8 years ago
April 13, 2016

7 Steps to Effective Sales Delegation

In this article, we’ll discuss seven key steps in making sure your sales delegation is done right.

Rhys Metler

Sales delegation doesn’t always come naturally to those it can most benefit. There’s an element of self-reliant, goal-oriented focus in the top workers that doesn’t always leave room in a salesperson or team leader’s mind for proper sales delegation. But ensuring that the best man or woman for a job is the one doing it and spending your own time on the things only you can do will benefit everyone’s bottom line, handled properly. Of course, doing sales delegation right means more than tossing a to-do list on a co-worker’s desk. In this article, we’ll discuss seven key steps in making sure your sales delegation is done right and your delegated tasks are done and ready when they need to be.

Step #1: Identify the task.

That means specifics, not vagaries. You can’t very well delegate a task unless you can clearly define that task. Don’t try to hand off something when you don’t really know the full extent of what you’re handing off. That said, knowing the task is only half the battle–far more important for sales delegation is your ability to…  

Step #2: Identify the result you want.

When you take on a task personally, you have a result you’re aiming for, a goal you set yourself and pursue. Effective sales delegation means having someone else get you that same result–it’s not enough to hand a task off and get back an inferior result, or something you can’t work with because it’s not right for your methods. The task and how it’s performed in many ways matters less than the outcome. That’s something to keep in mind for the next step.

Step #3: Find someone who can get you that result.

If you don’t understand what the people around you are capable of, what their strengths, weaknesses, and schedules look like, any sales delegation you do is doomed to failure. Your goal is to set the task to someone who can achieve the same or better results with as much or less time put in–if you can do that consistently, everyone involved comes out ahead. 

Step #4: Explain the reasoning behind the sales delegation.

Whether your sales delegation is to a subordinate or a peer, explaining the reasoning behind selecting that person will go a long way toward better outcomes. With a subordinate, you can better impress upon them their value to the company and achieve better worker morale. With a peer, your ability to ‘sell’ the sales delegation as being in everyone’s best interest can determine whether it even gets done.

Step #5: Explain how doing the task benefits the person you’re delegating to.

Again, this is important regardless of whether you’re talking to a subordinate or peer. Benefits can include any range of tangibles or intangibles–a favor owed, financial reward, networking opportunities, the chance to stand out come promotion time. More than anything, this will determine how often and how effectively you can delegate to people who aren’t obligated to do things for you. 

Step #6: Make sure the task and deadlines associated are understood.

Poor communication ruins sales delegation like nothing else. Leave nothing vague, leave nothing unsaid, ask questions and make sure you’ve been understood. A fuller understanding of the task leads to faster turnarounds and superior results, so don’t rush off and leave questions in the air–you’ll pay that time back with interest.

Step #7: Follow up.

Check in when you expect milestones to have been met; don’t harass the person you’ve delegated to, but keep yourself in the loop and the task in their mind. When the task is complete, recognize it any way you can. Whether you’re dealing with a subordinate or peer, making it clear how much you appreciate the work done will boost morale and give you better results in future cases of sales delegation.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.