Following a 38-33 victory over Worcester Warriors last week, the Sandy Park outfit are now seventh in the Aviva Premiership standings, meaning that they will face the seventh-placed side in France's top tier for a spot in the European Rugby Champions Cup next season.
"It gives us something to strive for now that we all know what's happening with the new format of the European competition," Steenson is quoted as saying by the Exeter Express & Echo. "We want to be back up at the top table, playing in the top competition and we've got to earn the right to do it.
"We always seem to make hard work of it. For us it's just about going out and performing against Sale, we can't look too much further than that. We've made the mistake in the past that we've started looking further down the line than we should do.
"We need to stick to what we're good at, and that's getting ready for the game at the weekend and then assess where we are after that. It is a big game for us and it is a big game for them as well. It's like a cup final, and it's a nice thing for us to have it at home in front of our own supporters."
The 29-year-old has been at the club since 2008.