How to Improve Your Car Dealership’s Sales Team

July 19, 2019 John Kehm

A productive and efficient sales team is the lifeblood of a dealership. While many auto dealer sales trainings focus on big-picture tips and tricks, not enough dig into the core factors that truly help dealership salespeople succeed: finding high-quality prospects; knowing what motivates those prospects to buy; and nurturing customers with the kind of experience that ensures dealer loyalty. 

Car sales training matters. But when it comes to empowering salespeople, all the training in the world can’t replace the customer data and analytics-driven capabilities of a modern digital sales platform in creating an environment for success. In this blog post, automotiveMastermind discusses how to:

Filling the Car Sales Funnel

For auto dealers, customer prospecting goes back to the day the first store opened its  door

s. For a century, dealership sales teams have been unhappy with the quality of their leads and managers have tried to manage their marketing budgets without crippling their sales forecast. Modern personalized marketing, analytics, lead management, and sales tools for dealers aren’t going to eliminate more than a century’s worth of history and habit. But they do give dealers a powerful set of capabilities to improve the quality of leads a salesperson receives, while lowering the cost of acquisition for dealers by identifying and targeting potential customers who are most likely to purchase a vehicle. Personalized dealership marketing tools are able to do this because they don’t rely on “spray and pray” advertising to broad demographics such as TV viewers, radio audiences, ZIP code residents, or the like.

Rather, they consider essentially every consumer in the dealer’s entire market and analytically score them by the factors that make them more or less likely to purchase one of the dealer’s vehicles. Simply by doing this, they’ve already performed a valuable service to a sales team by identifying the best – and worst – prospects in the market, cutting down on time and effort wasted on unqualified shoppers. 

Other prospects will show up in your service drive. Industry figures suggest it’s five times cheaper to conquest a non-sales service customer than it is to acquire one through traditional marketing channels, which is where our Service Conquest marketing solution helps dealers turn this flow of potential prospects into qualified and actionable leads for their sales teams.

How to Arm Salespeople with the Customer  Information and Insights they Need to Succeed

“Know your customer,” auto sales professionals are told from their first day in the industry. Today, they can know more – and do more with that knowledge – than ever before. If knowing your customer is the key to success, then arming your salespeople with deep and actionable information about their prospects is one of the most powerful things you can do to help them confidently sell and consistently succeed.

That information comes from a variety of sources and includes both information that a good salesperson would likely have looked up already about a prospect as well as proprietary information from private databases, credit bureaus, and research firms. But time is precious for salespeople, and data overload is often worse than no information at all. That’s where the power of predictive marketing analytics comes in, working its way through the sea of data to identify the most relevant and important information and highlight opportunities and areas of concern in simple bullet-point form for the salesperson to have in hand before their first conversation. 

Of course, there’s both an art and a science to using all this information and insights. Mastermind’s technology is designed to be intuitive, and easy to understand and use at any skill level. Getting the most value out of new personalized marketing, analytics, lead management, and sales tools requires training. That’s why Mastermind offers not only introductory car sales training for new salespeople but also ongoing, personalized car sales training to ensure that every member of the sales team is able to use these tools as successfully as possible – at no additional expense to the dealer. Consider us an extension of your sales team!

Consistent Dealership Customer Experience

Salespeople can’t do it alone. They need tools, specialized support such as a well-designed and managed business development center (BDC),  great F&I colleagues and strong leadership. But what a sales team really needs to make a dealership successful is to be part of a dealership team that’s committed to delivering a consistently great customer experience.

Dealers know customers aren’t solely won or lost on the sales floor, but it’s only relatively recently that some dealers have started to truly embed a commitment to customer service throughout their entire dealership. For those that have been successful in doing so, the benefits are significant and quantifiable on the sales floor.

Happy customers come back, again and again, boosting your dealership’s retention and CSI scores. This isn’t news to dealers. But ongoing research into “customer experience” – or “CX,” as it’s known – and its value in the dealership environment has shown the power that a consistently well-treated customer has to make the sales process faster, more cost-effective and easier for the sales team. 

For maximum value in putting salespeople in a position to succeed, CX is much more than simply a philosophy of customer service. Rather, it’s a data and analytics-driven process that ensures everyone in a dealership who comes into contact with a customer has access to both the necessary information and the important insights about that customer.

Modern customer experience management tools are also constantly keeping track of those interactions, watching and learning more about the customer and how they behave. When it comes time for their next vehicle, analytics watching the automated interaction between the service drive, F&I team, marketing and sales functions will often be aware of the customer’s readiness for a new car before they are. A trained salesperson armed with these data-driven insights as they reach out to a highly-scored customer who’s had an excellent experience with the entire dealership is in the best possible position to succeed. What would that look like in your dealership and what difference could it make for your bottom line?  Contact us to set up a demo today.

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