7 Non-Work Things Sales Reps Must Do To Survive

A sales career can be very demanding -- it forces you to work long hours in the office while your non-sales friends are gallivanting around town. There are some sales jobs that allow you to build up a large customer base or residual income stream, but most reps spend a significant portion of their life at work building that customer base. But every sales rep also has a lot of non-work things they must do if they want to survive and thrive in the sales world. Here are the most common:


1) Get pumped up – Different sales reps do it differently, but everyone needs to get energized for a successful day in sales. Many rely on caffeine or energy drinks to do the trick, some listen to their favorite hardcore music, and others have their own unique methods to get motivated; from superstitions to positive self-talk. 

2) Vent – The stress and frequent rejection in sales can break even the most mentally tough person down at times. Everyone needs a bit of room to vent in such a stressful career. Some choose to vent to their co-workers, others vent to their significant others, and some pick alternative ways to blow off steam like playing competitive sports or a good work out. 

3) Have fun with each other – One of the best things about working in sales is the camaraderie that you form with your co-workers. Everyone is under tremendous strain, which make the moments of downtime a great opportunity for some stress relief. Whether it’s playing pranks on each other, some (friendly) competitive trash-talk, or just a quick game of office golf, the friendships you make at your sales jobs can last a lifetime. 

4) Think about their “why” – Whether you’re a natural born salesperson or not, there has to be something motivating you to keep pushing forward in your sales career. For many people it’s their family, and providing a better life for them, for others it’s a competitive desire to be the best. Whatever your “why” is, consider it every day. 

5) Eat – This might seem obvious because, of course, most everyone eats during the workday. The difference for sales reps is that the act of eating is sometimes part of the job and sometimes an afterthought. On a day-to-day basis, most eat as they work, taking bites between answering emails or while waiting on hold. For some reps, hosting and entertaining clients is crucial to their work giving a 'working lunch' a slightly different meaning.

6) Calculate their (potential) commissions – Not everyone will admit it, but everyone spends some time calculating their commission sometimes before the commission period has even closed. Since pay in sales varies based on performance, and comp plans tend to have multiple components, tracking and figuring out pay happens on a regular basis. 

7) Read about sales – Sales books and motivational quotes have always been a part of sales, ever since Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in 1936. But smart phones and social media have made such content ubiquitous, allowing a constant stream of inspirational memes and influencers to be at your fingertips with a simple “follow” on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The popularity of this content among salespeople shows that it’s either helping them improve, or it’s helping them get through their day.  


Vidya is the head of marketing for AppMesh, the makers of SalesMesh. Prior to joining AppMesh, she worked for Salesforce. Her favorite sales movie is Tommy Boy.

SalesMesh is the personal CRM/sales app that works the way you sell. Automatically track customer interactions, notes, schedule follow-ups, collaborate with your network, sync to and from Salesforce all from your iPhone and iPad -- even when you're offline. Learn more here.
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