Internet "Departments"?

Chris Jordan

Has anyone had success with disolving the traditional Internet Department and spreading them out to all Sales Associates?

Marissa Marazzi

Side note: I could see this being problematic if all employees are not tech-savvy / progressive. 

Bart Wilson

Great question Chris.  

I've participated in the disolving of an Internet department and, yes, it can be done.  Here are a few tips"

1.  Marissa is completely right.  You need to make sure you dedicate the proper training resources to insure everyone knows how to respond to an Internet lead.

2.  Build your process right.  Having an efficient lead handling process will save you headaches down the road.  Put a good process in place and build a training calendar to make sure everyone understands the process.

3.  Begin with your "influencers".  You have leaders on your floor that can make (or break) your process.  Start by getting buy-in from them.  

4.  Determine your metrics.  If you want someone to be successful in your store, they need to know what success looks like.  Use metrics to show them.

5.  Train, train, train.  This can be the difference between a sustainable process and a flash in the pan idea.  Make sure you spend time reinforcing your processes on a regular cadence.

Obviously, this isn't all.  What am I missing?

Chris Jordan

Bart, I agree with all of your points.  Certainly there will be Sales Associates that do not want to mess with the leads nor would we force them to take them.

Bart Wilson


Great question.  I would suggest that you make handling Internet leads a privilege, not a right.  In other words, have your sales staff get "certified" on you process and hold them accountable to performance metrics.  

If some of your staff don't want to opt in, it's their loss.  Once they see the traffic they are missing, most will fall in line.

Marissa makes a good point here.  As we're hiring our staff, we need to be looking for personnel who are tech-savvy and can communicate online.

David O

Communicate online? Or just communicate? Even the old timers know how to text message but may not know how to communicate in general.

My recommendation: Slow and steady wins the race.

Work the salespeople into the communication process with your customers as the BDC is also working with them. Maybe a team system, or one rep works with 5 salespeople... Use common sense as to make sure they are not bombarding the customers with emails, calls, etc if one person is already communicating with the prospect but to hold the other accountable in making sure the customer's needs are addressed. This is going to require that the managers are also in the CRM making sure all goals are in line with absolutely ZERO favoritism. 

If you start to see some salespeople relying on a BDC rep to make their follow ups, then these salespeople may not be right for you. 

This transition will teach the salespeople to make sure notes are entered, there is proper follow up and that all your prospects are handled immediately. As you start to filter leads into the sales staff, you'll then need less and less BDC reps OR you could divert them to... I don't know... DEVELOP BUSINESS like they are supposed to. Working old sold customers, orphan owners, service customers, equity, etc... 

Good luck... 

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