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Sometimes our focus on growing profits can lead us to make decisions that have us working harder and not smarter. For example, cutting corners in regards to recruiting and training sales personnel. The fear of loss of investment if the employee leaves, can spiral into an evolving sales team in which more and more members lack the necessary skills to increase profits.
The best resource for improving your investment in personnel is a smart automotive sales staff recruiting coupled with a sales performance training program. Dealerships that have accepted that attrition is part of the retail sales process have developed a 90-day or more often if needed recruiting program. This program is designed to replace those salespeople who have left or are no longer productive. A recruiting campaign should be coupled with a fundamental sales training program. Automotive Fundamental Sales Training is not the end-all-be-all, but it should lay down a solid foundation for on-going development of salespeople to occur.
When recruiting salespeople, make sure you provide a clear and attractive pay plan. The motto ?You Get What You Pay For? rings true when recruiting quality salespeople. If you want the best of the best, the fairly deserve from you the best of the best. In your job postings, proudly display the benefits of working with your organization along with expected income amounts. The little bit extra taken from profits to pay the people creating your profits, is dramatically cheaper than paying a price tag to recruit new people who have yet to affect your profit margins.
Sales teams need and deserve the opportunity for on-going training, even intensive programs from time to time. Keeping them up to date on policies and current best practices, will keep your staff fully equipped to increase profits, have strong customer service skills and maintain a positive work ethic. Unfortunately, the value of training on a regular basis is highly under-rated by most managers because it appears to be time consuming, but there are few things as demotivating to a salesperson than to be given a task and not have the right tools to produce the expected outcome. Would you expect your service department to be able to repair a car if you took away their tool boxes?
A sales team requires strong leadership to be successful. Evaluate your existing management to determine if your dealership profits are being driven by leaders or bosses (See The Difference Between a Boss and a Leader). Bosses should be replaced with leaders using a separate management recruitment program. Leaders are team players that form complementary roles with your sales team to deliver on the collective goals of your organization. Leaders should be evaluated to ensure they are provided reasonable expectations for the team that they lead. Expectations that your team should be doing more than they are reasonably required to perform over a long period of time will lead to upset. The game is not win at all cost, the game is to lead at all cost so that winning becomes a natural part of the culture.
Invest in your people and not only will you limit turn-over, but you will effectively influence your ROI and increase profit margins!
Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. Stephanie is also the current Ms. Florida Forestry Queen, promoting her platform encouraging young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers.
Copyright © 2014, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.