If you’ve been around millennial reps long enough, it’s not hard to see how smart and motivated they can be. But it’s also quite painfully obvious how little they’re using the phone for prospecting. They’re basically overlooking a crucial part of the sales process this way. Fortunately, it’s not impossible for you to get these kids picking up the phone again and grabbing sales opportunities as they should.
A recent article on the Wall Street Journal reports on this growing trend and its effects in the workplace. No one else is feeling the consequences of lesser phone use more than sales organizations. According to one sales manager, this tendency among younger employees is partly to be blamed for lost sales opportunities and incidents of miscommunication. That’s why more and more bosses are telling millennial workers to ‘get off email and pick up the phone.’
But telling them to pick up the phone is one thing; making them actually do it is another. It’s going to take more than sending out a mere memo. Millennials are by no means naturally disobedient or lazy. It’s just because they have a wholly different mindset than, say, baby boomers. You’re just going to need a different approach when motivating them to give teleprospecting a chance. Here are four ideas to help get you started:
1. Relate sales calls to the bigger picture. Renowned leadership expert Jenna Goudreau says the key to motivating millennial employees is to explain how their responsibilities fit into some grand scheme. Millennials are more likely to do something when they can get a clear sense of purpose from it. So, see to it that you fully explain how prospecting by phone is part of the sales process and ultimately how it relates to your entire business model as well.
2. Train them with their careers in mind. Millennials are notoriously impatient when it comes to career advancement, grabbing every opportunity they can to rise through the ranks in the shortest possible time. If you can show your younger reps that having great phone prospecting skills is vital for a successful sales career, you’re halfway done getting them to happily ring up prospects and customers.
3. Make sure there’s collaboration involved. This article says one effective way to encourage millennials is to let them do things more collaboratively with others. Your younger reps are probably relishing the fact that they’re part of the inside sales team, and it’s now your job to convince them that teleprospecting can actually be a team endeavor.
4. Don’t separate them from their toys. Millennials grew up in a time when technology changed so rapidly that their birthdays were probably marked by one groundbreaking innovation after another. This is probably why traditional tools like the telephone most likely don’t ring a bell (literally) among your younger sales reps. But tradition and technology aren’t mutually exclusive. The idea here is to let your millennial staff use the tools they’re comfortable with to carry out teleprospecting.
There’s really no need to put a least on what makes millenials what they are. All they need is more motivation and understanding about engaging prospects over the phone. Share these ideas the next time you sit down with them and you may even come up with newer ways to use a phone call.