Delegation is difficult for a lot of salespeople. Some struggle to give up control (even for tasks they don’t like). Others only delegate a few things, missing opportunities to free up time for income-producing activities.
Delegating effectively only takes a few steps:
- Make a list of everything you do
- Break down larger tasks into components
- Identify tasks that can be done by someone else
- Create instructions & checklists
- Train & supervise
Make a List of Everything You Do
Based on last week’s calendar, write down everything you did. Fill in all the small tasks that weren’t on your calendar—everything from emails, to printing, to writing proposals. Be sure to capture everything.
Next, look back on the previous month, quarter, or even year, to make sure you’re not missing anything. Your goal here is to capture literally EVERYTHING you do at work.
Break Down Larger Tasks Into Components
After you’ve got your big list of all that you do, take a close look at the larger tasks like “writing reports.” This kind of task can be broken up into many smaller tasks. For example, you may spend an hour actually writing a report, half an hour proofreading and getting it to look right with your company’s template, and another five minutes printing copies of it and emailing it to the right people.
Make sure you’ve identified all the smaller components of large tasks before moving on to the next step.
Identify Tasks That Can Be Done by Someone Else
Certain tasks are things only you can do—tasks that require your unique experience, knowledge, and skill. For the most part, these are your income-producing activities (IPAs). Circle or highlight these tasks.
Using the example above, you’d circle “writing a report” as something only you can do—but remember, putting the report into a template and printing it out are things that pretty much anyone could do.
After this step, every task that’s not circled is a task you can delegate!
Note: You may have some tasks that can be delegated but you’d like to hang on to, and that’s fine. For instance, I really enjoy managing my calendar. It’s part of my daily process, and I don’t want to pass it off to someone else. Other people have no problem handing their calendar off to an assistant to manage.
Create Instructions & Checklists
Once you’ve decided what you’ll be delegating, you’ll need to plan on how to hand it off. You may need to write checklists or detailed instructions, so your assistant knows what to expect. Other times a few notes may be enough.
For example, if you’re delegating your travel booking, create a document listing your preferred airline and hotel brands, seating preferences, and frequent flyer numbers. A little bit of time spent on this step makes handing off a task faster and easier for your assistant and allows them to work independently.
Train & Supervise
When you hand off a task, be prepared to walk your team member or assistant through the process to make sure they have all the information they need. Be clear with your expectations, and remember that they’re likely to need some help in the initial stages.
Many delegated tasks might only need a checklist or a brief note for your assistant to get started, but some tasks will require regular supervision. When necessary, have a plan for tracking and reviewing the work you’re delegating.
Use the Power of Delegation!
Being able to delegate tasks is a valuable skill for every sales professional. It provides you with more hours in the week to focus on generating revenue and growing your business relationships. While it takes a little work to audit your workload and prepare tasks for delegation, it’s worth it!
Until next time—go sell some stuff!