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My Internet Department is starting to grow (FINALLY!) When I came into this dealership, it was practically in shambles--there was no structure. Money to be made, but no effort being shown to advertise the company. Having said that, I put my 12-hour, 7-day-a-week face on and got to work! Advertising is MUCH better, Pictures are starting to get uploaded, templates were made, and appointments were selling (not just showing). DON'T get me wrong, there is a need for PLENTY more improvement but we are getting there :)


My question is: Now that I have leads being generated and people are making money, I need to start putting my foot down in order for my sales team to USE TEMPLATES with personalizing them. I don't care if they write their own e-mail, just use a header! It looks so unprofesional if they don't. Anyways, I need a DAILY INTERNET PROCESS that is followed from when a lead comes in until 6-12 months down the road. After HOPEFULLY recieving some good feedback, I need to also get some advice on how to influence this upon the WHOLE sales team (not just my internet department). Any ideas??

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Hi Veronica,

It sounds like you have taken on the "people" part yourself and that you now need "processes" to extend your influence to your team and the extended sales resources available at your dealership. It is not as hard as it may seem to accomplish your objective but for me to help I need a few more details as to what you have already accomplished and what you have in place.

For example, do you currently use a CRM and or integrated ILM to manage and monitor your leads and your follow up? Do you have written compensation plans based on individual performance and do they include job descriptions with areas of responsibility, individual and department objectives as to appointments, structured contacts/follow up and/or other systems - process obligations vs. only sales and profits computations?

If you don't have any of the above -- you should!

As far as motivating your team to follow your direction to use templated headings in their emails or other similar instructions to provide some consistency in your process and/or the use of proven best practices I suggest that the solution starts by example. Using samples that have worked should motivate the right people to use them on their own, however, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. First, hire people that share you vision with their own moral compas to follow management directions and their own desire to succeed and you won't have to ask them twice to apply something that works. Second, inspect what you expect as far as work product and required processes and apply penallties as well as rewards on a consitent and impartial basis so your team knows that you say what you mean and you mean what you say.

Some of the opportunities and the problems are sourced from management so be sure to lay out your processes and systems using feedback from your team so they will have ownership in your/their decisions moving forward. After that -- get out of their way! Be sure to carry a big stick as well as a bigger carrot and the right team will do the rest.

If you want suggestions as to what would be the best CRM/ILM application and/or some samples as to daily processes I suggest that you search through the many previous posts on ADM and read some of the posted comments for ideas and recommendations. After all, what are friends and ADM for!

Frankly, based on the fact that you were wise enough to ask the question suggests that you would be better served to talk with your team to establish your own best practices and daily processes. After that your role will be limited to overseeing that they are followed since most of the work will be the responsibilty of the individuals that make up your team who are there to make a living and who should be self motivated to follow the rules that you all agreed to.

I hope that helps?

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day and putting your two cents in! First off, YES we are using a CRM to help with our lead process. Some days are better than others (of course) but I just feel like 1/2 the leads we are getting are either not financially stable, they are "just looking", they REFUSE to follow up with us, or they have bad contact information. As a ISM it sure does get frustrating! Now, because our leads aren't always 100% effective (which they will never be), I'm at least trying to make the best of it and come up with the most FANTASTIC "LEAD FOLLOW-UP PROGRAM." I've got some things set up right now but when I (very professionally) presented my laminated chart to my GSM, he said...."It looks great! But in all's not dumb enough." I couldn't believe those words just came out of his mouth. I don't know if it's just me but this isn't a 3rd grade art class, it's a business. Am I the only one who cares about how much money is in my pocket (I THINK NOT). So, the end result is...I have an Internet process but it isn't "dumb enough", too detailed I guess. I would love to get my own team in here at some point but it seems like this dealership is so A to Z, up and down, left to right...that there is no steady pace, no concentration, and tasks that were started--end up never getting finished and money is SERIOUSLY being lost.

Please understand that it may seem like I'm bad mouthing my dealership, but I'm not! I love the people I work with...I just feel like sometimes I get put on the back burner and my department (which has GREAT potential) is failing when I have the desire and mind set for it to succeed. You mentioned a written compensation plan earlier...this issue is a JOKE! I've been here for going on 3 weeks and feel like I was promised a castle and was given a shack. Pardon my french but I feel like they've been blowing smoke up my ass since the day I walked through those double doors. Not only have I worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week...but I've increased there sales! On the 5Th of July we had 34 cars sold and 9 of them were from the Internet department. I don't know about other dealerships but as far as this one in particular is concerned...that's AWESOME. Having said all of this, I STILL have yet to receive my SALARY based pay plan. I PERSONALLY know what my daily job description is, but they sure don't understand that. They expect me to take all of the pictures, generate leads, work on marketing, finish websites, post onto craigslist, make customer relationships, AND at the end of the day...they want me to sell cars. NEVER in my life have I seen a ISM expected to sell cars. Don't get me wrong, it's not an everyday occurrence but when it gets busy and the other salesmen aren't available, I'm next in line. I know it sounds bad to say this but the only reason why (I THINK) I've sold cars face-to-face is because of my looks and charm. I really just had to BS my way through the whole process and I felt horrible doing that! I've got experience selling cars OVER THE INTERNET and it sure hasn't been anything like "getting my feet wet", I just had to jump in!

Questions: Internet process, Confronting my GM about my pay plan (that he has put off for the past 6 times!), creating a better environment in my department, and sticking to the schedule!

I know this seems like a little reality TV show but I NEED ADVICE. I really am not one to give up and I WILL NOT quit, I want what I came here for and that's to MAKE MONEY, GENERATE TRAFFIC, and LEARN!
Rick from CarChat24. Wow that is a big sandwich you put out there with that post! I do know EXACTLY what you are going through I would love to give you some real world advice so email me and will be happy to help you out, I feel your pain!

Hey Veronica this is Rick from CarChat24. As for your above post what I can say is your staff needs to realize that it is a privilage to work the INET. While the horses are out getting a face tan on the lot and waiting sometimes for hours for an "up" they are handed oppurtunities (up's) in the air conditioned comfort of your dealership. I would say if they they don't see it that way then maybe that's not a team member you want around. As for a long term follow-up system you can obtain that with a good CRM tool.
"Been there for three weeks"... Speaking as an older horse in automotive... Many before you have tried to "move the mountain" too fast and gotten very frustrated, very quickly... If your interested in some different advice, slow it down... Most everyone you speak with (outside of this type of forum) will not understand (or will be intimidated by) you and your potential. Eat your Internet Department Elephant one bite at a time. Your start with email templates is a very good one... it will yield instant results. Don't depend on others to do your process... Automate as much of it as possible. You likely can test market your ideas and have proven results prior to getting others input.

To answer your original question: Organizing your digital marketing will be a big effort... Break out an extra large three ring binder with category tabs and work your way right through your daily efforts. Make copies of existing efforts or blank pages for areas you want to add. Focus on certain areas at specific times of your work week. (Don't get stuck on one) Always Be Improving the contents of your binder.

Consider me (and all of the members here) a resource if you have any thoughts and comments.

Good Selling!



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