The Challenge of Millennials In The Channel: Why Aren’t They Here?

Posted on: September 1, 2018 By: Carolyn Kuczynski

In just a few short years, the star performers responsible for the growth of our industry will primarily be Millennials. And yet, there is a distinct lack of millennial presence within the indirect channel. According to Forrester Research, 40 percent of channel owners plan on retiring by 2024. By that time, 75% of those working in the channel will be millennials.

If integrating millennials is an essential piece to the future success of the indirect channel, why aren’t they here? Well, it’s pretty simple. Millennials don’t seem to know about the channel, or even understand what it is.


1. Lack of Awareness/Education on the Channel

CNSG and the Channel Welcome Millennials

Chances are that if you ask the average millennial about the channel, they couldn’t tell you a thing. This new digital age is a chance for channel partners to revamp themselves. If you focus on the tech – you’ll always be behind. Rebranding to ensure that your marketing message aligns with your company’s overall business goals (rather than the specific technology you’re selling), is a great first step in attracting top millennial talent. Does your website reflect your credibility and status as an industry leader? Do you have a strong online presence? These are factors that millennials take into consideration during their job search.


2. Lack of Leadership Opportunities

CNSG and the Channel Welcome Millennials

If there aren’t many millennials in the channel, that means that there also aren’t many up-and-coming millennial leaders paving the way for others to follow. According to 91% of Millennials wish to become leaders, and an additional 43% feel they already acquire the motivation to inspire leadership interest in others.


3. High Student Loan Debt

High Student Loan Debt: Challenge to the Channel

Many millennials feel as though stuck to a job that provides a base salary, making them somewhat hesitant to sales positions that may not come with the promise of reliable income. However, many millennials prefer a workplace that allows them to serve a great purpose through work, in replace of extrinsic rewards such as higher pay. There are many aspects of the channel that are attractive to millennials, including remote work and networking opportunities.


4. Transactional Perception of the Industry

Why Millennials are a Perfect Fit for the Indirect Channel

In a Spicework’s study of IT professionals, the firm found that 60% of millennials would prefer to work with a brand that aims to develop a relationship, compared to a “quick transactional” deal. Relationships are much more important to millennials than you’d expect, and this new generation of partners and business owners are putting more value on relationship building.


While the road to the indirect channel isn’t completely paved for millennials, it’s important for us to create opportunities and spaces in which millennials can thrive. Still not convinced on the value of millennials? Check out this article on Why Millennials are a Perfect Fit for the Indirect Channel.

CNSG Newsletter Signup