet and exceed their revenue numbers. Yes, every leader knows that’s important! However, in today’s economy, it’s not so easy to achieve. The obstacles are greater, and the stakes are higher.
One way to improve sales performance is to hire millennials with strong collaboration skills. This quality is even more important when your salespeople are dealing with stressful situations. And, what is more stressful than trying to connect with prospects and clients in this new virtual world laden with current uncertainty and constant disruption?
So, how can collaboration with Millennial salespeople grow your business?
We operate in a fast-paced, rapidly shifting, and unpredictable economic climate. To achieve breakthrough results, you need to tap the creative brilliance of every person on your team. For example, are you really using their technological and social media skills? Are you actively asking for their insights? Just imagine what would happen when you combine their perspective with the extensive knowledge of Gen X and Baby Boomer generations. It’s a win-win scenario!
How to Increase Sales with Effective Collaboration
Some of my colleagues say that this generation is experts in collaboration. Yes, when it comes to using online tools they do well. When all parties agree with each other, they manage to control their emotions. That’s a green flag! However, in the real world, collaboration often flies out the window when there is conflict or confrontation. That is a definite red flag.
Identify the Red and Green Flags that Impact your Sales Strategies
So, how do we spot the collaboration red and green flags during the recruitment process? I believe the interview provides a great opportunity to learn more about your candidate’s capacity to control their emotions.
Spot the Sales Growth Red Flags
What are the biggest red flags to look out for during the interview?We live in a world of increasing diversity. When dealing with conflict and differences, some Millennials shut down communication, instead of collaborating. ~ Danita Bye Click To Tweet
During the interview, you can create opportunities for green flags to pop up. You want to figure out whether your candidate has a well-developed capacity to control his or her emotions. Why is this so important?
Salespeople who can do this, will often…
- Listen more carefully – that increases their ability to identify root causes.
- Analyze difficult situations more objectively – they come up with different solutions for the same problem.
- React less impulsively or emotionally – this brings maturity to the conflict.
- Hear all sides of an issue first – it’s the foundation to find creative solutions for difficult-to-solve problems.
- Create specific, manageable action steps that involve others.
These are great traits to find in salespeople. No doubt, this will boost your sales growth strategies. It’s a critical skill for millennial sales professionals who are committed to maximizing their performance and exceeding quota.
So, what might you do to strengthen their stay-in-the-moment capacity?
Ask the candidate about the moments when they mentally froze. What makes them withdraw? What would cause them to snap back too quickly? If they deny having any of these reactions, it’s also a red flag!
According to our sales research, 78% of salespeople get emotionally involved during stressful interactions. This derails their active listening skills.
In the Forbes article, I write about the two types of emotional control:
- internal control, which happens on the inside, and
- external control, which is visible to others.
A lack of internal emotional control means they’re getting too emotionally involved in a conversation or conflict situation. This is a hidden sales and leadership weakness across all generations. This weakness will reduce their performance in multiple areas. I believe this is often a root cause of a collaboration collapse.
Have you read the Forbes article, How Executives Can Help Millennial Leaders Become Better Collaborators, yet? You’ll find practical mentoring and coaching action steps to improve your sales team’s collaboration potential. (Even when they’re facing high-conflict situations.)
Make Your Leadership Development Count
Your leadership matters, so make it count.
What will you do to ensure that your business will be successful in 2021? Implement a new philosophy for hiring and fast-tracking your remote millennial salespeople. I invite you to read these Forbes articles again. Then, recruit and hire the ones who will collaborate to succeed in the long run.
Leadership Sales Growth Lesson:
Strengthen your recruitment strategies to include hiring Millennials who can collaborate.
Leadership Sales Growth Question:
What is your biggest recruiting concern for the new challenges in 2021?