Avoiding Sales Burnout

Author: 
Chris Haigh

After 20 years of selling software and IT products, the one thing that’s been getting harder year after year is the one thing you can’t avoid in sales. You have to get people on the phone to have discussions. No matter how many articles people post about how cold calling is dead, it’s simply not – no way, no how. Why else would the big trend be to move to inside sales teams and business development rep models?

The trends don’t lie. E-mail and website tools also have their place, but anyone who’s been in sales for a while knows you can’t hit those magic numbers waiting for leads to come to you. It just doesn’t work that way. Two to 3 percent responses from email campaigns won’t do it either. Those inside sales teams and BDR’s are not just servicing incoming inquiries (in most cases).

If you’re calling into IT you also know they pick up the phone less and less these days. Why? They are besieged by calls because there are too many people vying for their attention and budget. Companies see it as a productivity threat for their overworked IT staff. There has been a systematic movement to keep you, as the salesperson, out of their organization. What’s a sales rep to do?

To avoid sales burnout, reps need wins.
Just as you don’t usually go it alone with tracking your website statistics and e-mail campaigns, it makes sense to use tools to help you reach more people on the phone on a daily, weekly basis. It’s all about contact ratio. Contact ratio is also one of the primary contributors to the (sometimes) fragile mental state of your sales teams on the front lines.

Stop getting beaten up calling the wrong contacts.
No one likes to talk about this, but getting beaten up on a daily basis by wrong targets takes its toll on your reps. Do you think your available sales tools don’t impact your sales turnover rate? Think again. Reps need wins. They need to feel like they are making progress. As much as sales reps have to convince their potential/new employers that they love the fight for new prospects, it’s a tough racket.

It’s the grunt work of sales for a reason. Feeding sales reps a tough list from a trade show to slog through, or if your outbound contact ratio is too low can be a bigger ego deflator than a Sunday morning brunch with Roger Goodell and Tom Brady.

Increasing your call-to-contact ratio can have a huge impact on sales burnout.
Increasing the call contact ratio can mean the difference between a working for a thriving organization and or revolving door. What’s the first need? Clean data equals clean lists. Partner with a data provider ZoomInfo or Bombora to clean up the data you have. It’s the first order of business for a Sales team. If you are not marketing to clean data/contacts, then your marketing team is pointed in the wrong direction, and your lead flow suffers. Your BDR and sales teams will also spin their wheels calling into bad contacts, and this is a big contributor on the frustration scale.

Reduce your workload with sales acceleration solutions.
The second tool needed? Use an agent-assisted dialing solution. Think about where your company is in the market. Are you the first ones in your market? Unlikely, but if you are, you can be sure more will follow. You want to connect with that market faster than the others in either case. Sales dialing solutions are the fastest way to get more conversations with more prospects. In many cases you can have as many conversations with prospects in an hour with a sales dialing solution as you would cold calling in two to three days. Would you spend $20 for a conversation with a prospect from a qualified list? Of course you would, or you’re in the wrong business. It’s like having a 10-day work week to magically fill-up your pipeline. What sales manager couldn’t use that? Fill your sales pipeline faster while keeping a smile on your reps’ faces.

Chris Haigh is a senior account executive at ConnectLeader, where he enables sales teams to develop rapid pipelines via the company’s sales acceleration technology solutions. Chris brings more than 20 years of high tech sales, sales management, and enterprise software expertise to ConnectLeader.