8 Tips for Onboarding Gen-Z Sales Reps in One Week

February 22, 2019

Shawn Parrotte

Chances are, you already have a member of Gen-Z on your sales team and at least a few of your SDRs are likely “post Millennial.”

The oldest members of Gen-Z are already 22 and were born between 1995 and 2010. In 2019 they will be 24. And by 2021, they will make up ⅓ of the workplace.

When onboarding this new generation of sellers consider these eight tips.

1. Send Content Ahead of Time - Gen-Z is a Generation of “Self Starters” #

Not all content needs to be presented on the spot, especially to Gen-Z - a generation of self-starters.

In fact, many people like to read or listen ahead of time and come prepared to have a more interactive conversation.

Don’t hesitate to send simple “read ahead” documents before they join or the day before a session so you’re not reading off of dozens of Powerpoint Slides.

Better yet, share examples of recorded calls that your Gen-Z reps can shadow at their own convenience.

2. Automate as Much as Possible #

The average HR organization uses more than nine tools to hire and onboard reps. However, your new rep thinks of all of these things as one employee experience.

Invest in tools that make onboarding as efficient and simple as possible so reps can get all the logistical stuff done and hit the ground running quickly.

Automate the boring stuff - your tech-savvy Gen-Z’s will appreciate it greatly.

3. Help them Build a Personal Brand #

Since Gen-Z grew up in a world where virtually everyone is building a personal brand on social media, they are very invested on theirs.

Ask them to introduce themselves to the company and team on Slack. Let them talk a little bit about their background and where they’re trying to head in the future.

Entrepreneurial Gen-Z’s know they have a long career ahead of them and they are passionate about telling a story that is uniquely theirs.

4. Lead with Your Purpose #

Gen-Z is not as motivated by money and material rewards as other generations.

After all, they fully expect that they may not have the same level of wealth and opportunity that others did.

However, they do care deeply about the purpose of your company, as well as the purpose they serve.

Lead with your mission, vision, and values to get them hooked. Ensure that Gen-Z understands they’re not just quota carriers, but evangelists of your company and product.

5. Help Them See the Client’s Perspective #

With any class of younger hires it is critical that you give them a chance to walk in the client’s shoes and truly hear the day-to-day challenges they face.

This could include shadowing calls and in-person meetings, or even doing an FAQ with a client who can share more about their role.

Listening in on recorded calls is another good way to get the client’s perspective, especially if there are several generations separating your Gen-Z reps from the people you are selling to.

6. Provide Access to Plenty of Mentoring Opportunities #

More so than other organizations, Gen-Z joins a workplace for the opportunity to learn and grow their career.

This is a stepping stone for them, and they’ll stay longer if you provide them access to ample mentorship opportunities.

Mentorship and “buddy” programs are also great ways to ensure your Gen-Zers get the regular communication they need and stay focused when you’re stretched thin.

Gen-Z also sees mentorship in two ways. They need a mentor to learn from, but they also want to be a mentor to others, especially in areas like helping integrate new technologies.

7. Invest in Experiences #

While Gen-Z will appreciate some good company swag as much as any generation, they’re really more focused on acquiring experiences - not things.

Consider a “field trip” you can take the group on early on or team-building events to provide opportunities to network.

Providing access to unique experiences is not only a good way to keep Gen-Z hooked, but to get them spreading word-of-mouth about your culture to recruit others to your org.

Many members of Gen-Z will care much less about a ping-pong table than a night out rock-climbing as a team or some other offsite adventure.

Consider experiences where Gen-Z can immerse themselves in your customer’s world - they will want to hang-out in the community they are selling and learn first-hand from them.

8. Focus on What to Do - Not When or How #

Gen-Z wants to work on their own time and are comfortable doing so.

Most of them grew up juggling many priorities, including sports, extracurriculars, home-work and jobs.

Trust them to put in the time they need to get the job done, but be very prescriptive around what you need from them, including results and how often you’d like updates, to set clear expectations from the start.

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