If you don’t have a mandatory call-logging process, chances are the answer to that question is yes.
Let’s talk about what happens at most dealerships when a sales call comes in. Typically, the switchboard operator will just page the call to available sales, “pick up line whatever it is.” Maybe the switchboard operator puts it through to a hunt group and the first person to grab the phone gets it. The dealership might have a policy that if the salesperson has the call logged, even if the customer comes in and doesn’t ask for him or her, he or she is still on half the deal.
Here’s the problem with what I regularly refer to as an optional logging system. Salespeople only end up logging the calls they feel they have a real shot on. They’re not worried about logging the ones they butcher. It would be like telling a baseball player to track his own batting average, but only when he put the ball in play successfully. If you have that kind of “system,” chances are you have no real idea of the amount of calls you’re actually receiving. So your salespeople logged 8 calls today, but what about the other 11 that didn’t necessarily go their way?
How many calls are your people missing under this system? Every day? Every week? Every month?
The solution is to implement a mandatory logging process; one assisted by your switchboard operator and overseen by management.
When the switchboard operator orchestrates this the right way, and keeps record, you’ll know if Tony takes three sales calls today. You can then verify that there are three records entered in the CRM. All calls need to be entered; it is not optional. This system also allows Managers to designate who is able to take sales calls. Let’s say you have a salesperson that is brand-new and hasn’t yet been trained, or another who is just flat-out terrible on inbound sales calls. Until further notice, you as a Manager let the operator know he or she cannot take calls until a) he or she is trained to your satisfaction or b) he or she demonstrates to you they are ready to do things the right way. Blowing your calls is never an option!
Once you have mandatory logging you’ll know exactly how many calls you get every day, and working with your CRM, you’ll be able to easily reference how many are coming in as well as how many are actually selling. What should your results be on inbound calls? The answer to that is going to vary. What I usually look at is the total number of phone-ups a Dealer gets, as well as how many actually end up walking through the front door. Those are the two main numbers. As far as appointments set, we want to set appointments, but at the end of the day the way we judge how we’re doing is by the percentage of our phone-ups that are actually touching tile at our dealerships. A good standard to go by is 40-50% of total new car calls showing up, and 50-60% of total pre-owned calls showing. If you’re doing that, you’re going to be dominating your market and that is ultimately what we all want.
If you want to see your dealership succeed processes like this one are not optional. At my training events I teach dealerships and dealership staff, high-impact management processes as well as the specific “how” of implementing them in your dealerships. These processes will help you sell exponentially more cars and bring customers through the front door immediately. Take action to move from being a good Manager to a great one! For more information email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss Alan Ram’s session: Making a Manager; Solving the Retail Management Talent Crisis at the 22nd Digital Dealer Conference & Expo.
Author: Alan Ram
Alan Ram, President and Founder of Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions, is recognized by many as the best in the automotive industry at increasing individual, as well as dealership, productivity through effective utilization of the telephone, Internet, and client base management. Alan has worked with several manufacturers over the years and his training has been a staple of Chrysler’s certification program at over 2300 dealerships nationwide. He is an original partner at NADA University and his “Management by Fire” workshops are now endorsed and promoted by NCM Associates. His workshop, “Five Simple Strategies to Sell More Cars Now,” was the number one attended session at the 2012 NADA convention.