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Reducing Stress in a Sales Environment

Stress at work is a major issue especially in a sales environment. The pressure of having to meet targets and live up to the expectations of an employer can have a significant impact on a sales executive’s stress levels.

Job-related stress in field sales can quickly escalate out of control and high stress can become a way of life. A small amount of stress can be beneficial to a sales person as it may have an effect on their drive to succeed. Excessive stress, however, can lead to extreme unhappiness and can have an effect on the everyday life of the person.

Are your sales executives heading for a meltdown?

Some salesmen thrive on pressure and have the skills to consistently meet targets – others are left floundering in this type of environment and do not respond well to stress.

The Daily Mail reported that “one in three workers are being affected by excessive pressure in their job as Britain's employees head for a 'wellbeing meltdown', according to new research.

A survey of 2,600 employees found that over half worked more hours than normal over the past three years and many expected the trend to continue.” 19th November 2012.

Businesses need to act as soon as possible in order to minimise exposure to stress in the workplace. Stressed workers can have an impact on the bottom line for many organisations. Employers need to understand their employee’s needs and put in place a health and safety strategy that will ensure that stress levels in the workplace are monitored.

Work related stress generally develops because a sales person is unable to cope with the excessive demands being placed on them, the biggest problem being unachievable targets. Stress can even cause illness and can be linked to high levels of sickness absence.

The Health and Safety Executive has introduced the Management Standards approach to tackling work related stress.

It takes a certain type of person to work successfully in sales. Sales can be an incredibly profitable area of employment for those that have a natural ability to thrive in this field. Although work related stress is widespread and not compound to particular industry sectors, those in the telesales field are particularly prone to developing this illness.

It is important to monitor your sales team in order to identify any negative emotions that are being displayed. Negative feelings are draining and unproductive and can induce undesirable psychological effects.

Limiting the amount of responsibility you place on individual members of your sales team can make your workforce more effective and productive all round, believe it or not. If a salesman is too stressed to gain any form of satisfaction from the commitments they are targeted with, they are probably being targeted to high.

Ensure that your team is functioning as a unit and that they work together in order to produce a uniform result. If someone in your team persistently excels on a monthly basis, you can use their skills and knowledge to offer assistance to those that appear to be struggling.

How much support do you give your sales team? How much do you know about the relationships between the members of your sales unit?

It is important that your sales people know that they have your encouragement and support. Rather than set unreasonable targets and leave your sales team struggling to achieve these, make sure they have control over the way they do their work and understand their role within the organisation. Another major cause of stress in the workplace is conflict and unacceptable behaviour; try to promote positive working in order to reduce friction in the workplace.

If you are worried about the stress levels amongst your sales team and you are unsure about how to start resolving these issues, learn more about the Management Standards relating to stress in the workplace.