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Bill Wittenmyer

Bill Wittenmyer VP Sales, Layered Apps & Competitive Accounts

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Selling to the Connected Consumer

The “always connected” shopper trend continues to grow.

In the last year alone, the number of consumers using mobile phones to research vehicles jumped 11 percent. It’s safe to say that 99.9 percent of the people who walk on your lot have searched online with a mobile device or computer.

When an online lead gets handed off to an in-store salesperson, it causes friction between salespeople and confuses the customer.

So why are so many dealerships holding on to the old-school divide between an Internet sales department and physical lot sales staff?

A better sales model may be when the lead is worked by one person from cradle to grave.  Imagine a shark tank where the person who grabs a lead first gets to work that lead to completion.

This structure has a lot of benefits. Think about it.

It creates accountability for the tremendous amount of leads that go without proper follow-up.

It reduces unhealthy competition between Internet and floor salespeople because they’re now one unified team.

Most importantly, it dramatically reduces miscommunication with the customer. It’s the efficient, consistent and integrated online to in-store experience that today’s consumers expect.

So, you’ve decided its time to abolish the Internet sales department and embrace a one-salesperson model throughout your store. How do you go about re-structuring your sales department?

Take the time to explain what you’re doing and why. Once you lay down the benefits, your sales team should embrace this new structure. After all, they probably don’t like having to split commissions in the first place!

Next, make sure you have the CRM system in place to handle this new lead structure according to your specifications.

Some dealerships choose a round-robin system where reps are assigned leads in rotation. Others choose a system where the first rep to respond gets the lead. Your Sales Manager can also manually delegate leads based on availability.

With connected consumers, conversion only happens if you respond quickly with the information they requested. Focus on speed, accuracy and personalized responses.

Allow salespeople just 30 minutes to follow up with a lead. If they don’t send an email or pick up the phone within that time, the system assigns a new rep to the lead.

Whichever approach you choose, remember the ultimate goal is to convert leads into buyers.

When all shoppers are digital shoppers at some point during the buying experience, it doesn’t make sense to silo Internet salespeople and floor salespeople.

Transforming your sales department into a one-salesperson model reduces friction, increases lead follow-up and gives customers a consistent experience.

Deliver a better experience to today’s “always connected” consumer by allowing them to connect and build rapport with a single representative of your brand.

And the benefit to you? The potential for more conversions.

Good Selling!

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