1. STRESSOR: QUOTAIt’s not easy to choose the perfect sales quota that will make both management and sales reps happy. Sales targets can come to define your success or failure as a sales professional, but what can you really do to reduce the stress of these all important numbers?
STRATEGYRemember a sales quota doesn’t exist in isolation. The size of your target market, the mix of customers, prospects, the industry, and the product you are selling, all have an impact on your success. That said, realistic quotas need to be set to each individual. And most importantly, each salesperson must have a say in their sales target when it is being set with – not by – your sales manager.
2. STRESSOR: LACK OF CONTROLThere are so many things outside our control as sales professionals, it can sometimes seem overwhelming. That often includes factors like the sales territory you’re assigned to, or how much access you get to internal resources, or perhaps the flow of new leads. STRATEGY When it comes to relinquishing the reins, it’s easier said than done. When it comes to thriving in sales, you need to be more flexible and adapt. You must welcome change and embrace the unknown. As much as we may want to control all aspects of our lives, there are plenty of things that are completely out of our control. This also applies to your sales pipeline. Recognizing what you can and can’t control helps combat stress and provides a sense of purpose. If something is in your control, you can work at maintaining, fixing, or improving that aspect of the sales process. If it’s out of your control, work hard to move past it. Knowing what’s in your control also improves your decisiveness. That is, you can make decisions quickly and effectively because you’re better able to prioritise the things you can actually do something about.
3. STRESSOR: JOB INSECURITYThe days of the “job for life” are pretty much over. Not many people currently aged under 50 will go through their working lives with only one employer, or even just two or three. Continuous, secure employment with one organisation is increasingly difficult to find, particularly if you’re new to the job market. There are many factors that threaten job security. They include globalization, outsourcing, downsizing, recession, new technology, and most recently, a pandemic.
STRATEGYFirst and foremost, you need to invest your own brand. Having a personal brand allows your prospects to build a stronger connection with you. It gives them something to connect with and also trust. Creating a personal brand is incredible way of creating positive impact on the people you meet, and a lasting one. It also gives you the opportunity of reaching your customers’ needs on a deeper, more meaningful level.
4. STRESSOR: BALANCING THE SHORT AND LONG TERMSales is all about, well, sales! But when the majority of your ‘worth’ at work is calculated based on last quarter’s revenue-to-quota performance, it can feel like you’re on a treadmill to constantly perform. Every quarter is important, and every quarter the quota increases. But here’s the clencher – you still have the same amount of time in a day to do the job. Balancing the short term goal with the long term goal is very hard. But done right, it is the difference between an average salesperson, and a sales superstar. STRATEGY To continue being successful, month after month, as a strong salesperson you need to be consistently developing new leads for the next period. That is, while still closing sales opportunities that are happening right now. It’s a fine balancing act between short term and long term goals. That said, having a plan in place for how you will develop new opportunities and manage existing deals is critical. And it starts with having a strong pipeline management process in place.
5. STRESSOR: COMPLIANCE, ADMIN, INTERNAL POLITICSWhen you first move into a sales position, you think that that the selling part is where most of the stress is. How quickly we learn otherwise! Hardened sales pros know that the real stress is the internal selling. The backend data entry. The politics and toing and froing behind the scenes.
STRATEGYBuild strong internal relationships and over-communicate with key stakeholders. Additionally, forecast as accurately as you possibly can. And where possible, stay well away from office politics. That is, in favour of time connecting with your customers.
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