#9: Sales and mental health

Sales and mental health: Episode Notes

The relation between sales and mental health has always been fairly controversial due to the nature of the job. 
Sales representatives are continuously exposed to a wide range of stressors, which makes them an easy target for issues like burnout, anxiety and depression. 

Statistically, over 40% of sales people experience mental health problems, and if we consider entry-level roles the percentage is even higher (above 50%). On top of that, the best performers seem to be as exposed as the rest of their team, if not more. 

In this episode of the Stepsero podcast we are joined by Jeff Riseley, a people leader with extensive experience in the field of mental health.

Based on his own research, Jeff shares interesting insights about the triggers that sales people commonly experience. Among these, “micro management” and “missing the target” top the list of stressors, while “getting rejected” seems to be the last concern on their minds, likely due to the levels of resilience that professionals in the front lines build over time.

What can leaders do?

According to Jeff, it makes sense for leaders to avoid approaching the whole organization at once. Sales teams are used to being evaluated on specific indicators, therefore making it easier to measure the effect that improvements on their mental health have on performance metrics.
A good way to go about this is by focusing on two main areas:

  • Self-care – by building healthy habits around sleep, nutrition, and self-esteem, among others.
  • Stress-management – by helping individuals respond to stressful situations in a mentally healthy way. In this regard, leaders can help employees navigate strong emotions and rebuild themselves from the ground up.
We conclude the interview with an interesting take about the flaws of the current academic system, and the reason why it often fails to adequately prepare students for their professional careers.

Our Guest: Jeff Riseley

Jeff Riseley Profile Picture

With a decade of sales experience, Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance. Battling anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks throughout his sales career – Jeff has used his knowledge of Mental Health to inspire sales teams to reach their full potential through better Mental Health and well-being. This became especially important, when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in the summer of 2018. The same strategies involving – mindsets, perspective, self-awareness, empathy, self-control, mindfulness, optimism, grit and habits – that made him successful in sales also aided in his swift recovery.
As a successful individual contributor, sales leader and of late – sales mentor/consultant – Jeff has experience working with sales teams of any size at any stage of growth. Jeff is the primary voice of the Sales Health Alliance and available for Speaking Engagements, Custom Tailored Workshops, Virtual Training and One on One consulting projects.


Jeff Riseley Linkedin profile

Sales Health Alliance

Sales Health Alliance – Online Course

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State Of Sales: Can Meaningful Work Improve Mental Health, Happiness & Sales Performance? (2020 Survey)