B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

68: The Power of Mindset: How Leaders Can Manage Sales Team Stress w/ Ollie Sharpe


According to recent research, sales is the largest business sector to experience high levels of work-related stress. This can come from working long hours, pressure to perform at critical moments, dealing with setbacks (or no’s), or from taking risks

We invited Ollie Sharpe on this episode to discuss stress management in the sales team environment. He gave us his best practices from his years of senior sales management at LinkedIn, SalesLoft, and CD Recruitment.

Ollie is currently the VP of Revenue for EMEA at SalesLoft. He recently took on this new role after 10 years at LinkedIn.

What we talked about:

  • When it comes to stress, prevention is the best medicine
  • Be human 
  • Be approachable 
  • Lead by example 
  • Understand your sales team, but don’t be a counselor
    • An example of hitting this ‘understanding’ balance
  • A quick note on diversity and stress
  • Setting expectations early on avoids stress
  • Create happiness on your sales team to drive peak performance
  • Are you doing the things that make you happy?
  • Are you spending time with people you like to spend time with?
  • Are you switching your brain off regularly?

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

To hear this interview, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

... beginning. Is that once there are issues, not saying it's too late. You can still learn, you can still sort things out, but as leaders, I think our job is to make sure that we understand ourselves and we understand what happens with mental stress mental wellbeing issues and how we can actually stop them from happening in the beginning. You're listening to be tob revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a REVN ner acceleration. My name is earlim with you and I'm here today with only sharp veep your Furvenu emia at sellers left. How are you doing today? I'm very well. Thank you very much. Thank you perfect. So today we will be talking about managing stress in the cells world. But before we get into the detail, can you please introduce yourself fully, and the company had to represent a sense of course. So my name onie sharp. I'm VP of revenue at sales left. Recently spent ten years at Linkedin and then joined sales loft as the they VP in April to set up the business across from here, seals offt our sales engagement company with self engagent platform. Basically that helps organizations become more or sales teams become more efficient in their outbound activities and their communication with clients, whether it's for SDRs to to c usms. It works on top of your crm to line up the steps, the workflow to help the salesperson with with what they're doing, but also ensures that your sells forces always up. Today we see RM, which is one of the biggest bearers of any sales leader, as we all know. Tell me about it. But it also helps with coaching and development of the team as well, because it's got conversation intelligence in there and listening into calls, etc. So it fits quite a broad range of categories. But with the market leadering what we do, and it's a whys this great product. It's surely a great tool. We have many of our customers using...

...cells lost we end up including that in now in our ticularity. staken and definitely are tools that are team loves because it's removing the Bilden of the admin which, at the cells construtant level, is fantastic and, as you said, the reporting at the vaccage fantastic. So to meeting all that is is great. And so were don't you to speak about sells lost displaye. The thirt is of great solution. So let's go back to the to a peak. And according to recent research, we on those that sells is the largest business sector to experience a level of what related stress which can come from walking long our world are stress of selling, the pressure, the dealing with we setbacks and also taking a lot of risk in the sense process and well, I believe that in one end, having a sudden level of stress can get you going, can make a Qapi and as far as it's control, and make you a successful selves person. Obviously, and elevated stress level can quickly become a personal burden, and particularly subminis. I'm right. So that's that's my statement. Now going to the question. So, as someone that does manage any successful sells team, I'll do things. Sells leader are should deal with team that are sometimes stressed and on the performing, but also when the US on doctorfroming themselves as a sellers leader. I think it's tough one because it sells leader that is stressed is probably not going to act in the right way. For me, it's about how you set up the team and the culture in the beginning. Is that once there are issues, not saying it's too late. You can still learn, you can still sort things out, but as leaders I think our job is to make sure that we understand ourselves and we understand what happens with mental stress, mental wellbeing issues and how we can actually stop them from happening in the beginning. And I've worked for many a leader over my time that I can see the more pressure that is put on from a leader on to a team, it's that adds to mental stress...

