As we head towards the end of the quarter, and the end of financial year for most, there will be a high number of sales guys and girls across the SaaS industry faced with the prospect of coming-up short on their quota. You may be clutching on to a deal or two in your pipeline, but in your heart of hearts you know you will come-up short. You’ve left it too late to pull it back and you aren’t going to hit the mark. What’s worse, everyone is going to know you didn’t hit the mark.
There is no stress quite like sales stress, because there’s no career quite like a sales career. It’s high-pressured, results-driven and, in most cases, completely transparent.
You have nothing to hide behind but your own performance. When you’re doing well, you are elevated to super-star status and everyone knows about it. Equally, when you’re not, everyone still knows about it! On top of that, there’s a lot riding on your performance. It could be the financial well-being of your family to the success of your company, especially if you work for a start-up.
What happens when 31st March rolls around and you haven’t hit the number. How do you deal with the stress of letting yourself and your team down?
There are right and wrong ways to deal with this stress; and in my experience, most sales people don’t handle it very well. The great news is if you are feeling stressed, it means you give a shit! And giving a shit is one of the single biggest factors in sales success.
So, how do you handle yourself emotionally to get through the next few weeks and come out of it better placed to hit your quota next time around?
There is a tonne of info out there about stress management, most of which will have heard before and none of it is particularly groundbreaking. However, just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it’s not useful to you, right now, at this crucial time of year:
- GO TO BED
Work will still be there in the morning. You’ll get more done with a good nights sleep and feel more emotionally balanced. For every quote you read about a super successful entrepreneur or salesperson getting by on 4-5 hours per night, there are just as many who will tell you the opposite. Get some sleep!
- EAT & DRINK WELL
Taking solace in a dirty burger or some other type of junk food is not the way to go. You can try and convince yourself it helps you relax and unwind, but really it just leaves you feeling like shit. There is nothing wrong with some junk food from time to time, just don’t make it a staple part of your diet when you need to be at your sharpest. And the same goes for alcohol too!
- TAKE A BREAK
Nobody can work at peak performance all day, relentlessly. If you find yourself flagging, or know there is a certain point during the day that is less productive, stop working. Go and do something else, go for a walk, phone your mum… anything but work.
- CLEAR YOUR MIND
Do anything that helps clear your mind. This is a personal thing and could mean full-on meditation/yoga, or even just feeding the ducks at the local pond. Find that one thing that helps you switch of completely and do it. It will help you let go of the stress and regain focus on priorities.
If you only manage one of these suggestions, make it the following one! It will clear your mind, break down stress and give you the energy you need to smash it next quarter…
Get away from the screen. Sitting at your desk all day and in front of your TV all night won’t help. Dedicate 30-45 minutes per day to breaking a sweat. It doesn’t matter in what form that takes. Lift weights. Take a yoga class. Go for a run. Do whatever you find most enjoyable, just make sure it is active!
I am not a stress counsellor, I am a recruiter who has a great deal of experience hiring and growing large teams, founding companies and mostly helping high-growth SaaS businesses recruit high performing Sales, Marketing and Customer Success teams.