Sales Burnout Is Real. Here’s How to Avoid It

Post by: Alison Ng Urvashi Handique
Published: 21 April 2022

Whatever your targets and wherever you work, the spectre of ‘burnout’ is very real for any sales professional. You can be the most driven person in the room, but ambition and inspiration can offer little protection when the pressure is on, those KPIs need hitting and the rest of your life needs attention too.

The good news? You can avoid sales burnout if you take a mindful approach to balancing your sales goals with your personal needs, and learn how to organise your mind, time and priorities in a healthy way.

Alison Ng, Enterprise Account Executive at Asana, and Urvashi Handique, Key Account Manager at Esendex Australia share their top tips and techniques to avoid burnout below.

How our community prevents Sales Burnout

Line up your goals in manageable chunks

“To prevent sales burnout I try to break things down into small, manageable milestones to feel the progress towards my quota and goals. I use Asana to help me look at my goals for each quarter, activities to improve my pipeline to arrive at my quotas, and determine what help and support I need, what needs to be done, who I can collaborate with, and so on.

Also, goals don’t have to be quantitative: I look at mini-milestones that could contribute to my successes, as well as more concrete objectives like gaining a customer success story, or growth of account adoptions by 25%. These things help to continuously motivate me.”

–   Alison

Put a plan into place

“At Esendex, we provide messaging communication platforms to businesses. For us, the year end is one of our most exciting and creative times, from helping customers create promotional campaigns and holiday greetings, to setting call deflections for public holidays. The sky’s the limit for innovation and I really do enjoy the creative process involved especially when it saves me from sales burnout.

Achieving goals and quotas at such times is essential, so I have learned that planning ahead is key. Journaling helps me to visualise, declutter and prioritise. I try to always have my journal prepared with high level strategy and goals for what I want to achieve the next year, so when the time comes, I know exactly what I’m aiming for. Putting a plan into place like this helps me to stay focused.”

–       Urvashi

Block out focused ‘creative’ sessions

“Studies have shown that block-out time, or creative time, or whatever term you are familiar with, helps to increase your capacity to be more productive, so I lock in ‘creative’ sessions in my calendar to focus on thinking outside the box about what I can accomplish, solve or do better.

I also schedule in disciplined blocks of 25 minutes of either mental or physical exercise, along with five minutes of meditation/unwind time each day.”

–   Alison

Schedule in official breaks and switch-off periods

“Take a break. I know it’s easier said than done, but what has helped me is knowing that I can be my best self for customers only when I am happy. Book a vacation if you can, and especially right now when there is a lot of uncertainty around travel, booking in advance takes the stress out of last minute plans. I have personally just booked a family holiday around Victoria.

Also, I do follow a very strict no work policy for weekends which means not just switching off all work gadgets, but more importantly switching off the ever-ticking brain and giving 100% to myself and my family.

Bonus tip: don’t waste energy running around shopping centres and embrace online shopping instead – huge time saver!”

–   Urvashi

Manage expectations and remember to look beyond just the numbers

“I believe in honest communication. I try to increase forecast accuracy, communicate a realistic timeline and progress with care, which improves trust and reduces stress and likelihood of sales burnout.

Additionally, while it may sound contradictory to many sales leaders’ point of view, I think that sales isn’t always just about the numbers. There are tons of strategies that can contribute to a larger, more meaningful future impact. So, if you are not having a good run, I highly recommend thinking about what would change the situation around for you and what impact you have brought to the table, instead of beating yourself up about the numbers. If you believe in doing things that matter, you can reduce that feeling of stress which leads to sales burnout.”

–   Alison

Find the silver lining in the COVID-19 curveball

“Certain aspects of the COVID situation – such as time saved commuting to the office or flying interstate to customers – have added a lot of time to my days. I feel like I can now take a moment to pause and organise my day properly, which really helps my stress levels.

Of course it has also come with the challenge of not bringing work home, as we now literally live with work which isn’t great for sales burnout! At first I had a hard time not responding to emails out of hours, but now that we’ve had a chance to get used to hybrid working, it is up to us to find that balance. It’s also important not to try to multitask at home all day – concentrate on either work or home, not both at once.”

–   Urvashi

Maintaining perspective, setting realistic goals, planning ahead and prioritising a good work-life balance – if you tick these boxes, you can avoid the dreaded sales burnout and stay happy, healthy and focused, whether you’re working from home, the office or both.


Interested in reading more about how to elevate your professional life? Click here.  

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