The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 5 months ago

174. Supporting Salespeople Struggling with Mental Health w/ Jeff Riseley

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

If we sent our athletes into the field without any pads or helmets, we wouldn’t be surprised that they got hurt. Yet we’re treating our stressed and struggling salespeople as if they should stoically endure the stressors to which we have exposed them.

In this episode, I interview Jeff Riseley, Founder at Sales Health Alliance and author of The Guide to Better Mental Health in Sales, about the major findings from the 2021 State of Mental Health in Sales Report and how we can provide better support for our salespeople’s mental health.

Jeff and I talked about:

  • Why it’s challenging to be vulnerable with someone who judges your performance
  • How COVID affected mental health in sales — by the numbers
  • What role technology plays in eroding boundaries
  • What salespeople need to feel and perform their best at work
  • Where to start in supporting the mental health of salespeople   

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Get to me the salesperson or sales leader that hasn't struggled at some point during their own sales career and, rather than trying to position yourself as this perfectionist or this this leader that's infallible, you actually want to open up more and start sharing your experiences. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan, Butaute. A decade ago, today's guest began calling clients from a stack of four hundred paper leads. Over that past decade, though, we've experienced incredible advances in sales tech and sales enablement. Teams are working harder and selling faster than ever before, but we're reaching a point of diminishing returns. Why? Mental Health, burnout, fatigue, anxiety, depression. Today's guest is the founder of the Sales Health Alliance. In this conversation, will walk through the two thousand and twenty one state of mental health and sales report, talk through a few key takeaways and lay out some helpful solutions, because, much like an exceptional employee experience is a necessary precursor to an exceptional customer experience, excellent mental health is a necessary precursor to excellent sales performance. And, even though I've said sales a few times here in this Intro, our conversation is relevant to everyone, from the front lines to the sea sweet, no matter their function. Our guest first joined us back on episode seventy. Mental Health and sales. More than forty percent suffer. Now he's back, Jeff Riesley, welcome again to the customer experience podcast. Wow, what an introduction. I'm happy to be back. He than, I really appreciated and always appreciate our conversation, conversations around this topic because it's it's so important and I know it's a big part of what you do from any customer experience side side of things as well. So thank you. Yeah, absolutely. You know, there's also a theme here of humanizing and dehumanizing roles, roles that bring people to life and capitalize on their strengths and make them feel challenged and fulfilled. And then there are dehumanizing roles where people are essentially forced to be living breathing bots and it doesn't bring them to life in any way. They're restricted by very clearly defined and tight boundaries, and so there's so much going on here. And that number, by the way, I think our last episode we said more than forty percent suffer. That number is changed and we'll get into that. But we'll start here, Jeff, where we started last time and where we always start on the show, which is customer experience. When I say that, what does it mean? Do You Jeff? Well, I think I like to pull apart just the experience piece from that and if you think about an experience it had, any experience you have, whether it's an emotional experience, whether it's going to the movies or a customer experience, it's going to have a beginning, a middle and an end. So I think that's really important to think about from a customer standpoint. It's how they engage and perceive your brand at the beginning, the middle and the end every every from the first blog post they read or read or first commercial I see, all the way to how they're interacting with sales reps in the middle to finally getting that product in their hand and pass up point. What is that experience creating their life? Pass up piece, and I don't think enough companies really kind of look at it as this complete holistic approach. It's including all aspects and two laser focus on one part of the other. So yeah, very good. So go in one step deeper on because you mentioned the salesperson in the middle. Talk about how you've either experienced it when you were directly a salesperson or how you think about it now in terms of the sales health alliance in some of those middle phases where people are interacting. How where were you of customer experience when you were in direct sales rolls, or how do you think about it now in terms of the alliance? Great question and I think it's it's changed as of gotten older and more mature.

