Sales Managers Need to Take Mental Health Seriously: Here are 15 ways to do so.

7 min readMar 17, 2022


While reading an interesting post on bridging the gap between marketing and sales on Reddit, my eyes fell on a seller’s story. …I immediately took note of this Reddit post

I have just started working in sales. And, of course, it’s something I had thought of doing for a long time.

I know I have the traits of a seller–you know, street smart and excellent at negotiating which makes it even more exciting.

The job ad was pretty enticing, and I had four consecutive interviews with them. By the fourth round, I was sure to get the job.

My supervisors and peers are super motivating. They claim that there is nothing to worry about and once you learn certain things, the job isn’t that complex. Some of them even spoke about the competition, incentives, and money that came with this job. I was tempted…

As I’m wrapping up my training period, I feel I’m doing pretty well and I come across as a confident person. But once I get home, I find myself agitated and anxious.

I’m feeling stressed about how will I achieve that kind of money and that I may not be able to perform well. What if I lose this opportunity and am asked to leave?

Can you offer any advice on how to deal with the stress associated with the first sales job?

It’s true that sales can be stressful, but how come a new salesperson feels the pain so early on?

I was shocked and a bit disheartened on reading it.

It struck me that mental health is still an underrated topic of discussion in the sales fraternity. Everyone accepts it but no one talks about it loudly.

That’s when it got me thinking — who can help new sellers most quickly and efficiently.

And I realized, without a doubt, it’s the sales manager or leader the sellers work with.

Would you like to read some encouraging words from sellers across the globe?

Of Course!

What Is Mental Health In Sales, And How Can Managers Help?

What progress would I report in tomorrow’s meeting?

Would I still reach my target if the deal didn’t go through?

What if I’m fired?

Understand this carefully.

The core fear in a sales job is losing one’s job.

Sales is a demanding and rewarding career, but it comes with the risk of losing the job as it’s a performance-driven career.

So, hitting your numbers is key to keeping the job for a sales rep.

The dire need to keep the job and perform impacts the sales professional mentally.

As recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout is an occupational phenomenon that surfaces itself in the form of;

  • Fatigue and sluggishness,
  • Panic attacks,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Anxiety and depression,
  • Irritability,
  • And Anger.

In the sales world, the facts are even more alarming:

In a Sales Health Alliance survey of 300 sales professionals, Jeff Riseley found that two out of five reported struggling with mental health, which is double the rate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports for the general workforce. 35 percent of the time, depression and anxiety reduce cognitive performance.

Anyone who doesn’t know Jeff Risley must visit his website- Sales Health Alliance. Out of the many sellers in the world, he dedicatedly talks about the mental health of sellers and supports their struggle. He also offers help through his valuable content.

Here are some common mental health problems encountered by salespeople:

  • Behavioral and Emotional Disorders
  • Clinical Depression and/or Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD)
  • Mood Disorders

Based on data from Deloitte and a BBC report, Riseley calculated that mental health could cost a sales team of 10 $24,690 a year. Another study led by the WHO suggests that depression and anxiety disorders cost the world economy about US$1 trillion annually in lost productivity.”

This clearly means that if sales leaders aren’t able to manage the daily stressors, it could impact the sales team’s health, performance, and overall business.

Hence, sales managers need to step up and take control of the situation. One by one, they need to eliminate the problems faced by the sales team.

Mental health is NOT a sign of weakness- 15 measures that can help your sales team

“One moment, a rep can be striking a gong and celebrating a deal with their teammates, but when a deal falls through, the response is often shame, embarrassment or anxiety.” Jeff Riseley, Founder of Sales Health Alliance.

Sales reps go through multiple emotions and transitions when deals don’t come through. That’s when the sales leader(you) needs to intervene and help the rep from falling.

Because sales teams that are stressed out are unproductive.

Now, to help the sellers…I’ll consider two cases of mental health measures. First, proactive measures(precautions) and second, reactive measures(for stressed reps).

Proactive measures

  1. Be compassionate and empathetic

As a leader, your first responsibility is to accept mental health and empathize with your team’s struggle and the pressure. Acknowledge that mental health issues exist.

2. Changing the stigma around mental health

The next best thing you can do for your team is open up about your struggles and break the awkwardness & taboo about mental health. Make them feel confident by making yourself vulnerable.

