We all have bad days.
Sometimes they leave you feeling irritable towards your teammates, getting frustrated by clients, missing details you’d normally get right or feeling overwhelmed by what’s on your plate. Maybe your creativity isn’t flowing, or you’re just not excited by your work.
The beautiful thing about bad days is they go away. If these feelings persist, however, you might have a case of burnout on your hands.
Burnout is a type of chronic stress that results in a loss of energy, enthusiasm and confidence, according to Psychology Today. And it’s especially prevalent in sales jobs.
Believe it or not, the phenomenon of sales burnout is an object of study. There are pressures within your sales team that don’t exist in other parts of your company, like:
- Intense competition among members of your team
- Repeatedly hearing “no” from prospects
- Missing quotas and other success metrics
It can be hard to notice when an employee starts to burn out, and when you do, the best approach is to understand their problems and respond in a constructive and supportive way. But an even better way to mitigate the inevitable drop in performance is to address it proactively.
So, here are seven tips you can implement within your team to stop burnout before it starts.
Provide mentorship to your team
When one of your salespeople needs advice or support, who do they turn to? Sometimes another salesperson is easier to talk to than a supervisor. Consider setting up a mentorship program between seasoned sellers and newer recruits to share ideas, frustrations, success tips and best practices.
Give your team the tools they need to succeed
If there are tasks or processes that are taking up too much time on your team, think about finding tools that either make them more efficient or automate them entirely. Administrative tasks, in particular, can be a major cause of burnout, especially when they’re eating into valuable selling time. Just make sure you don’t go overboard.
[bctt tweet="Administrative tasks, in particular, can be a major cause of burnout, especially when they’re eating into valuable selling time." username="kiiteHQ"]
Celebrate big and small wins
Quotas are a big deal for most sales teams, but what about other measures of success? Having smaller goals along the way, like opportunities created, meetings held, demos scheduled and quotes sent, gives your less experienced salespeople a chance to make the leaderboard. Make sure you celebrate these wins, even if it’s a simple coffee run for the team.
Reframe losses as steps forward
Salespeople hear “no” a lot, and after a while, the rejection can take a toll. But a rejection isn’t necessarily a failure. Often a “no” is really a “not right now” and learning to deal with objections better prepares your salespeople for the next call.
Cultivate a culture of support
The cutthroat sales team that thrives on fierce competition can actually be a huge contributor to salesperson turnover. A little competition can be healthy and motivating, but it becomes a problem if your team feels like they aren’t getting support from their colleagues. While individual goals are important, set team ones, too, to help them work together.
Invest in professional development
In a fast-paced environment like sales, it can be difficult to slow down and think about things that aren’t directly impacting the numbers. Short-term needs can overshadow long-term goals. However, by talking about career paths and taking steps to get closer to them, your employees can take ownership of their growth and find a renewed sense of purpose and meaning.
Encourage “me” time
Everyone needs time away from work to recharge their batteries. Whether that means taking a small break to refocus after a difficult call or a few days off to unwind, make sure you’re sending a message that it’s okay to take a breather.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to preventing burnout, just as much as there’s no one-size-fits-all guide to what motivates your team. The key is understanding the strengths and capabilities of each member and taking the time to listen.
Regular surveys can help identify pain points that can cause burnout problems down the road. One-on-ones are a great way to understand areas where individuals on your team are struggling the most and come up with plans to tackle them together.
The most important thing, though, is to show your team not only that you have their back, but that everyone else does, too.