I think as a new sales rep you're not really thinking about the customer. You're under this high pressure target and trying to learn as much as possible. Lots being thrown at you and you're pretty much in survival mode thinking about, you know, how do I close this class customer as quickly as possible so they can start earning all these individual rewards and things that I need to feel safe and as you get older, it's to realize that that's not the best way to sell and the more tension you start to place on creating a customer experience. Adopting more of an altruistic and, what more, of a servant mindset approach to how you're helping people really change their lives with the products and the services that you're selling is absolutely critical to being able to understand, listen, build an empathetic relationship, be authentic, build trust. It really really requires that salesperson to live in that, in that customer shoes and experience with their experience and the experiencing in their day to day. So that shifts and I think sort of the last piece, it's kind of coming and the tail end of where I'm at in my currently current career, is how hard it is to create a positive customer experience when you haven't slept or you're feeling anxious or you're feeling afraid or feeling burnt out, when those things are going on internally and you're struggling with it, it's very, very hard to create a positive experience for the customer. That is obviously going to hit impact sales performance and their desire to buy your product or not. Man, so many good things in there, including the fact you kind of teat up exactly where I wanted to go next, but so many important ideas in there. This contrast between, you know, a whole healthy person who feels, you know, positive about what's going on around them, work and everything else, and how that state of mind and how that state of being affects the other people they inter act with, whether it's team members or whether it's customers or anyone else. And then I also came to mind is this idea, as you're talking about, you know, building trust, having this helping rather than selling mindset, the challenge of keeping that court of the experience and equipping and enabling and empowering and giving permission to our team members to serve people in that way. As we're trying to and for folks listening, I'm air quoting, as we try to scale right, as we try to turn this thing into a big machine, that it just takes what was successful in a smaller level and crank it out, and you know people often get caught in that process. So let's go into the before we go into the two thousand and twenty one state of mental health and sales report, which, congratulations on that, by the way, a really nice piece. A lot of great people involved in it and a lot of really interesting takeaways. But before we get into that, let's go to the problem overall. You know, I'll just offer a few things that I've learned by interacting with some of the things that you've published on Linkedin and in another places. You know, sales as the most stressed and unsatisfied corporate workers. You know, of all the health of teams, the most stressed in the least satisfied, the general stigma around these themes and topics, like why is it difficult to talk about mental health? Another this is a quote that you've written. Companies have built a Ferrari text act but have forgotten about the drivers roll, you know, kind of in executing that text act, which is a really nice metaphor, and we're not really investing in these things. Like it seems more like a nice to have, even though everything points to the obvious fact that it's a need to have. So, however you want to approach it, talk about this problem overall. When did you recognize mental health and sales as a problem and what are some of the key themes that you're seeing sales people or sales managers struggling with right now? Take that anywhere that you want. Yeah, so I think it's evolving. The the the problem. I think when I started talking without mental health and sales two and a half three years ago, it was like who is this crazy person on an island togument? Mentalth and sales is so taboo, there's no space for this and I think it's been really interesting. There has been...

...a lot of progress being made, more acceptance, more willingness to embrace this conversation, not to degree that I was was am hoping just yet, but it is moving in the right direction. But the problem is it's not moving fast enough. And to your point, I think when we first spoke it was back in we were just going over sort of the the latest findings from a report that I did, a mentalth and survey report that I did back and I think it was December of two thousand and nineteen, and we found that more than two and five sales people were struggling with the mental health. So I was forty three percent of sales people, which is insane. If you think about you know, almost over to two it of five sales people on your team are dealing with burnout, they're struggle with an anxiety, strugling with anxiety or some form of kind of performance related issues that it's impacting their ability to sell. So that was a critical piece that really helped me kind of scope out this problem. And then, as you've experienced and we have all experienced, between that conversation and when we're talking now covid, it is covid is day in place in this global pandemic is taken over to really test all of us to our limits, and I think one of the things that covid is really exposed is how ill prepared we are to navigate stressful situations, to manage change, adapt to change really quickly. And to your point, the new the new report that we just did, it was time to partner up with some of their amazing folks to really dive in and see, you know, as of April and May of two thousand and twenty one, what was the impact that this crazy once in a lifetime experience was it had? What's been the impact on on salespeople? And that's what we started to explore through this report. Awesome. Before we get into it, I'd love for you to address kind of two things, and I don't know if these are elephants in the room or not, but, like, what do you think about the sales leader that just says, Hey, suck it up, we've all been through it, give me my number, killing my results, like, is that person unreachable? Like what is like how common is that in your in your experience? And is that person unreachable? And there are the people that report her or him? Are they just going to have to deal with it? I think there needs to be some base level understandings, like just accepting if that sales leader, to add a thirtyzero foot view, is under the accepts the belief and believes that if my rep is a little anxious or hasn't slept well or dealing with anger or, you know, dealing with some kind of difficult emotion, they need to have some level of belief that if they're going through that, they're not going to ask better question, to go and make more mental mistakes than they should be, they're not going to be able to perform their best each day. So if they have that belief, I think any we can. We can work with anyone on this, but if they don't, then that's kind of a lost soul in my opinion. To the next piece I would say to that sales leader. One of the biggest things that I don't think enough leaders are aware of is what I call a vulnerability paradox within sales. And that the easiest way, and I can kind of ask the question to you, Ethan, is how likely are you or how willing? Are you willing? Are you going to be likely to be vulnerable with someone who's judging your performance every single day on a DA other basis? How likely are to be vulner about that person? It depends completely on how open they are with me in the kind of the tone they set. You know, by default, probably not very yeah, that's the thing, right, if someone's judging, if you feel like you're being judged or you're being viewed and and and your performance is being watched every single day, the chances you're likely going to be vulnerable and talk about that. You for maybe feeling like a failure, maybe you haven't slept well, maybe you're dealing with something like an issue at home or whatever it may be. The chances you're likely going to open up to that leader is very unlikely and, as a result, this vulnerability paradox exists because as a sales leader you need...

