By Lisa Leitch

By the year 2020 almost half of the Canadian workforce will be comprised of millennials – what does this mean for you and your organization?
Because of this workforce shift, the business landscape will change dramatically and the way customers and companies buy and sell is bound to evolve. Creating the optimal sales team and culture that will transition seamlessly into 2020 is quickly becoming a priority for industry leaders and companies.  The challenge that most companies are facing is the new complex social and organizational demographic differences on their sales teams.

Ask yourself: Of your sales team, what percentage are Baby Boomers or over the age of 50? What percentage of your sales team are under the age of 35, Millennials?

The response we typically hear is that currently, around 50% of sales teams are Baby Boomers and less than 10% are Millennials. By 2020, 50% of the workforce will be Millennials. This means that Baby Boomers will be selling to a market half-comprised of mMllennials. Are you prepared for the impact this will have on your sales team and more importantly, your customers?

Understanding the current workforce – according to Statistics Canada

  • Currently, Baby Boomers make up 40% of today’s workplace demographics.  They hold many senior positions and have had a strong influence over the cultural characteristics of the workplace.  This generation places high value on long work hours, relationships and face-to-face meetings.
  • Generation X holds 25% of the workplace demographics.  This generation is not a fan of status or titles and seeks work-life balance in an informative, fun work environment.
  • Generation Y or Millennials represent 30% of the workforce with pre-set expectations of what they want in their jobs.  Millennials are innovative, tech-savvy, self-sufficient, entrepreneurial collaborators who need a higher purpose in life.  

Love them or hate them Millennials are here to stay, and in order to take action, you should ask:

  • How will this shift in demographics impact your sales teams?
  • How will this affect your customers preferred buying preferences?
  • How will you create a succession plan with your retiring Baby Boomers who have a wealth of company and product knowledge, long term relationships with customers, and hard-working ethics?
  • Finally, how will you attract and engage Millennials to your sales team? The traditional sales team will no longer be a relevant model!

Here are 5 key action plan strategies that will help you and your team evolve into 2020:

  1. Create awareness and action within your company – COACH up, down and around to get everyone to help you define the new sales team – your CEO, HR and other key departments.
  2. Create a Succession Plan for Retiring Baby Boomers
  3. Attract, Hire & On-Board Millennials into Sales Positions
  4. Adapt to sell to Millennial Buyers
  5. Build the case – Why Millennials would be perfect for the New Defined Sales Team

During the next few months, stay tuned for a series of articles on how YOU can get your team ready for the NEW DEFINED Sales Team by 2020.