Your dealership can’t afford to let leads fall through the cracks. It’s crucial that salespeople and BDC agents are organized and on top of all customer interactions.
New Year’s resolutions: They come, they go, they’re forgotten after a week, or they stick and become healthy new habits. This year, we have three resolutions for your top-performing sales and BDC agents to help them be more efficient, better communicate with customers and work as a team. Focus your efforts on the following.
Resolution 1: Get Organized
Prompt lead follow-up is crucial to turning leads into customers. According to a Harvard Business Review study, companies that respond to a lead within the first hour are seven times more likely to qualify that lead (defined as having a meaningful conversation with a decision maker) than those who respond even an hour later.
Your dealership can’t afford to let leads fall through the cracks. It’s crucial that salespeople and BDC agents are organized and on top of all customer interactions. Follow these strategies:
Audit CRM User Activity Completion Reports. Sales and BDC have to track all activity in the CRM to manage leads more effectively and provide an integrated customer experience. Daily reviews allow you to see who is following process and who is falling behind. This insight indicates where more training is needed and allows you to speak with poor performers before sales are lost. Respond faster with texting. Don’t sleep on text messaging. Texting is faster than a phone call and on average results in 78% higher open rates than email. More than 90% of texts are read within three minutes of being received. It’s an excellent form of real-time, two-way, contactless conversation. Purchase business-only mobile devices for employees and tie them into your CRM to ensure you capture complete customer records and safeguard customer data. Get clarity on performance expectations. If expectations aren’t clear, performance can easily veer off track, even when the employee believes they’re doing a great job. A recent Harvard Business Review study found participants who stuck to a goal-oriented plan performed 30% better than those who didn’t. Setting specific goals increases motivation which leads to better results.
Resolution 2: Learn a New Skill
The pandemic significantly increased online shopping for vehicles and that transition is expected to last. At the same time, limited inventory opened buyers’ eyes to the possibility of ordering a vehicle or purchasing one in-transit. In this new landscape, the goal of employees is not to close the customer, but to help them through the journey. Online customers and those ordering vehicles need guidance and information, not closing tactics designed to simply get them in the store. Employees need to learn new skills to support this new customer experience. Focus on the following:
Teach employees to leverage technology to meet the customer where they are in the process. A connected process where digital retailing tools integrate with your CRM and mobile devices means your salespeople only have to ask a customer’s name to pick up exactly where the customer left off, without retreating back to the sales floor. This improves the experience and shortens the sales process. Train for informed consultants. Today’s sales training is about helping consumers navigate the technology tools your dealership provides. It’s about answering every question instead of immediately pushing for the appointment, and it’s about the flexibility to sell 100% virtually and on the floor. Develop new word tracks and templates. Employees must be able to explain inventory shortages, vehicles-in-transit and the process of ordering a vehicle to customers. Develop new phone scripts and email and text templates that describe the situation and introduce the concept of virtual inventory. Explain the ordering process, timeline and benefits. Practice in-the-moment coaching. Step in right after a salesperson or BDC agent interacts with a customer. This is not micro-managing, but talking about the conversation, information shared, and the customer response. Share what went well and what could have been handled differently.
Resolution 3: Kick a Bad Habit
Kick the habit of pitting employees against each other. Everyone needs to work together to reach the common goal of a thriving dealership – and that’s not going to happen if your team is competing with each other. The best-performing teams have consistent communication, good working relationships and standardized processes for customer hand-offs and seamless transitions. Create a collaborative culture with the following strategies:
Kick off the New Year with resolutions to help your top performers continue to meet and exceed expectations. The reward will be a prosperous, profitable 2023 and beyond.
Tiffany Peeler (pictured, above left) is vice president of sales and operations at Proactive Dealer Solutions.