...to be able to create space for those emotions. It's when it someone feels safe that they can open up to then have those more rational decisions and problem solved within that within their day to day. So those performance starts to decline and you're saying, why isn't this first up? I need you to open up to me. Well, they're unlikely to open up if you haven't played that ground work, you haven't built that trust, you haven't had that foundation built from from day one. So it's really important for that leader to understand that. Look like anxiety sales is not optional, and I've get to me the salesperson or sales leader that hasn't struggled at some point during their own sales career. And, rather than trying to position yourself as this perfectionist or this this leader that's infallible, you actually want to open up more and start sharing your experiences. When have you struggled? Connect with that rep on an emotional level so that they know that you feel what you know what it's like to be in their shoes so that you can start building that safe you say, if you that psychologicals trust and make yourself more approachable when those problems do arise. Yeah, and then the other thing that we can't leave unset is the fact that if you actually, and I'm speaking to that leader that I described at the beginning of that question, you're leaving money on the table and the reason you're not hitting quota all in as a group, and that's a number you carry as a leader, it's because these people aren't equipped to perform at their best. And so this idea of opening up, sharing your experience, because, to your point, I've not been directly in a sales role. I've performed in some very sales related functions, but I have never had to carry a number and the thought alone of it gives you a little bit of anxiety, which is perhaps so I've never been in that role, but we're leaving money on the table if we don't equip people. The other thing I'm going to get to really quickly before because I want to understand it better from your perspective, before we get into the two thousand and twenty one state of mental health and sales report, who was involved in producing that? I definitely want to know more about some of those organizations and prop them up and and some of the key findings. But before we get there, talk a little bit about this acceleration in sales tech and sales enablement. What has that done to the day to day experience of a rep that perhaps makes it more likely that they're more anxious or confused or depressed or struggling in some way? Is it that it is that it makes everything go faster? Is it that, now that they're equipped, when we see increases in productivity and there's now zillions of dollars of venture capital continuing to pour into the space, the demands or higher? Is it that because we've made these investments in tech, we're going to push up the quotas and now the quotas are more unrealistic? Like or are all of these dynamics and play? Just talk about that kind of the sales tech piece and what what role that plays or where that fits into this whole puzzle. Yeah, I think all of those things you mentioned play into what we're seeing in terms of this worsening mental health and sales problem. I would also say that technology just as a whole, is within sales and just in our personal life. It's really eroding our ability to create strong boundaries with work. If you think about twenty five years ago, when we left work, it was family time and worked and follow US home. We would get home, disconnect, spend time with family and do things, hobbies and things that we enjoyed doing. And now, especially since with Covid and we've been working in isolation, the boundaries have just been totally eroded by everything and I think that started before the pandemic with, like you said, this advancement in technology. And I think the best way to think about it is if you think about, I know when I first started in sales, like I said back but eleven years ago. Now, I think a share of sales force is worth about fifteen and now it's worth what to two hundred and seventy five or three hundred dollars, and sales force back then was brand new. It was a crm known and really thought about it, and that was only eleven years ago. And you can think about all of the automation technology, the video messaging that bombomb does, there's the the predictive analytics, this automated sequences...

