assistantSales are at the heart of business success: you may be dedicating significant time and resources to marketing, SEO, website development, and research, but at the end of the day, it’s capturing the sale that counts – how much, how often, and at what profit margin.

It follows, then, that to grow your business you’re interested in increasing sales. You’re interested in the big picture, like revenue growth and retention, but you are also tuned in to improving the details –things like nurturing leads, improving customer service, and securing more word-of-mouth recommendations.

In all your planning and strategizing, have you considered the role a skilled VA can play in increasing your sales? A business-grade virtual assistant can become an integral part of your sales team, add a boost to your sales process, and free up your time to focus on the strategic aspects of lead generation and conversion.

The right business-grade VA – a skilled and experienced professional with a proven track record– is the key to helping you unlock your company’s sales potential. Here’s how:

1. Timely Follow Up with New Leads

How does it feel when you contact a company and it takes hours, even days for someone to respond?  Compare that with a company that is responsive, that makes you feel valued.  If you or your sales team is too busy to respond quickly, an initial contact via email by your VA can be a great stop gap.  Let the lead know they are important, answer any presales questions, and schedule the sales call.

2. Lead Nurturing

Did you know that lead nurturing can result in a 45% lift in lead-generation ROI; a 20% increase in sales opportunities; 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads; and 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost? That’s some serious help for your company sales. But what does your VA have to do with lead nurturing? The answer is, a lot.

The typical sales funnel looks something like this: lead visits your site and downloads your sales info, you follow up, lead indicates he isn’t ready to buy, and you file the lead under ‘sometime in the future’. For many small businesses, finding time or building a process to keep in touch with the “not ready to buys” is challenging and often falls by the wayside.  It’s a shame because “not ready to buy” doesn’t mean “never going to buy”. A later purchase, whether it’s a week or a month or a quarter from now, is still on the table.

Your VA can set up lead-nurturing tools, so you can stay in contact with postponed leads via email newsletters, free resources (ebooks, white papers, etc.), scheduled follow-ups at set intervals, and other methods. In short, your VA can help keep you in the mind of potential clients and help eventually convert them by careful lead nurturing.

3. Exceptional Customer Service to Retain & Grow Existing Clients

Your current clients are your company’s lifeblood: they keep your business in the green and fuel the profits that keep you dreaming of bigger and better. It’s also significantly easier and more cost effective to grow an existing customer than win a new one. Beyond supplying a dynamite product, customer service is your greatest asset. It’s the ability to troubleshoot problems and resolve issues, to keep your clients satisfied and coming back.

A business-grade virtual assistant is all about your customer satisfaction. She understands how to manage frustrations and problem-solve, so your clients are happy and their issues resolved. She’ll handle all your inbound service inquiries – and knows when to send issues up the ladder, escalating only those complaints that require your attention.

4. Provide First-Class Follow-up

Customer satisfaction doesn’t end with a closed sale or resolved customer service issue: it extends to the hours, days or weeks following a purchase. Personalized service and care – that’s what it means to go the extra mile. An experienced and skilled customer service VA knows the importance of following up with your customers – and has the organizational skills to schedule timely contact, or put in place systems to follow up via email.

5. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

You know that word-of-mouth is one of the best sales tactics out there: a friend recommends you to a friend, who recommends you to three of her friends, and suddenly, business is growing at a healthy clip. Customer reviews are also a vital addition to traditional word of mouth.

But how do you encourage word-of-mouth? A virtual assistant can help. She knows how to provide the personalized service that inspires recommendations, and she can encourage customers to spread the word – through friendly email follow-ups, through thank you’s, through whatever works for your company, in your industry.

6. Get Social with Sales

For any business in the digital age, social media is unavoidable: you must have your finger the pulse of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest … you name it, you should probably be there. Because that’s where you’ll find current customers raving, frustrated clients ranting, and potential customers searching, questioning and researching.

A business-grade VA can handle your social. She knows how each platform works – how engagement is different on Facebook vs. Twitter, and how your LinkedIn page should represent your company differently than your Pinterest page. And she also knows how to leverage each social site to service current clients and attract new customers.

Find out more about getting a business-grade virtual assistant for your company.