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Retail Resolutions

Retail Resolutions to Drive Results in 2020

As we roll into the New Year, strong consumer confidence and low unemployment signal the continued demand for vehicles in 2020. However, affordability can still be an issue with the average sale price of a new light vehicle hitting over $37,000.

Overall, the retail outlook is good for dealers - especially for those who excel at getting consumers into pre-owned vehicles when new are cost-prohibitive.

Strong sales numbers depend on a mix of competent salespeople, data-driven decisions and proven best practices. Make the following resolutions to hit sales goals and drive results throughout the New Year.

Manage activities, not results.

Most dealerships are results-driven. But by the end of the month, results are already in the past. A better method is to manage the activities that lead to the results you want.

Identify the five or six activities that historically generate sales for your dealerships. These may include outbound calls, number of appointments and number of new opportunities. Ensure your salespeople know the activities that matter, and then lean on your CRM to monitor those activities on a daily basis. Daily monitoring is to key to catching problems before they affect your bottom line.

Process, process, process.

Inspect what you expect. You can’t simply expect something to happen - you also have to inspect your processes to ensure activities are completed effectively. That’s the only way you’ll get the results you want and need for your business.

Keep in mind: it’s hard to inspect processes when you’re locked inside your office or glued to a chair. This year, resolve to spend time walking the floor every day to observe what’s really happening in your dealership.

Train high-performers.

It’s easy to overlook your high-performers. After all, they’re putting up great numbers.

Generally, sales managers spend a lot of time getting the bottom 10 percent of salespeople up to the high-performers level. But a lift of 10 percent for a low-performer selling 10 cars a month nets you one additional sale. Put more of that time into a high-performer selling 20 cars a month, and the same lift nets you two additional sales.

A simple daily check-in with high-performers is really all you need. Ask how you can help or better support their efforts. These are your superstars; you know their baselines. Daily check-ins allow you to know when things are wobbling so you can help right the ship before it affects sales.

Hire for culture, not just experience.

Experience is important when hiring sales staff, but it shouldn’t be the only qualification that counts.

Too many times, dealers look for experience without considering if a person has the right experience for a particular store. A successful hire does not only depend on their skills but also if their personality matches with your dealership.

In other words, hire for attitude and train for skills. Before hiring, identify your store’s culture and fundamental values. Let those insights guide your hiring decisions.

Stop overlooking opportunities.

Your CRM and DMS house a ton of opportunities to increase revenue and cut operating costs. You just have to uncover them.

Start with your unclosed leads. How can you improve execution to win more of those sales? Check contact reports in your CRM. The industry benchmark is seven calls and five emails per lead over a 30-day period. Consider delegating the majority of lead follow-up to your BDC; fine-tune your process where expectations are falling short.

Examine your digital lead providers. If your closing ratios on a provider’s internet leads are below the standard industry benchmark of 7 percent, it’s time to decide if you want to continue that partnership.

Consider equity mining. A sound equity mining strategy is the best way to source well-maintained used vehicles without auction and delivery costs. Pay close attention to your equity mining process – it’s the key to your success. A poor process can lead to burning through your database without results. Set clear parameters for eligible prospects and write a script that clearly defines what you are asking and the benefits to your customer.

Finally, examine fundamental costs like floor plan, parts inventory and utilities to identify where you can cut overhead costs.

Overall, the New Year looks bright for dealership sales. Resolve to try a few new strategies and make savvy use of the opportunities you already have, to hit your sales goals and drive revenue all year long.

Good Selling!