In the life of every salesperson there comes a moment when frustration boils over as we begin to drown in scheduling and email ping pong, data entry, expense reports, CRM updates, juggling travel schedules, and similar types of sales admin. Eventually, a light bulb goes off where we realize that our days are upside down, with more time spent on admin work than on sales, customers, and business development.
Of course, there are tools, apps, hacks, and productivity best practices everywhere we turn. But there’s one essential “secret weapon” I have – a virtual sales assistant. My assistant, Paulina, handles all my business admin processes (scheduling, travel, expense reports) and all my top-of-funnel sales support processes (research, campaign management, lead management, etc), event support, client & contract anniversaries, relationship management, etc.
Paulina is just a phone call away. She helps me in almost every aspect of my job including:
- I get out of a meeting and, with a 20-second call, I can download all the details which she records and handles.
- When I need to be on calls where I can’t take notes, I ask her to dial in and take meeting notes.
- When I go to New York for 3 days of meetings, she ensures that I don’t yo-yo across Manhattan and that all meetings in midtown are done in one day, my downtown meetings are the next day, etc.
- Before I head into a business development meeting, Paulina will send me a one-page profile on the people, company, news, financials, etc.
The use cases of how my virtual assistant helps me be productive are practically endless. Here are five ways you can increase your leverage with a virtual sales assistant:
1) Schedule All of Your Meetings and Travel
Working with a VA to manage your calendar is easy. For meetings, CC them into your conversations and tell your contacts that your assistant will help you find a time to meet. Your VA will coordinate with all parties, send invites, and add it to your calendar.
Scheduling travel is just as easy. Your VA will quickly learn your travel preferences. The next time you to go out of town, just let your VA know your preferred dates/times and you’ll get a set of options among your favorite hotels, airlines, flight times, car rentals, etc. Then they’ll book for you once you confirm. If flights get canceled or delayed, they’ll be on top of it, managing changes as necessary.
2) Keep Your CRM Up-to-Date
Your CRM data and reports are only as valuable as the data that you upload. If you’re not updating your CRM with your interactions, notes, and key data, status changes, etc, then your reports and dashboards will not be accurate.
The problem that many sales executives face with this is that inputting data is time-consuming and it can be challenging to remember every touchpoint you have with prospects.
Since your VA has access to your calendar, they can log all of your meetings and calls into your CRM. For best results, send your VA call/meeting notes and other relevant information that they don’t have access to.
Your VA will also proactively fill in missing information and prepare reports, so you’re always equipped with insightful data about your pipeline.
3) Fill Your Pipeline with Prospects
Prospect research is a tedious, but necessary, task to keep your pipeline full. If you do it yourself, you can easily waste several hours a week finding names and digging for their contact information.
When you have a virtual sales assistant, you’ll never have to do prospect research again. Just tell them your qualifications and criteria (industries, roles, locations, company size, etc) and how many prospects you need. Within a few days, they’ll give you a list complete with contact information.
At this stage, if you’d like, your assistant can then manage an email campaign with those contacts, sending out one or a series of emails with all the appropriate follow-ups and scheduling required to get prospects on a call with you.
4) Manage Your Campaigns
Email and social media campaigns are one of the most effective ways to generate warm prospects and maintain a strong online presence but, it can be challenging to find the time to invest in them.
When you have a VA, the issue of time disappears. All you have to do is draft your content, and they’ll upload it to your campaign management systems, publish them, and manage any additional follow-ups that are required.
Read More: 4 Apps Proven to Boost Your Sales
5) Prepare Your Expense Reports
A virtual sales assistant can save you several hours each month by preparing all of your expense reports for you. All you have to do is show them how your company prepares expense reports and give them access to your system. Moving forward, send all your receipts to your VA, and they’ll take care of the rest.
When you realize how much time per week you’re truly spending on admin processes, you can quickly calculate how much that time could be worth and how much incremental revenue you could be generating by changing how you use that time. It will be a cathartic experience when you get your virtual assistant dialed-in to your processes!
Learn more about what it's like to work with a virtual assistant. Our free guide explains:
- How we train your assistant to maximize your success
- How to develop a productive relationship with your assistant
- How your assistant can adapt to your changing needs
About the Author: Andrew Miller has more than 25 years of global experience in enterprise sales and scaling companies. He leads Prialto’s sales and business development organization. He spends much of his time helping our enterprise accounts and their teams to better leverage Prialto’s assistance.