3. Reduce and delegate unnecessary tasks

Unless you make space for your team to work on more strategic activities, your team members will remain stressed and uncomfortable about workload. As far as possible, delegate work to the right people and try to reduce non-sales activities. For example, free up time from internal discussions and meetings.

4. Discuss goals and targets

The control of creating targets lies with the sales leader hence the goals need to be a good combination of realistic and ambitious at the same time. Once the goals and KPIs are established, ensure the sales rep’s feedback on the goals is considered.

5. Have control over the calendar

Although sales reps decide the calendar, sales managers must keep track of the calendar to reduce stress and improve productivity. A significant change the sales leader could be making:

  • Enough time for breaks
  • Adding time-offs
  • Reducing meeting durations
  • Adding hard stops on the day-to-day calendar

6. Work on clear and concise communication

Another crucial element of the proactive measures is how sales leaders and managers communicate instructions. As part of communication, every salesperson understands their role and responsibilities. Clarify work assignments if there is any confusion.

7. Take regular time-offs

Sales reps often dread the idea of taking breaks and only decide to do so when they are exhausted. Ensure your sales reps are regularly taking time-offs, at least once every quarter. Force them to do so if the reps do not take the initiative voluntarily. While you force them to take time off, check the reason for the resistance.

8. Share constructive suggestions

Suggestions and feedback needs to be more meaningful and delivered sensitively. Just saying a good or poor job doesn’t help the sales rep. Ensure the criticism is healthy and valuable for your team’s growth. The suggestions will not be taken in a good stride unless you give progressive feedback.

9. Coach on time management and sales planning

Another blessing for your team would be training on time management and sales planning. Your team is already doing it but in an unorganized and unsystematic fashion. Sales coaching can help them do the same jobs more efficiently and improve productivity. For example, support them in reducing an hour or 30 minutes on a job that takes 3 hours.

10. Encourage and sponsor recreational activites

In Convin, not just sales but all employees are encouraged, as part of an internal employee program, to participate in recreational activities and travel. The program is devised to ensure that productivity is improved and no one faces burnout.

11. Invest in sales automation and reduce the burden

In Convin, there’s an internal joke, Never Risk Working With A Sales Manager That Doesn’t Endorse Sales Automation And Technology. No doubt, we want our product to sell, but there’s a bigger purpose behind saying this.

Unless you free up your sales professionals for core-sales activities, you can’t expect them to perform and take care of their mental health.

With the help of sales automation, simple tasks like note-making, sharing call recording, making training videos, etc., are taken care of automatically.

Are you someone who feels motivated by sales tips that accelerates your sales numbers? Then this one’s surely for you- READ it!

Reactive measures

12. 1:1 conversation is the best investigation method

The best way to penetrate the sales reps’ mental status is by connecting with them on a 1:1 session. The in-person 1:1 conversations give the actual space and confidence to the rep to speak up their mind and heart. And also gives the sales leaders the advantage of reading between the lines as the attention is dedicated to a single rep.

13. Accompany your team members at sales meetings.

The idea of accompanying your sales rep on sales meetings is not only to evaluate their call performance but also to understand if the rep is under pressure and needs help. Sales meeting strategy works best in the case when a rep is introverted and doesn’t open up about their challenges.

14. Give regular time-offs

I mentioned regular time-offs as part of the proactive measures, but time-offs are also crucial when a team member is going through a stressful and challenging period. Allow them to take breaks to clear their head and return with fresh energy.

15. If need be, get them connected to a counselor

Providing medical help is not something a sales leader or manager can suggest. But in some extreme cases, the family can be contacted to make sure the sale professional is getting the right help from a medical standpoint. If not, get the family connected to a counselor.

Note: Don’t get too involved and let the family handle it after a point.

Hang on! I’m not finished here…

As a sales leader, you’ll have to take proactive and reactive measures.

But to implement reactive measures, you’ll need to track your sales team’s reactions and changing behavior. Here are a few indicators that’ll come in handy while helping your sales team.

How to locate your sales rep is under stress and needs help?




I’m a marketer with over 4 years of content writing experience. Currently, I’m on a mission to create content that helps sellers overcome obstacles.