Millennials as Purchasing Decision Makers!!!

Every morning I'm up at 4:30. First, I ask Alexa to play WBZ 1030 Radio, so I get my "5 Things You Need to Know" with the local news plus what I really care about which is the traffic and weather to gauge my travel time from the NH beach to Boston.  The traffic is always wicked, so  I'm just listening for the big accidents like..."yet another truck got Storrowed early this morning", which if you live in Boston, you know what this means.


WSJI then ask Alexa to "Play Bloomberg News", while I click into my newest edition of the WSJ on my iPad and comb through whatever appeals as interesting articles for the day. Last Tuesday, I stopped on this headline of "Millennials Are Changing What It Takes to Succeed in Sales".  

The next day, I was reminded of the same article when one of my most faithful blog readers and repeated entrepreneurs, Jerry Brecher, sent it to me. I'm going to link the article here, but my expectation is that by clicking on it, unless you're a WSJ subscriber, you will not get past their paywall. If you cannot, I would encourage you to hunt down the article and read it thoroughly.  


Me & Millennials

tufts 2-1I began teaching at MIT 22 years ago and Tufts 17, so where I started in this wonderful profession was initially working with Xers and then mostly with Millennials.  Exciting, extremely smart, powerful in their statements and curiosity, very energetic, fast-paced and always questioning to move ahead and make an impact in the world!  Clearly in numbers, the largest generation: more than the Boomers who carried that badge since the 1940's.

High Points of the WSJ article: 

The data comes from a recent Women in Sales Summit where 250 saleswomen discussed what is changing in their profession: 
  • I started my corporate life with my first job in Purchasing, so I noted with great interest that Millennials today dominate the profession of Purchasing and therefore are transforming the sales profession in the process.  According to Forrester data shown at the conference, in their decision-making roles, Millennials as corporate purchasing executives, want clear definitions of supplier value to their companies and to themselves in their procurement roles backed up with analytics that show definitive impact on expenses, revenue, productivity and time efficiency.
  • Now that millennials control the purse strings at many businesses, sales professionals are carving out new ways to close deals on everything from business software to chemicals and office equipment. Those tactics involve fewer trips to the golf course and more time corralling buying teams through formal selling processes that include the most senior managers right at the beginning stages of Discovery. 
  • Calls from Joey Bagadonuts to say, "thought I would just call to say hello" are giving ground to millennials’ preference to communicate via text, and video, and just as they do as individual consumers, millennial corporate buyers research business products in depth before ever talking to a salesperson. 
  • In a recent Forrester survey of more than 200 business-to-business directors with purchasing power (49% of whom were millennials) at least half said they typically researched the supplier’s business and client reviews before ever accepting a meeting. [My own note is that Gartner's older stat from 10 years ago shows that 75% of the buying decision is made inhouse before ever talking to a salesperson]
  • On the salesperson's side of the table, 75% reported that the cycle for buying decisions had gotten longer over the past 24 months, partially of course as a result of the pandemic, but more importantly due the requirement to clearly show the analytics and ROI with definitive business use cases customized specifically to the specific prospect. 
So, the question for today as salespeople with less than 30 real sales days left in the year is what are you going to do to modify your sales process and tools to be totally aligned with today's purchasing execs in selling value and not products or services?


Jack and Tufts Entrepreneurship Center -2Just some thoughts for the week ahead as you gear up for the next four critical weeks of closing deals!  

At any time, if you want to discuss your own sales planning for 2023 or even for the rest of this year, just connect with me for some quick ideas and feedback. There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about this new rapidly changing world of sales which is nothing like the old days of 2020!  In the meantime, take a look at our 2022 edition of our Writing the Winning 2022 Sales Plan which I'll be updating over the holiday break.  Let me know if you want to contribute your own ideas and experience.  
Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts. 



Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 sales planning, Teaching at Tufts University, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans