A recent post by River Software shared what every sales onboarding leader and trainer already knows: millennials, typically the new hire age group, are no longer responding to the normal sales onboarding model. River’s ideas are correct: the new era of reps do not respond to the standard classroom model, learn best from their peers, and more closely look for opportunities for continued growth.
Your new reps are coming from this generation. Millennials are different, and your sales training and onboarding processes need to change to meet their needs.
Relying on the old onboarding and training process simply fails to cater to new hire needs. The millennial approach to learning is the new normal, making it imperative to adapt. Three things that we typically fail to offer in training are still preventing millennial success in your organization.
- Adapt to New Technologies
Millennials are born and raised in an era with increasingly social and mobile technologies. The average day for a new hire is spent tweeting, snapping, and sharing, a deeply social exercise that is the new normal in sharing information. You need to embrace a social sales training solution that combines things like sharing, video, and collaboration to drive the most learning. The science backs the model – "education and training" are the preferred uses of video in the enterprise by 48% of executives, according to Cisco. Get ahead of the curve.
- Flip the Classroom
This goes beyond River’s suggestion to “[include] other activities from across the 70-20-10 learning continuum.” Reps learn best when they study and practice on their time, coming together with peers and mentors to reinforce learning with more practice. The flipped classroom model drives the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that are becoming increasing popular in training, and offer more chances for learning and absorption. It’s time to rethink onboarding to adapt.
- Be Social
Reps have historically been far too isolated after initial onboarding – part of the same team but individually required to hit the number and succeed. The result is that reps are left without resources to grow, learn from peers, and access sales tribal knowledge.
Millennial reps want ways to share and work with their peers first. Use video and the web to give reps their own portal, where they can share ideas and more fluidly learn from their peers. Get creative by creating a YouTube Channel or use in house technology like Salesforce’s Chatter to encourage the the kind of teamwork that creates a winning environment. Be forewarned…these resources must be managed if you do not have a purpose-built solution.