In this day and age, virtual assistants have become one of the staples of the increasingly digital business world. The outbreak of COVID-19 only sped up their rise to prominence. As a result, most companies around the world had to shift their operations online. In such a situation, most of the tasks that were otherwise performed by on-site staff fell into the VA’s backyard.
This rapid expansion of the VA industry inevitably gave birth to another interesting development – higher diversification amongst virtual assistants.
Now that the volume of VA footwork has rapidly increased and jacks of all trades are no longer productive enough. This has led to companies looking for trained professionals who can wrestle with specific, critical tasks. This problem becomes even more evident in the case of startups that have yet to develop their entire business infrastructure.
This article will examine one vital activity and see how trained VAs can help your company improve sales.
Contacting new leads
Keeping in touch with new leads is a task that requires a lot of attention, time, and dedication. So it falls right down the VA’s alley. There is an urgency where your business wants hot leads contacted as soon as possible. Despite the variety of present-day communication channels (E-mail, SMS, call, social media), it’s easy to see why building a productive rapport with future clients becomes increasingly tricky.
Harnessing the resources of your startup with a talented individual at the right place at the right time can make all the difference in the world.
Generating quality leads
However, closing the deals and contacting the promising leads is only a small part of the duties of specialized virtual assistants. In a recent survey, 48% of businesses stated that their leads required the so-called “long-cycles” of nurturing with many influencers involved in the process. These long cycles often include a large quantity of cold calls, with the main goal is to filler out quality leads from the bad ones.
The sheer workload involved in the process can put a lot of pressure on your sales department even if you benefit from highly motivated and productive staff. Virtual assistance can do a lot to relieve some of this burden off their shoulders.
Live chat on social media
Speaking of time-consuming activities, we have to touch upon the live chat on social media. Neglecting this communication channel could be a crippling disadvantage for a growing business. Recent research says that as much as 79% of customers prefer live chat replies since they provide instant answers. Accordingly, live chat scores the highest consumer satisfaction with a staggering rate of 92%.
Of course, live chat services are only as effective as they can provide immediate responses. However, being open to such fast-paced communication can be more than strenuous in a competitive startup environment. That is why this form of outreach is best left to the trained virtual assistants.
Moderating online meetings
Meetings are one of the sales areas that suffered the biggest hit due to the ever-growing transition to a virtual environment. In a recent survey conducted with over 1,100 top-level executives, 79% of respondents stated they use face-to-face meetings. In contrast, 81% claimed they prefer face-to-face meetings above all other communication channels.
The good news is that this digital ceiling can be broken and has been broken in the previous years.
For instance, a great example of this transition is the interior design company Miss Amara that has jumped on this bandwagon and now successfully provides virtual design services. If there is one area where you would say, personal on-site presence was needed, that would be this one.
The same experience can be emulated in the sales department, but the sales agents need to have their hands free to do their best. In this scenario, virtual assistants can do a lot of heavy lifting in organizing, scheduling, and moderating these meetings to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Revisiting old leads
Over the last year, there has been much debate whether or not startups should go back to the offices now that the COVID-19 pandemic looks like slowing down. We had seen just how significant implications this issue can have when we discussed the importance of online meetings.
Making a follow-up on the cold leads is a different beast altogether. Startups generate a lot of leads during their lifetime, and, of course, not all of them eventually translate to clients. But, of course, with a lot of time, effort, and personal touch, it’s possible to turn over and re-engage these people eventually.
Follow up with old leads is a task tailor-made for talented and well-trained virtual assistants. After all, it allows them to work out their communication skills while cutting down the idling hours.
Performing data entry
Automation has gone a long way in building and growing startups from scratch. However, to make the best use of all these automated services, the system needs to be constantly fed with fresh chunks of data about the leads and clients.
This mundane and often tiresome job is excellent for a third-party workforce that requires far lower upkeep costs.
What do virtual assistants bring to the table in this regard? First, they have a great inside perspective on the inner workings of your startup. That allows them to contribute with comments, suggestions, and other valuable insights at all times.
Furthermore, data entry can immediately follow actions like cold calls and social media interactions. That means your company doesn’t have to lose any time or resources to delegate these tasks between various departments.
Efficient prospect research
This topic leans primarily into the direction of conversion optimization that becomes increasingly important with the competition in the virtual environment. While most of the conversion optimization focuses on technical aspects like changing the landing page’s layout, most of these design decisions have to take into account the insights gathered by virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants are constantly in touch with prospective customers and probably have more on-the-ground experience than other staff members. That allows them to contribute considerably to the optimization process by sharing their experience with the client base.
If you want to go one step further, your virtual assistants can deliberately harvest data necessary for your conversion teams.
Assistance with sales reports
Last but not least, sales reports are invaluable for the success of one aspiring startup. Comprehensive sales reports can help shorten the sales funnel. In addition, they can aid in informed decision-making and provide excellent insight into the daily workings of one business.
To meet these critical goals, a sales report should cover all of the following topics:
- Daily goals and quotas
- Daily conversion rate
- Number of prospective leads in the pipeline
- Average time for completing the sales cycle
- Number of sales calls, their duration, and success ratio
- Average deal size in the pipeline
- Landing page conversion rate
- Total number of new sales opportunities per day
All these mentions make up only some of the primary sales report requirements. The more comprehensive these documents are, your startup will attain more robust results. Due to their experience and flexible work hours, virtual assistants are valuable contributors to these documents.
We hope this overview gave you some general idea about the value of virtual assistants in the sales process. Although virtual assistants are usually hired to perform mundane footwork, the present-day VA industry is becoming very specialized. Because of that, young VA professionals are quite able to step up their game. As a result, they can provide a more meaningful contribution to the development of one startup.
Keeping in mind just how competitive the contemporary business environment can be, this idea deserves further consideration.
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