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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Tips to Help Prevent Burnout in Salespeople

prevent-salesperson-burnoutLast year, Harvard Business Review estimated the turnover in salespeople to be around 27%. In an industry that’s seeing almost double the turnover rate than the overall labor force, it’s essential for managers and leaders to not only know how to recruit great talent that’s an excellent fit for your team, but also how to retain sales talent and improve their performance over the years. 

To maintain your sales team’s selling power and retain all-star talent, it’s vital that you learn to identify and address burnout before it becomes a problem. We’ve asked our team to share a few ways to prevent seller burnout.

5 Tips to Help Prevent Burnout in Salespeople

1. Hire the "Right" People for the "Right" Job

Burnout often occurs with salespeople because we've hired someone who doesn't fit the actual job description, category, or culture of an organization. Too often, we are so desperate to find a body to fill a desk that we don't take the time to evaluate if this person is the right fit for the actual position that we are needing to fill. If they are the wrong fit, they will exhaust a lot of energy trying to find how to fit the role or organization, instead of focusing on generating new revenue.

-Trey Morris, Senior Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy

2. Match Talent to Task

The best way to prevent burnout is to put the right people in the right jobs, matching talent to task. When we use our strengths on a regular basis, we feel strong! Even after a long and tiring day, if we are using our innate abilities, we still feel energized and engaged. On the other hand, when our work requires us to lean heavily on our weaknesses and do things that don’t come naturally, at the end of the day we feel weak, tired, and disengaged. Burned out. Align your people with responsibilities that allow them to do what they do best, and you will find that burn out is no longer an issue!

-Beth Sunshine, VP/Talent Services at The Center for Sales Strategy

3. Offer Regular and Consistent Training

When you are unprepared for a job, you waste a lot of time and energy learning what you are supposed to be doing. If you hire a salesperson who is unfamiliar with your product, industry, or sales in general, you better provide relevant and consistent training to help them assimilate into your organization, industry, or occupation. A well-trained salesperson is happier and more successful, and thus less likely to leave your company.

-Trey Morris, Senior Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy 

4. Create New Challenges and Responsibilities

As part of getting to know the salespeople that report to you, be sure to identify their goals and ambitions. Providing them with new challenges and/or responsibilities that work towards helping them to achieve their goals is a great way to keep them engaged as well as help you to grow your organization.

-Matt Sunshine, Managing Partner at The Center for Sales Strategy

5. Provide Effective Feedback

One of the best ways to maintain strong levels of engagement with salespeople is to provide them with consistent and effective feedback on their behavior. This is very different than performance feedback. Salespeople know where they are to budget at all times, and hammering away on their performance numbers can quickly cause burnout! But they don’t always know what they are specifically doing right, or how they can use those positive behaviors more often to achieve greater success. Increase engagement by increasing the amount of effective feedback you give to your sellers. Give them a snapshot of what they are doing right and be as specific as possible. Here’s an example: “I like the way you built strong rapport with that prospect so quickly. Your knowledge of her new product line clearly broke down her defenses and got her to open up.”

-Beth Sunshine, VP/Talent Services at The Center for Sales Strategy

Don't let your sales team be part of the statistics. Hire right, train right, and challenge right, and you'll lead your team to success and growth rather than burnout and high turnover.

Talent is only a strength when the fit is right.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales performance sales management sales training coaching