...like we like, like you mentioned, we have built this Ferrari, this text act that is allowing people to perform and work longer, harder and faster than ever before. Are But I think we're at a point of diminishing returns and we're at a point where adding that extra bit of technology that might make you know, a one percent difference or two percent difference in close rates or how many leads of someone can prospect, the advancement of technology is not as big anymore because we're at a speed, at a pace where the people that are actually using that technology are no longer performing as best as they can. So where I see the next ten, fifteen, twenty years of sales performance and advancements being made is really focusing on optimizing that person that's doing the selling every single day, the driver that is driving that Ferrari every single day, giving them the tools to when the encounter a stressor or a setback, do they have the tools and the the the the strategies they need to navigate that situation and mentally healthy way to improve performance rather than have it impact them for a couple hours every day or week, whatever it may be. So that's the future and the way I think about it is another kind of metaphor that I like to use is sales as a contact sport, and right now we're sending our sales people out under the field without any pads and helmets and they're getting hurt playing that contacts board every single day when they encounter these stressors. So my work is really focused on and what I'm trying to do is how do you equip sales teams with the pads and the helmets they need in the form of stress management tool kids, mental health tool kids. It's brooded and physiology, neuroscience and pause of psychologies that they can respond to the stresses and clay that contact sport without getting hurt. Okay, great analogy. And also I just love this positive vision the next decade or more being about investing in probably the most expensive and valuable and useful and productive peace and the entire thing, which is the person. It's like, intuitively, I think we would all recognize that as true, but the way you walk at out, it's like, you know, how did we get here? And I guess at some level that doesn't matter. It's what do we do from here? So, speaking of here and now, you just finished up the state of two thousand and one state of mental health and sales report. I'm just going to read the names for listeners of the organizations involved in this and I would love for you to just share any insights on how you gathered these folks and what they mean to you and or anything else you want to share about them. So, of course, the sales health alliance, uncrushed, the hair is consulting group. I'm familiar with Scott Harris. He's awesome. Richard Harris Rather, I'm sorry I mix them up with Scott Lee's because they're surf and sales together. Richard Harris, of course, with the hairs consulting group, aisp, the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, great organization that were involved with very often, and sales for the culture. I believe they're a newer organization but doing really powerful and important work. But do I even have that wrong? Breakdown any of those organizations. How did you assemble them? What would you like to share about those groups? Yeah, so funny like is the first person that I was connecting with was Tim Clark. He's the cofounder, or the founder specifically of uncrushed and we started our our mental health kind of campaigns around the same time and he's focused on sales, but he's also just focused in career ending the stigma around workplace mental health just in general. So him and I've been close and collaborating on things for the last sort of couple years since we both started. Richard Harris is obviously been more of a more of a voice in the space. He's also started time more openly, but mental health, which is which is amazing, and when I was first getting started, before I had really built a brand, he was super generous and willing to go out and help share some of my content, helps spread the word, helped gather data. So it only made sense for the three of us to really get together. And then, when it comes to the partners that were included on it, Tim and Richard are well connected with the ASP,...

...the American Association for Insight Sale Professionals, which is obviously a huge organization and and amazing to see that kind of organization step in and add their credibility to what we're trying to do. And your right, sales for the culture is a little newer, but they're very focused on diversity and inclusion specifically within sales and and and making sales more accepting and inclusive. So they again also brought like a really nice perspective to and and brand to say hey, like this is part of we want to include this conversation, to make this to really at tackle this stigma from all sides. So it really came together pretty organically. But in terms of AICP and sale for the culture, I'd have to lean on Richard and Tim for for helping us out the in set with those kind of partnerships. Awesome. Let's go to the ore of potentially the biggest headline. Actually, you know what, I'll give that to you. When you ran this, what was what are one or two or three of the biggest striking observations to you? Whether they were surprises or not doesn't matter. Like when you when you got the results back, you start to work through it, you start to look at what was there. What are a couple things that stood out to you right away? I had one, but this is yeah, heures about yours. Yeah, I think it was. I guess as a whole, because I had done that initial survey that had about close to three hundred responses from sales people. That's found that to and five, over two and five number the forty three percent. It was really striking to see kind of a one of the major takeaways is what has been the impact of covid on sales people and just on sales in general, and we saw that this number has now jumped to fifty eight percent of sales people are now struggling with their mental health, which is huge. And when you start thinking about the individual when you started to slice the data by individual roles and specifically frontline sales managers at count executives and account managers or the ones that were struggling with the most struggling the most, with the north of sixty percent for those feel those roles were strutting with their mental health, which is wild. So now we're up to over three and five sales people with that. SCRS and media is not far behind. So I think that was really interesting to see. Look we've there's a lot of work to do and hoping that this is going to bring more organizations together to talk about this. There's some really interesting correlations and things that we found. There was the impact of leading wellness initiatives. What what did that cause to mental health overall and when teams invested into wellness initiatives, there's a really strong correlation to improving mental health and sales, which is really great validation to see that these types of things are working. And then, I think from a personal level, I think sort of my biggest input to the survey was I've been doing reading on this topic around resilience, mindsets mental health for I don't know, ten fifteen years now, and as there was going about this, so we're key needs and things that kept coming up in the research around having a vision, around having autonomy in your role, around having meaning and purpose and building connection. All of these kind of core needs are really important to be able to protect your mental health and perform at your best and protect your motivation, all these things. And when we looked at every single one of the thirteen needs that were being measured, every single one was strongly, strongly correlated not only to mental health but also to sale forformants. When that need was being met, the more, the stronger is being met, the greater that the increase in performance of mental health and sales performance. So that was just fascinating for me, to say it see the this external non sales research that I've been doing. To see it really come to life specific within sales is like wow, this is very, very cool. Yeah, I love where you started, where you started, because that was my headline to so for folks listening, I'm just going to double back really quickly. He Jeff and the folks who were able...

