I really enjoy what I do. I love being in a quota-carrying sales position, just love it. Like many, I recognize that being a sales professional can be a huge thrill, emotionally satisfying and financially rewarding. That aside, I get to speak with and educate some of the most innovative sales and marketing leaders in the world. I’m collaborating with multiple teams and helping companies solve critical business problems (or sometimes even health problems), fix their sales performance pains, achieve their goals and create significant success.
From all these positives, there are many challenges in the life of a sales professional. Any of these sound familiar? Prospecting rejections. Forecast misses. Tight deadlines. Challenging territories. Unsatisfied customers. Sales Swings. Juggling multiple projects. Sales Stress? Yes, sales stress. This can be a very real thing for many.
And it has some very real influence on your sales performance. Sales stress can change how you communicate to your clients or colleagues. Sales stress can significantly impact your monthly ACV (Annual Contract Value) number. Sales stress can make you lose focus and make very impactful errors or mistakes (emailing company with the wrong company name or business challenges…whoopsy!).
The good news is that those who implement certain exercises to cope with stress, can keep it from impacting sales performance.
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Don’t Let Stress Hurt Sales Performance.
1. Focus on the positive.
Sometimes when people are feeling stress and anxiety at work, it’s because they are focusing on the negative. Try focusing on all the positives from your day or week, both professionally and personally. Your family. Your kids. Your health. The parts of your sales performance that you’re proud of, like how many new SQLs you found via LinkedIn or how many opportunities you have progressed to your company’s most critical sales stage. Before going to bed at night, think about three good things that happened that day and reflect on what you did specifically to make those good things happen.
2. Find a mentor.
Whether this person works for your company or is a family member, seek out the advice and experience of those who have a wealth of experience and knowledge. The right mentor or personal coach can provide you with suggestions and challenges to help improve your work and life experiences.
I really won’t do this one justice. This is one of the biggest parts of my life. Living a healthy lifestyle and completing some form of exercise on a daily basis can be a major stress killer. Some of my biggest aha moments or ideas came to me while running through the mean streets of Windsor, Ontario.
4. Get some you time.
I am a big fan of taking a break for some personal YOU time. This helps reduce any potential stressful situations or that all-too-familiar burnout feeling. Try walking around your work building or jamming out to music while catching up on administrative responsibilities. Music suggestions? Try downloading Songza. One of my favorite app finds hands down.
5. Ask for help.
If you’re feeling stressed, chances are someone you know has been there multiple times. Reach out to your network. If it makes sense, start a discussion on LinkedIn or within your industry association. You don’t have to figure it out all by yourself. Gather up the company gang, order some food and talk through best practices for improving sales performance around whatever issues you’re facing.
6. Slow down & breathe.
When you’re preparing for a week of killer sales performance — whether that includes getting your mind right for targeted prospecting, dealing with an unhappy customer or drafting an on-site presentation for an executive team — take a moment to slow down, gather your composure and breathe. Take deep, slow breaths. Control your breathing, and you will control your nerves.
Whether you just accepted your first sales position or are a seasoned sales executive for the past 25 years, stress can find its way to you sooner or later. You are not alone. It’s critical for your career, sales performance and, most importantly, your health that you mitigate the amount of stress in your life.