Holiday parties, Secret Santa gift exchanges, toasts to new beginnings and Happy New Years’ wishes… it’s officially the holiday season! But while wintertime is generally considered “the most wonderful time of the year,” it’s no surprise that it also comes with a ton of stress, especially for those in the fast-paced, high-pressure sales industry. Despite the fun and excitement the holidays bring, the distractions that come along with end of the year quotas, Q1 planning, and prospects becoming nearly impossible to reach can cause a significant drop in sales motivation.
In fact, Virgin Pulse, a provider of employee health and engagement solutions, surveyed more than 1,000 full-time employees in the U.S. and Canada and found that 70% of them are 21% more stressed during the holidays than any other time of year. And it’s not just sales motivation that’s being impacted by this seasonal stress — it’s performance too. Of the same group surveyed, more than 60% said the holiday angst directly impacted their quantity of work, and 30% attributed the anxiety to the diminished quality of their work.
So, when over half of your office’s performance is suffering, and even more of them are simply feeling downtrodden from the overall distraction of the season — how do you, the high-velocity modern sales rep, stay focused in a holiday-obsessed office?
1. Reinforce Routine
If your sales team is anything like the Salesloft SDR team, you most likely have super structured routines to your days and weeks, often down to the hour. From morning scrum meetings where you each list your top priorities of the day, to weekly managerial one-on-ones and sales coaching sessions, your routine is there for a reason. As the great American author Robert Collier said, “Constant repetition carries conviction.”
But you know what else structure and routine help to improve? Stress! Psychologist Dr. John Preston states that, “daily routine requires less mental energy and means fewer unpleasant surprises and thus less unexpected stress.” Takeaway: So, while you still want to keep creative sales motivation high for closing those last deals of the quarter, keeping the baseline routine as regular as possible will help you battle the otherwise distracting days in and out of the office.
2. Double Down on Sales Engagement
According to The Bridge Group, sales productivity is the number one challenge for almost two thirds of B2B sales organizations — and that’s without the additional holiday distractions. This lack of focus is only human, and that’s why having a sales engagement platform to help you follow through on your sales cadences is crucial, especially this time of year.
Modern sales reps already know that having a dialer and email platform that integrates with their CRM can be a major boost to sales productivity. So why not double down on your usage during the time of year where traditional sales teams usually pack it in? Takeaway: With highly personalized sales communication and fewer sales messages in your prospect’s inboxes to compete with, this may be the BEST time of year to have a sales engagement platform. And don’t worry about syncing all of these last-minute activities into Salesforce — modern sales engagement platforms, like Salesloft, automatically sync the two, so you won’t be heading into the new year apologizing to your resident sales operations leader for empty fields.
3. Set Hard Deadlines and Clear Goals
This time of year, the stress is real, and it’s most likely not going away until at least January 2nd. So if you can’t beat it, embrace it! Founder of online payment company, Due, and well known Bay Area entrepreneurial advisor John Rampton said it best when he suggested setting self-imposed deadlines during times of stress. “While we usually think of a stress as a bad thing, a manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals.”
For open-ended tasks or projects, Rampton suggests giving yourself a hard deadline — and then committing. As high-velocity sales reps, pressure can be a powerful thing for productivity, and you may be surprised to see just how focused you become when you’re under the gun. Takeaway: Why not challenge yourself to meet your numbers a week before the holiday break? You’ll be more motivated to log activities and close deals than if you give yourself until the end of the year. And if you’re successful, you can head off on holiday break a little early!
Sales motivation may be at its lowest point towards the end of the year, but these strategies are sure to help you nip it in the bud and finish the quarter strong. Through reinforced routine, hard personal deadlines and goals, and doubling down on your sales engagement process, you’re sure to stand out amongst those traditional sales reps packing it in mid-month.
Need a hand building out a sales engagement process that integrates with Salesforce? No matter your role, we’ve got you covered with our newest series “Sales Engagement with Salesforce: The Complete Kit,” a set of ebooks designed to help modern sales professionals turn their CRM into more than just a data storage unit. Download your free copy today to get started.