...to get this thing distributed more than tripled the amount of people participating in it from the first study. So the sample size is much larger. And that number, I remembered, the forty percent, because I put it in the headline or the title of that episode, was what was anchored for me. So that fifty eight point one percent. And what that number is again is for salespeople who rated their mental health fair or poor, and only one point nine percent called it excellent and eleven percent called it very good. So you're talking about like a thirty x multiple versus excellent and, you know, a x multiple versus very good. So it dramatically is outweighed. And again those three roles that ranked one, two and three in terms of the lowest rating of themselves, where account managers number one, account executives number two and then frontline managers number three, talk a little bit again. Just go deeper into there's there. I didn't feel it apart like enough that I can articulate it myself, but there's seem to be a little bit of discrepancy between what some of these respondents said they needed and wanted from managers versus what actually improves their mental health and even their sales performance. Did I read that correctly and, if so, can you articulate that in a more specific way that's useful for listeners? Yeah, like, I think one of the biggest findings was a lot of the things that when we ask sales people, okay, when you think about a time that you're you were performing your best and feeling your best in sales, what were sort of the needs you felt like we're being met specifically. So we had things like I felt the strength to do my job, while I felt support for my leader. I've had autonomy in my role. So those are kind of like the telltale signs. I think there was one more that I'm I'm finnect for getting off the top of my head, but there were other things and just tell you, I'm sorry to interrupt, maybe felt recognized and valued. Recognition and value was this was another kind of key one that showed up. So those were the top three. Leadership, recognition and control in your role. So we wanted to see, okay, what's like, if those needs are being met, which ones are going to be the most impactful? And what was interesting was when we looked at the comparison between improved mental health and sales performance, things like support by leadership autonomy, they weren't as high. There were things like having strong boundaries with work, career, pathing, having meeting and purpose in your daytoday. Those were some of the ones that were popping up as some of the key things sales people need need to feel their best and perform their best, something that wasn't included in in the report. That was that I can share with you now. So, when we looked at these thirteen needs that were being measured, the ones that were primarily being met were strengths, autonomy and financial security, and the ones that were not being met, so these are sales people who strongly disagreed or disagree that this need was not being met, was vulnerability. They felt like they could be open and vulnerable with how they're feeling at work. They felt like they had direction within their career path and then they had they felt like they had boundaries. So it was vulnerability, career path and boundaries that were not being met. And if you think about those three things as on their own, as potential starting points, those are very, very easy things that we can start addressing tomorrow and start addressing today. It's leaders, people. Be More Open and vulnerable with how you're feeling. Let your team know and show your team how to ask for help. Very very easy things you can do. Career pathing, have more conversations about career having be more transparent. Have this is a regular conversation you have and your oneonone, so you're meeting this need consistently throughout the week and throughout the month, throughout the quarter. And boundaries. Have really strong boundaries. To have run a session round slack hygiene and tell people how to shut down and help them enforce these boundaries so that they can improve their mental health and their sales performance, because all three of these, every single need we looked at, were strongly, strongly correlated to better performance overall. So it's in your best interest to start filling and meeting these needs on a regular basis. So good, and...

...you already started getting into some solutions and things we can do. We're going to lean directly into that in a moment. But one of the things, one of the phrases that jumped out to me that I really appreciated just because it's kind kind of how I operate, is making a difference in the world as something that was, I forget how well it was being met, but that it was positively associate, I feel like, with higher performance and it reminds me of, you know, many of the conversations we've had on the show. The one that's coming to mind right now is with Lisa Earle mccloud. I don't remember the episode title, but she's written two books, one selling with noble purpose and another one called leading with noble purpose, and it's this idea, and you mentioned it earlier, that we are helping transform people, we're giving them, you know, we're helping them, we're making a positive impact in a positive improvement in their lives, and so this kind of making a difference in the world doesn't necessarily have to mean that you're working for someone like you know brand that comes to mind is something like Patagonia, but there is actually you're making positive difference in the work that you do and that can bring someone to life. Can you share anything you you would making a difference in the world? Yeah, so to for that that need specifically, I have or that we found that thirty three percent of salespeople disagreed or strongly disagree that this need was being met. So a third of your sales force are finding limited fulfillment and meaning in their day to day which is really really critical. Like we need to be emotionally connected to our work, we need to fulfill there's like this desire to matter what inside all of us. We have this mattering instincts. To the end of our life we want to say be able to say that you know, we were here and we mattered, and that need is a critical, critical piece to resilience and stress management. So I think sort of the biggest thing that I see that that meaning and that purpose bucket not being fount filled by is I'd like to defer to someone named Dr Michael Gervaise. He's a high performing high performance sports psychologist, seems, worked with CEO's fortune, five hundred companies athletes all over the world, and the way he described defines purpose is it really has three components. First, it has to be future oriented to. It has to be meaningful to you and you alone. And three, it has to be bigger than yourself, and it's at third piece that is a lot of sales people are missing. It's bigger than yourself, and that's where, when you start adopting that servant mindset and connecting what you're doing every single day to the people that you're serving, the communities that you're building, it helps you feel that deep fulfill that mattering instinct that is wired in the every single one of us and helps fulfill that social connection piece that we as humans want to connect and contribute and help others, like we all want to build some form of a legacy, which is really important. Yeah, and I in the vast majority of sales roles that dynamic is completely available, even if you don't see it immediately, and so it's this. I think it's one of the reasons that I really enjoy this customer experience conversation and bringing more marketers and salespeople and customer success people in marketing leaders, sales leaders and customer success leaders kind of speaking to one another, is that the more you can understand the customer beyond the bounds of your immediate role and of course, if you're in a bigger organization, you're touching approximately the same people at approximately the same point over and over and over and over again. You have like this really limited view of who the customer is and what they mean. You understand them from your perspective, but the more that we can brought in that and see what their successful engagement with our whole team means to their lives and their businesses, it can be insanely satisfying. And you don't have to you know, you don't have to be running a nonprofit to create that. If you could. Any commercial transaction has value for the customer that can improve their day or improve their life or improve their business in a way. And so I think this potential to have that third missing piece or the piece it's so missing so often for so many people.

