Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
I arrived roughly 10 minutes early to train a new dealer client last week. I meandered around the showroom trying to get a feel for who they were as a store and how they presented their dealership brand. That’s when I came across a salesperson sitting at his desk with a very familiar CRM open. To my wide-eyed amazement, I got to see him complete ALL of his scheduled calls for the day (roughly 30) in the 5 minutes before the store opened. All without picking up the phone. This guy was gifted.
“Left message, LM, LM, LM, LM, Flip to Lost, Flip to Dead, Flip to Bought Elsewhere, LM, LM, LM”.
Essentially, this gentleman had no desire to call a single customer back, but was more dedicated to simply getting his workload off of his plate for the day. He was throwing away opportunities to both interact with his current clients and, in some cases, sell a car. This is happening at your store too.
There are three things I know about the majority of salespeople in our industry.
1) They will work their pay plan. Whatever it is, they’ll work it.
2) They won’t follow-up with their customers
3) They won’t follow up with their customers.
I see managers hypocritically hold BDC and Internet teams to a high standard of number of calls made, number of appointments set and shown, but I find it amazing how they don’t hold their own sales team (those that they actually manage) accountable. In my experience, the lowest probability of accountability happens on the showroom floor. Your sales managers are around your salespeople so often, they easily overlook everything they aren’t doing. You could almost remove the word “manager” from their title at all. This needs to stop.
Salespeople won’t make their calls on their own. They just won’t. Even if you ask them nicely or schedule the call for them in the CRM and demand them to make the calls, they will find a way to push off, put away, hide, falsely complete, delete, bury, or kill that action scheduled for them.
You MUST actively train, track, and hold accountable your team to ensure they are making all of their follow-up calls, unsold calls, sold calls, lease retention calls, birthday calls, anniversary calls, bird calls, cat calls, or any other calls you have scheduled in the CRM for them. Otherwise, without being held accountable, they will almost always take the path of least resistance, cycle through their day’s tasks and eliminate their opportunities to connect with a customer. They simply don’t have their feet held to the fire enough.
There are systems out there (PBX boxes, call monitoring/recording software) that can increase the likelihood that accountability will become part of your showroom (and management) process. Whether you invest in the technology, the people, or the training, you must demand that your entire sales team performs the duties asked of them in the CRM. It is not just your livelihood; it’s theirs as well. They just aren’t held accountable enough to realize it.
Written by Joe Webb