The reality is though that there are many different forms of virtual sales assistant and it very much depends or your specific needs.
Are you looking for a virtual assistant that will increase your website sales via video, animation or chat? Or are you looking for a real live person that will undertake your sales administration? Perhaps you need someone that will jump on the phone and do "the hard sell".
Each of these can make a tremendous impact to your sales and I discuss them further below below.
You may have noticed on some websites videos of real people "walking around" the website and selling you on the product or service.
Other examples of these "virtualized sales people" include talking avatars (which these days can be avatars of yourself!) or online agents available via chat.
Tests have shown these tools to be particularly effective - one of the products I reviewed in this category showed and increase in response rates of 144%! More typically you can expect increase in sales of 30-40% using one of these strategies on your website.
Another kind of "virtual sales assistant" is more like a sales administrator: a real live assistant who works remotely and will assist you with various tasks to improve your efficiency and effectiveness.
There are plenty of options and ways to find a virtual sales assistant but I generally recommend seeking a company rather than an individual as a company can backfill the role if/when your assistant takes leave or gets sick, and they can also provide more resources quickly if your workload demands it.
While some people may be worried about using foreign companies, I have found a number of inexpensive, high quality providers that do the job well.
Generally I test a candidates English ability by by getting them to take notes from an instructional video before hiring them and I also set the expectation that I expect them to conduct telephone calls in English.
This ensures I get high quality candidates with good English ability.
Finally there is the virtual sales assistant who is much more like a remote sales person - sometimes they work on commission only and can make a massive difference to your sales.
This is all depends on your product and your customer base of course but there are a number of call centers that offer this kind of service and some of them have a very impressive track record.
At the end of the day you need to decide on your objectives before considering which kind of virtual sales assistant will work best for you.
I trust this article has highlighted some of the options available and some of the benefits each can bring.