That potential is there all the time. Again, another good solution there's helping map that for people if you could communicate. I guess one thing with this week, something, one thing I would say to kind of build off that, is I think there's there's a lot of fake empathy going around within sales. There's a lot of sales leaders saying be empathetic, or I just or sales reps being like I'm empathetic to my to the customers, and the thing that people are forgetting is empathy. Real empathy has two parts. There's cognitive empathy, so you're able to sit there and think about the problems that someone might be having. So I'm sitting here thinking about, you know, the potential problems that Ethan might be facing. You trying to sell, is sell the book, or some of the challenges that you're facing at bomb on. The second piece of most sales people are missing is effective empathy, and that's where you're able to literally feel the emotions that your customers and your buyers are feeling on a regular basis. You want to be able to feel that frustration, feel that anxiety, really connect with those emotions and that's going to help you again, create more meaning, more purpose to in your day to day when you can actually feel what they're feeling, even if it's just working a day in the life of the person that you're selling to. What does that look like? That's really it's a really important exercise. It will help you develop a greater appreciation of the problems that you're solving. The people that you're helping on a day to day basis. I think why I've had been fortunate enough to have some success in the mental health and sales peace is I've had the panic attacks, I've had the INSOMNI I've struggled with the anxiety and the sleepless nights and not knowing, knowing what to do and who to turn to and still having this quote over, hanging over my head, and because I'm able to connect with that and what I write and podcast like this and presentations that I do, it really helps me understand that. You know, it's not about me at the end of the day, it's about how do I make a difference for that one person then is struggling. So I think that's a really important piece. Is that effective empathy piece that doesn't get to have talked about enough. Man. I'm so glad you added that. This fake empathy, the two layers of empathy, and specifically this effective empathy. That reminds me another great conversation I had on the show called, I forget what we titled It, but it was about the feeling economy, which was a book written by and his collection of a bunch of research done by Dr Roland Rust at the business school at University in Maryland, and he in in this ties back, Jeff, to what you were saying about the next decade really need needing to be about the human he draws out the shift from the mechanical economy and the way the automation and robotics and machines have taken that over, leading us into the thinking economy where we are now, where you know, humans highest value is in thinking and most ai and robotics is really automation. It's taking over those kind of manual tasks. But he says over the next twenty to thirty years when a shift into the feeling economy, because ai is going to take over more and more of the thinking and analytics tasks, leaving the highest value of humans in this effective empathy piece that you're talking about. Any lists in the book the top ten feeling economy jobs and good news sales people who are listening today? I think that was number three on his list or something like that. But only only if we do as you recommend, Jeff, which is either lean into that effective empathy ourselves or two, empower our team members and equip our team members and coach our team members to do the same. That is going to be the value, valuable skill of the next decade or two or three, because it's something that machines are still terrible at delivering and it's something to as you said, in a variety of different ways in this conversation. It's natural and deeply baked into the human experiences. So we have to celebrate that rather than, you know, call it weakness and some of these other things that we do foolishly and into our own detriment. If there are a couple other things, you've already offered a handful of solutions. If there are a couple other things that you could get more sales managers or frontline sales people to think about or do? Now we're moving into...

