Friday, February 1, 2019

Understanding Their New Millennial Sales Manager

One morning of my travels to New England this week I found myself eating breakfast next to two Boomer sales reps for an industrial security system company who were working on their laptops and overheard them trying to figure out their sales goals recently imposed by the new Millennial sales manager.

As I slowly ate my eggs and sausage I became fascinated by how they were describing the way sales goals could be met compared to the way their older, now retired, sales manager used to do it.

One of them clearly was lost about how to figure his monthly ‘goals’ report and the other was using big crayons to help him understand.

Paraphrasing their conversation it went something like this.

“She set everyone’s goal at 105% of last year’s but it’s OK if you only hit 90% if other things are included as bonus percentages. You get 2-5% for making regular contact with your current customers and another 5-10% bonus for bringing in a new customer.”

“You also get a couple of bonus percentages for returning emails and calls within one hour. All she’s concerned about is giving you a way to meet 90% of your goals. So if your sales are only 75% of your goals but your added bonuses get you above 90% of your annual sales goal, you’re Golden.”

I can only presume the first guy has been with the company for some time and asked “But if I only do 75% of my sales goal I will make less money and the company will lose sales. Isn’t she concerned about that? I know I am”

The second guy said “Think of it like a ‘participation trophy’. She really can’t afford to lose any more sales people, then she would to actually have to train new ones and we both know that is the last thing she wants to do.”

At this point I had finished my breakfast and walked over to them and introduced myself. I apologized for eavesdropping but their conversation about their new sales manager was fascinating.

They explained that she was 26 years old and had worked under their former sales manager for almost years before he retired. She was extremely bright and knew everything about the company and every product they manufactured and was a big help when sales reps needed information.

Her only fault according to these sales reps was trying to improve the sales goal system their old boss had in place which was simply produce or perish. As Boomers working for the company a long time they understood his system of rewards and disappointments and lived with it.

This new sales manager misunderstood the continual grumblings by the sales staff as displeasure in their former boss’ methods and is determined to improve it which is way too complicated for them and they are not happy.

Then they hit me with a bombshell. She is considering having all eleven sales reps work as a team from their homes using video conferencing to decide among themselves who to call on and what products to push each month. Then they inform her and the group works their sales plan for that month.

And everyone will share in bonus points with the others to insure everyone meets their 90% goal.

I was stunned and wished them “Good Luck” with that. That’s when the second guy said that when she hires a new sales rep the team will work with that person to make him/her an effective sales rep as she really believes training best comes from within the group.

That’s when the first guy said they were both looking for another job with a competing company and that’s when I knew it was time for me to say “so long fellows” and have a great road trip.

1 comment:

Kelly Fox said...

I have never worked under a Millennial boss but I only hope if I ever do I will be close enough to retirement to only be forced to endure it for a short period of time