If you’re a sales manager, we understand that you manage a team that constantly works under high pressure. Every time you set an ambitious goal or create a competitive environment for you team, you trigger stress – that is both helpful and hurtful. When harnessed, the stress helps your team members push themselves to reach their full potential, bringing better results. But when it becomes too frequent and goes out of control, your sales reps shed a silent tear – “Help! My job is killing me.”
As a sales manager, you have to help your team deal with the stress. Here are five things you could do:
Set smart goals: Don’t set unrealistic sales targets just because you want to show drastic growth in revenue. Missed targets only increases fear of failure and squashes motivation. So, before setting sales targets analyse sales history, territory performance, competition, and current market trends.
Break big targets into small weekly achievable targets to build confidence with incremental wins.
Set sales targets that are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time driven. Use the following template to set your SMART goals:
Coach selling skills: Effective sales coaching helps reduce stress by helping sales reps develop the skills, knowledge, and strategies that improve sales results. A recent research by the Sales Executive Council has revealed that sales reps who received quality coaching improved sales performance up to 19%! So, make sales coaching a part of your daily or weekly routine.
You can get started by reviewing sales call with your sales reps and discussing what went well and where they could improve. Hold regular meetings to create action plans that helps your reps achieve sales objectives. Ask questions to dig deeper into the current issues and provide constructive feedback.
Be accessible: Sales teams do not work in vacuum. Sometimes, just talking out loud about things that are worrying someone helps them get clarity. So, it’s important that you encourage candid conversations to discover the true causes of the stress your team members are feeling.
There are many ways to create a safe environment for your team members to communicate regularly and honestly. Start by rewarding people who share their mistakes or ask questions, no matter how trivial. Listen to your team members’ concerns and be non-judgemental when replying. Cathy Reisenwitz, in her blog, insists that a manager should listen to their team members’ feedback on how they like to be managed better.
Empower with tools: Enable your sales team with tools that makes selling easy. A CRM system such as Vtiger is one such tool that helps alleviate sales stress.
Using a CRM system can help reduce stress caused by lack of transparency in sales activities, poor collaboration, time wasted on searching customer information and completing mundane tasks. With a CRM system in place, your sales team always knows who is working on which account – eliminating any account handling conflicts. You can also set up workflows to automatically pull data into CRM and automate several repetitive manual tasks – free up time to get more important things done. And because a CRM system acts as a single source of truth for all your customer information, your sales reps are not frustrated by time consuming searches.
Recognize and appreciate effort: Appreciating your sales rep for a job well done or recognizing the efforts your sales rep put in on a deal that was lost at the last stage helps alleviate stress by cultivating a positive work environment.
You can show appreciation for your sales rep’s hard work in many ways. Here are a few ideas:
- Appreciation letter: Posting a handwritten note brings an instant smile on your rep’s face.
- Team out: Take your team on a lunch or a game to break internal tension and build team bonds.
- Gift vouchers: Gift gym or spa vouchers to cool off work pressure.
We hope these simple suggestions help you in creating a happy and conducive work environment for your team. We are curious to learn about what you do to help your sales team cope with stress? Let us know in the comments section.