...like some additional solutions and you've already done a nice job of including several. What are two or three things that a sales rep or a sales manager should think about doing or a mindset shift or something else today or in the week ahead. Yeah, so there's there's lots, I think. I think one of the best things sales leaders could potentially start doing is start asking your team like move away from there's so many like I think there's so many engagement surveys that are going on right now with with teams saying using the typical questions like you know, have you have you slept well, or would you recommend the company to a friend? Like how likely are you to leave in the next six months or whatever, whatever those questions are, and from the engagement surveys that I've seen, the vast majority of them are problem, I. Problem Identification Questions, which means you're identifying the problem, whether your team is burnt out, if they're not sleeping whatever. There they'd recommend the company, but they're not necessarily helping you to find and find a solution, because there's all of a sudden saying, well, thirty percent of my team's going to leave in three months and it's like, well, what do we do? Like where's the starting point? Is just here's a big problem. Now there's like crap, like what we're going to do? So I think using some of the data from the survey is going to be important. If you go back and start asking your team on how likely are they to be open involved with how they're feeling? What do they believe in the company vision, like do they feel safe and secure in their jobs is big piece around psychological safety is really really important. Do that financial security? Do they feel like their goals are achievable? These are tangible needs that you can address as from a leader and start adjusting and fixing and managing on an ongoing basis. So that's a big thing. I think another really great company is has started, a pot that has recently launched. Their software is called Leon. They are all around predictive analytics around burnout and providing leaders with actual strategies they can use based off of the data. We really need to start getting a better scope of how our team is performing on a regular basis, getting some more objective data and not around how many calls are making or, you know, how many demos are setting or how much revenue the close closing, more data and metrics around how are they actually feeling on a datata basis and having more check ins and having these this infloid data so that you can make adjustments on the fly rather than a problem identification, engagement survey every six months and you're like God, what do I do? It's already too late. I think from an individual level, there's so many resources. There's put it in an online book I put on an online course, really investing into stress management and learning mindset strategies and tactics that you can use on a daily basis to help yourself perform better on a right every single day by protecting your mind and help you navigate these stresses and unique way that's out there. And sort of the last thing going to say is try to get more objective data. One of the best things I did at the start of the pandemic was I invested into into a whoop. I don't know if you use a whoop Ethan, but it's essentially a fitbit on steroids, measuring my sleep, measuring how much mental and physical strain my body is under and providing me something called a recovery metric every single day, which is just an objective data point that I can wake up and say, Oh, I'm forty percent today. What are some of two adaptations I can take to make adjustments to my day so that I can get closer to that ninety percent or that ninety five percent or on days when I'm feeling like I'm in the eighty five percent, okay, this is a day that I can really push it. I can really kind of extend myself. What are some projects that I can extra projects that they can take on? And you really want to focus on finding that sweet spot where you're calm and alert and really believing that your mood follows your behavior. Something that rich role talks about a lot, which I think is is one of the greatest quotes of all time, is you can't think yourself into a better mood. You have to take action. Your mood follows your behavior. So what's one action you can...

...start taking on a daily basis, using data like whoop or just in general knowing, knowing what you like and what will help you recover? Was One action you can take to help you change your mood when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed or sluggish and unmotivated. so much good stuff there. I don't want people to miss this. First and foremost, it because you're listening to this podcast and we're like, I don't know, thirty five or forty minutes in, you're obviously a podcast listener at some level. I also will doubled out on Jeff's recommendation, indirect recommendation. I'll make it very direct. The rich role podcast is fantastic. So many themes and topics covered on that show. But Jeff, could you just say again, was it Leon, the platform was and loop is the fitbit on steroids. So Leon, Llo and and I think it's search my Leon. It should show ups theory. They've just launched their product all around predictive analytics and well being, not specifically to force it or sorry for sales, but also any team, which is really important. And then, whoop, whoo P so I was hearing it is loop. I was like, I'm not familiar with that one. Yeah, whoop, so it was. They partnered with the PGA, so all of the pro golfers are using it to optimize their performance. But now we're seeing a lot of these knowledge workers, these people that are really committed to mental performance on a daily basis, using it to perform better on it and in their day and manage their stress levels more effectively. Awesome. I will add those for folks listening. We do write ups on every one of these episodes at Bombombcom podcast. We do short write ups. We take some video highlights out of it. So whether you want to see the video highlights and decide whether to listen to the whole episode, or you've listened to an episode like this and now you want to go, you know, bring it to life a little bit, see Jeff and see some of these highlights, to remind yourself of some of the the great moments in this conversation. You could do that at Bombombcom podcast. When you're there. I want to recommend or in your preferred podcast player on a recommend two more episodes. I already mentioned it off the top. Episode Seventy was with Jeff Risley, who we have here again today, and then, more recently, but still a while back, episode one hundred and twelve, with Lisa Earl McLeod. I mentioned her earlier in this conversation. Leading with noble purpose and selling with noble purpose, adding that third missing element of knowing that our work is making a difference in the world. And so we talked a bit about noble purpose and how to discover it and how she got turned onto the idea, similar to the way Jeff shared with us here and on episode seventy, how he got turned on the idea that there needs to be a movement around recognizing and improving our mental health as a key driver to our success in the work that we do. Jeff this has been a really great conversation. Thank you for continuing this mission, thank you for organizing with Richard and with Tim and with these other organizations to, you know, get these ideas out in front of other people, to allow them to provide feedback and share their experience and to turn that into value for other people. And before I let you go and before we tell people where they can get the report or learn more about the course that you mentioned in some of these other resources, I would love for you to do two things for myself and for listeners. The first is to think or mention someone who has had a positive impact on your life or your career, and the second is to give a nod or a shout out to a company, your brand that you appreciate for the experience that they deliver for you as a customer. And a quick qualifier here. You can repeat some of the people we've already mentioned or go with a new one. And you can go with one of these companies you already mentioned or go with a new one. And I forgot to double back. Usually when I have a return guest, I like to go back and see what you said the first time. So that doesn't matter here. So approach those two questions in whichever or you prefer. Yes, I think the two shutouts I would give a chalk it up to two people that are also doing a lot of work within the to the mindset or the mental space within within sales. Kevin Bailey over at dream fuel is is.

