Stress Reduction In High Pressure Sales Jobs

I’m not sure if I should write this article about sales stress reduction for salespeople. It’s such a sensitive topic and based on my experience, it can be hard to judge what is right or wrong.

This article focuses on five common stressors in sales, and how to identify them.

Working in sales can be really stressful, gut-wrenching and soul-destroying.

In any case, it can be a lucrative and rewarding career path. I’ll talk more about that in another post.

Most of you reading this post will have a lot on your plate. Its hard to get out of bed in the morning and even harder to sleep well at night.

I hope this article helps you in some way.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

5 Strategies to Kill Sales Stress

1) Stressor: Sales targets, KPIs, and Quotas

Sales quotas are a tough topic, but it’s something we all have to deal with.

Sales targets are the most influential factor in determining success, even if they’re based on faulty logic. The pressure of these numbers can be overwhelming for sales professionals.

Strategy: Get a seat at the table

My advice is to have a seat at the table when your sales target is being decided or, if not possible, try and get some input into it. The more research you can do beforehand will help in influencing the final decision.

If you want to be successful, dont just rely on luck. Analyze the industry trends and speak with current customers.

When doing your sales quota, you should take into account the size of your target market and how many customers are in that area. The industry vertical or product you’re selling will also affect what kind of quotas to set.

 

2) Stressor: Lack of autonomy

There are many things outside of our control when it comes to being a salesperson. For example, the territory you’re assigned to or how much access you havedon’t have within your company can be out of your hands.

The last thing I worried about was why we won or lost a deal after it had been pitched. This used to keep me up at night, so in 2011, when I quit my lucrative sales job and set up my own company.

Strategy: The truth will set you free

A lot of people forget to debrief the customer and ask for their feedback after a sale. I always do this because it’s important to know how your customers feel about your productservice.

Heres an example of what you can learn if you take the time to listen and do some research. Let’s explore why we lose big deals, through our customers’ eyes: -We don’t know how we compare in pricing with other companies (we need to provide a list that includes competitors) -They didn’t like the customer service they received from us (give them better training for this area) -Outstanding invoices were not paid on time (set up automatic payments system).

high pressure sales jobs

If youve been in sales for awhile, you won’t be surprised by the image. It will give a few reminders of what not to do though.

Now let’s look into what it is that we do well and why customers like us, again from the perspective of our customers.

high pressure sales jobs

3) Stressor: Lack of job security

The saying “you’re only as good as your last quarter” goes back to when I first started in sales.

It’s a common misconception that salespeople have job security. In reality, it is measured by months or quarters.

Strategy: Invest in the brand called You

My dad taught me a lesson when I was in my early twenties that took many years to fully understand.

First and foremost, I should be loyal to myself. He said that were all resources in the businesses in which we work – valuable yet dispensable.

Now I understand how wise my dad was and that he really did know what he was talking about.

Building a sustainable career and providing for your family can be stressful, but it’s not impossible.

I learned in the book Rebirth of the Salesman, that customers value salespeople with certain skills.

high pressure sales jobs

4) Stressor: The rapid change in the sales industry

As in many other industries, the world of B2B sales has shifted on its axis and this shift was sudden. The balance of power now lies with buyers rather than sellers.

In the last decade, weve seen a lot of progress in terms of diversity and inclusion:

  • The buyer is the one who should beware, and not just of those selling.
  • Products that can be touched versus products you just use.
  • From complicated to easy.
  • Product-led to outcome-led.
  • The idea is really to have money now but value later.

Strategy: Dont get disrupted

Old sales skills are useless, new ones will take their place.

Here are some of the ways to increase diversity in your workplace environment: -Target diverse job candidates who may not have been on your radar before. -Create a more inclusive interview process that includes questions about what it is like for this candidate to be their racegendersexuality at work. This will help you understand how they experience inclusion and identify where there might need to be changes made, such as language used by management or training programs offered. -Offer targeted benefits packages tailored specifically towards people from underrepresented backgrounds so they can feel included and know these things were designed with them in mind.

  • Social media is a great way to communicate with your customers and engage them in the conversation. It can’t replace emails, phone calls or face-to-face interactions.
  • If you don’t have any expertise or specialty, then share content that is relevant to your company.
  • In order to get attention from prospective customers, give away a small amount of your product for free in the hope that they will value it and reciprocate with their interest.
  • It is your responsibility to maintain a positive personal and professional brand.

5) Stressor: The need to compromise your ideals just to succeed in sales

In his book, Daniel Pink gives a great exercise to the public. He asks them what their first word is when they hear sales or salesperson.

He then took the responses he received and made them into a word cloud. The size of each word is based on how many times that answer was given by survey respondents.

With no sales, the whole economy would come to a halt.

Strategy: Lead with purpose, not product and price

C.S Lewis said, integrity is doing the right thing even when no one else can see it and in sales, your reputation will follow you throughout your career. The best way to maintain integrity while still getting what you want out of a sale is by being very clear on your values.

This way, when a:

  • When a manager asks you to push for an order when its clear the customer is not ready, your conviction will help give you the courage to refuse.
  • Youll have the strength of character to call them out if they don’t pay you on a deal because it closed too easily.
  • When a customer asks for something in return, like buying them an item or paying their bill if they make the purchase with you instead of another store, it’s time to get out of there.

Honorable Mentions of Other (Funny) Sales Stress-inducing Situation

Impostor syndrome

That feeling when we know without a doubt that this job is not for us.

One of the best things is to not let it define who you are or what you do.

Compliance, admin, and internal politics

When you first start in sales, it’s easy to think that selling stuff is where the most stress comes from. But after a while, you realize there are other things out there too.

The real stress for salespeople is the internal selling that they have to do inside their own company.

The most important thing to do is build strong relationships internally, and overcommunicate with your stakeholders. Forecast as accurately as possible without getting too caught up in office politics.

The lure of the lifestyle

An old sales leader I knew, told me his favorite type of salesman was someone who had been married and divorced multiple times. This would mean that they needed to make a lot of money each year just for basic living expenses.

He knew how committed they were because he could always make a request and get what he wanted in return.

It may sound boring, but it’s important to create a buffer for yourself by not assuming every month will be equally lucrative.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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