December 5, 2022

Psst…Your Sellers Are Burned Out. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

Stephanie Madsen
Psst…Your Sellers Are Burned Out. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

Table of Contents

Burnout and the subsequent quiet quitting. Love it or hate it, by now we’ve all heard the phrases. With 54% of sellers actively looking for a new job, the data is in, and it is here to inform you, you have a case of it, too. 

We know the historical reasons why sellers quit and have seen burnout creep in due to our new world of work. By now you’re looking for answers! WHO is checked out and WHAT should you do about it? 

Good news: Your at-work, step-by-step plan to uncover and take action is ready. First, let’s discuss how we identify who’s checked out. The key: early detection (through data).

Uncover Who is Checked Out

  1. Build an Engagement Dashboard focused on leading indicators such as the number of accounts engaged, new logo meetings booked, executives engaged, pipeline created, etc. If you haven’t heard, lagging indicators, such as average quota attainment or sales cycle length, are a thing of the past. By focusing on leading metrics you look forward (vs. to the past) to answer the #1 recurring (and often difficult) question, “Are my reps going to hit their number?”
  1. On a weekly basis, review your Engagement Dashboard to understand (in seconds) who's on track and who's off track. For those off track, take a moment of pause and ask yourself, “how can I help this week?” (Remember – your rep’s number, is your number!) This could be a motivational chat or getting in the trenches with them to secure that next step. 
  1. On a monthly basis, reflect on past weeks’ observations and use the data in front of you to pinpoint red flags that need to be addressed. This can include identifying who’s spending time in the wrong place, who’s having difficulty with stage progression, who’s struggling to engage executives, or who’s had a dip in effort. If you detect a dip in effort, you must – I repeat, must – read on. 

What to Do Next

Now that you’ve tapped into Engagement Dashboards, you have a deep understanding of who's putting in the work necessary to hit their number and whose performance is slipping and possibly on the verge of “checking out.” For those who’ve entered the dip, they may be displaying historical signs of quitting and suffering from burnout for these reasons. You now have two choices in front of you… 

Option 1: Let them walk. This option isn’t necessarily the worst when the individual is a low performer or mentally checked out.

Option 2: Retain them. This option is preferred if the individual is a high performer, with high potential. 

Let’s assume the individuals you've identified are high performers, with high potential (we’ll call them an “HPHP”) and you’ve selected option 2: Retain them. 

(PSA: Did you know replacing a seller costs an average of $115K?

Here are four ways to prevent HPHP sellers from quiet quitting. 

1. Talk it Out

Yes, that’s right – I’m here to tell you “communication cures all.” By addressing the dip in performance you open the door for effective, two-way communication. 

It’s possible your sellers are experiencing burnout (like 89% of reps), are feeling like a cog in the machine, or simply juggling life outside of work (I mean, who isn’t?!). Whatever the reason, your job is to actively listen first (and advise on a solution later). 

Remember, we’re all humans, who crave connection. By using data, you can open the door to a probably much-needed and much-welcomed conversation. 

When done right, you can expect improved seller engagement and motivation.

2. Invest in Technology 

With 4.2 million workers quitting their jobs in July of 2022, it’s safe to assume we’re still living through “The Great Resignation.” In a recent study, 50% of job seekers reported they are quitting for better pay and benefits.

What if you could provide your sellers with a path to quota attainment based on real, historical data? Picture this – Knowing EXACTLY how many stakeholders and what personas it takes to drive a higher win rate and larger deal size. With this information in hand, your sellers can take a more prescriptive approach to their prospecting activities, resulting in shorter sales cycles, more closed-won deals, and larger deal sizes. Goodbye, W-2 concerns! 

Another 42% of job seekers reported they are seeking a role they are more passionate about.  What if your sellers spent their time actually doing the job they were HIRED to do? Today, sellers spend almost one-quarter of their week navigating their messy CRM and inputting data manually (surely, not a passion of any sellers I know). 

Picture this: Minutes after sellers complete a call, email, or meeting, a contact is created and an activity is auto-logged in the CRM to the correct account, opportunity, contact, and lead. By saying goodbye to hours of manual data entry in CRM, you’re saying hello to additional time selling! (Ya know, what gets sellers out of bed each day AND what pays the bill – a double-win.) 

So, by investing in technology, you’re investing in your sellers and helping them achieve both pay and passion.  

(Bonus: While the candidate market is slowing, there are still almost two open jobs for every one job seeker - which means your sales tech stack can be used to help retain and ATTRACT sellers). 

3. Improve Visibility

The benefits of data automation go beyond sellers. Frontline managers and sales leaders benefit from increased visibility. This means managers and leaders can cool it on the “just checking in…” calls, chats, and emails about: __(insert: key quarter opportunity)__.

Instead, those check-ins can be repurposed into more effective and strategic one-on-ones. 

  • No longer having to log or regurgitate every email and meeting that’s happened this week? Phenomenal. 
  • Mid-day deal strategy session over a relationship map? Wildly beneficial. 
  • Dedicated weekly time to discuss coaching and career development? You bet! 

Psst...sellers can also better anticipate their manager’s questions and recommendations with out-of-the-box, AI-powered signals on each opportunity!

4. Do Less 

It’s no secret, sellers have a lot on their plate. In a typical eight-hour day a seller could be conducting prospect research, reading up on industry trends, preparing for external meetings, aligning internal teams, running meetings, juggling pricing and proposals, sending follow-ups, and last (but surely not least) – updating their CRM. Phew – I’m exhausted just reading this list!

Surely, each of these tasks is important. But, what’s equally important is WHICH accounts and personas are worthy of your time and energy. When you increase your focus on the right accounts (think: highly engaged accounts, expressing intent) and the right personas within those accounts (think: those who drive large, closed-won deals), you remove unnecessary distractions and can achieve more, by doing less. (More on this here!)

Ready to Lean Into Data?

At this very moment, sellers are putting in their notice and it will cost you over six figures to replace them. This is why it’s important to take a proactive approach to addressing seller burnout. 

It’s time to lean into data to:

1) Proactively identify sellers on the verge of checking out

2) Do the necessary work to motivate and retain your high performers, with high potential. 

Learn all of the ways can  drive revenue growth for your business