Virginia Gov.-elect Gerald L. Baliles today appointed his campaign director, Sandra D. Bowen, to head a transition team for his administration, which will take office Jan. 11.

Bowen, who was responsible for the day-to-day management for the $4 million Baliles campaign, was described as the "unseen hand" behind the operation, according to Chris Bridge, campaign press secretary. She was chief deputy to campaign manager Darrel Martin.

Before joining the Democratic campaign, Bowen served as special assistant to Gov. Charles S. Robb.

Appearing at a news conference at the State Capitol with Baliles, the governor said he had prepared three volumes of "advice" on the state government for his successor in hopes of smoothing the transition.

"I can't say it will be without hitches; that may be asking too much," Robb quipped.

Robb announced he has named his chief of staff, David K. McCloud, to handle the transition team from the governor's office. He said $52,000 in state funds had been budgeted to finance the transition operation.

Baliles, 47, the former attorney general who defeated Republican Wyatt B. Durrette in Tuesday's election, said he had not yet decided whether he will ask any of Robb's agency chiefs to remain in his administration. Several of Robb's top officials have already left the administration.

The governor said he discussed the transition with Baliles during airplane trips in the final days of the Baliles campaign, but he refused to disclose what advice he offered to his successor.

Robb, the son-in-law of Lyndon B. Johnson, has been credited with playing an instrumental role in the Democratic sweep in Tuesday's elections. Many Democrats have mentioned him as a possible contender for national office in 1988, but he declined once again today to say what job he will move into after he leaves the governor's office. He has said that he and his family will return to their McLean home.