...with any team. So I think that you're right with I mean courter cell levels rise when we get stressed, but there's a healthy level of that. But once it goes over a certain amount, then that's when it goes bad. That's when we get run down. We'd become tired ill and it can get worse. From their shut show. I think that leaders need to be aware of themselves and the certain things that we can understand from different books and different learnings that help us understand and manage our own stress levels. So I think we leaders should be doing that and they should be aware of the science within their team shop. There's IT comes down to the culture that they build. So I believe that a leader should build on my my philosophy, on it is I want to do, be very human, accept that I make mistakes, accept that I might not be in a good mood accent but yours tod and be approachable. That's really key thing that I think they someone feels they can't be kind, approach their leader about even if it's to say I've got some personal issues yet and needs some time off, or this is why I'm stressed, and also lead by example. I think it's a case of there's Times that I maybe run down and I still think I can still make it to work. I shouldn't. I should think no if I wouldn't want my team doing that. And I think the open and approachable bit, open and honest and Rep approachable, is a big thing that if I'm open about my feelings and my stress levels, and one thing we do is in my team meeting we have a check in yea and we all say how we're feeling and if there's anything what we're looking forward to or we sometimes go through what, raising ourselves on spiritual, mental, emotional and physical quacity of how how we doing with those? We spending enough time with our loved ones? So I think it's just being open and honest yourself and really making sure that your your team, can be open and honest with you and give me making them understand. You understand that. You understand that. Sure other things more important. Work and coming to that point. So, oh close do you need...

...to be to them personal life? Because, as you mentioned, sometimes you could have a what related stress, sometimes you could have an outside, off operated stress. We had the where an EAXON put out, and I won't go into the details because the first know, but I had one on pretty telling you about the issue that you was facing at all and obviously you want to be supportive but at the same time, as the manager, is actually your rule to get into the details how important you think it is to be close to the resource from on a personal standpoint, I think you're right in the way that it's is there a level of kit you can get too close to? Yeah, and you're right, you're not accounselor to them. Well, I think the key word for me is understanding. So if I know that someone is having issues at home or the something that is impact in that performance, I would rather know so I can be understanding assurance. So if it is a case I need people to go to an event over in friends or something and I know someone's that issuesing is putting more pressure on them, I will tell them I understand that may not be their priority at the moment. I think having an open door, that people can talk to you, but don't get stuck in the bit the way of being that person that is their counselor so does a thing. So why is the limit? Then? What happen? It's a higher sometimes too good, too stupid, you know, and people may just say, well, look, I'm so supported by the Perlson so since I'm supported, maybe I can be, you know, doing a little bit more. You know, the advantage of it is you with so how was you make sure that you don't full in the category. It's hard to do. I think that it's a case of being open enough to say I don't think I'm the right person to help you with this. Maybe you should be looking at professional support. Ye, maybe you should be looking to speak to a friend, I think, because I am your manager. I'm here to support you, but I don't think it's right for me to be that here, that you come but you talk with it. But at the same time I think you need to make sure that they can come and speak to you rather than not feel they can. So, yeah,...

...you're right, it's a tough thing, all right, but as between farther portion or sent yes, exactly. So how can you develop a successful company culture where team members wouldn't feel valued and then you've Al Rezards as consequence of that commitment and well being? I think one thing is key to me that I learned early days and it's sort of the I lied to. This is the diversity side, and this is just about gender diversity. is about diversity of thought, diversity of personality, everything, because I think that once you build a non diverse workforce, as you grow you're going to make it more diverse and then it's hard for people to fit in. So the earlier you can build the diverse workforce the better, and just making sure that they feel at home there. I think that there's key things that people tend to want to fit in. I'm very the way that I manage, I believe, is slightly different in certain ways. Of all, that's what I've been told by the people that work for me. I'm very much okay. I will set the boundaries, the accountability and the why I expected them, my expectations right at the start night, and it's case of right. If you're doing these and your successful, we will have a great relationship. I won't I want you to have a good work I balance. If you're not in it, if you're leaving it for I'll just trust you that it's because you're going to go do something that is for yourself, and I'm cool with that. But the one minute that you're not following our core values in your behavior or not doing hitting these expectations, then will draw back to those and work out what's going wrong. But if you're doing those, that to say expectations, and making them accountable early, then you concentrate on the culture, which also tray on the having fun people want to my Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linkedin, always talked about this. What Compassionate leadership, which I think is very strong now, and there's Dec only one thing that always sticks with me. He always says that happiness is looking forward to going to work and looking forward to going home, and I have that and I hope my team have that,...

