Hey Gen Z, we have found your RED! However…

In this article we elaborate on our latest research on the motivational drives of Gen Z in Sales. Our article that was published on March 6, shared insights on the lack or absence of the Acceptance on the Red motivational drive. This unfortunately, means that when hiring and developing Sales Talent from Gen Z, other types of Leadership and management styles are required.

Starter Profile Motivation Drives of Gen Z

Moreover, this also triggered another vital question: What about Gen Z biggest REJECTION* or allergy? And here is what we found using the data set from same population:

Let’s first review the results of our research on the motivational drives of Gen Z.

Average scores of motivational drives of Gen Z

Here we clearly see that RED (power, decisiveness, priority) has the lowest score of the 5 positive motivation systems (ACCEPTANCES) that we investigated. While Creativity and Result orientation are the most preferred motivation systems of Gen Z in Sales.

When we analysed the results for REJECTIONS on the same 5 motivational drives, we discovered an abundance of RED. This time, RED turned out to be the biggest Rejection or allergy of Gen Z.

Rejections are negative motivational drives. Things you rather postpone or that cost you energy. Allergies are typically energy drains.

In our research team we have Jan-Kees Walrave (owner MyMotivationInsights.nl) and Marque Draijer (Drayer); Psychologist, coach & facilitator who are experts in understanding and interpreting motivational drives and thus these results. We asked Jan-Kees and Marque to explain and to provide some examples of Allergies on RED:

What does this mean, where does this come from, and how can we best manage this?

Jan-Kees Walrave:

When using red in your sales management style, sales leaders usually come across as strong, dominant, hierarchical people. They use their experience, knowledge, and convincing leadership style to instruct the new generation: ‘Just listen to me, do exactly as I say’. This is quite often the exact style that they have been managed through when they started in their own sales roles. Since the red management style is focusing on speed and decisiveness, there is little room for discussion, let alone inclusiveness in the decision-making process.

From the Gen Z perspective, they see this management style as controlling, the manager as micro-managing or too dominant. From their own preference, they like to be included in the process (green) and would like to make sure all alternatives are considered (yellow) before a decision is made.

So, if RED doesn’t motivate Gen Z on the positive side while also RED turns out to be the biggest allergy on the negative side, what does this mean for us? And how should we as Gen X managers manage this paradigm with Gen Z in sales? Here are three best practice examples:

Marque Draijer:

1. The quickest road to success in this case is to stimulate the colors that are clearly providing a positive motivation to Gen Z salespeople. For instance, Orange that drives Result Orientation or Yellow that drives Creativity or Green that drives People orientation and team building. An example of this is to define and agree results collectively (team targets). Whereby the whole team (Green) being successful (Orange) in fast decision making and quick action (Combining Orange and Red). Doing this, will create chances to explore new opportunities (Yellow) and result (Orange) of course without being dominant (assumingly the Red element that annoys Gen Z)

2. Another best practice example is the deployment of another ancient management tool called Sales Activity Management or SAM. The SAM management methodology is a great tool to provide Gen Z salespeople with the insights in what and how much activities they need to reach their goals. The SAM model is all about translating your Sales goals into activities that need to be planned and prepared. The main benefit of SAM is that Gen Z sales people themselves discover and develop the insights of what it and how much activities they need to do in order to achieve their goals and targets.

Example Sales Activity Management Sheet

3. Finally, you could consider the deployment regular Call Battles to keep your Gen Z sales team in action mode. Call battles are short regular events that drives actions on customer engagement. That can be either on acquisition or on customer engagement (service). By scheduling call battles, Gen Z salespeople are regularly automatically put into action and reminded to prepare their calls and meetings. It is recommended to make these call battle events competitive and to award prices for the winners. (Orange rewards)

Conclusion and recommendation:

The motivation profile of Gen Z in Sales is forcing us as Gen X, to apply other managerial techniques and tools to manage, develop and motivate them successfully. Given these three examples or management techniques that are worthwhile to explore and experiment, we’d like to ask you to share some other thoughts about Gen Z management in sales.

We are looking forward.


Douglas Huissen

Share this post