5 Ways Salespeople Can Make Their Lives Easier
“I could never work in sales – it sounds so difficult.” Most of us have heard this refrain at least once or twice after telling somebody what we do for a living. With a few exceptions, the general public understands that sales isn’t for the faint of heart. Those who have tried it and left understand it’s a bit like pushing a boulder up a hill, in a snowstorm, without any shoes on.
But does it have to be this way, or can salespeople make changes so that our job becomes easier?
The answer to that question is two-fold. On one hand, sales will always be an uphill battle of prospecting, pitching, following-up, and putting out fires – that’s just the nature of the gig. But on the other , there are certain things salespeople can do to minimize some of the challenging aspects of the profession. Here are five of them:
1. Take time to pick the right company
Doing the legwork up front to match yourself with the right employer might be the most important decision you can make for your sales career. Not all sales jobs are created equal, and not all management teams will be a fit for certain personalities. While you’ll want to look at income potential when searching for the right job, don’t overlook other red flags simply because the commission plan is good. Make a list of the things you think are important in an employer, then try to find a company that ticks as many boxes as possible. If you get hired at the right place, you’ll likely love your sales job.
2. Curb the distractions
Sales is hard, but it can seem even harder in our fast-paced, distraction-filled world. What might be surprising, however, is just how much work you can get done when you eliminate distractions and focus on the task at hand. Of course, few people are wired for laser-focus, so you have to actively set yourself up for success. There are a lot of productivity “hacks” out there, from blocking your schedule, to logging off all social media, to locking your cellphone in your desk (if you have a landline) – but remember to follow-through. And if you can train yourself to get in the habit of avoiding distractions, there’s a good chance that you’ll reach your goals and then some, and in a lot less time than you might think.
3. When things are good, save
Salespeople’s income can fluctuate, and often involves large payments distributed intermittently, rather than a steady salary. This can make budgeting difficult, and there’s no shortage of salespeople who find it stressful to go long periods of time while waiting for their next commission check. The way to solve this problem is to budget and build up a rainy day fund, and the best time to do this is when things are going well. Planning ahead will reduce the stress of the natural ebbs and flows in your income, and make life at work that much easier.
These days, if you’re not using automation (and other) software to simplify your life, you’re doing yourself a disservice. A substantial number of sales tasks can now be performed by software, like Spiro’s proactive relationship management platform, which works in the background to automatically collect data from your emails, calls, and texts, replacing labor-intensive traditional CRM. Technologies like this make you a more effective salesperson by free allowing you to focus on things that move the needle. It’s about working smarter, not harder.
5. Leave work at work
There’s no denying that sales, at any level, comes with pressure. Between the prospects, the management, existing customers, sales support, and – on top of it all – a looming quota, this job that can take its toll. People have different ways of dealing with the resulting stress, but it’s important to keep it in context, and to make sure you leave the stresses of work at work. That’s not to say you shouldn’t care about what you do – if you didn’t care, then you wouldn’t be stressed. But separating work from your personal life will make you a better-adjusted person, which, in turn, will make you a better and more effective salesperson. Sometimes, in order to get ahead, you need to take a deep breath and slow down a bit.