...because if you're not on a Sunday, you know say to you were you? But honest to day, sometimes I remember being some jobs on a Sunday and I are and that's the worst thing. If you, if they if they can't see a difference in their level of excitement or level of happiness between work and home, you you're really good place. From certain I know you maybe a very, very difficult question, but how do you define on measure when being to feeling? I guess I mean you can do ebs has employ voice surveys once twice a year and see how happy they are. People in honest and they're hopefully they're honest. It is a you can normally tell by people the way that they act in an office environment. You're going to know them. Some people acquire to some people noise you. So it is hard to measure. I mean there's a book, and the reason why I'm very bothered about the wellbeing and their happiness is there's a a book called the happens of Fantais both Shan Acre and people believe that successful people are happy research has being done. It's the other way around that happy people are successful. So the more I can make my team had here and what they do, I will get the best from them and I think that people don't realize that and I think it's an important lessonsolutely about. That's kind of driving me to my next question, which is, I'll can the right mindset actually drive big performance? Yeah, it's. I think it's. It is mindset and it is looking after yourself. So mindset is, you're right, we should is mindset. Everyone always thinks of caroldwag mindsets, thinking about the growth mindset, which I agree with, and I think it's having the positive mentality within the office space. So mindset does matter and hopefully in the interview process you're finding people with the right mindset. Yeah, and you hopefully we understand what we are asking to get the right mindset. One thing I also look at when I when I'm talking about peak performance, there is swarts and law wrote a book and they did lots of research into sport and there's Ever Pea performance pyramid,...

...and it's I talked to my guys about this every queue for because it's when it's right that people aren't looking after themselves and what it does it you've starts on one level. It's like masslow's hierarchy of needs. Physical capacity. We need to be looking after our bodies, we need to be getting our heart rate going once in a while, eating the right things, drinking the right things, getting in a sleep. Then it's more emotional. Emotional capacity is more about are we doing the things that make us happy? We spending the time with people, with people like to send time with. Then it becomes the mental side. Oh, we take are we switching our brain off? Are we constantly thinking, or are we twitching our brain off? And it's like a muscle that we need to make sure we're resting it exercising it. Once we have those in place, the top level of what they talk about is spiritual, which is having a purpose, having a goal. And when you think about it and you look at that in more detail, queue for most of this goes out of the window. We're getting good, say we're having a glass of wide straight away over, we get homes. Find about yet exactly. So it's the mindset is big, but also how we look after our bodies and our minds is also good. To me but that does impact your mindset massively. Absolutely have to your old self. So you mentioned you mentioned activity and getting the outword going and stuff like that. So we really big on that. We recently started, like a month ago, an operatics running club. Well, we get people to to night I'll be running with some of the team in the dark, in the cold, probably in the way as well, and we realize that we he's been so successful people would never run. Just kind of got lifted by the rest of that. Colleagues will get people would do it in twenty minutes. I K we've got some of the would do it in forty minutes, but everybody waits for each other and there is a big celebration at the end helping the other one. So and we really, I was really short prized as the the impact that he hadn't how much people wanted it. It was just for fun at the beginning and and and it just it just gets. It just got really interesting. I know we've got too many people running on most which is dangerous,...

...but I guess my point is, what can we learn from the world of spots, because there is tremendous amount of mental pressure in spot. We actually not training use the example of box are like my medali going on to the rain, and we use that analogy for telling our reps that they should get prepared prior to a meeting, because if you prepare yourself, you can, I go on that ring thinking as you can, destroy yours again in front of you. You know that's got to strong left Hook. You know you've got to cover yourself, you know when you're gonna have to eat, you know if you need to be Ba shut on the patient, etc. Etc. So the preparation is ski and the preparation gives you confidence. Yeah, achieving your good but so we can of get it. But I'd like to Amos on from your perspective. Oh that's an energy between spot business and main sets. Yeah, I think that there's a lot of research. Even the shorts and Law Pertformance pyramid came from the Study of Sports Law. was looking at this learner and was looking at tennis players how they recovered between games. But there's when it comes to mental toughness, there's a book called the Game Plan by Dr Ste Bull who, yet peopulls, worked with the British cricket team, the Olympic Team, etc. and He puts it in. What happened was he was researching it in sport, he advises people in sports psychologist. He's brought it into the professional world and he breaks it down into four py areas of mental toughness, which are areas that are in sport but are so rife in business and especially sales. And the four areas are turn around toughness. This is when you're when something bad happens, when you lose a deal, you miss your target, anything like that, and it's he puts things in place, models in place to help these people that have had that happened. So, for example, we turn around toughness. It's about how you get your mind thinking positively again. So it builds a twelve peaks, mountain peaks on a piece of paper or a white board and they fill in positive things that they've achieved in their lives so far to get them thinking positively again. But then you think about how you can learn from what's happened.

