Avoid Sales Burnout: 3 Tips for Helping Reps
1) Build a Culture of Learning and Teaching
As much as you need your salespeople to sell, Keenan says they should be doing it in the context of teaching and educating the customer — providing solutions that change their focus and allow them to see the value in your product. Salespeople can’t do that unless they’re taking time to learn about their market, industry, and product.
So, rather than asking your team to focus solely on prospecting and quota attainment, Keenan says you should encourage them to take an hour of their day to read a book about new sales methodologies or learn about the solution they’re selling.
“As salespeople learn, they’ll grow professionally and they’ll feel re-energized,” Keenan says. “And that will make the time they do spend prospecting and closing much more powerful.”
2) Put the Customer’s Needs Front and Center
By encouraging your salespeople to more deeply explore customers’ needs, pain points, and impediments, they will naturally develop a better understanding of those buyers and will be much more prepared to sell to them. Naturally, that will make it easier to hit the numbers that so many companies are obsessed with, Keenan says.
“Salespeople shouldn’t spend all of their time cold calling or drafting proposals,” Keenan explains. “They should also spend time in the customer’s world — reading blogs that matter to their buyers, visiting forums that their customers post to, digesting content that matters to their customers. That will provide critical context and make the process of selling much simpler and more genuine.”
3) Set Aside Time for Feedback and Idea Sharing
When things are going badly for salespeople, their tendency is to feel like they’re the only ones struggling. Typically, that’s not the case. That’s why Keenan suggests providing forums or mediums for team feedback, commiseration, and idea sharing. By doing that, you can let salespeople blow off some steam, gather fresh ideas from their peers, and create a plan for addressing their problems.
“That can be accomplished with something as simple as a brown bag group lunch or a brainstorming session over morning coffee, but the idea is to encourage your reps to take a step back and reflect,” Keenan says. “Maybe they spend an hour learning about a creative new solution, or maybe it’s a super-productive meeting about a new sales strategy. Either way, it will break things up and continue to foster that culture of education.”
Those ideas, Keenan says, encompass a more tactical approach. A more strategic approach would be to establish an ongoing coaching cadence to address potential issues that could cause sales burnout and tackle them proactively.