Matthew Jason Templeton is a Sales Administrator at Xpand IT, where he is responsible for sales generation. Matthew spoke with the Sales Health Alliance to share his story and best practices for managing Mental Health in Sales.
Xpand IT is an innovative IT company based in Johannesburg. They specialize in assisting clients with a complete and professional IT outsourcing solution. They aim to provide clients with a single contact for all IT solutions.
Why do you think more awareness is needed around Mental Health in Sales?
The world has changed and closing sales can be very sporadic.
Buyers have more information than ever before and therefore have more control over the sales process. Salespeople have less leverage over when customers decide to go ahead with a purchase.
This puts a lot of pressure on salespeople mentally and emotionally as it becomes hard to forecast when deals are closing. As a result, targets sometimes get missed.
For overachievers like myself, this can really demoralize my confidence.
What has been your experience with Mental Health throughout your Sales career?
I’ve been in sales for a little over 9 years now and when I began it was definitely a lot easier to cope with.
I think as you get wiser you learn that sales requires focus.
You have to focus on saying the right things, doing what you say you’re going to do and always putting your best foot forward.
The hardest part is dealing with the highs and lows of sales. Lows are hardest when customers are not buying which comes with it’s own set of pressures. Obviously dealing with the pressure when sales are closing is much easier.
When navigating the highs and lows, my advice is to always remember it ‘s often cyclical. The next high is right around the corner if I remain focused on the sales process.
This has enabled me to stay positive and focused through some of the toughest times. I’ve also found it helpful to also talk about the lows with friends or your colleagues facing similar challenges.
Who have been your biggest workplace influences around positive Mental Health?
My bosses. They are crucial to maintaining positive Mental Health within sales.
I’ve had terrible leaders that only thought about themselves. Sales requires a team first mentality to keep everyone healthy and avoid burnout.
My best influences were from amazing leaders who have inspired me to keep giving my best. To always aim to be better.
During a typical day, week, month or quarter working Sales – What events impact your Mental Health the most?
Definitely winning and losing deals and the uncertainty before winning or losing that deal. The bigger the deal, the more invested I become emotionally.
Larger deals bring added pressure and require more focus to ensure they’re successful. Situations like this are exciting, but make it hard to also fill pipeline at the same time.
Everything in sales requires balance, just like Mental Health.
What are some of your Best Practices for maintaining your Mental Health while working in Sales?
These are my top 6 best practices for maintaining my Mental Health.
- Gym as soon as I wake up each day and a strict routine of eating right and timely during the day.
- Also no alcohol during the week. This has definitely affected my mental state in the past.
- Give yourself breathers and split your day into sessions. Always see a task through. Set goals and stick to them and do research on how to do daily tasks more efficiently.
- Set time to study or research your products – this helps with confidence and purpose.
- Coffee breaks as rewards. Talking positive helps your mind to think positive.
- Do tasks like cold calling in groups and make it fun. The support helps as well as provides a competitive edge.
How do you talk about Mental Health at XpandIT?
We openly discuss it amongst ourselves and how we can do things more positively. Often we try to understand the rejection we face and learn from it.
We support each other when we lose deals and offer advice to each other. NO – Next Opportunity.
I also like to send positive motivation memes or advice to my team via email. Some of my colleagues struggle to openly talk about rejection in sales but we all need some upliftment from time to time.
What is the number one thing you would change about working in Sales that you think would improve Sales Rep Mental Health the most?
More motivation and constant training. It is important to encourage the team to bring and share their own methods of dealing with the pressure.
Salespeople also need to be more involved with the rejection they’re colleagues are facing. This helps build awareness of common objections, share best practices and gain a better understanding of the pressure on salespeople.
I also think adjusting targets according to buying trends and analytics would help reduce staff turnover and better prepare sales teams. Success comes from being prepared.
The Sales Health Alliance would like to thank Matthew for sharing his story and best practices around Mental Health.