Millennials. Millennials. Millennials. They killed boxed cereal and bar soap. And now they are disrupting the sales organization as we know it! Right? Wrong.

While they are a convenient scapegoat for the rise of avocado toast, Gen Y or millennials (those born between the years of 1981 and 1996) are not the reason sales organizations are changing. It’s bigger than that. And more complicated.

Meet Gen I – Generation Interactive

It’s not about Boomers, Millennials, or Gen X, Y, and Z. There is a new cohort of people who fall into Gen I – and not all of them were born in the ’80s/’90s. Some were born in the ’60s, ‘70s – and they are still entering the world today.  

Meet Gen I, or Generation Interactive, a group of people who are:

  • “Doers” not “Watchers”
  • Not afraid to ask “Why”
  • Relentless information seekers
  • Move seamlessly between online and IRL
  • Dismissive of formality
  • Make decisions quickly
  • Play, socialize and work in virtual spaces
  • Not defined by race, religion, age, or sexual orientation

…and they are a culture unto themselves.

How Gen I Spends Their Free Time is Key to Engaging Them in the Work Place

Is it any wonder that Gen I interacts with the world differently than other generations? They are the first generation to spend their free time in virtual environments, socializing and learning 24/7 through screens. 

Take video gaming for instance. It’s right up there with avocado toast as a symbol of just how misunderstood Gen I is by other generations. Blamed for everything from inciting violent acts to causing couch damage from immobile, obese users, research shows in fact that video gameplay actually develops memory, attention, and decision-making as well as leadership skills.

“The typical finding is that those who play the video game improve on measures of basic perceptual and cognitive abilities while those in the control group do not.” 

Psychology Today

If you think that video games are only played by Millennials, think again. By definition, the oldest Millennials are now 39 years old and the youngest is 24. Around 40% of video game players are older than Millennials and more than 21% are younger. 

Age breakdown of video game players in the United States in 2019

Gen I also spends a lot of time socializing through a screen. 

  • 76% of Instagram users visit the app daily
  • 74% of Facebook users use the site daily
  • 42% of Twitter users use the site daily

Percentage of U.S. adults who say they ever use the following online platforms or messaging apps.

“Gen I isn’t just about 24 – 39-year-olds. It’s bigger than that. It’s a psychographic that crosses all age groups. And your sales organization needs the right tools to develop Gen I as effective sales reps.” – Nick Rini, CEO, Selleration

When you give your Gen I sales reps immersive, interactive, and experiential methods for sales training, coaching, and development it can be incredibly effective. 

Think of it as an equation: Gamified + Social + Personalized = Winning Gen I

Our tips to engage Gen I:

  1. Ditch the classroom lectures and introduce Virtual Reality training.
  2. Dump the PDFs and offer gamified experiences for Prescriptive Sales Development and skills reinforcement in which sales reps can connect and compete.
  3. Stop force-feeding one-size-fits-all video learning and offer customized sales development based on sales assessments that feel like a social media personality quiz.

The members of Gen I don’t want to be trained. They want to be developed personally and professionally with cutting edge technology that is not only tailored to their needs and interests – but also engaging.

Gen I is an Important Psychographic. And It’s Only Going to Grow.

It’s a transition your sales organization cannot put off. Has your company made the move to developing and coaching Gen I through immersive technology? Or, is your team still muddling through paperwork and lectures? Leave a comment and let us know!