There’s nothing that grinds a millennial’s gears more than wasting time. Which explains why we turn our nose up at the traditional sales approach. Cold calling, long presentations, and frequent rejection? Yeah, we’re all set. It’s tempting for managers from previous generations to blame millennials for not having what it takes to hack it in B2B sales, but according to the experts, that thought track is all wrong. In fact, millennials’ aversion to the typical B2B selling strategy is a primary factor in their outperformance.
According to a study by InsideView, 90% of high level executives don’t respond to cold calls or e-mail blasts. Millennials understand why—we too hate being sold to. “People are armed with so much information today about products and services they’re looking to buy or engage with,” says Matthew Cook, CEO of SalesHub, noting that buyers are typically two-thirds of the way through the buying cycle before ever speaking to a salesperson. The traditional sales approach won’t gain traction in the age of readily accessible information. So, how are millennials changing the game? Here are three key facets of the digital-age selling strategy:
- Use Technology. To millennials, this one is a given. Nowadays, there isn’t a job that can’t be made more efficient and/or effective with technology. Going into a sales meeting without it is old school, careless, and immediately putting your company (and your revenue) in jeopardy of being beat out by competition. Sales tools are abundant, and give reps the confidence to articulate the value of their offering early in the sales process. Arming yourself with these tools save time where you need it most, and gives you the ability to spend more time working on qualified opportunities and closing deals.
- Get to the Point. Rather than boring informed senior buyers with traditional corporate overview PowerPoint slides highlighting their offering’s features and benefits, millennial sales reps get straight to it. In today’s customer driven environment, selling is about sharing knowledge and current trends in the customer’s industry. Customers want to learn from reps what’s working for other customer’s in their industry and see something new that may work at their company to positively impact revenue, cost and profitability results. Millennials deliver a customer example to create collaboration early in the sales process qualifying opportunities before traditional sales reps.
- Prove your Worth. All sales reps make claims, but it’s rare for them to go the extra mile and prove, not only qualitatively but quantitatively, that those claims are legitimate. Millennials are accustomed to filtering through spam, false advertisements, and scams in their personal life; a millennial rep understands the importance of proof and trust when it comes to buying and selling. Not only do they get to the point, but they also prove the point, making it pretty easy for a B2B buyer to visualize what results can be delivered for their company. Forrester Research agrees with this approach as recent findings found that, “The first vendor to succeed in communicating a vision to executives wins the business 74% of the time”
Millennials know successful execution of these three steps will gain them a competitive edge and differentiate their offering versus the competitors’ sales teams abiding by the traditional sales process.