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Burnout is a state of emotional and mental distress which can often manifest itself in physical symptoms. It is generally caused by repetitive exposure to stressors, often over a long period of time.

Why do sales staff get burnout?

Sales is an inherently competitive environment in which only the best salespeople succeed. In pursuing leads, closing deals, and maintaining customer relationships, the pressure is significant and ongoing.

Tech is constantly changing, and SaaS salespeople need to keep pace with the latest developments, both in their own firm’s offerings and those of the competition.

Internal competition is another factor. Most salespeople are in direct competition with each other to close the most leads and generate the most revenue. Where most teams in an organisation work in a mutually supportive environment based upon trust, the opposite can be true in sales teams. As a result, very often stressed salespeople have nobody to turn to when they need help.

How do you know if your staff are approaching burnout?

Many organisations only realise that a staff member may be burned out when they either request absence due to stress – or resign. Clearly, this is not acceptable.

There are a number of key indicators if you know what to look for. Routine absences, visible tiredness, negativity, stressful interactions with co-workers and declining sales performance are all warning signs.

You need to have early conversations about workload, mental health and further training or support with your sales team long before any of them begin to exhibit signs of burnout.

How can you avoid sales burnout?

Whilst it is important to recognise sales burnout in your staff, it is even more important to put in place a workplace culture designed to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Your team should experience a clear separation between work and their personal lives. Create a culture where work only happens outside of business hours by special agreement and ensure that your team are not routinely bombarded with emails and calls when they are off duty.

Encourage everyone to take regular breaks and set them realistic goals. Striving to achieve the impossible is absolutely demoralising so make sure that their workload and sales targets are challenging but manageable.

Assigning mentors is a good move. They don’t necessarily have to be hands-on but can be present if they are needed. Providing sales staff with the appropriate technology to do their jobs is also critical. Struggling with difficult systems is counterproductive and stressful when working to challenging targets.

Finally, regular performance feedback (even if staff are doing well) will help to keep every team member motivated and feeling valued.

If you need support in filling SaaS sales vacancies or assistance with adjusting your firm’s culture and working environment to keep your team happy, healthy and motivated, then we can help. As a specialist talent solution partner, we can offer you a range of tools, our experience and access to trained and dedicated SaaS salespeople to really get your business moving.

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