4 Tips for Managing Sales Stress
High stress in a sales career can be a reality many salespeople experience all too often. With quotas and other expectations weighing on a salesperson, sometimes it can seem like a lot to shoulder without effective stress management techniques to help unwind. By taking charge and leading your sales staff to a more stress-friendly environment, you’ll notice many benefits to your organization.
Sales team stress management is all about instilling good sales practices in your staff, with you leading the charge by example. Be realistic, organized, prepared, and up-to-date on training with your sales staff. In the process, you’ll likely find that success is the most effective stress management technique of all.
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 as working in sales can be very stressful. But here’s the good news: you can take smart steps to de-stress, motivate and energize your sales team.
High Sales Stress Levels Hurt Performance
Your sales team works hard to secure key revenue sources, but did you know that high-stress sales situations can actually hurt your bottom line? A stressful sales environment can cause burnout and lead to turnover, putting your company in a tough financial situation over time. Your organization, along with business profits, can greatly benefit by easing sales stress as much as possible.
4 Scenarios of Dealing with Sales Stress
Amar Sheth, Customer Experience Partner at the Toronto-based social selling company, Sales for Life, shares de-stressing solutions for the following 4 scenarios.
Scenario 1: Setting unrealistic expectations
The biggest stressor most salespeople face is the constant pressure to meet sales goals and revenue returns beyond their reach. 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.
Take an honest look at your data before defining hard sales targets that could increase your team’s job stress. 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.”
Scenario 2: Lack of delegation across your workforce
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, spiking their sales job stress and making it difficult to concentrate on any one aspect.
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.”
Scenario 3: A deficiency in training
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 and staying engaged with their customer base.
Ongoing training can reduce sales stress by keeping your team on the cutting edge of industry trends. “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. Consider the importance of mentoring your salespeople and shaping their skills to meet your business needs.
Scenario 4: Lack of in-depth 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.
To minimize sales job stress, 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.” Consider connecting on LinkedIn to build a rapport, for example. Or review previous sales records to leverage personal details for a more human connection.
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