Boomers vs. Millennials: Critical Conflict Regarding Sales Culture, Salesforce Recognition, and Supervisor Expectations
Dr. Roberta J. Schultz, Dr. Charles H. Schwepker, Jr.

Currently two of the largest generational groups occupying industrial field sales positions are Millennials and Baby Boomers. While anecdotal evidence suggests these two generations are widely different, few studies have compared their perceptions about sales workforce preferences. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine expectations from each group on key sales management aspects (face time in the sales culture, recognition of teams and not just individuals, and experienced and whatever it takes supervisor expectations). Knowledge of differences in these important aspects of the sales profession will provide insights for managing the salesforce across generations. Overall the findings provide support of critical differences between generations and suggest that Millennials do not prefer the current Boomer workplace preferences but instead have other expectations.

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