Millennial-aged sales and marketing professionals have an even lower opinion of each other’s roles in the enterprise than the current generation, according to research conducted by CRM and marketing intelligence software maker InsideView.
In its report, “The State of Sales & Marketing Alignment in 2018: How Leading B2B Companies Drive Growth by Aligning Go-to-Market Teams.” San Francisco-based InsideView surveyed more than 500 sales and marketing professionals, approximately one-third of which were Millennials. About 46 per cent of the Millennial sample, meanwhile, were at the manager level in their organization.
While much of the findings in the survey cover familiar themes about the quest for sales and marketing alignment, such as more accurate data and better communication processes, there was a marked difference in the outlook of Millennial workers.
“Millennial sales respondents were much more likely to say that marketing doesn’t measure anything important (37 per cent for millennials versus 29 per cent overall) and that marketing has their head in the clouds (40 per cent versus 27 per cent),” the report said. “Similarly, millennial marketing respondents were much more likely to view sales as single cell organisms chasing revenue (46 per cent) than their older colleagues (34 per cent). These differences may indicate more challenges to alignment as the generation ages into an even larger portion of the workforce.”
In a recent webinar to discuss the findings, InsideView CMO Tracy Eiler suggested the data builds upon some of the other traits commonly associated with Millennial professionals, like the idea they are more “digitally native” and have an ease with learning new technologies, and that they tend to consult up to 10 sources online before making a decision to meet with a vendor.
“I was talking to a colleague who is in that Millennial group, and he said, ‘I think it’s possible we’re more skeptical because we just don’t have as much life experience.’” Elier said. “They don’t know what measurement best practices are, and they don’t know that sellers are supposed to chase revenue. Instead of being exasperated by that, they should be understanding about that.”
Barbara Giamanco, a B2B sales expert who also appeared on the webinar, noted that Millennials also placed a higher value on traits such as company community involvement and company values in the vendors with whom they partner. Training was also a big factor, she pointed out.
“They want to know the company is going to invest in them,” she said, adding that the same commitment should come internally from their employers. “Millennials will shift jobs quickly if their needs are not being met. I don’t think they jump (ship) just to jump.”
Whether you agree with their outlook or not, the InsideView report suggested CMOs and sales exec take heed of them, citing data that within two years, Millennials will make up approximately 46 per cent of the workforce.