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Still a hot topic is how to manage Gen Y members of your sales team (those born after 1981). It is a common frustration I hear when speaking to sales leaders and business owners and we have blogged about it in the past.
Managing over the generations

I came across a an article by Sales Psychology Expert Gregory Stebbins on how to manage a sales team which includes Gen Y – he calls them Millenials. His main argument is that this generation has been hand held since infancy and are going to need much more coaching than their predecessors, but the good news, he says is that they are used to being coached and are therefore open to it (in my experience, not until you have established respect and rapport – goes without saying that authority alone will not earn the role of coach).

While the bending to them may sound like a lot to chew for the “conform or leave” old-school sales managers, the reality is you need them to produce if you are going to employ them. He offers four suggestions:

1. The first time they approach you, work with them to think through at least three options. Then make the decision for them. Having them consider options is the first step of developing the ability to reason.

2. After this, when they want your input, make sure they come in with the three options already thought about. Then help them understand the consequences of each option. Add in other options if they haven’t considered all of the consequences. Then, you make the decision.

3. The third stage is that they come in with three options, understand the consequences and a recommendation for the course of action. Either agree with their course of action or make suggestions. Essentially they will be making the recommendation which you are approving.

4. The final stage is to cut them loose and have them handle a situation on their own. However, also have them provide a written report (IM or Text message is OK). The report needs to tell you what the situation was, the options they considered and the decision they made. This step won’t last that long as their need for independence will kick in and they’ll just stop coming to you with every little situation.

See the whole article here. Managing the Millenials

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Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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