Sales Job Pressure? Look Beyond Sales For Relief

BY Jessica Helinski
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The sales industry is highly competitive and often, reps struggle with the strain of sales job pressure. Finding a balance to the constant demands from sales can be difficult, but those who don’t get a reprieve can suffer both professionally and personally. 

SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep study revealed that more than one-​third of sellers say that reps must have the ability to manage stress in order to be successful. 

Unfortunately, not all sellers are equipped with the knowledge of how to manage stress, which leads to poor performance and burnout. And they are suffering. 

Nearly 60% of sales professionals say they have mental health challenges,” writes SalesFuel’s Kathy Crosett

Embrace these non-​sales habits to relieve sales job pressure

You could be the most skilled salesperson in the world,” writes Paul Petrone for LinkedIn. “But, if you have poor habits outside of work, your performance is going to suffer. More importantly, so will your happiness…rather than focusing on the bad habits (we all know what ours are), what are the good ones? What are the ones worth building that’ll help you take your sales game – and your happiness – to the next level?”

Petrone shares non-​sales habits of fellow salespeople that help manage stress and nurture a healthy mindset. Sellers may not realize that healthy habits outside of work can have a major impact on their sales success; Petrone hopes that highlighting others’ methods of finding peace can help and inspire.

Find quiet.

He points out that among the sales professionals he interviewed, taking time to find quiet is the most common method used to alleviate stress. Whether that be meditation, prayer or taking time to focus on your breathing, setting aside a moment to quiet the mind and body helps. While many are quick to dismiss this small habit, research backs up its effectiveness. As HubSpot’s Jordan Benjamin reports, “It takes some time to see the benefits, but studies have shown that after a week of as little as five to 10 minutes of daily meditation, there are benefits to brain functionality and growth of gray matter in the brain.”

Take action by scheduling time, even just five minutes, to stop and quiet your mind. The more you do this, the more likely it will be to become a habit. And when done habitually, the beneficial effects really kick in and you will find it impacts your sales job pressure.

If you’re interested in how breathwork can settle your mind and body, check out this episode from the Manage Smarter podcast. Dr. Kathy Gruver guides listeners through a simple breathing exercise that is easy for beginners and effective. 

Regardless of your bent, there’s been no shortage of studies on the benefit of intentional quiet time, whether it be meditation or prayer,” Petrone adds. “We heard that come up often in the interviews we’ve done with top performers.”

Other actions to take for a well-​rounded approach

Many other simple, easy-​to-​implement habits came up in Petrone’s interviews. Top performers shared even more ways that they personally handle sales job pressure:

  • Physical exercise, which strengthens the body and inevitably, positively impacts the mind.
  • Assuming positive intent. This mindset helps sellers avoid taking a combative, threatened approach to a situation. Coming from a place of positivity is not only less stress-​inducing but more conducive to maintaining relationships.
  • Embrace a hobby, no matter how small. As Petrone explains, “Perspective is so critical in any job; it gives you peace, focus, and gratefulness. But it’s hard to achieve that perspective if you are only in the river of sales all day long.”

And one of the most important actions is to seek help if your sales job pressure becomes too difficult to manage. There is no shame in asking for help, whether it be from a boss, colleague, family member, or mental health professional. As I previously wrote, “Not everyone is comfortable asking for help. But, being able to reach out to a coworker or boss for assistance is necessary for a salesperson’s professional development. It’s time to get over the doubts and discomfort. For guidance on being more comfortable asking for help, consider this advice

Looking outside of sales to improve selling simply makes sense. The more you can nurture yourself in other ways, the healthier, and inevitably, successful you will be.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw