Sales — and salespeople — are vital to the success of any business. Before they even make a sale, they develop and support customer relationships and promote a business's products or services. When your sales team is succeeding, your business is succeeding.
As a result of their demanding positions handling difficult clients and complex business deals, nearly 90% of salespeople eventually experience sales burnout. When this happens, your sales teams are no longer meeting quotas and closing important deals. Instead, their morale declines and your business suffers.
Virtual receptionists can handle calls, texts, and support sales efforts during your teams' on- and off-hours, but you can also take intentional steps to prevent and avoid sales burnout by following these ten recommendations.
Table of Contents:
Sales burnout refers to the mental, emotional, and sometimes physical distress members of a sales team can experience. This state of distress is caused by frequent and continued exposure to different stressors.
Salespeople are often asked to contact demanding clients, stay on top of complex projects and proposals, and handle rejection. Burnout and poor mental health in the workplace can cause excess stress and frustration, which can lead to substandard performance and workplace turnover.
While burnout is one of the top reasons salespeople leave their jobs, it doesn’t happen without cause. Sales burnout can occur because of:
Sales burnout is usually a state of mental or emotional distress, but there are some noticeable signs of burnout both managers and employees should be aware of.
If you notice a team member’s performance metrics are declining, this could be a sign of sales burnout. Consistently performing under expectations may not necessarily warrant a discussion about sales burnout, but a salesperson who usually performs at expected levels or above and whose numbers begin to fall may be experiencing undue stress or frustration.
If you notice a salesperson’s energy and enthusiasm are not up to par, they may be experiencing sales burnout. Consider offering your team member a few possible solutions, such as:
Sales teams may vent about frustrating phone calls and difficult clients, but there shouldn’t be a home for persistent, never-ending negativity. If you see a salesperson growing increasingly negative toward all things sales, it may be time to have a conversation with them about employee burnout.
Sales teams need to be dynamic and adaptable to new circumstances, software, and processes. Burnout may cause team members to refuse to change their mindset or learn new work tools or processes. To combat this, consider:
Sales technology and techniques are constantly changing. A salesperson experiencing burnout may begin to ignore these changes, be unable to keep up with them, or refuse to invest in professional development courses and readings.
Emotional and mental fatigue can lead to noticeable physical exhaustion. If you have a salesperson who is unable to sleep, complains of headaches, or experiences excessive daytime sleepiness, they may be experiencing physical symptoms of burnout.
Avoiding stress in the workplace is difficult, but you can help your team avoid sales burnout by implementing these ten recommendations.
Establishing close, trusting relationships with your team members is one way to avoid sales burnout. Regular coaching meetings allow salespeople to voice frustrations, ask questions, and receive advice about current clients and projects. Managers and coaches should use these meetings to listen to employees and brainstorm solutions to their concerns.
Closing deals depends on more than just smooth-talking salespeople or convincing emails — it also relies on sales enablement. To prepare your team to work effectively and efficiently, provide them with productivity tools that are updated and easy to use. Plus, tool training can help relieve some of the everyday stress and confusion felt by your team members.
Salespeople working with unique clients, projects, and coworkers each have different daily priorities. Encourage your team to identify these priorities each day and structure their schedules accordingly. Their most productive times of day should be used to complete high-priority tasks.
Many salespeople reach a state of sales burnout simply because they are expected to consistently work at a neck-breaking pace. Because a practical work pace can be the difference between a burnt-out salesperson and a successful one, consider what you are asking your employees to accomplish and how much time you are giving them to succeed.
If your team is experiencing overwhelming workloads, it might be time to outsource. Professional resources — like Smith.ai — are designed to help organizations succeed by assuming responsibility for some tasks or roles. For example, we can provide sales follow-ups to qualified leads and answer calls around the clock.
With changing technology and sales strategies, it’s important to encourage and plan professional development opportunities for your employees. Invest in external experts and attend training sessions with your team regularly. You can set up workshops, attend online webinars and conferences, or plan brainstorming sessions where your employees can contribute development ideas.
Your employees may begin to feel sales burnout if they feel disconnected from the other salespeople on their team. Whether your team meets remotely or in person, have your team members engage in team-building activities to grow camaraderie, boost performance, and establish team connections and communication.
The mental and physical well-being of your employees can be directly tied to your team’s culture. Consider encouraging your team members to listen to music as they work, take mental health days, enjoy a mid-day gym class, or spend their evenings disconnected from work. It’s also important to prioritize regular feedback and rewards when cultivating a positive team culture.
Whether you take charge of employee mentoring yourself or assign individual mentors to your team members, it’s important to prioritize employee investment. Mentors can be helpful sounding boards with years of professional experience, which allow your salespeople to grow in their positions while working with other like-minded individuals.
If you want to encourage employee productivity and avoid sales burnout, prioritize regular work breaks. Breaks away from scheduled activities or stressful projects can actually increase accuracy, improve workflow, and inspire new ideas. Simply prioritizing 10 to 15 minutes away from a computer screen every few hours can prevent burnout and support mental health.
If your company or team has experienced sales burnout, there are ways to recover. Restructuring your team's priorities and expectations can be a great place to start, but there are several approaches to burnout recovery. No matter what, make sure your recovery considers:
It should be every company’s goal to avoid and prevent sales burnout in their teams. While there are practical ways to prevent burnout from occurring, it can also help to invest in additional resources for your sales outreach.
Smith.ai can support and help your team avoid sales burnout by making outbound calls, sending email and SMS follow-up messages to prospective clients after initial phone calls, initiating lead screening and intake, and booking appointments with qualified leads.