Stress Management Tips for Your Sales Team
Motivate Your Staff by Improving Training & Performance
Sales teams play a powerfully positive role in businesses of all sizes, as they are charged with the crucial task of finding and retaining paying customers. Sometimes, though, this big responsibility can produce anxiety and affect performance. But here’s the good news: you can take smart steps to de-stress, motivate and energize your sales team.
Amar Sheth, vice president of customer success at the Toronto-based social selling company, Sales for Life, shares de-stressing solutions for the following 4 scenarios.
Unrealistic expectations. The biggest stressor most salespeople face is the constant pressure to meet overly optimistic activity and revenue goals. Can you really make 50 phone calls a day? When the expectations are too high, sometimes sales calls can feel like high-stakes, make-or-break moments.
Solution: Take an honest look at your data before setting hard sales targets. To gain an even deeper understanding of the marketplace, business owners should get firsthand experience generating sales themselves so they know what to expect from their sales team. “You, the business owner, should be out in the market, generating leads and closing customers,” Sheth says. “Learn from that.”
Juggling too many tasks at once. At larger companies, one person might handle making appointments, another closing the sale, and another managing existing customer relationships. At small businesses, however, a single person may be in charge of the entire pipeline, making it difficult to concentrate on any one aspect.
Solution: Reduce sales stress by training your staff to devote attention to existing customers, but without neglecting new appointments. Hand off other tasks, such as making appointments, to a virtual assistant. “It’s worthwhile for a salesperson to really focus on making sure the client is happy,” Sheth says. “When the salesperson is multitasking all day, that’s just not going to happen.”
A skills gap. The evolving nature of digital technology — especially social media — means that salespeople need to constantly renew their skill sets to remain competitive. “Market realities are shifting all the time,” Sheth says. When your employees fall behind the curve, they will have more trouble meeting their numbers.
Solution: Ongoing training can reduce sales stress by keeping your team on the cutting edge of the industry. “If you’re a business owner not ready to invest in training, you have a salesperson that’s static and frozen in time,” Sheth says. Your sales team also can de-stress, gain confidence and stay on top of the latest trends by watching our Business Accelerator events!
Lack of preparation. It’s hard to make stress-free cold calls when you don’t know anything about the person on the other end of the line. “I need to do a much better job of knowing something about my buyer, so when I do start a conversation, it’s far more relevant and contextual,” Sheth says.
Solution: Have the team study their leads before they reach out, in order to build a stronger connection and increase the chance of a sale. “People don’t realize that their job is not just to close,” Sheth says. “Their job is to build relationships, and relationships take time.”
A key point about stress reduction strategies is that they are often identical to good sales practices in general. Be realistic, organized, prepared, and up-to-date on training. In the process, you’ll likely find that success is the most effective stress management technique of all.
Want to learn more savvy business strategies? Take a look at our business resource center. And, one of the smartest business decisions you can make is being proactive about protection. Connect with an agent today to learn about customized coverage for your business.