How Can Salespeople Deal with Stress and Protect Their Mental Health

Working in Sales is notoriously stressful. Being a Sales Manager is listed as one of the most stressful jobs you can do, and 67% of sales representatives agree that they are close to burnout. It’s a high-risk, high-reward job.

Unlike other job targets, a salesperson’s targets are relentless. You have to constantly work at your best to meet your quotas month on month, and good work may actually lead to bigger targets as there is a constant need to push yourself further.

Woman at a desk looking stressed with her head in her hands.

The pressure of sales targets can be very difficult to deal with. However, it’s not impossible! There are steps you can take to manage the stress and still achieve your goals. In this blog, we will explore some effective strategies for stress management and self-care.


Set Realistic Goals

There’s a myth that setting high goals can be motivating. In actual fact, setting a goal too high to be realistic can have the opposite effect and create a lot of unnecessary anxiety. Instead, set goals that challenge you but are achievable. Consider factors like market trends, sales history, and the current economic climate to figure out what is realistic. If you’re a manager, ensure that goals are communicated clearly because mismatched expectations can be another cause of anxiety.


Break Down Targets into Smaller Objectives

Breaking down your sales targets into smaller, achievable objectives can make it easier to hit your overall sales targets. This approach also helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment and progress towards the larger goal. Make sure to celebrate these smaller successes along the way to help maintain motivation and to keep your mood positive.

Close up of person writing on paper.


Time Management

Managing your time effectively can keep you focused on tasks that will bring you closer to your sales targets. Identify the tasks that are most important and prioritise them. Set aside time each day for these tasks and eliminate any distractions that may interfere with your focus. This should help you keep on track. Planning your schedule ahead of time can also help to reassure you that you will have time for all your important tasks.


Don’t Take Things Personally

Sales can be unpredictable and rejection is, unfortunately, just a part of life. However, it’s hardly ever down to your personal actions. Oftentimes, the product just isn’t right for the client, or it’s not the right time, or the right price. Instead of letting this get to you, try to use it as a learning experience. Could you pass on their reasons to the wider team and try to add more value? This way, you can turn a disappointment into something productive. This will also help you to build resilience against rejections in the future.


Practice Self-Care

Taking care of your physical needs is essential when it comes to managing stress. It’s like building a strong foundation to help you weather the storm. Make sure to prioritise self-care by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when needed. Taking care of your physical needs will leave you better mentally equipped to deal with stress. For example, people who regularly get fewer than 8 hours of sleep are more likely to feel irritable, overwhelmed, and stressed. And exercise is an excellent stress-buster thanks to the release of endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters).

Woman holding downward dog yoga pose.


Seek Support

Having a support system is important for anyone dealing with stress, including the stress of hitting sales targets. Seek support from colleagues, managers, or a mentor who can offer advice and encouragement. You can also seek support from friends and family outside of work. Talking to someone about your stress can help you to feel less overwhelmed and more in control.

Two women sat together at a laptop. One is holding her head in her hands and the other is consoling her.


In conclusion, hitting sales targets can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to reduce your anxiety. Set realistic goals, create a plan of attack, and look after your health. Remember, sales are not everything, and your well-being is just as important.

If you’re someone who manages a sales team, you might also be interested in out blog on how to look out for your employees mental health.

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