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Millennials Alter the Sales Profession

The largest generation in the U.S. workforce is increasingly taking charge of the corporate budget, transforming sales of everything from business software to office equipment, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

Changing customers: Buyers now come prepared to shop with more information and seek a more personalized experience. As a result of these changes, marketing and sales companies must collaborate to complete deals with consumers, prolonging the buying process and involving more people.

New approaches: Millennial consumers’ buying habits are causing businesses to find new ways to sell their products.

  • “Those tactics, some say, involve fewer trips to the golf course and more time corralling large buying teams that include senior managers, finance officials and end users at target companies.”
  • “Cold calls are ceding ground to millennials’ preference to communicate via text or direct message.”
  • “And just as they do as consumers, many millennial corporate buyers like to research business products online and on their own before ever talking to a salesperson.”

Sales setbacks:  Sales teams also dealt with layoffs during the pandemic, and they have yet to fill many of those open positions—in part because millennial job applicants have an outdated view of sales roles. 

  • “Recruiters say many younger workers assume sales work means glad-handing and persuading customers with high-pressure tactics rather than the product-consulting role it has evolved into in recent years.”
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