Salespeople: lack of motivation, stress, burnout

Salespeople: Do we know who they really are? [Social Study]

The job of salespeople seems to be quite straight-forward. You sell stuff and get paid for doing so. You ask people whether they want to buy a product, offer some deals and help them by recommending the best choice.

Simple, right?

Not quite.

Life of a salesman is paved with worries, concerns, lack of motivation, burnout and constant stress.

That’s a lot and not everyone can take it throughout their whole career.

Still, salespeople are mostly perceived are those who don’t care about the customers and simply focus on selling and getting more money from sales.

Today, we want to show you the other side of the coin. We’ve asked tens of salespeople to take our survey and help us tell their story.

What are the results?

Keep reading and get to know what it’s like to work as a salesperson!

Salespeople do fear

When we asked salespeople whether they do have worries, doubts or fears in regards to their job the answers have divided in a 2:1 ratio. 66% of all salespeople said “yes” and the only 1/3rd of all said they do not suffer from fears regarding their job.

It shows how likely you are to struggle with various issues while working as a salesperson.

But what exactly do salespeople fear?

We will describe it later on as those who took our survey have outlined exactly what bothers them the most.

AI is not a threat

Only 14% of all asked have answered that they fear of AI and robots replacing them in the near future and only 31% of those who claimed that the job of salespeople will become redundant picked the AI development as the reason for that.

That’s quite interesting outcome. It shows that there is a strong trust in the uniqueness of salespeople’s abilities among themselves.

In the world where we hear about the robots and artificial intelligence being able to do more human-like tasks, it’s interesting to see that there are still sectors of the market which do not consider being replaced by the newest technologies.

Salesperson = stress

90% of all claim that stress is a part of being a salesperson and 88% admitted that they had to deal with the stress throughout their career.

What is more, 68% of that people said that they have to deal with it on a daily basis.
Also, constant stress has been chosen as the second worst thing about being a salesman, right behind the constant pressure to sell more.

It shows just how big of a role does the stress play in the job of a salesman.
This statistic can easily place the job of salespeople as the top stressful job.

Interestingly, this issue doesn’t go away with the age. Contrary, it raises with the age.

The group of people between the age of 25 and 31 have unanimously admitted that they have to deal with the constant stress. Moving onto the next groups this trend preserves as the results do not go below 90%.

Youngsters fear the least

Only 40% of salespeople between the age of 18 and 24 claim to have fears in regards to their job. That is the lowest result out of all age groups with the next being 50% in the bracket of 51 and 60 year-olds.

What is more, only 30% claim that they had to deal with the lack of motivation and 40% with burnout.

Also, 70% of all salespeople between the age of 18 and 24 said they suffered from stress, which is a relatively low number compared to much higher ratios in other age groups.

I don’t need your quotes!

57% of all do not find sales quotes motivational.

The main reason that people outline is that they would rather rely on their own expertise than someone else’s words.

What’s interesting is that the youngest group and the oldest had the lowest “quote-trust” ratio. It might be that the young people are too cocky to rely on the expertise of elders and the people who had been working for more than a decade truly have enough of their own knowledge.

Salespeople will remain

Only 25% of all salespeople claimed that they believe their job will become redundant.

The main reason for those who believe that it will remain as it is, is that there will always be a demand for good salespeople and simply companies have to sell thus will need to hire salespeople.

The most job-trusty age groups are 41-50 in which no one opposed to the idea of the job of salespeople lapsing and 18-24 with 31-40 in which only 20% voted for the job of salespeople becoming redundant.

Is it a dream or is it not?

Less than a half of all who took our survey claimed that their current job is their dream job. That itself is the sad takeaway but we wanted to know what is the reason for those who keep working in sales even though it’s not what they like doing.

The main reasons for such people were that they simply decided to give it a go or that it was an available choice. Sadly, it seems that it hasn’t worked out for many of them.

On the opposite, those who said that their current job is, in fact, their dream job outlined that it has always been their #1 choice and also that selling is what makes them tick, thus there is no other job they could do.

Do you feel motivated?

If you meet a salesperson and want to take a guess whether they struggle with a lack of motivation at work you have more than 50% chance of being right!


53% of all who took our survey did say that they had to deal with the lack of motivation throughout their careers as salespeople. What is more, 50% of these people claimed to have first started feeling it after several months of work, while 31% admitted to started feeling it during the first month.

Those who struggle the most with the lack of motivation at work are women between the age of 32 and 60 who all agreed on having to deal with that issue.

