The Strategic Sell: How The Top Millennial Employees Compare To Veteran Reps

As Millennials enter sales organizations in greater numbers, we are increasingly asked how well-suited the new generation is for sales roles. The data is in. Here are the facts: Millennials are just like everyone else, so be careful when you hire. Elite salespeople are few and far between.

Let’s look at the numbers. We have data on more than 43,000 Millennials in sales, which we have organized into two groups: All Millennials and The Top 10 Percent of Millennials.

We compared both groups along four important dimensions:

1. Sales Quotient: Overall assessment score that measures sales ability.

2. Sales DNA: The combination of strengths that help or hinder a salesperson’s ability to execute the sales process, strategies, skills and tactics.

3. Commitment: The willingness to do what it takes to achieve greater success in sales.

4. Figure-It-Out Factor: How quickly a salesperson will be able to “get up to speed.” Think ramp-up time.

First, we compared all Millennials to all veteran salespeople (salespeople with 10-plus years in sales and in their industry).

The veterans are stronger than their Millennial counterparts along every dimension. The typical Millennial is weak across the board and is not a great choice for sales.

Next, we looked at the top 10 percent of Millennials and compared them to the top 10 percent of veteran sales people. It is a completely different story.

The top 10 percent of Millennials are just as strong as the top 10 percent of veteran salespeople. Both are good choices. These are the salespeople you want to hire. Forget about everyone else.

Although it is true that the average Millennial is weaker than the typical veteran salesperson, it is only a matter of degree. Neither should be hired. You need to hire the top 10 percent, regardless of whether they are a Millennial or not.

The success of your company depends on having the ability to differentiate between the top 10 percent and everyone else. A free assessment is available to help you at
Weeding out the undesirable sales candidates is the first step. Doing it early as possible in the sales recruiting process saves time, money and is the best way to upgrade your sales capability.

Jim Peduto is the managing partner and the co-founder of the Knowledgeworx, LLC and is certified in Sales Force Effectiveness. Knowledgeworx is dedicated to working with business owners and CEOs who want to grow revenue and increase profitably. He can be reached at