Training, Accountability, and Consequences

Even the most experienced salesperson or service advisor needs a 15-minute business tune-up now and then.

I recently tweeted about another company’s salesperson that didn’t know how to calculate forecast and pace — one of the key indicators of the success of a dealership’s sales team. The very thing we judge how well we are doing and if we will achieve our goals. The glaring realization brings to the forefront a couple of things:

  1. Either the hiring manager didn’t ask the right questions while considering this person for their sales team; or
  2. The sales manager realized the lack of knowledge but didn’t commit to ongoing training and mentoring to bring that person up to speed.

In both instances, we have failed the employee and provided a stalemate to the rest of our team from hitting their goals. All managers are ultimately looking for results. If we have made the commitment to a team member that lacks the knowledge of the rest of the team, then as a leader it is up to us to set clear performance activities goals and enforce those goals by providing the resources needed. Managers must constantly monitor and check the status of the activities, which should obviously align with the team’s end goals. The challenging part is doling out consequences when the person has no desire to succeed – and there will be failures.

Ever changing technology and sales processes on a regular basis goes hand-in-hand with reviewing the end of the month sales numbers and service lane processes. How can you expect your team to use the new technologies in your dealership if you don’t empower them with the knowledge needed for adoption of new processes for the dealership? Providing your team with refresher information on key practices, new trends, and feedback from customer surveys on a consistent basis helps embolden employees not confident in their knowledge and keep your whole team moving forward to success – success for themselves, success for the team, and most importantly success for the customer.

– Bill Wittenmyer, Partner