2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Many of us are facing increased feelings of anxiety and isolation. Prolonged periods of remote working, challenging sales environments, and an uncertain future can make it difficult to maintain a positive mental state and overall productivity.
By now most of us are aware that looking after our mental health, especially in the high-pressure world of sales, is key to remaining healthy, happy, and successful! But many of us still struggle with understanding what to do when we feel stressed, anxious, or what it means to be depressed. How can we achieve the right balance between striving for success and taking a break before we burnout?
With this in mind, we came up with a checklist of 7 tips to help you look after your mental health and stay motivated whilst working in remote sales.
1. Listen to Your Body to Stay in Touch with the Mind
Some people are very good at staying in tune with their body and what it might be signaling to them...others struggle more with it. But in this uncertain time, it is important to learn how to listen to your body and find some sense of stability from within.
Hear me out.
If you can observe physical signs of stress or mental strain you will be better equipped to pinpoint periods of stress and anxiety. Be aware of:
😴 periods of insomnia,
🤢 stomach upset like bloating,
😑 chest pain,
😬 teeth grinding and other signs that can signal underlying emotional stress.
Once you can spot these take a step back and start to address the emotions you are experiencing, acknowledge them, and whatever you do don’t push them under. From here you can start to take the first steps to deal with your emotions, for some it might be as simple as a workout or mediation, for others, it may be more serious like looking into workload, work environment, or professional help.
“Just this today. Sales is hard enough. Take a moment to breathe, then tackle that next task. The looser and calmer you are the better you will sell.” Keven “KD” Dorsey, Sales Leader
If you’re looking for a simple first step try mediation apps like Calm, Headspace, or free workouts by fitness YouTubers
2. Take Breaks and Switch Off
We all need a break sometimes, and regular breaks should be part of your regular routine! Increased working from home means that the line between work life and private life has become increasingly blurred and the temptation to check your emails out of office hours has become a normality given that the office has transitioned into the home. Even before the pandemic, 74% of sales professionals agreed that they felt that they were on call 24X7 and must respond to customers immediately or risk impacting the relationship.
Learning to schedule regular breaks and taking time away from your LinkedIn account (especially on the weekends or in the period before bed) can actually give you a better perspective on your tasks and increase productivity! Try working in 45-minute shifts and taking 15-minute breaks before focusing down on your calls again.
3. Keep Up With Your Team
Make sure to keep up with your team and maintain relationships at work. Whether you work remotely or not, having a positive team around you and being there to socialize with colleagues can make your time at work more meaningful.
Work on starting virtual coffee catch-ups or check-in with colleagues from time to time. Sales can seem like a competitive environment but think about working collaboratively. Share tips and tricks, experiences and learnings, or summaries from meetings that went well, in order to foster a positive work and learning environment where you and others feel supported and less isolated when working remotely.
4. Use Technology to Stress Less and Achieve More
A 2019 Uncrushed study found that 57% of sales professionals said that their workload is in excess of their capacity. But what does that mean? That you are trying to do too much! Between prospecting, calls, and sales admin like CRM updates, it is no wonder that many sales reps feel overwhelmed.
Focus on why you got into sales and what you want to achieve, use technology to avoid getting drowned in admin, and get back to enjoying customer conversations and the thrill of sales.
Use an in-call assistant like Ciara, to take notes, sync meeting summaries to CRM, and feel less anxious about upcoming calls or pitches. Having a clear record of what happened in your calls is also great when you need to find mistakes and successes in your customer interactions.
5. Lead by Example and Set Realistic Goals
Calling all sales leaders, setting realistic goals and staying in tune with your team is key to motivating them and helping them maintain a good state of mental wellbeing in these trying times!
“I think there are three keys. First, you must lead with compassion. Don’t just focus on the numbers, but meet with your sellers daily to reassure them of your support and care for their well-being.
Second, lead by example. This is a good time to roll up your shirt sleeves and do anything you’re asking your sellers to do. When they see that you’re in the trenches with them, they’ll work hard to please you because you are leading by example.
And third, don’t leave anyone behind. Every one of your sellers will have unique circumstances and this is a time to care for each and every one of them. How you treat every member of your team during this time will have a lasting impact on how your team views you as a leader.” Mario Martinez Jr., Modern Sales Evangelist, Vengreso
If you are a sales leader and are concerned for an individual on your sales team, check out our in-call template for How to Have a Conversation About Mental Health.
6. Embrace Failure and Switch Up your Mindset
Failing to meet quotas, missing a deal, or having a bad pitch can be totally demotivating, and if it happens more than once in a short period of time it can get very disheartening, resulting in reduced productivity.
Instead of letting a bad pitch fester and bring you down, look back at the meeting and find insight into what went wrong. Sit, understand, and analyze what you could have done differently and take this forward to your next pitch.
By focusing on growth instead of failure you might find a more positive outlook. This also applies when giving feedback to others, use their failures to teach as opposed to putting down, only then will you encourage a positive learning environment and good mental health outcomes.
7. Seek Help
There is a difference between having a bad day and struggling over a prolonged period of time with your mental health! If you have been feeling low, anxious, overwhelmed, and exhausted to a point when it is getting to be too much, now is the time to seek help. This could be talking to a friend or family member, talking to a doctor or seeking talking therapy or talking to your manager about your workload. It might seem daunting at first but looking for help is a good first step.
Here are some links to charities, resources, and podcasts that offer more insight into dealing with mental health issues: