Though sales can be a very rewarding field, most sales jobs are fast-paced and high-pressure, and no amount of sales career advice can prepare bright-eyed new sales reps for the frustration, exhaustion and dissatisfaction that comes with burnout.
It’s possible for good sales managers to nip sales burnout in the bud, but only if they know what to look for and how to create an environment that prevents it from occurring.
How to Identify Burnout in Sales Reps
There are several signs that managers should always be on the look for. One of the main indicators is a slump in sales numbers. It could be a sign that a rep is having a tough week, but if it continues, it might be time to pull them aside and give them some sales career advice.
Managers should also pay attention to how sales reps respond to hearing their numbers. A sales person at their peak will usually watch the numbers closely to track their own success. A sales person facing burnout will leave performance emails unopened and may not check their messages at all.
Responses to the numbers can be connected to sudden attitude changes, which can be a sign of trouble too. When reps get stressed, they’ll typically display less enthusiasm and get distracted easily. If managers notice that an employee suddenly seems to have a negative attitude about products, clients or their job, it’s probably a sign that they’re burning out.
In addition to changing attitudes, look for changes in routines. If a rep seems to be relying on existing customers rather than reaching out to new leads, or wasting a lot of time on activities that aren’t sales related, they’re probably nearing burnout.
So what can a sales manager do when they identify these employees?
How to Protect Employees from Burnout
The best burnout prevention methods are proactive. Try to break up the sales team and process so that employees are matched to jobs that suit their skills. For instance, don’t use the best cold caller to close deals, and vice versa. Put people where they excel and it should have positive results.
If a sales manager still detects burnout, they can try moving a rep around to a new product or department to help them get a fresh start. Sometimes a change of pace is all a sales person needs to get going again.
Sales managers should also make sure their reps always have access to sales career advice so they can see where their current job can take them. These measures can help reduce turnover and keep a sales team strong.