Once upon a time, there was about a King who would struggle like this with times of great heights and deep valleys. He called his wise men and asked them to come up with something that would help him in this area. They all failed which reveals how difficult it is for many to offer any help. However one came up with something that he felt would help the king. The man’s name was ” Experience”. The experience made a special ring for the king and he told the king to wear it always and to read the four words on it every time he felt extremely high or whenever he was in a valley. The King looked at the ring and was very pleased.
The words engraved were “This too shall pass” – Zen Master
When you are a part of a sales team, you may sometimes feel like you are a part of the cast from the 1999 cult classic movie “Office Space.”
Staying motivated, engaged and fuelled with the energy to keep going can be a tricky task.
The Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said “Love your job but don’t love your company” But what if your job doesn’t love you back? Who will you turn to? Is there hope? Or maybe you have the “best job” in terms of your workplace, the culture, management team and colleagues. But, your job itself, which is the actual selling process, may be taking its toll on you. If this describes you, then don’t worry, you are not alone.
- Are you working relentlessly, putting in extra hours, doing everything humanly possible, yet are unable to close a sale?
- You constantly under pressure from stakeholders to meet revenue targets?
- Are you required to travel frequently and therefore, suffering from the guilt of putting your personal and family life in jeopardy?
- Your customers are raising red flags while you are struggling to do your best to preserve their trust?
- Are you assigned to a territory or industry you are not familiar with?
- Have you been put on the field even before your training was completed?
- Are you reporting to a manager that does not understand the sales cycle, sales consulting or the sales process?
- Have you been struggling with the lack of a proper sales support structure in place?
- Are you reporting to multiple bosses and shuffling between generating different reports for all of them?
- Are you accustomed to working at process-driven organizations that use state of the art tools while you are relegated to using excel spreadsheets?
- Have you been nodding your head while reading this list in agreement to at least 4 or more of the questions?
Then yes, you are most likely battling demotivation, just like many other salespersons do, at different points in their career.
As a salesperson, I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly amazing companies with great work culture, however, I have had several phases of demotivation during my career which I had to fight tooth and nail to overcome and deliver real performance.
But I can say with guarantee that by overcoming these hurdles is the key to attain your full potential.
Here are 6 steps you can take to overcome your stress and loss of motivation and become a top achiever:
Learn from failures by getting feedback
Every time a prospect told me that they found another company to work with, I would feel quite dejected.
All that time I had spent prospecting, nurturing, working on an elaborate solution, drafting a detailed proposal and doing everything possible to close the sale, seeing a “No, you didn’t make the cut” was obviously heartbreaking.
And if this has happened to you, then welcome to the World of Sales!
However, eventually, I had an epiphany that every rejection call or email I got could actually prove invaluable in terms of learning ways to improve and sell better.
So, I started to take it in my stride and harnessed the opportunity to understand what went wrong and what key factors affected the neck breaking final decision.
Was it the pricing structure? Solution offering? Location? Expertise? All these bits of information would provide great insights into preparing myself better for the next proposal.
I was able to avoid past mistakes and spend my time more efficiently in closing the next sale.
Follow the 80-20 rule
This is a very popular rule and quite self-explanatory.
The key idea is to focus on your priorities, where 20% may be your top accounts or the immediate pipeline that could help you achieve 80% of your revenue targets.
Salespeople get too caught up working on every single prospect and not streamlining their workflow, thus stressing themselves out and losing confidence at not seeing results.
Prioritize carefully and laser focus your efforts accordingly.
Take time off!
Most salespeople are so concerned with closing their next big account, meeting their monthly and quarterly targets, traveling for business and basically, working themselves to the burn-out stage and compromising on their personal life.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is indispensable to staying motivated. So make it a point to treat yourself by taking time off for yourself.
Consider planning it in a way that you are able to spend quality time with your spouse or family, and without having to reach out for your phone every couple of minutes.
Personally, I like to plan my annual vacation between Christmas and New Year’s, where I don’t expect to hear from prospects or customers anyway.
I also make it a point to take short intermittent breaks throughout the year to help me relax and rejuvenate, instead of waiting till the end of the year.
Exercise and meditate
The benefits of exercising regularly cannot be stressed enough. Even the busiest of sales professionals should make this a high priority in their daily routine.
Daily exercise, that includes any physical activity such as cardio or weight training, serves to boost adrenaline and improve serotonin levels, thereby increasing your confidence and helping you become a better performer.
Meditation is another great option to relieve stress. Spending at least 45mins a day away from your phone and email and focusing on any physical activity of your choice will help you in unimaginable ways.
Read, learn and connect
Due to busy work schedules and meetings, it can seem daunting to find the time to read a good book. But consider managing your time better in order to include this brilliant quality.
Whether it means reading during your break hours, or on a flight or during the weekends, you can spend the time to increase your knowledge of your industry or learn effective tips from top sales gurus.
If you are assigned to a new industry, you can spend time researching about the industry and learn all you can about various organizations and influences from that industry.
If it is possible, you should try to find someone working in that industry to help you understand the processes involved.
Connect with people on LinkedIn, join relevant groups and start discussions.
Voice your opinions
If you are fortunate, you may have a great boss.
However, luck may not always be in your favor. Perhaps, you are made to report to multiple bosses and prepare manual reports instead of using a sales tool such as a CRM.
Most people don’t debate it fearing that questioning things might put their job in jeopardy.
However, what they don’t realize is that they are spending way too much time working on processes that can be easily automated.
Find a time your boss isn’t busy to share your concerns and let him/her know the value of automating your sales performance.
Good managers are always willing to listen and implement your feedback.
We are all a part of an ongoing process to become the best version of ourselves.
What tips do you have for self-motivation? What discouraging situations have you encountered and how have you dealt with them? And most importantly, what have you learned from them?
I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.