Feeling stressed is a physical and emotional response to a specific situation. Too often it can creep up without the victim understanding why. Understanding the factors that can trigger a stress response in an individual is often the first step in being able to manage it.
Typical stress triggers in sales can include a toxic workplace environment, work overload, poor management and unattainable targets. Salespeople must learn how to identify their biggest stress trigger and work on keeping them under control.
Break Psychological Barriers To Meet Sales Goals
Sales is a high-pressure environment fraught with constant deadlines, rejection and uncertainty. The right sales coach can help your reps and managers identify and combat common psychological barriers such as fear of failure and lack of control.
Both these examples stem from deep-seated concerns about under-achieving and underperforming. While some managers believe such fears can motivate employees to work harder, the opposite is more often true as the harsh environment leads to vulnerability and self-doubt that subsequently causes psychological barriers to high performance. Members of your sales team – particularly managers – should re-focus their priorities onto short-term goals and emphasize the process required to achieve results over the results themselves.
Tips from an Engineer to Eliminate Stress and Meet Your Sales Goals
Engineering requires logical and structured thinking to navigate processes and obstacles. Sales, on the other hand, requires traits such as the ability to build relationships, establish a network of contacts and work in a competitive setting. However, these skills and attributes don’t necessarily lend themselves to effective stress management. Applying the systemic way engineers think to sales can help eliminate stress, allowing sales professionals to achieve their goals with a clear head.
Learn to Prioritise to Meet Your Sales Goals
Stress often comes from feeling overwhelmed. For those in sales, this may be due to having too much to do, a messy pipeline and a limited amount of time to complete their work. An essential skill for reps is to learn is how to prioritize their workload with the most important and time-consuming work always being tackled first. Having an evolving plan that incorporates necessary activities along with goals and time estimates will help your team take back control over their time and focus on what matters.
Additionally, sales reps need to feel empowered to say ‘no’ when necessary. There is no point pushing people to take on more work than they can handle because it will be completed at a lower standard, if it gets done at all. Opening a line of communication where your reps can tell you how full their schedules are – without any fear attached – will lead to reduced stress, higher quality of work and higher productivity.
Have a Back-Up Plan
If all the prevention techniques fail and sales professionals find themselves stressed or panicky and unable to do their work, it’s important to have a plan of action to deal with the situation.
A simple yet effective method encouraged by many leading sales coaches and sales trainers is to focus on breathing. When beginning to feel anxious or stressed, a simple breathing exercise can counteract symptoms. Alternatively, employees can remove themselves from the situation and take a break. A short break of 15 minutes can stop stress in its tracks and allow people to approach their work and the situation more effectively.
Set Weekly Targets
Short-term goals are the easiest way to regain control and the feeling of achievement. Weekly targets will keep your sales team on track while ensuring the right tasks and activities are being prioritized. At the end of each week, these goals can be reviewed, and the next week’s goals selected with a greater understanding of time constraints and productivity thresholds.
Remain Aware and Mindful
To manage stress effectively, it is important to have a well-developed sense of situational awareness. By having foresight into when triggers are likely to be present, employees can be prepared and stay in control. Detailed and effective plans that focus on the process will enable reps to approach potential triggers with confidence. In a sales environment, there are inevitable disappointments and failures. It is important that your employees learn to alter their perspective and see their supposed ‘failures’ as learning opportunities.
It is a widely accepted fact that productivity improves as the general wellbeing of employees improves. In sales, reps are subject to high-pressure environments and numerous stress triggers. Providing sales training to those team members to better manage their emotions will combat stress and help them flourish in the workplace.