I really enjoy what I do every day. I love being held accountable in a quota-carrying sales position with the ability to impact a fast and growing company in Detroit.
Although being a modern sales professional requires a tremendous amount of effort, it is also a huge thrill, emotionally satisfying and financially rewarding. Like many of my colleagues, I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate and educate some of the most innovative sales leaders in the world. I’m also committed to helping organizations solve critical business problems (or sometimes even health problems), fixing their sales performance pains and achieving their goals.
Within these positive aspects of the job, many challenges exist in the life of a modern sales professional or sales team. Any of these sound familiar?
- Prospecting rejections
- Forecast misses
- Tight deadlines
- Challenging territories
- Unsatisfied customers
- Sales swings
- Juggling multiple projects and deployments
These challenges can be a very real thing for many, especially when it comes to sales performance. Sales stress can change how you communicate with your buyers, clients, and colleagues. It can significantly impact your monthly, quarterly or annual quota. Moreover, it can cause you to lose focus of the meaningful leading inputs that impact your quota number.
The good news is that those who implement certain routines, cadences and exercises to cope with stress can keep it from hurting their sales performance.
6 Ways to Beat Sales Stress
1. Focus on the positive
Dwelling on the negative can lead to high stress. Try identifying the positives from your day or week, both professionally and personally. Think about your family, your kids or your health. Think about the parts of your sales performance that you’re proud of, like how many new & qualified opportunities you have generated via LinkedIn or how many opportunities you have progressed to your company’s most critical sales stage. Before going to bed at night, reflect on your day and think about three positive things that happened.
2. Find a mentor
Whether this person works for your company or not, seek out the advice and experience of those who have a wealth of experience and knowledge. This person for me was my Uncle Steve. The right mentor or personal coach can provide you with suggestions to improve your work, life experiences and alternate perspectives to challenging situations.
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 completing a difficult workout session or running through the mean streets of Windsor and Ontario. If you don’t have a ton of time, check out some at-home DVD workouts. I’ve just started Beachbody’s INSANITY: THE ASYLUM. It’s just awesome!
4. Make sure to carve out some “you” time
I am a big fan of taking a break for some personal time. This helps reduce that all too familiar burntout feeling. Try walking around your work building or jamming out to music while catching up on administrative responsibilities. Music suggestions? Try downloading Spotify. It’s one of my favorite music technologies. My go-to playlist includes Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, The Stones, Bon Iver and even some Jimmy Buffett.
5. Ask for help
If you’re feeling stressed or burnt out, chances are someone you know has been there before. 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 your family, friends, other sales professionals, grab an early morning coffee and talk through best practices for improving your sales performance. Sometimes, all you need is another opinion or an extra set of ears to help you get back to being a top performer.
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.