He's a neuroscientists and former founder and he's doing a lot of great work around mindset specifically for sales people, which has been huge. And the other mindset expert that I recommend is someone named Tommy Short. He's also group putting out amazing content on Linkedin. He's a former Feba referee and he's now started his own his own company focused on think better, perform better is what it's called, which is again a great heading for great company name. But these two, I think, are really if we think about that future of sales and next sort of ten, twenty years of really optimizing the mental game, these are two other people that are doing some amazing work in the space that it highly recommend checking out on on Linkedin, following their content and potentially reaching out to work with them. They're they're awesome. In terms of the company, I would the first one that comes to mind, I would say, is fantasy flight games, and the reason why I'm tossing them out there is I think one of the biggest things that helped me through the pandemic was finding a new hobby. So I've invested and I've fantasy flight games puts at this kind of really nerdy marvel card game that I've just become totally obsessed with. So I think they've saved my mental health quite a few times. Is something that I could sort of disconnect from work with and kind of really start playing, and it's kind of stretching those board game muscles that I really really enjoy doing to decompress. So grateful to them for creating really awesome gaming experiences for people like myself to get off the screen and on wine with some friends. Awesome and thanks for those. We have more links to add to this one than we've had in a while. I'm looking forward rounding those up and connecting with those folks myself. For folks who want to connect with you, Jeff, they want to learn more about you, they want to connect with you on Linkedin. They want to learn more about the sales health alliance. They want to know what other kind of research and resources might be available. Where are one or two places you'd send people? Yeah, so the website is the main one. Sales Health, a linscom is a big one. There's a lot of resources on there that you can start using. There's also follow me on Linkedin. J Just Jeff Riseley, our see lley. But the big thing that I like to note is I just launched a book called the guide to better mental health and sales, which is two hundred and twenty strategies from preve your mental health and sales. So if you think about what leaders can start doing, as well as having consistent conversations on a regular basis. So the way this guide is set up, there's about two hundred and twenty selling days in a year and this guide is going to provide you and your team with talking points, strategies, actionable things that you can start doing every single day to start working on your mental health and addressing some performance issues and help you kind of take better care of yourself as well. So that would be other thing. Check that out. About fifteen dollars Canadian, so it's super accessible. As a would be the the main places to find me. Awesome, and that's at sales health alliancecom. Yeah, under the training section. Just awesome book. They're really good. I love the way you set that up. I love this idea because he because you think about it, two hundred and twenty selling days in you reac you could actually use this book three years in a row and it would be or five years in a row and it would continue to be used full and evolve with you and with your team over that time. Really Smart Approach, Jeff. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for the work that you do and thanks for sharing it with all of us here on this episode. Thank you, Ethan. Again. Great always. They have to be guest in your podcast and appreciate the opportunity to continue to spread the message on this topic. So thank you. The digital, virtual and online spaces where we work every day are noisier and more polluted than ever, and the problem is only getting worse. At risk or relationships and revenue, join bombombs, Steve Passanelli and Ethan but, along with eleven other experts in sales, marketing, customer experience, emotional intelligence, leadership and other disciplines, to learn a new way to break through the noise and pollution human centered communication, a new book out now on Fast Company press. Learn more by visiting Bombombcom book or search human centered communication wherever you buy books. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast.

Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

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