Millennials are puzzling sales managers. The generation of sales reps born between the early 1980s and 2000s grew up with video games. With them becoming members of sales teams, sales managers struggle in understanding what motivates them and what keeps them engaged. An epic meaning or story may be more important than the carrot. That’s why it’s a good moment that sales managers take to look at the video game culture.
Millennials embody the video game culture. And two recent events demonstrated how impressively they do. One event took place in Germany, the other one in the US. At the largest video game conference – the gamescom 2015 in Cologne – over 345,000 attendees brought the Cologne exhibition center Kölnmesse, itself not easily impressed by large conferences, to a standstill. One way directions, staggered entrance times, attendees patiently waiting for up to four hours to play a new video game for 10 minutes, keeping their great attitude and radiating fun and excitement. At the same time the DOTA2, a professional video game championship with $18Mio in prize money, took place in Seattle over the course of six days. Every day 10,000 attendees in the arena watched the video gamers compete, while millions watched the live online-streams.
How does that relate to the world of sales reps and managers? Well, those two events show how ubiquitous video game culture has become, and that the Millennials are breathing and living it. It’s not a temporary thing that eventually will fade, this is a culture that will stay and penetrate companies. Millennials entering the workforce have played up to that point in their lives 10,000(!) hours of video games. That is a serious investment that they will not let go.