Sometimes people need to be babysat. It happens. Inevitably someone will prioritize something (from attending a wedding to socializing on the showroom floor) over the basic duties asked of them at work, or assigned to them in their CRM.
Your CRM is there for a purpose. For the longest time we allowed our sales teams to carry a notepad in their back pocket to keep track of their customers. We would trust that they would pull it out once a day, flip through the past few pages, review what needs to take place, and have the necessary notes stored in able to then follow up with the store’s customers. If not this way, then you had them log all of their opportunities onto an Up Sheet that you would hope they visit once a day to complete some follow-up. Obviously, these methods fall slightly short of being an “exact science.”
So CRMs (a good CRM anyway) has allowed us to determine the time intervals that are best to follow up with our clients. They let us choose what method of communication (phone, e-mail, text, etc.,) to trigger the sales team to utilize. A CRM gives us the ability to alert our team when a new lead arrives or action actions that must be taken. We can build out intricate follow-up processes that continue long-term, based on several variables, even when different events occur in the customer’s lifecycle, consistently, ongoing and every time. Well, that is all well and good, but it still takes someone to perform a little “dealership day care” to keep the sales and Internet teams using the system to its fullest.
There are two things that salespeople are known for:
1. Working their pay plans.
2. Not following up with customers the way they should (or at all).
It’s not their fault. Our industry seems to magnetically pull in those with self-diagnosed ADHD and lets them run wild in between our walls. Your sales team loses focus, stops dedicating their energy to the task at hand within the CRM and goes off on a tear about something else. It requires your sales managers to wrangle them up and get them back on point. This is where your CRM’s dashboard comes in handy.
I often ask dealers, “How do your sales managers manage your sales team?” Let me tell you, nowadays there are no right answers to this question without the words “ensure” “utilizing” and “CRM” in them. Your managers should be keeping a watchful eye on the CRM dashboard throughout the day to ensure your team is utilizing the CRM to its fullest and actually completing the tasks scheduled for them. Then your dealership must make it financially rewarding (or punishable) to do so. If it is 2 p.m. and you see Jimmy drinking his Red Bull and laughing on the showroom floor, take a look at how many of the day’s tasks he completed. You will see only one of two scenarios.
a) He’s made only two of the 33 scheduled follow-up calls for the day (yet he has time to ham it up with the folks on the floor) or
b) He made all 33 of his day’s calls, somehow miraculously between the times of 9:05am to 9:09am. Oh yeah, and he left messages on every call.
Your managers must begin “managing” their teams and holding them accountable. Whether utilization is tracked, measured, and spiffed upon, or simply browbeat into the team, they must start making the calls and e-mails required of them. If you want to sell more cars, get your teams to honestly make the calls prescribed for them. Simple as that.
While your Internet team can fall off the wagon too, it is likely because they can get overwhelmed if they lose any time for the day. A few leads are missed, an alert isn’t received, a customer comes in that takes more of their time than expected, and there is no catching up. Unlike the sales floor where the salesperson can just not take a customer for the day and get through all of their overdue tasks, the Internet team has opportunities that pour in and never stop pouring in.
The reason virtual dealer training programs were created in the first place is because dealers don’t have the staff or the time to track what their Internet teams are missing. You need someone to perform dealership daycare for your Internet teams. Your Internet director/e-commerce director/BDC manager often doesn’t have the time to monitor all e-mail correspondence, but, believe me, it is necessary. Do you know what your staff is e-mailing to your customers? Are they answering their questions? Are they not calling and not following up with them? The CRM allows you to catch these things, but only if you are looking. While our teams are much more mature than children, they need constant guidance (and positive reinforcement through training) to keep ahead of the class.
It is time dealers do a little dealership daycare on behalf of their sales and Internet teams. You need to maximize the opportunities you are receiving and the only way to do that is to monitor, police, measure, and motivate your teams, through the utilization of your CRM and through consistent training and management.