Empower Your Team to Work Internet Leads
By Aaron Hassen
By now, you probably know that car shoppers’ research and shopping patterns have changed. And you know that technology is the driving force behind it. As Borrell’s 2013 Automotive Advertising Outlook says, the new car-shopping path is much shorter—decisions are made in about half the time, thanks to online and mobile research. So if you want to guide those shoppers into your dealership today, you need to connect with them earlier.
That’s why working Internet leads is so important. But is your sales team prepared to do this? Are they ready to use the technologies that can help (from automotive chat to mobile apps and texting)?
Help Your Sales Team Embrace This Change
One thing Chris Hill, E-Commerce Director for Bill Jacobs Auto Group, has done is create “universal soldiers”—salespeople skilled in many areas, from answering phones to following up, turning chats into ups, etc. And it’s easier than you might think.
For example, you don’t need a new team of people “who’ve never sold a car but are proficient online,” according to Hill. Try Hill’s smart approach to training, and your current salespeople can be chatting and texting (and wanting to) in no time:
- Do a trial run – Write down the process you want your team to follow when working Internet leads and set up a few to start responding (either a tech-savvy salesperson or a BDC position).
- Set response expectations – To influence online shoppers during their research phase, you need to respond quickly. So provide the tools your test team needs to respond and follow up at all hours. “It’s not required, but if you’re at dinner and have a second, you can easily respond to a chat from your phone,” Hill adds.
- Show the value – Hill has seen a 5-6 cars/month floor salesman sell 12-15 cars/month on the Internet program. That’s a value any salesperson can understand, and they often start clamoring to get involved (and give these leads the attention they deserve).
- Use automotive chat & other tools to make it easy – Most CRMs, mobile text and automotive chat software have features that make working Internet leads user-friendly. As Hill says, “I don’t think that chatting—something we all do on Facebook, texts, or back in the day with AOL IM—is out of anyone’s realm.”
- Keep your team on their toes – Hand out leads only to those willing to go the extra mile and consider swapping out the lowest monthly performer. It makes the Internet program more competitive, so your team will work even harder.
The Digital Sales Team Payoff
Being more available to shoppers where they are (and when they’re making decisions) does pay off. Why? Because working Internet leads the right way means more follow-up and more sales opportunities. The more results your salespeople see, the more infectious this way of working becomes. “Then, the philosophy of following up and going the extra mile becomes second-nature,” Hill adds.
Show your team the value of working these leads, make it easy to test out and they’ll be guiding online shoppers’ purchase decisions through your door.
Watch Chris Hill’s video on digitizing your sales team now.