A former-sales director is shaking up the industry with a new wellbeing app which will shift attitudes, improve work culture and revolutionise sales training.

Warrington-based Raiys is at the forefront of the workplace revolution and is urging business leaders to invest in mental wellbeing over incentives to promote presenteeism, reduce turnover of staff and ultimately create a happier, more productive workforce.

Led by managing director, Matthew Shaw, who has over 15 years’ experience in sales, the team also includes professionals with backgrounds in behavioural psychology and software development.

The Raiys app educates and supports people from junior to senior level with specially tailored resources and training.

According to data from the Sales Health Alliance survey, carried out earlier this year, salespeople are three times more likely to suffer from symptoms of poor mental health whilst 60% acknowledge underperformance at work due to challenges with their mental health.

Matthew first entered the world of sales while studying at university before spending time at a global bank.

He said: “As the dialogue around mental health increases and we return back to the office, looking after your wellbeing has never been more important. It’s not a box ticking exercise that can be waived off with group activities that fail to cater for individuals’ needs – and this is exactly what our app addresses.

“A stressful sales job can impact people’s lives, well beyond the workplace. We hear from people who suffer sleepless nights, constantly feel anxious, have low confidence and struggle to deal with rejection because of their roles. I know first-hand how that feels and the barriers people face when it comes to improving and protecting their mental wellbeing, that’s why I’m passionate about Raiys and the launch of this new app.

“Whilst there are often big budgets for incentives, spending on relevant mental health support is minimal and businesses waste even more to accommodate a revolving door of employees. Good incentives can sometimes mask underlying problems of deep dissatisfaction and we believe salespeople would benefit from more investment into their personal wellbeing to boost productivity and happiness.

“Employers’ attitudes towards protecting mental wellbeing are typically more reactive than proactive, resulting in an industry-wide failure to address a growing problem – a lack of tools and resources relevant to the challenges that different occupations face. Our approach is different, we believe the route to a happier, more-engaged workforce starts with preventative steps and measures. That’s why Raiys equips individuals with tools to spot stress triggers, support personal growth, develop a resilient mindset and manage difficult scenarios before they escalate.

“We’re encouraging business leaders and sales directors to look closely at how they currently equip people who work in business development. Many organisations claim to offer a robust training programme but this tends to support learning of the company and its product rather than interpersonal development and scenario preparation. Achieving record sales isn’t something you can teach, but there are areas to help people in order for them to succeed and this starts with mental health training.

“An employee in a warehouse would never enter the shop floor without training on health and safety procedures including hazard awareness and accident prevention, but this doesn’t exist in sales. The challenges salespeople face are pretty universal; rejection, pressure, burnout, stress, anxiety and more. Our message to employers is simple; if a job is known to put an individual in harm’s way, physically or mentally, you have a responsibility to best-equip that person and put preventable measures in place.”

Users also have the option to complete a mental health awareness course produced by an in-house accredited therapist which will help individuals spot warning signs in those around them, as well as recognising signs in their own behaviour.

Matthew added: “Many of us are aware of traditional and generic wellbeing apps, but our platform directly addresses with those issues caused by work, which have been found to contribute towards one of life’s top three stresses. The content on the Raiys app is tailored towards salespeople, such as behavioural psychology and we look at the relevancy of content and how it will help those in the industry; that’s what makes us stand out against the crowd.”

There will be two versions of the app, one for employees and one for managers which will contain different courses and materials.

Matthew said: “We want to upskill managers so that they have the best approach to building and improving sales team culture. If managers set a good example to their team and are compassionate and motivating, they will go on to inspire the next generation of talent. All of this combined results in a healthy workforce.”