Sales Burnout Is Real: How to Keep It At Bay

BY Jessica Helinski
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No one wants to be hit with sales burnout. Unfortunately, many reps miss the warning signs before it’s too late and find themselves deep in its throes. In a Sales Hacker article, Don Erwin discusses the topic of sales burnout, how reps can identify symptoms and what they can do about it.

How can you tell if you’ve reached the point of being burned out? There are six primary indicators, according to Erwin, and they include: 

  • Feeling tired despite getting adequate sleep
  • Everything feels difficult, even the smallest task
  • You have trouble focusing
  • Your temper is increasingly short
  • You don’t believe in yourself

If any (or all) of those describe your current state, you may be on the path to burning out. Luckily, Erwin has some expert advice to get out of a funk. He offers a way to structure your days so that you can get back on track.

First, create a plan of attack. Having a general structure to your day will help you stay within the guidelines of what you should be doing, based on goals and time. Plus, having an action plan will help you keep on course in the event of any challenges that may pop up. Also, as Erwin points out, “structure is also crucial for when you’re feeling like you don’t get enough done. You can point at your day and say, “Hey, I did that,” beyond the sales goals that you just have to follow for work.”

When you’re planning your days, be mindful. Plan certain tasks to complement others, and if you have a strenuous week ahead, make sure to cut yourself some slack in other areas. Save enough time and energy by not double-​booking at all (not even a 15-​minute overlap!). This will stop you from multitasking and inevitably feeling overwhelmed. 

Another tip is to actively seek a mentor and, ultimately, self-​improvement. You should never go it alone in sales, despite the prevalent “lone wolf” mentality in the industry. Find someone, in or outside your company, to confide in and who will give you guidance and constructive criticism. “Sales burnout can come for you even when you’re doing well, so keep an active dialogue with them during the good times and the bad,” he explains. “If you’re feeling exhausted, they’ll have advice, and absolutely have faced it too.” These valuable resources can talk you through tough times to prevent burnout, as well as help you refocus and recoup if burnout does happen. 

Read all of Erwin’s advice in his article that also includes additional resources to prevent and deal with burnout. As he concludes, “Sales burnout is a powerful, painful and real experience that’s only compounded by careers that require us to always be on the ball.” Take control of your own time and actions to combat this very real issue.