June 17, 2017

#487. Boosting Sales Productivity with a Virtual Assistant. With Eric Taussig.

Eric Taussig, Co-Founder and CEO of Prialto, which helps executives and companies improve their productivity through the application of technology and a global workforce, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:10] Eric says almost any sales professional could use an assistant, either in the office, or remotely, to manage activities that are not directly part of the sales process.

[3:07] Prialto hires the best people they can find in traditionally heavy call-center cities to fulfill a more meaningful role than answering angry callers. Eric notes that people have forgotten how to use assistants, and they need help to get the value.

[5:26] Salespeople spend 80% or more on menial tasks that do not involve originating and nurturing relationships with prospects and clients, and that could or should be delegated.

[7:06] It’s the exception rather than the rule that the salesperson is also the most meticulous, detail-oriented CRM data person. So get someone who excels in that role to fulfill that role.

[7:46] Eric explains the methods of Prialto VA cohort. One VA acts as the interface, while multiple people may be doing the activities behind the scenes. Prialto is not a work-at-home model. They have managed work centers for quality control.

[10:14] Prialto has a center in Latin America, and one in Southeast Asia, and plans to continue adding centers in the future. They operate during U.S. business hours, East, West, and Central Time Zones. They recruit intelligent problem solvers.

[12:03] Prialto has upfront training, and mentorship between their associates. The centers look like open call centers, but behave as professional services centers. The best performers are promoted to mentor the newer people.

[13:31] Prialto stands behind the quality benchmark of their team. About 5% of the time they will switch out an assistant, but since all tasks are documented thoroughly, training is smooth, and the process is relatively simple for the end user.

[15:05] Eric states their best practices. There is a daily summary of work done, with an action plan for next work, with questions, and a place to rate the day’s service, and comment.

[22:45]  Eric explains how the A-player can use the VA in a rigorous sales process, and the VA can turn around and help a B-player to execute the same process, and improve results.

[23:15] Eric says the algorithm to solve scheduling is more complex than the driverless car. There is sociology and signaling involved. VAs with access to AI tools are the best fit.

[28:38] The base package starts with an in-depth needs analysis, and what services will fit for the client for the first few months, in one ‘Prialto Unit’ of 55 hours a month. Typically a dedicated VA is not distracted, and so works faster.