Lack of motivation is a common issue throughout the salespeople and it strikes quite early.

Some of the salespeople admitted to have a favorite book that helps them stay motivated.
These are the best motivational books according to salespeople:

  • The Bible
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

That burning feeling

In terms of how many of all salespeople had to deal with it, burnout is a lot like motivation. That’s because 60% of all who took our survey did say that they had to deal with the burnout throughout their career.

Yet, burnout is also much different when compared to the issue which is the lack of motivation. Lack of motivation strikes fast, after several months or, in many cases, during the first month of the work whilst most salespeople had to deal with the burnout after several years of work.

What is more, men at the age between 51 and 60 have all agreed on having to deal with the burnout.

Exercise more!

Interestingly, regular exercising happens to be the most universal method for all of the main struggles of every salesperson.

It has been chosen as the #1 method of dealing with the lack of motivation, #2 as the best solution to stress and #3 as the remedy for burnout. Thus, we can recommend nothing else than just pure exercising as it seems to yield the best results across all of the age groups and regarding all of the main issues that come with a work of a salesman.

Many studies have shown that even short but regular exercising can completely change the way we feel, work and behave. If all it takes is 30 minutes daily spent on doing push-ups, squats and pulls ups – just do it!

Simply take some time off

Taking some time off and going on a vacation seems to be very common methods of dealing with various salespeople’s struggles. It comes as a #1 method of dealing with both stress and burnout prevention.

It’s simple, takes literally nothing to do and everyone is capable of doing so. Sometimes, you just simply have to take a few days off, go on a hike, chill with friends, have some quality time with the family or even spend it alone.

The most important thing is to separate this time from work and clear your mind from work-related tasks.

Also, don’t think that using all of your free days shows you in a bad light. In fact, the studies have shown that taking breaks from work benefits both your health and in-work effectiveness. So, do not hesitate and take some time off.

And the worst thing is…

It turns out that the worst thing about being a salesperson is the constant pressure to sell more. People have also outlined it as the main thing that causes the stress. Thus, it shouldn’t be a surprise when I tell you that the second worst thing is… the constant stress.

We can clearly see that everything that is considered to be the worst in the job of salespeople has to do with the issue of stress. Thus, if you are considering jumping into the world of sales, have in mind that you’ll probably have to deal with the stress throughout your career, so better prepare for it in advance.

Some salespeople find books as helpful when dealing with the stress.
These are the most common stress books:

  • Law of Attraction by Michael Losier
  • The Power of Now by Tolle Eckhart
  • Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

What do they fear the most?

We know that 66% of all who took our survey admitted to having fears, doubts, and worries regarding their job in sales. Now, the question is what are those fear?

It turns out that all 3 top fears are closely related to each other and take on the topic of the instability of the work of a salesman.

The #1 fear that was chosen by the most is the fear of getting sacked as soon as your results plummet. Interestingly #3 is being aware that you can easily lose your job. These are also the reasons for stress as none of the salespeople can be sure of whether tomorrow will be the workday or not.

The #2 fear is not having a stable paycheck which again, takes on the topic of instability. With a job of a salesman you never know how the next day will look like.

There is a bright side!

Not everything related to the job of a salesman is dark and sad. There are a few aspects of that job that make it unique and can be outlined as the pros of being a salesperson.

We’ve noticed that there were 5 different choices with nearly the same answer ratios.

The first one is that every day is different, so you don’t get bored. If you remember what was outlined as the main fear of all salespeople you’ll see that this is a complete opposite.

The second one is the ability to constantly learn and improve. Being a salesman is a continuous game of becoming better with every sale. Those who can improve the most will become the most successful ones.

The third and fourth were the satisfaction that comes with every sale and the fact of being able to help the customers. We can imagine that even after the worst day at work, making that one person a happy customer turns around the whole situation.

The fifth is self-dependence. Some people like the fact that their paycheck relies solely on your own actions. Still, it was chosen as the #2 fear of all salespeople, so we can clearly see a division of salespeople in regards to this issue.

It’s not that easy

As you can see, the life of salespeople is not all roses.

Even though sometimes we get easily pissed off by people trying to sell us something, remember that it’s simply their job. No different than the one you do.

Do not make it harder for them than it already is.

Anyone who considers becoming a salesperson – remember – it’s not an easy job but if you find yourself comfortable dealing with such issues as stress and anxiety, you’ll become a great salesperson!

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