What is burnout and why do so many sales professionals experience it?
According to an article from verywellmind, burnout was coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. Since then, burnout is defined as:
“A reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feeling of reduced professional ability.”
Additional signs of burnout include alienation from work-related activities, physical symptoms, emotional exhaustion, and reduced performance.
Due to the many responsibilities and high demands, sales can be a stress-inducing career. The job requires multiple tasks such as prospecting, scheduling meetings, running meetings, calling, emailing, and more importantly, month after month, the expectation to reach sales goals. If that wasn’t enough, sales professionals also deal with a lot of rejection. A Bridge Group report states that the average salesperson turnover rate is 34%, with “involuntary turnover rate up nearly two-thirds of that number”.
In order to decrease that percentage, sales professionals and managers need to take action. Alleviate work pressure with these helpful tips below.
Find a mentor or coach
Since burnout is common in sales, reaching out to a trusted colleague or manager for support can help. Sometimes you just need to vent, and having someone who knows what you’re experiencing makes it easier. It’s likely that they have experienced burnout and can empathize and advise you on what to do.
Switch up your sales’s process
Call, email, and repeat. The lack of personality in your sales process can cause someone to feel, well, bored. Instead of sending content for the sake of sending something, create a message that effective and memorable. Use platforms like video to express your personality and put a face to the name. Don’t get stuck in a process that’s not beneficial for you or the recipient. Change your day-to-day routine with a platform that’s feels better for you and the recipient.
Take a break!
A mini break can help you get refocused. Whether this is a short walk around the office building during lunch or couple of days off, a break can help you realign your mind. According to Psychology Today “taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative.” Prevent getting burnout at work by taking a daily break or asking for time off when it’s needed.
Engagement, is it good or bad?
Engagement can be a catch 22. Employers want engaged employees because it increases work satisfaction. On the other hand, too much engagement can cause employees to feel stressed out. Take a moment to reflect. Do you enjoy working? Are you generating new ideas? Don’t worry if your answers are nos. Identifying what the problem is can help you resolve it faster. Schedule a meeting with a manager right away.
Get more sleep!
There may be other factors besides work that keep you up at night. If you are dealing with more than you can take on, don’t overlook your sleeping schedule. Typically, getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is recommended, but everyone’s body operates differently. Getting the right amount of sleep for you will help decrease stress in your daily life, and increase your work productivity.
Remember, Burnout Is Reversible!
Sales burnout is serious, but it’s not going to last forever. The faster you take action the faster you can avoid or reverse burnout. Set some time to talk to a co-worker or manager about your experience at work. If you feel like you are irritable and unhappy at work take a moment to reflect on your sales approach and the communication platforms you use. Sometimes a little bit of change in your day-to-day process is all you need. For example, video email allows you to add some personality to your prospecting process. Here’s some ideas to get you started!
Lastly, disengage from work and treat yourself to a nice break. Avoiding burnout means taking some time to help yourself.
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