Sharmini Wainwright is managing director of Michael Page & Page Personnel Hong Kong. With over 13 years’ experience with PageGroup, she oversees specialist recruitment across finance, financial services, sales & marketing, legal and more.
Sell hell: Dealing with the pressure of sales
I have been working in subscription sales at the same company for more than 10 years. I am finding it increasingly nerve-wracking to meet my targets as the market seems to be more and more cluttered with competitors, and I have been getting a lot of pressure from my boss. To make things worse, all my former colleagues have left for greener pastures and I am now surrounded by newcomers, who don't have the same pressures on them as they ease into the role. I have been losing sleep from the stress, with each sale seeming like a temporary lifeline. Is it time to join my ex-colleagues and move on? Sellsellsellhell
It definitely sounds like it is time for you to get out and start a fresh opportunity. As a revenue generator for a business, your success is really based on your vision, energy, approach and belief in what the opportunity is. Unfortunately, it sounds like you have lost this passion for your current role, which has resulted in the increasing difficulty that you are facing with the position.
As soon as you notice yourself making excuses or using defensive terminology, it usually means that the time has come to look for something new, unless you are prepared to really invest 200 per cent for a turnaround in how you approach the role.
This usually requires something "new" to happen, such as a new boss, new parent company, new sales scheme or new products.
This is what always makes sales such a challenging career. The upsides can be extremely rewarding with commissions, profit share or promotions. However, when times are tough, it can be a very difficult environment to sustain engagement.
Another good option would be having a chat with friends to get other opinions. They know you well and can always offer advice as to similar experiences they have gone through.
Try to see if there is anyone within the organisation at a more senior level who you can confide in to get their advice. Simply talking about it with someone will ease the stress you are feeling and I think you have a great opportunity to take the matter into your hands and control the outcome.
Start checking the job boards and build your understanding of what the market is offering, particularly as you have not really needed to look for work for the past 10 years. Start preparing your CV, updating your online profiles to be as compelling as possible, and reach out to recruitment agencies in your market to understand what roles are available.
Remember - don't jump roles too quickly in haste. You have invested 10 years with one organisation, so take the time to do your due diligence so that whatever move you make, you have the assurance it was the best opportunity for you at the time.