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Preparing Millennials for a Career in Sales

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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

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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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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A Gold Standard for Sales: Building a More Complete Sales Platform for Professionals

Description

Becoming good at selling is a nuanced skill. Many pivotal techniques are often not communicated properly in the training and onboarding phases, leaving many members of the sales force "crippled"

Becoming good at selling is a nuanced skill. Many pivotal techniques are often not communicated properly in the training and onboarding phases, leaving many members of the sales force "crippled" before they even get into the field. We set out to discern the "best practices" of selling, and the underlying causes as to why they work. Through meticulous research obtained via study of experiments, sourced articles and other academic papers we compiled a thorough outline detailing the most efficient ways to build a relationship with the buyer and close the sale. From there we discussed the methodology to implement those skills into a complete sales training program. This paper serves as an informational guide to the necessary skills to complete a sale and how to train for those skills.

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Date Created
  • 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

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

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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Date Created
  • 2020-12