Next one is critical moment ofness. So this is about how do you go into the big board presentation or how to go and do a big speaking engagement? And each of these toughness types endurance and risk management as well, he puts models in place to help us cope with it, and that's really interesting for me just to think that we have these stresses every day, every Qvo, but we don't recognize why we're feeling like that and how to overcome them. So that is something we can definitely learn from support. But then you can look at things like marginal gains. That isn't just around the mental side of it, but marginal gains, which was a brave rails for the the cycling coach. Yeah, about just improving everything by one percent. And especially if someone is quite activity driven in a sales function, then if they can just if they can cut down their time between each core by one percent, if they can be a bit better on each care by one percent, it makes it be different. So there's a hell of a lot sport and sales. I think the hugely aligned, and also you have lots of ex sports people in sales, where I don't support specials books, but it supports people, it sells you. You've been referring a few books today. What one of us is a customember, the exactator, but one of the thing will ended up that's currently in the recruitment processes is the book from the Upspud Gay. I think it's take a company from and two hundred million sales accelerators, acceleration FAMULA. Yeah, it's a very yeah, as a team we're going to get and one of the things that they say about recruiting people, the first characteristic is to find people, put someone with coachable. Yeah, and I remember a speech from one of the English rugby coach with saying exactly same thing. Say, I don't want the stronger gay in May team. It's not about a big R really, what I want is, do you have a sponge or do you have a stud between your hair? Yeah, if you've got a sponge, you are coachable. You can be made him because it's about tactic. Yes, powerful things like that, physicality. We can develop that, we can train that, but you know, we can...

...make an athlete stronger. We can't make someone with nuts really smart or doesn't want to listen, not to stub. All other things got a better, way better. Yeah, no matter how good they are, because it's a spot team and I think that's that's that's a beautiful energy and we use that to loots in our recruitment process. We actually do role play to see how people are coachable and you've done a coachable it don't you just don't make it. I Hun't agree. I've read that book and it helps me growing my team because I woke good to ten very quickly, and the biggest thing will these things I learned from me, because I'm very much around coached my I chosen job on culture. I choose my people on culture. If someone can at two hundred percent, isn't a culture that they're not coming absolutely. But what it helped me do is how do you strip back your needs of recruitment into four or five main areas? That and it is imple talked about intelligence, work, ethic, curiosity. So that's what we've got. So we've got to Cutchab also going. One for us is smart. So this smart in the sense of straight smart, you know, social smart. The third one is around curiosity, which is very critical for us, because you shouldn't call us you don't do your research. The third one is work ethic, and that's when his first experience. You know, I'm quite frankly, best experience for else. We had some guys you we've been top performer. They were laying fake grass before draining us, but some mosoor just carpet fitter. One of the gay with successfully now jum and teams starting with US maybe two months ago, was a bricklayer. Really all started. So yeah, and probably one of our performer in the business. Ever, is a game. We used to play football for QPR unfortunately did both of his knees and noise our VP sides and also the cost on the on the show. So I think it's yeah, where you come from, past experience could have the sense. But I agree with you. Sometime people tend to recruit cluone. Oh He's been walking with a complete stor. It's not true. With my pals, go tries so key exactly, and as long as they can, as long as they've got some expiritual the've got the ability, for example, to sell to sales pressures different cells, some to finance. It does mean they...

...can't do it to salt finance is the ability to do that. But one of the questions I always ask interview stage is what's the last thing you did to develop yourself? And I don't want to hear my company pull me through this or anything. You read a book evidence. Yeah, and even it is. I wanted to be a marathon runner or something that's development of themselves. Else yes, shown they can do something, get up the book to do it and commit to it. So that's one of the key things I look for an interview stage or thank you very much for in sight. So he was a really good it was good to speak to you in pss what usually we do. It a lot of fun. So it's much more and joy with in person. If anyone would like to carry on the conversation with you, pick your bright or even speak about says love, which is a fantastic to it. That could that could make sense in the business. What's the best way to get in touch with UNI Linkedin? Okay, yeah, I'm me on Linkedin. Make sure you there is another only shot, but this only shop that sales left and just connect with me and happy to help with anything or talk about product whatever list. Thank you what. It was great to Adjumpa for today. Thank you very much. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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