Looking after yourself: Mental Health Awareness in Sales

07 April 2021

Mental Health Awareness in Sales

Now more than ever has Mental Health been at the forefront of people’s agenda, with the Pandemic forcing people to work from home and reducing social interactions. It’s a complete shift from normal life, all these can affect people’s mental health, leading to stress and anxiety. On top of this, in the sales world, the pressures to meet targets can exacerbate these symptoms. A staggering 1/5 of salespeople have taken time off due to stress, with a further 20% of those taking between 3-6 months off. 

With Mental Health Awareness Week coming up between 10th – 16th May, we would like to share this recording from GST XIV Mental Health Awareness Panel. The panel consists of: 

Carl Day, Director of Sales & Marketing - Apogee (formerly Director of Indirect Sales - Toshiba TEC UK);  

Monic van Aarle, Director of Sales Industry/Commercial Director - SAP (formerly Director of General Business & Partner Ecosystem - SAP Netherlands); 

Andrew Hough, Founder and CEO - Association of Professional Sales; 

Dr Mobasher Butt, Chief Medical Officer - Babylon. 

Topics of Discussion 

Some of the questions asked to this panel are that: 

  • Should companies do more to help people that are being affected by stress and anxiety? How can the sales culture change?  
  • How can technology help individuals that are suffering from mental health issues?  
  • How can the stigma associated with mental health be addressed by sales companies? 

Carl Day discusses his own battles with mental health and how he has managed to use his stress and anxiety to his benefit, how he harnesses it as a driving force to perform. While Monic van Aarle talks about how coaching can be used to help notice the early sign of stress and anxiety within a sales team and how this can prevent long term issues from developing. 

As a sales leader, it’s important to support your team, noticing symptoms early and opening conversations up with your team about this can be incredibly beneficial. Some key things to look out for are: 

  • Feeling sad or down. 
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate. 
  • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt. 
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows. 
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities. 
  • Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping. 

It is important for us all to be aware of our own mental health as well as others in our working environment, it is all too easy to become overly focused on targets and burn out. Hopefully, through open discussions, we can destigmatise some ideas around mental health issues.