It can be hard to avoid toxic sales environments and find one that supports positive Mental Health conversations. This is especially true now in a post COVID environment as companies start to revert back to bad habits.
Many companies showed their true colors and revealed their stance on Mental Health in sales during the pandemic. Some embraced having vulnerable conversations about anxiety, burnout and other Mental Health challenges they were facing as a team. Others operated business as usual – continuing to neglect and avoid these important conversations that are critical to employee well-being and sales performance.
This means finding a supportive Mental Health culture is a top priority for thousands of salespeople who have been mistreated. If you’re one of those reps or leaders preparing to enter the job market, then this post is for you.
Below you’ll find a series of questions you can ask during the hiring process to interview your next potential company on their Mental Health culture and practices.
They should help you avoid toxic sales environments and increase your chances of finding one that understands the importance of Mental Health in sales.
Ask Questions To Avoid Toxic Sales Environments
- Are you required to answer emails and messages after a certain time?
- How often are people working on weekends?
- Do you survey your team about culture, engagement and well-being?
I’ve added some additional questions that are a little spicier and likely to catch the interviewer off guard:
- What have you done/ did you do to support your team’s Mental Health during COVID?
- What type of Mental Health training or services has the company invested into?
- How important do you think Mental Health and team well-being is to sales performance?
- How would you react if a sales rep requested a Mental Health day and they were behind target?
- At the end of a challenging month, how do you encourage teams to rest and recover?
- Even the best miss sometimes. How is a sales rep treated when they miss target?
If asking these questions makes you uncomfortable, then that’s a good sign. You’re stepping outside your comfort zone and learning to put your needs first.
If asking these questions disqualifies you from the interview process, then you can feel good about that too. You just saved yourself from a bad situation.
If asking these questions is met with a blank stare, hums and haws or an attempt to deflect the question.
Finally, if you’re a Sales Leader or hiring manager reading this post and not proud of how you would answer these questions…
Then it’s time to change.
Helping You Change Your Toxic Sales Environment
Below you’ll find two links that will help you change. The first one is a link to a new online course focused on improving sales performance, resilience and EQ through better Mental Health. Many leaders are starting to include this program in their new sales hire onboarding program to start the Mental Health conversation on Day 1.
As a sales rep who may be working in a toxic sales environment, this might be something you consider as well. It will provide you with practical strategies rooted in positive psychology, neuroscience and physiology to help you protect your Mental Health.
The second link is a 5-Week program that I deliver virtually to sales teams and has been extremely well received. The program outline includes the topics that get covered, pricing and feedback from clients who have participated.
The future of sales is bright when we start putting salespeople and their Mental Health first. Hopefully the questions above help and these resources help you take a step in the right direction.
About The Author
Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.
Jeff combines his sales and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through a mix of sales mentorship and mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams improve their sales process, while helping them become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.