Want to Engage Millennial Sellers? Try Thinking Like Pikachu

Sep 7, 2016 | Sales

Often, employers bemoan millennials as a generation with a 5-second attention span who can’t be engaged in a work environment.

But then, Pokémon Go showed how quick-thinking, goal-oriented and committed this generation can be.

You’ve probably seen what I’ve observed — groups of 20-somethings huddled in groups around the glowing screens of their mobile phones, hunting for cartoon characters in an alternate reality. Through Pokémon Go, these young adults doggedly pursue a goal and rewards. They communicate strategy and persuade other players to join their efforts to achieve bigger wins. They cooperate and solve problems.

In short, they engage in ways any sales manager would be delighted to see. Considering millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, this is a generation worth engaging. So, how can sales leadership create an environment that engages this generation the same way Pokémon Go does?

It’s simple — start thinking like Pikachu.


Give Them A Mission

For millennial salespeople, it’s not all about the paycheck. They want to improve the world through work and to be proud of their employer. To connect with this desire, make sure the millennial members of your sales team know how the product their team sells helps their clients and community.

Use Technology To Give Constant Feedback

The devices millennials interact with offer immediate and ongoing feedback and data. Harness this generation’s skills and adaptability by using the right technology. Interactive, transparent commission software can help motivate millennials by showing what their commission will be based on performance. Tap into this generation’s need for data, transparency, and communication with software that gives accurate KPI and compensation information.

Harness The Power Of Social

Millennial sales reps instinctively understand how to leverage their personal and corporate brands to sell using social media. Encourage them to embrace new and emerging platforms to help increase the relevancy and reach of your brand. As a result, your company can connect with new audiences and customers.

Make Communication Quick, Adaptable, And Visual

Your 20-something sales reps can have entire conversations with Bitmojis, Emojis, and GIFs. They use visual clues as communication shortcuts. If your business can leverage this communication strategy, you can increase the effectiveness of your millennial sales team members. Email can be an unstructured mess of random, uninspiring and confusing information. Consider using platforms that allow for one-line questions and immediate answers, such as Slack or Ryver.

Leverage Interactive Training And Sales Tools

How is it that this digitally-focused generation hasn’t automatically mastered tried-and-true tools like Excel? Because Excel just automates what we have done for hundreds of years with pen and pencil. It’s not intuitive or interactive. To engage millennial account managers, use a digital sales dashboard that organizes data and makes it easy to see trends and comparisons visually. When it comes to sales training, look for opportunities to build an interactive learning environment. If millennials can learn with videos, pop-up instructions, step-by-step tutorials or games, they’re more likely to retain the information.

Keep Meetings Direct, Short And Engaging

Meetings with long, boring, poorly-organized presentations are a millennial’s worst nightmare. Add to that an extended conversation where people ponder the possibilities in an agonizingly slow and painful discourse, and you’ve got a scenario where every 20-something is texting. Millennials want a meeting with a clear agenda of to-do items and solution-focused brainstorming. First, make sure the presentation for your meeting rocks. Then, stick to a timeline and make sure to conclude with actionable, measurable items.

Create Bite-Sized Goals And A Flexible Environment

Outside of the office, a millennial’s life is broken into small chunks of time: a 30-minute episode of Hulu, a 15-minute mission in a video game, a 3-minute clip from a television show or a 10-second Snapchat video. Their work environment needs to be structured the same way. Set measurable goals that can be completed in varying amounts of time. This allows millennials to manage their workflow and provides them with the flexibility they crave.

Pokémon Go appeals to the reward culture the digital generation expects. If you want to retain 20-something sales team members and help them bring in more revenue, think like a game designer.

But, maybe don’t email to tell them they’ve got to “catch ’em all” — a simple GIF via text will do.

If you need help engaging your millennials or sales team members of any age,   schedule a call today.

Liz Heiman

Liz Heiman


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