Exeter, beaten in their last four Premiership games, show two changes from the side pipped 15-12 by Challenge Cup opponents Perpignan a fortnight ago, with flanker Tom Johnson returning and wing Nic Sestaret featuring at centre.
"Our performance level has been high, so we've not panicked too much," Hepher said.
"Recently, we've been in a phase where we just needed to finish games off to produce those wins. It hasn't quite gone for us on occasions, but the more times you put yourself in there, the more successful you will be."
Assessing the challenge Sale will pose, Hepher added: "They are strong right across the board. They invested a lot of money over the summer, and the quality of players out there is fantastic.
"They have some strong ball-carriers in midfield that give them momentum, but we've got guys who can defend and be enthusiastic."
New Sale signing, former Auckland Blues flanker Onosa'i Auva'a, features on the bench for Sharks, with centre Sam Tuitupou captaining a team that includes England wing Mark Cueto and Wales World Cup squad member Andy Powell.
"In terms of our development, this match is the most pivotal game of the season," said Steve Diamond, Sale's executive director of sport.
"Exeter are a good side. They are very workmanlike, keep the ball well and they wait for you to make a mistake."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
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Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
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The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.