Sales can be a demanding profession due to the numerous ups and downs that come with the job. A fast-paced and highly competitive environment combined with stress and pressure can be a challenge for even the highest-performing sellers. Here are some suggestions to help combat burn-out syndrome:
Recognize and Celebrate the Wins
Perhaps the most obvious way to prevent sales professionals from burning out is to recognize their wins – during group meetings, in internal newsletters, as well as during 1-on-1’s.
Recognizing wins elevates the sales person and gives them something to look forward to. For competitive sales people, this may be just as important as the actual commission check. This type of public recognition can function as a motivator for the rest of the team -- it’s a jolt of recognition that can help push everyone forward.
It goes without saying that recognizing wins isn’t limited when an opportunity is finally marked “closed won.” Equally important is to identify and recognize performance activities that lead towards wins, such as pipeline integrity, effective prospecting efforts, customer satisfaction, or the amount and quality of lead conversions.
Determine the Motivations of Team Members
I recently wrote an article about what motivates sales professionals besides a well-thought out commission structure. In order to understand what drives and motivates your staff, it’s imperative to foster an atmosphere within the team that allows for the free flow of ideas and suggestions and in which trust can flourish. This also provides the foundation to learn more about your team members and how you can motivate them when they hit a rough patch.
Invest in the Team
Providing access to training and similar skill-building resources can pay off in combating burn out. According to a research study by CSO Insights, sales organizations that invest in sales training for their staff typically experience higher win rates and lower turnover rates. In other words, training, education, and coaching are essential in helping sales professionals deal with and overcome customer objections and other challenges that often contribute to burn out.
Although sales people are competitive, perhaps the best elixir for burn out is the constant support and encouragement from all members of the team. Fostering an environment of cooperation and teamwork lifts people up and encourages them to do their best. Highly competitive environments can be healthy, but they are not the only strategy that lends itself to building an effective sales organization.
A strategy of pulling everyone together towards a collective goal can be optimal. Think outside the box – perhaps a potluck to encourage team building, or by taking the team on a Friday afternoon for a team building event. Team goals help everyone to focus their efforts and help others to reach their milestones.