We’re seeing a diverse spectrum of Millennials really embedded into the work place. Given they’re born from the late 80’s to the late 90’s they’re everywhere. Middle and senior management, entry level jobs, the c-level. Some of us are making bank, some chasing far fetched dreams and others just plain lost.

Within the sales and marketing space - the soft skills have never changed. Listening to people, fostering relationships, opening and closing deals, time management, being a salesperson with integrity. However in 2018 and beyond - the technical skills are drastically different. Whilst we smirk at the 50 year old manager who has the extra large font on their iPhone and prints off all their emails, we must be aware that there are technical skills we can’t leave behind in order to allow us to evolve.

So in a buzzfeed-esque kind of way, with bright coloured pictures and a list - here are some technical skills that I believe are non-negotiable technical skills new and young sales people need (you’re not gonna believe number 3)!

1. Learn a CRM works!

For Pete sake this has to be the biggest culprit of administrative lag when it comes to sales people! CRM’s across the board have a few functions that are a key to helping you build and close sales pipeline. User profiles, company profiles, opportunity/contract creation and a place to write down notes. Nail that as a bare minimum.

When I mentioned technical skills that sales people need - I was referring more to skills that you need to be competent at. So when it comes CRM - understanding how to work a price book, read marketing campaign data and run your own reports are important.

2. Get to know how to use spreadsheets

We have Microsoft Excel on nearly every work computer and now with google sheets, we have spreadsheets available to every mobile and tablet for free. Whilst we know how to calculate our monthly budget and using it as a huge calculator, competency with spreadsheets is tied to learning how a CRM works. This involves data exporting information from your CRM, using filters, conditional formatting and visualising this data through building graphs. The secondary effect is driving information to your marketing teams so that they can build marketing campaigns that add value to your own pipeline.

3. Building email rules

We have at least two email addresses we need to take care of - our personal and professional emails. Not to mention that there’s a high chance you carry them on your phone. Creating email rules are really important to ensuring that you can deal things that are important and cut through the administration. Things include:

  • Placing mass emails from corporate into a folder
  • Auto responders for certain people
  • Different signatures for different devices (tablets, phones, laptops)
  • Have an email folder where you get compliments and thanks. You can always refer to this when you’re having a shit day.

We’re lucky that we’re in a time that artificial intelligence is moving towards building personal assistants but we’re not quite there yet.

4. Learn how to google everything

By learning how to google everything - I mean learn how to search amongst all of Google’s products! Inclusive and exclusive search terms, reverse image searches, trends, analytics dashboards, YouTube tutorials (a google product) are all massive knowledge bases that can help you find answers.

5. Familiarise yourself with mobile and desktop video communication tools

We are all quite familiar with video calling and FaceTime with friends and families but when it comes to business meetings using Skype, zoom.us and lync (to name a few), we end up being like our parents when they try and video call us! Familiarising means learning how to share your screen, sharing files and other bits and pieces. Our borders for business are crumbling with the advancements in technology. In the way the telephone expanded sales, video will also do the same.

I’ve glossed over a lot of these skills but I’m hoping that it’s a starting point. Always happy to help out so if you have some questions - just let me know!