Sales is a high-pressure business. It’s always been that way. But simply stated, too much pressure and stress can derail even the best sales process. Fortunately, there are many ways managers can turn down the heat of stressful sales environments.
Let’s take a look at tools, approaches and best practices that sales managers can use to relieve part of the relentless, non-productive type of pressure that sales reps face every day.
Here are five ways to relieve sales rep stress:
1. Make training and coaching the anchor of your sales program
Placing a high priority on training and coaching is the best way to reduce performance pressure and drive results. Training gives sales reps the skills and knowledge they need to build confidence and handle themselves well under all circumstances. Coaching gives you endless opportunities to reinforce what they learned in training, prevent bad habits and provide vital feedback.
2. Use the latest tech and tools
The perennial sales rep question, “How am I doing?” has always been a potential source of stress. It’s a good thing that modern software can give you and your team the answer. Real-time sales tracking software lets you observe performance trends and provide your team with ongoing feedback. It’s just what you need to help them make quick adjustments to their performance before they develop bad habits or lose their confidence.
3. Remove distractions from selling
Poor time management increases reps’ chances of not meeting quotas, which significantly contributes to stress. Help your team be productive with their time by getting rid of tasks that don’t directly drive revenue. To do that of course, you need clearly defined performance goals. With clearly aligned goals, you can quickly review how your team uses their time. If an activity or task doesn’t support these goals, you can change it or drop it.
4. Lead rather than manage
Lessening your emphasis on numbers is a sure pressure-reliever. Many sales managers rely solely on metrics and deadlines to drive performance. You don’t have to stop measuring, but you can do better by making sure you’re also connecting with your reps on an individual, person-to-person basis. Coaching is just one of many ways to teach, motivate and reward them on the personal level.
5. Celebrate your team’s success
Another great way to dispel some of the pressure is to reward success. You know that, of course. But the trick is to do it often and loudly for wins large and small. There’s nothing like a “party” to give everyone a boost.