The survey questioned more than 600 businesses in Britain and found that 46% of respondents aged 25-34 prefer to be in direct competition with their peers, compared to just 21% of Baby Boomers, or those over 55 years. Furthermore, five times as many millennials (16%) have put achieving their personal targets ahead of customer interests in the last year in order to succeed when compared to those over 55 (3%).
The research also suggests a range of motivations amongst age groups for selecting a career in sales, with millennials more driven by status than other generations.
16% of respondents aged 25-34 indicated ‘status' as the reason they would go into sales, compared to just 3% of those aged 35+. The highest proportion of respondents aged 55 (29%) and over suggested they would go into sales because they felt their personality and skill set were well suited the job. This compares to just 15% of 25-34 year-olds.
Tom Castley, newly appointed Xactly GM EMEA comments, “With up to 40% of the workforce expected to retire in the next 5-10 years, workplaces across the UK will continue to be shaped by millennials - and as the research shows, what motivates them is different to previous generations. Today’s business leaders need to recognise how to blend milllennial's tech-immersed lifestyle seamlessly into the workplace to inspire performance. This needs to cover everything from recruiting, through to retirement. Understanding this will be key to creating an engaged and motivated workforce.”
Christopher W. Cabrera, founder, president and CEO, Xactly and Author of Game the Plan, comments, “The research illustrates what we constantly see in sales - young starters coming in ready to gain status and make a name for themselves. As they get older, salespeople focus on finding roles that cater to their increasingly refined skill sets and take pride in doing their job better than others.”
He also adds, “Once you have these insights into how different generations engage in sales roles, you have the ability to recruit the best people and know how to motivate and reward them in the most effective way possible.”