The sales industry is rife with work-related stress.
A culture of long hours, sales targets and pressure to deliver top-notch customer satisfaction is a pretty heady mix that often leads to burnout.
So how do you, as a sales manager, deal with that?
Trust us when we say that not dealing with it just isn’t an option.
If you’re not effectively managing the wellbeing of your team, you risk:
· Damaging morale
· Reducing productivity
· Lowering engagement
· Fuelling attrition
· Devaluing your brand
But even if you think you’ve got this wellness thing sussed, you could be getting caught out by some common mistakes.
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Not addressing wellbeing at all
Over 1 in 10 people in the sales industry frequently think about a career change because of work-related stress, with leadership style as the third most cited issue for stressed-out employees.
That’s a big deal.
But it means that you as a leader, have the power to make a difference.
Companies can’t afford to not embrace wellness initiatives in a post COVID world. Health and wellbeing have taken centre stage and any reticence to address that could see you managing a disillusioned, disengaged team.
Having ‘show’ policies
Implementing policies is all well and good but you’ve got to back them up.
Simply telling your people there’s a wellbeing policy in place but failing to live those values through any definitive action is as effective as a wellbeing policy as a bowl of plastic fruit.
And while we’re on the subject, a token bowl of fruit, real or otherwise won’t cut it either.
People crave authenticity, so be authentic. The focus on wellness isn’t a gimmick and it isn’t going anywhere soon, plus it doesn’t have to cost a bomb to do it properly.
The only real non-negotiable when it comes to your policies is that you actually act on them.
Not leading by example
This is a biggie.
You’re in a position of leadership, which makes you a role model. Like it or not, that’s what you are – meaning that you need to be the change you want to see.
It might sound like we’re quoting song lyrics, but according to Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index, 76% of employees experiencing poor mental health are most likely to confide in their line manager first.
But of those, only 51% feel comfortable and act on it. This means you’re in the strongest position to bring about a culture shift, paving the way for open communication and encouraging an environment of trust amongst your team.
Your people will be taking their cues from how you handle stress and deal with challenges, so if you’re honest about your own struggles, they’re much more likely to follow suit.
Presenteeism costs three times as much as sick leave, so it’s vital your team is comfortable enough to tell you when they need some time out.
Not managing with compassion
The sales culture can be incredibly tough.
You’re dealing with high-pressure situations, and the onus is on you to make sure your team is performing. But no one ever created a happy, engaged and productive team by scaring them into submission.
If you want to look after your team’s wellbeing (and with clear evidence that it makes for less stressed, more focused employees, why wouldn’t you?), then it’s all about compassion.
If someone on your team isn’t performing or makes a mistake, compassionate coaching can be incredibly powerful.
What’s behind the low figures or the slip-up? What can you, as a leader, do to help?
When people trust that you want them to both perform well and be happy, it unlocks a whole other level of loyalty and engagement.
Taking a blanket approach
Everyone’s needs and comfort levels differ dramatically.
Some people will relish the chance to open up about their struggles, while others will shy away from group shares in sheer horror. That doesn’t mean you write them off; you just find another way.
Questionnaires can give you a really great insight into the individual approaches needed by members of your team, allowing you to try out a range of methods that encourage openness and communication.
There will be a way that works for everyone; you just have to tap into it.
How Sales Psyche can help you
Building a culture where employees feel valued, supported and listened to is one of the most powerful steps you can take as a leader, and an unbelievable legacy to leave behind when you inevitably step up the ladder (being the compassionate and totally awesome leader that you are).
Sales Psyche was born out of personal experience from the stresses within the sales industry, and a desire to help sales professionals achieve more, but worry less.
We combine results-driven sales coaching with a genuine focus on mental wellbeing.
Success, without the burnout.
To find out more about how we can help you to better manage your team’s wellbeing while optimising sales performance, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
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