Imagine if a dealer could “listen in” on these three crucial conversations in your dealership:
- Salesperson with a Customer
- Salesperson with the Desk Manager
- Customer with the Finance Manager
What would they learn? How much more effective would sales meetings become? How much more substantive could one-on-one coaching sessions be? How much more profit would variable operations deliver?
A dealer can’t be everywhere. She is running an organization that is selling new and pre-owned vehicles as well as offering financing and other products. In addition, she has service and parts departments, a paint and body shop to occupy her time and in the case of a dealer group, multiply those responsibilities by the number of dealerships. Let’s add in the dozens of calls from well-meaning dealer sales professionals with ideas that you could pay for by “selling one more car”. Is there a way to be everywhere without being everywhere?
Enter Big Data. All of the information you need exists in your DMS. In the data are the recorded outcomes of the conversations mentioned above. All that remains is to connect the dots and develop a plan of action. In an environment where fewer vehicles are being sold, where margins are under pressure, and the factory seems to be working against the dealer, is it possible to make more money without selling more cars? The answer to improving sales performance is DMS Performance Management.
The challenge is two-fold. First, you need to extract the data in a usable format that is accurate and, more importantly, actionable. Your DMS is a great tool for preparing the monthly factory statement but it falls short of allowing you to view information as simple as how many units do you have out this week and how much money have you made? What’s the F&I penetration and which products are we selling at what volumes. Which sales manager is holding the top front-end gross total?
The second challenge, developing a plan of action, is a challenge that the dealer must own. The data will uncover areas for improvement, but it is only the dealer principal or managing partner (in some dealerships, the GM) who can bring about change and, just like eating right or working out, it is not a one-day initiative; it is a lifestyle change (or, more accurately, a management-style change). To be effective, and to have the maximum impact on dealership performance, it has to become an everyday habit.
In a time of great change, put technology on your side to work smarter, not harder. That way, you really can be everywhere!