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Business Uncertainty Increases With Salespeople at Risk of Burnout

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New research highlights the role of technology and soft skills are crucial to continued sales success

New research finds that six out of ten sales professionals are spending over 40 hours a week at work and 80% of them are working on weekends. Additionally, over two-thirds (70%) are feeling they are underappreciated in the business world. This is according to a recent survey from Pipedrive, the leading CRM platform for sales teams.

The global State of Sales survey echoes a troubling trend for workers around the globe, highlighting that sales professionals are feeling undervalued and close to burnout. According to the World Health Organization, burn-out — a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress — has become so prevalent among modern workers that it’s now classified as an occupational phenomenon.

The findings from Pipedrive’s global State of Sales survey of 1,000 sales professionals, highlights the extent of this problem for businesses:

Long hours for little compensation

Gustavo Bianco, Global Head of Customer Success at Pipedrive with more 15 years of sales experience says, “Sales is a very difficult field where it is hard to find a work-life balance due to long work hours and a load of emotional stress related to fear of failing, constantly leaving their comfort zone, and dealing with rejections. As this research was conducted ahead of the pandemic, these are definitely risk factors for work-related stress and burnout which are likely to be even more heightened in the current climate.”

“This is even more worrying now, during times of high uncertainty accompanied by continued outside pressure for results and concern on how to earn enough commission to put food on the table,” Bianco continued.

  • About a fifth (22%) of sales professionals are working a staggering 50+ hours a week
  • Eight out of ten (80%) sales professionals work on weekends either regularly or occasionally
  • But only a third (32%) are compensated for their weekend work

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Soft skills remain a critical weapon for businesses

“Soft skills and characteristics such as empathy, problem-solving, communication skills, and perseverance are today more crucial in sales than ever, as the buying and selling process has radically changed,” said Bianco.

Working on soft skills makes sales professionals feel satisfied in their role and also helps the business as a whole. The survey highlighted that salespeople that regularly work on their soft skills are more likely to have hit their sales targets

  • 85% of salespeople regularly work on their soft skills like problem-solving and relationship management
  • 60% of people who work on their soft skills hit their sales target in 2019, compared to 53% of people who don’t

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CRM technology is key to continued success

Finally, Pipedrive’s global study suggests that good technology makes salespeople more successful:

  • 84% of salespeople have invested in a CRM to help them focus their efforts on selling
  • However, 11% are relying only on spreadsheets, while 5% are just using a pen and paper to track their sales
  • Sales professionals who use a sales CRM are 9 percentage points more likely to have hit their annual sales target last year

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