10 Tips to Avoid Burnout While Working in Sales
Are you feeling a lack of motivation, negative energy, and exhaustion? Wheels spinning but you’re getting nowhere?
While sales pros enjoy the rollercoaster ride of emotions, it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. So, how do you handle stress in a sales job?
First, you need to understand what job burnout is, and that it’s common and happens to everyone. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is when you have been stressed out for a long period of time, and develop negative feelings such as lack of motivation and/or a lack of confidence.
You can notice that simple tasks become harder to accomplish and you feel absolutely drained.
Simplified, burnout is extreme exhaustion that can affect every area of your life, especially your career.
Burnout Signs to Be Aware Of
In addition to simple tasks becoming overwhelming, you may start developing feelings of helplessness. With less productivity and motivation, your tasks aren’t getting done in a timely manner and you feel like a failure.
Don’t trust these feelings.
You are not a failure, you are simply burnt out, drained of all energy, and in need of a recharge.
Look, even your hard-working smartphone needs time to charge, and it’s an emotionless machine!
There’s a lot more to you than that. Allow yourself time and space to recharge from this stressful period of your life.
So, how do you prevent burnout at work? Here are 10 tips that will help manage it now, and avoid it in the future.
Set Realistic Goals
Let’s talk about realistic expectations. For salespeople, this can be a challenge.
Be mindful that your schedule is manageable and not chaotic. Make sure your goals are realistic and align with what is expected of you.
There’s a difference between being an overachiever and aiming for a goal so high that you burn yourself out before you can reach it. Being realistic is the first step to happiness!
Prioritize Your Time and Tasks
Be realistic about how much time certain tasks will take. Most importantly, be aware of the ones that are your top priority.
Manage your schedule and don’t forget to schedule a few breaks—including lunch!
If you commit to this schedule and follow it through, you’ve set yourself up for success.
Give More Attention to Quality Accounts
On days that you are feeling pulled in multiple directions, work smarter, not harder!
Divide your time more appropriately with your clients. You can do this by focusing on those high-potential prospects or clients that provide you with repeat business and/or have the potential to buy different product lines. Be mindful of client segmentation and customer lifetime value.
Instead, use your time wisely and schedule your meetings according to the goals you set earlier, and the accounts you would like to prioritize. One useful tool to do this is Badger Maps. The app allows you to optimize your routes, keep a record of all your meetings, and follow up with your clients easily. It saves you up to 8 hours a week to meet with more customers, so you spend less time driving and more time closing deals.
Reach Out For Help
Sales reps can often be too self-reliant, wanting to get everything done themselves without asking for help. Research shows we have a fear of appearing weak, ignorant, or incompetent.
But there’s no shame in asking for help and sometimes you need to. Situations where you should reach out for support at work include:
- You have no idea what you are doing
- Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. This will help you get a better understanding of the task and ensure you are on the right page.
- You’ve made a mistake
- Congratulations, you’re human! It happens, especially when you’re on the verge of burnout. Own up to your mistakes and learn from them.
- You have too much on your plate
- Remember those realistic expectations we talked about? Well, it might be too late and you’ve already said yes. Don’t worry, this is a perfect time to reach out to your fellow colleagues and mentors.
As a sales team, you are meant to work together and gain insight and encouragement from one another.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Work on Yourself
Don’t forget to make yourself a priority. Some things you can do to focus on your own health are:
Reading helps you grow and learn about yourself. Personal development involves self-discipline, consistency, knowledge, and a sense of accomplishment. Which can be achieved through reading.
Don’t knock it until you try it. Meditation has a variety of benefits for both mind and body, including reducing stress and managing depression. Check out this blog to find out how meditation helps salespeople.
Getting six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night is an incredible habit to have. This can be hard when you are stressed and have a lot on your mind but it will prepare you for a successful day at work.
Take Time Away to Disconnect
It’s important to disconnect from your job, especially in sales. Discipline about the hours you work is important, especially when you work from home.
Disconnecting from your screen itself is also very important. Staring at both your computer and phone screen for hours upon hours not only causes strain on your eyes, but it also results in fatigue, and can overall increase your burnout. Try to print paper and read off it instead and if you are concerned about the cost, don’t be! Printing costs are very minimal if you only print a few pages a week and the right way!
Working in sales takes a lot of time and energy, and often your mental and physical health gets pushed aside. But you’re not able to perform as your best self when you don’t make your health a priority. Remember to make time to get away from work responsibilities and recharge.
It’s not news that moving your body and exercising is a great thing. Exercise increases your well-being, lowers stress, and soothes emotional exhaustion. Basically, all the burnout symptoms and signs you are recognizing can be minimized with proper exercise.
Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, a minimum of four times a week can help you maintain your mental health, reduce fatigue and improve motivation.
Want to take it up a notch? Exercise outside!
Outdoor activities help reduce tension, anger, depression, and all those restless feelings.
Utilize Your Breaks
Let’s go back to Burnout Tip #2. Remember those breaks you scheduled in for today? Don’t skip them.
Research shows not having your breaks, especially for lunch, could be risking your health. We're trying to avoid burnout, remember?
Instead, utilize these breaks for what your mind and body need to finish your workday off strong.
Perhaps you need some brain food?
Go grab a snack and try to avoid going on your phone during this break. I know it’s tempting, but instead, you can:
- Go outside for a walk
- Do complete quick stretches
- Blast music to burn calories (this also puts you in a great mood!)
Remember this break is meant to recharge you and avoid burnout. Listen to your body and give it what it needs.
Analyze Your Pitch and Switch It Up
When was the last time you changed up your sales pitch?
We tend to avoid change, but change is good in sales. Without change, you will get too comfortable and start working mechanically without realizing it.
By analyzing your current sales pitch you can learn and grow from it. This will help you make necessary changes and take your selling game to the next level. Avoid boredom, burnout and close more sales!
Have Tools and Resources to Manage Your Stress
You are never short of resources to manage your stress if you have access to the internet.
Here are some great online video resources:
Working in sales can be very overwhelming and time-consuming. If you let the job interfere with your mental and physical health, you won’t be as successful as expected.
Avoid job burnout in sales by taking care of yourself first. Apply the techniques suggested above and set a work-life balance that fits your needs. This will allow you to close more deals while still enjoying being a sales rep.
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