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Developing Millennials For Future Sales Careers

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The millennial generation is quickly solidifying its place as the dominate generation within the workforce. As millennials transition through workplace hierarchy it is essential organizations understand how to properly develop incoming talent. This is especially important within sales as the

The millennial generation is quickly solidifying its place as the dominate generation within the workforce. As millennials transition through workplace hierarchy it is essential organizations understand how to properly develop incoming talent. This is especially important within sales as the opportunity cost for hiring and developing new sales professionals is much higher compared to other professions. Downward trends in millennial retention rates is also a strong contributing factor to the importance of understanding the millennial generation. This paper aims to identify key concepts and elements employers should incorporate into their sales training programs in order to better develop millennials entering sales roles. Through an analysis of each generation and sales training a clear framework will be identified to achieve this goal. Analyzing millennials unique strengths and weaknesses will provide the basis for the key areas employers need to focus on when designing their sales development programs. The framework identified is easily adaptable within any organizations as the concepts discussed can be universally applied.

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2017-05

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Preparing Millennials for a Career in Sales

Description

The rising age of the Baby Boomer generation has made a significant impact on the workforce, leaving leadership gaps that Generation X is unable to fill. This leaves an opportunity for the Millennial generation to step up and use their

The rising age of the Baby Boomer generation has made a significant impact on the workforce, leaving leadership gaps that Generation X is unable to fill. This leaves an opportunity for the Millennial generation to step up and use their strengths and skills to become stronger leaders of the business and sales industry.
To bridge the gap between the growing sales industry there is the ability to properly train Millennials so they are successful and stay within their roles longer. By attacking this problem from a university level by strengthening sales programs as well as having employers understand and respond to needs of the Millennial generation, this will create an overall successful Millennial salesperson that will stay with their employer long term.
Strengths and weaknesses of this generation are also important to understand. Millennials are known to be tech-savvy, open-minded, collaborative, and connected, resourceful networkers. They also carry weaknesses and stereotypes of being lazy, lacking communication skills, impatient, entitled, and demanding of feedback and work flexibility. From an employer, they expect a large salary as well as a good culture, manager feedback, a mentor, work-life integration, an employer with a social responsibility mindset, and a sense of purpose.
An analysis of 12 sales programs at various universities across the country helped to understand what is being taught and offered to students as well as commonalities and differences that make a strong sales program. Commonalities among these programs include, about 250+ students, high job placement, sales labs, hosting and competing in sales competitions, and a desire to expand and grow their programs. Unique aspects of various programs were partnerships with the sales industry, hosting fundraisers, student ambassadors for the sales program, CRM courses, and internships and competition requirements.
Primary research was conducted to understand various sales development programs from companies in the sales industry. The 12 companies that participated in this research were from Arizona State University’s Sales Advisory Board. These companies completed a survey that provided detailed information of their onboarding and training process as well as their opinions of Millennial employees.
From this research, recommendations were formed for employers,
• creating a collaborative and innovative culture
• A mentorship program
• work flexibility
• continuous learning
• sense of purpose
As for Arizona State’s Sales Program, recommendations include,
• a mentorship program between Sales Scholars and the Sales Advisory Board
• creating a sales lab
• implementing CRM curriculum in classes
• continued support from the Board and alumni of the sales program

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2017-05

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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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2017-05

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Are Sales Contests An Effective Tool to Motivate A Diverse Workforce?

Description

Companies are constantly looking for a way to increase sales and productivity from their workforce. A popular way to spark motivation and competition is through employee sales contests or incentive-based plans. In theory, these contests are geared to include every

Companies are constantly looking for a way to increase sales and productivity from their workforce. A popular way to spark motivation and competition is through employee sales contests or incentive-based plans. In theory, these contests are geared to include every employee at the sales level in the organization and are thought to boost motivation across the board. But, sales contests receive substantial attention regarding their effectiveness from the academic and professional press due to some unethical incidents happening at large corporations. There have been many studies regarding the effectiveness of contests, but many have inconclusive results and do not produce a definite answer. Because of this, further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of such contests used in the professional world. Further research would require a study that is much longer in length, as there are many variables that are behind the psychological factors associated to sales contests.

I conducted a study on the effective design, implementation, motivational factors, and takeaways upon completion of such contests. The purpose of this study is to find out whether or not sales contests are an effective way of motivating a diverse workforce. The results suggest that sales contests are a hyper-efficient tool to increase employee motivation but must be prepared for and implemented correctly in order to achieve efficient results. I recommend that sales managers use contests as a tool to gauge the motivational and behavioral changes in their employees resulting from such contests, instead of just trying to gain more revenue. Also, to combat the growing threat of unethical behaviors as a result of running sales contests, leaders need to implement appropriate measures, like unethical behavior diversion courses.

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Date Created
2019-05

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The Effects, Benefits, and Behaviors of Women in Professional Selling - Staal Honors Thesis

Description

I conducted a study on women’s success, behaviors, and experiences in professional sales. The purpose of this study is to determine the extent that women are successful in professional sales careers and what the driving forces are behind that success.

I conducted a study on women’s success, behaviors, and experiences in professional sales. The purpose of this study is to determine the extent that women are successful in professional sales careers and what the driving forces are behind that success. I did this through exploring a variety of factors like historical statistics, recruitment and selection, and women in sales leadership. I conducted both a literature review and informational interviews with sales women to gain valuable insights. The results suggest that women are successful in professional sales in a variety of industries due to several reasons. These reasons include their ability to form strong relationships with clients, to assess client needs, and to stay organized. I recommend that companies take a series of measures such as implementing mentorship programs, changing language used on job applications, and intentionally promoting women in order to attract and retain more women within their sales organizations. This will lead to higher profitability as the workforce is more diverse from a gender perspective.

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2020-12