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I work as the Internet Director with a staff of 6 - 8 Internet Salespeople. It seems business has been picking up even more back there where we now produce from 30 to 35% of the store's total sales. Last year, we were running around 20/25%.
The biggest complaint that my Internet sales staff has is with proper sourcing by outside salespeople. Recently it has become even worse to where it almost does not exist.
What happens is when no sourcing is taken, the outside salesperson works with the customer and even if he does not close him and later gives back to the Internet salesperson to close the deal, the outside salesperson is on half the deal.
Just today, both write ups were Internet Customers, one with a firm appointment, the other unannounced. Both worked with outside salespeople. On one we know was not sourced at all, the outside salesperson did not ask one question, just led them straight to the vehicles. Only when they came in and presented a "true car" certificate, did they now come to the sales tower and indicate they needed a turn.
Where am I getting with this? Our Internet Salespeople are getting tired of this. They say they work harder than the outside salespeople hands down. They make over 70 calls per day, send quotes, answer back emails, make appointments and work their own deals. Since they are in the back of the showroom, it is hard for them to know when a customer is on the lot. To work so hard on many customers, that when one finally does come in; and not be able to work the entire deal because someone else did not want to source, they feel it is frustrating as hell each time it happens.
Their question is: What should an outside salesperson say exactly in order to source the customer correctly.
Just asking have you been dealing with someone is not enough as many times, the Internet person is engaging with them by email or text but has actually not met the person yet.
What is a good line for the outside salesperson to use that would give a better chance to find out if the customer has been in contact with the internet department.
Hello Bobby! I don't think there is a question that will solve this problem. I spent decades on the floor and nearly one in internet sales. I've hired, trained, and supervised sales teams. It's a matter of heart. As long as the attitude is "what's in it for me", "how can I get over", etc., then the battle continues. The competition between sales departments is silly. In our current competitive environment, a dealer should be focused on working as a team to make it almost impossible for buyers not to do business with them. To paraphrase Harry Truman, it's amazing how much can get done when nobody cares who gets the credit. Put the customers first and sort out the credit later. If the sales and management staff are solely or primarily focused on their money, then the battle continues and ultimately, the customer and CSI will suffer. That is my heartfelt opinion. I wish you well and hope you find the answers you need.
Thank you Brian,
It really comes down to "ETHICS" and it is difficult to expect everyone to have the same criteria here. As long as commissions are on the line; this will always happen. I once suggested that the following: If a salesperson was found "not properly sourcing" the customer, who was already working with someone else - let him/her complete the entire deal. after completion, make sure the deal stays completely with the person that was "skated". It seems harsh but word gets around rather quickly on the floor. It will insure that any salesperson is going to make sure to source the customer as no one wants to be working for free.
As long as WE - management allow the opposite, many sales people will always take advantage of improper sourcing. I do my best to make sure our Internet Department uses the highest standards & ethics not only with the customers but with everyone in the dealership. I believe " GOOD KARMA" comes to those who act with truth & conviction to do good.
I think your heart is in the right place Bobby. You stand up for your team and hold them accountable. Those are hallmarks of a good leader. I'm sure you'll sort things out. Thanks for the reply! Best wishes!