How to Avoid Burnout in Sales

There’s no doubt that 2021 has been a challenging year filled with burnout for many professionals working in the sales world. With remote work and pandemic stress contributing to a lack of work/life boundaries, it’s no wonder sales burnout is a common issue that reps are facing going into the new year.

Luckily, burnout doesn’t need to be the end result of a busy year. There are plenty of strategies to minimize burnout and continue to have a healthy and productive 2022.

What Causes Burnout?

Sometimes, sales burnout feels like a surprise attack. One day you’re staying on top of work and getting things done, and the next you find yourself unmotivated and uninspired. But sales burnout is typically the culmination of months of unhealthy work/life boundaries and unsustainable scheduling.

But why does sales burnout happen?

On Call 24/7

One of the leading causes of sales burnout is feeling like you’re constantly “on the job.” A work-from-home environment heightens this experience by lessening natural work/life boundaries that occur when you commute into an office.

Additionally, receiving work notifications on your mobile devices contributes to the feeling that you can be reached at any moment to discuss work-related issues. Without healthy boundaries, it may feel like work is disproportionately consuming your time and energy.

Unrealistic Expectations

Another contributing factor to sales burnout is feeling like you’re always one step behind in meeting goals and expectations. If you set an unrealistic daily to-do list, you’ll end up feeling like you’ve failed if you don’t complete every item. This sense of constant frustration makes you feel ineffectual, which leads to burnout and exhaustion.

How Do You Identify Burnout in Sales Teams?

Burnout in the workplace looks different for everyone. Some workers experience burnout as physical exhaustion while others may notice mental strain.

Some common signs of burnout include:

  • Exhaustion: feeling physically tired and unmotivated is a tell-tale sign of burnout.
  • Lack of Focus: trouble focusing on tasks and completing work.
  • Frustration: having a “short fuse” and becoming irritable quickly.
  • Pessimism: experiencing a persistent pessimistic attitude.
  • Lack of Faith: a sense of hopelessness and lack of certainty that tasks will be completed.

Remember, the first step to combatting burnout is to recognize the signs when they appear in your life. Once you understand how a lack of work/life balance influences your overall wellbeing, then you can determine the best way to remedy the situation based on your individual needs.

Ways to Prevent Burnout

As they say in the medical community, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The more you can be proactive and prevent burnout from occurring in the first place, the better off you’ll be in the long run. As we’ve established, burnout most often occurs when there’s a lack of work/life boundaries and unrealistic expectations to complete work.

Make a Plan

Create a thorough and detailed plan for your work every day. Breaking large tasks into small component parts makes work feel more manageable, and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you check off each item on your to-do list. Remember to keep your plan realistic and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Stick to a Structure

Think of your structure as a framework that encapsulates your plan. Your structure should include things like making breakfast, going for a run, completing administrative tasks, holding a virtual meeting, making lunch etc. Your structure is the general outline you use to determine the flow of your workday. Once you have an established structure, you can fill in the details with the daily tasks you need to complete.

Reach Out to Others

Remember, you don’t need to go it alone. Burnout leaves you feeling isolated and unsupported, so it’s important to reach out to your support network for help. Reach out to friends to discuss how work has been challenging, and schedule one-on-one meetings with your supervisors to discuss strategies and support moving forward. Although it might feel difficult to admit you need help, looping other people in will help ease your burden.

Be Patient with Yourself

Finally, remember that it’s okay to feel burnout. 2021 has been an exceptionally stressful year, and you’re not alone in feeling exhausted from the constant pandemic-related stress and lack of work/life balance. Just remember that taking care of yourself is part of becoming a productive team member in your professional life and at home.

Ease the Load of Burnout in Sales with Acquirent

You don’t need to do everything on your own. When you work with an outsourced sales development company, you delegate some daily tasks to others while still achieving quality results. At Acquirent, we pride ourselves in catering to each client’s needs to develop effective and inspired sales teams. Let go of your stress and contact Acquirent today for a consultation.