In the vast majority of “bad leadership” stories I hear in sales, it almost always comes down to mental health.

It’s either….

1) Failure on the sales leader’s part to understand how declining mental health and stress are impacting someone’s mental performance and neither the seller, nor the leader having a toolkit to resolve what’s going on.

This breakdown often results in leaders reaching for a PIP too early, rep turnover and then repeating the same scenario with a different rep a few weeks later as the underlying leadership issue goes unresolved.


2) The leader is the one struggling and operating from a survival mindset, which turns them into the worst version of themself (i.e bully, micromanager, etc.).

Stress is at all time high right now in sales with 79% percent of sellers and 76% of sales leaders feeling stressed or highly stressed. This means the two scenarios above are plaguing sales teams everywhere.

Below are two simple action items sales leaders can take to avoid these scenarios and improve their sales leadership.

Action item to avoid scenario #1:

Leaders, educate yourself and your team on the importance of mental health and stress-management. If you’re looking at investing into traditional “sales training” right now – stop.

Our data shows that 90% of sellers feel like they have the strengths to do their jobs well. This means another training session on negotiation, prospecting or discovery will yield minimal ROI.

What sellers don’t have is a skillset to manage stress and take care of their mental-wellbeing. A gap that is impacting every single sales KPI you look at every day.

mental performance

And no this doesn’t have to be some dry and boring seminar where you sit around in a circle while things get awkward like you might see in an episode of The Office.

This can be mental performance training that teaches you and your sales teams how to thrive under pressure.

Every person on the planet would describe working in sales as “high pressure”

So it seems foolish to think we’ve gone this long just “winging it” in how we deal with stress and pressure – don’t you think?

Hint hint – I can help you with this.

Action item to avoid scenario #2:

Leaders, check in on yourself with a very simple question…

“If a barista got your coffee order wrong today, how easy would it be for you to be kind to them?”

If you think it would be difficult or a similar inconvenience like this would throw off your entire morning, then it’s time to slow down and take a day to reset.

(If you don’t know how to reset quickly and effectively – see action item above)

The inability to be kind and short-temperedness are clear signs you’re in a state of distress. I’ve also created this Free Burnout Calculator so you can do a thorough check-in.

Multiple people depend on you and you owe it to them to create a psychologically safe environment.

Don’t let the worst version of yourself damage important relationships within your team.

Hint, hint, I can help with this too.

Learning To Thrive Under Pressure In Sales

When sellers and sales teams learn how to thrive under pressure, they do amazing things like hit President’s Club, bounce back faster and get deep restorative sleep each night.

More importantly – they do more, with less – which is obviously a top priority for organizations currently going through budget cuts.

To explore working together, click below to see our programs to support sales teams and individual sellers/leaders.

Learn How To Thrive Under Pressure

About The Author

mental health advocate Jeff Riseley

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 mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.


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