Thursday, May 4, 2017

Millennial Modular Factory Sales Reps Becoming the New Work Horses

The shift from Boomer sales reps, who are beginning to retire in greater numbers, to Millennial sales reps is beginning to have a huge impact on the modular home factories.

What was once the domain of the old guard of sales is now dominated by the scrappy, almond-latte drinking, more casual Millennial. While many in our industry have their doubts as to how Millennial sales reps will perform, it’s time to put those doubts to rest, because Millennials have all of the right ingredients to be the best, most successful sales generation of all time.

They are aggressive, hard-working and ready to fight for their positions. Many Millennials walk into new jobs and companies, and assume their positions with confidence, which can make others a bit squeamish. This is even more present in sales positions, where salaries aren’t always guaranteed and quotas reign supreme.
The oldest of the Millennials (who turned 18 in 2000) are now settling down and having families, buying houses and no longer viewing retirement as a mythical, unobtainable goal. There is no doubt that this phase of life impacts their drive to make more money. They are motivated and hungry to succeed.

Technology is second nature and has played an important and influential role in the lives of Millennials. They grew up with technology – many “came of age” at the same time the Internet did – which means they’re going to be more willing to adopt new sales software faster and get a leg up on their older counterparts.

Having decades-long experience with tech also allows them to venture out on social media and connect with prospects, clients and peers in ways Gen Xers just aren’t as comfortable with. They are finding and connecting with Millennial builders and developers unlike any generation before.

Millennials selling to their peers is allowing them to be more perceptive of their builder’s specific needs and preferences, such as wanting immediate access to critical information and demanding more mobile-enabled solutions and offerings.

The technological expertise of the generation has shown to come at the cost of ever-important face-to-face and telephone interactions. Millennials must remember that deals are made with actual people and it is important to make real connections with clients. Millennials need to know the right time to put down the smartphone and have a conversation in-person.

Millennials are also newer to the market. Many do not have the extensive networks that Generation X’ers have built, which may set them back when it comes to referrals and loyal, repeat customers. This is something that will come with time and diligence.

Lastly, Millennials need to realize that they still have room to sharpen their sales skills. The basic tactics that all sales reps need to practice include slowing down and really listening to their customers and prospects, knowing how to build rapport, and asking open ended questions to get them talking. Millennials may assume that their communication and skills are in the bag, so to speak, but that’s not always the case.

Despite some of these challenges, the positive qualities of Millennials ensure the future looks bright for this up-and-coming generation of salespeople. Not only will they be better sales reps than older generations, but their “power-in-numbers” will prove beneficial.

Modular home factory Sales Managers, many of whom are Gen X or Boomers, will have a struggle on their hands with the Millennials if they try to do things the way they’ve always done it. These ‘young turk’ salespeople will not be satisfied operating as older sales reps have. Instead, they are curious, inquisitive, demanding and are highly competitive, yearning to be noticed and rewarded for their efforts.

In just a few short years the future of our entire industry will start to ride on their shoulders and if a factory isn’t already making plans to bring their talents and drive into the sales department, you may find that those Gen X and Boomer work horses you have today will soon begin tiring.

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