This is How To Attract Top Millennials in Sales

You’re looking to add millennials to your sales team because they’re eager and hungry. The majority of them are unmarried and do not have kids, so they can give their job (and your company) 110% of their effort. You’re ready to hire but they’re not biting.

As a young professional, I get some very odd reactions when I tell my friends that I am pursuing a career in sales.

And I get it; the perceptions of salesmen are not great. Young professionals get the impression of an aggressive guy who will do anything to close a sale. But I see a different side to sales.

Don’t Forget: Young Professionals are Impact-Driven

I’m attracted to sales because I see a potential to make huge impact. Growing up, I remember watching Dragon’s Den pitches and realizing that the majority failed because they didn’t have any revenue to back up their valuation. I knew then that sales was the driving force of a business, and there was no better way to make an impact – and I’m not the only one that thinks that way.

Research by Poets&Quants, a blog devoted to covering business schools, shows that the top MBA students are vying for early stage startups over prestigious firms like Goldman Sachs or McKinsey & Company. They are frustrated by the slow-moving corporate giants, and want to make a tangible impact. Convincing a Harvard MBA can, however, be a little tricky.

When approaching young professionals, pitch the story and vision of your company.

Get them excited about what they could do at your company, not what they will be doing. I love commission as much as the next person, but if I don’t believe in your company and product, there is no reason I would want to work for you.

Remember: We’re Always Looking Ahead

I remember challenging a classmate, telling him that consulting was overrated. His response yielded some wisdom; “Man, you spend a couple years in consulting and you can get any job you want.” Little did he know, a study by LinkedIn showed that sales was the most common career transition.

A structure and environment where millennials can expect to be mentored and grow with your company is crucial for success.

As an employee, I don’t just want to be rewarded for good work, I want feedback and guidance on how to do better work. Creating an environment that supports this is no easy feat.

It is important to note that strong salespeople are strong employees, and should not be limited to only sales. As much as I love my role, having the opportunity to learn from the operations team, marketing team, and other departments makes me think more about the future, not to mention helping me to think outside the box when doing sales. You never know where someone will excel until you give them a shot!

Keep Expectations High, but Not Impossible

Coming into a sales role, I was initially very frustrated. Even as someone with past experience in sales, the challenge of starting a pipeline and meeting quota was a mountain. Young professionals need to know what is expected of them before they come into the role, so it is crucial that you articulate and show candidates what your company culture is like. 67% of employers believe retention rates would be higher if candidates had a clearer picture of what to expect about working at the company before taking the job. Let’s not forget, however, a key driver in motivating salespeople.

Compensation is important, plain and simple. While commission and quotas are not deal breakers, you want to create an environment that is still competitive. Surrounding myself with people that are better than me is what motivates me to work harder. Gamification and public statistics on success (i.e. calls made, deals won, etc) are two ways to do that. The bar should be high, but how high is the real question.

You want your prospective salespeople to feel what defeat is like, but not be discouraged by it.

I grind to hit my goals, knowing that they are attainable, and I bite back even harder and give it my all the next month if I don’t meet those goals.

Finding top talent for sales positions is no walk in the park, but if you understand what they are looking for, you can make your position more attractive than any top tier firm.




This is a guest post by Trevor Sookraj, growth intern at SimpleData. Trevor is a student at Western University and has interned in the sales departments of Shopify Plus and Exposoft Solutions.


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Kayla Kozan

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing at Ideal
Kayla spent the last few years studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship on 3 different continents. Now covering the latest in predictive analytics, workplace diversity and big data. She has a keen interest in tech and discovering underrated brunch spots.
Kayla Kozan