Who Works Harder - Retail Salesperson or Internet Salesperson

Bobby Morales

I would like everyone's opinion on this. Let me put together the facts and you all decide who works harder. Recently one of our sales managers indicated that the retail sales guys (two of them only) were not happy with the current situation with one of the Internet Sales Agents in regards to sharing deals.

The retail sales person claims that when they get a deal to work on from one of the Internet Agents; they have to do all the work to sale the customer a car. All the way from the test drive, negotiate and delivery of the vehicle. This specific Internet Agent is very good at obtaining appointments but is not very confident in actually closing a deal. (We are working on teaching him to be better at this part of the process). He therefore, turns his customer after the meet and greet and many times before that. The retail salesperson helping him is no longer satisfied with the 1/2 credit if they end up buying. They would like the complete deal as they feel they did all the work. (Fairly understandable). The retail person also complains that while they are working the customer on the floor, the Internet Agent goes back to work on his leads and perhaps new leads as well.

The Internet Agent feels he should get a 1/2 credit as he feels the retail salesperson does not have a clue to how many phone calls, emails, texts, cancelled appointments, quotes were sent out to the customer and many more other customers as well.

The retail salesperson claims he/she works harder than the person back at his desk working leads sitting down. The sales manager who manages both of them also feels the retail salesperson works harder also since he is unaware how much work went to obtain the appointment.

A little about the retail sales agent's workplan on an everyday basis.

1. He/She basically sits inside the showroom front door at a desk waiting for an UP to come into the main showroom. On most days during the work week, he/she may be waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. On a regular basis, he/she will eat their breakfast burrito and occassionaly on rare occasions make a follow up call to a customer on their overdue tasks list. Yes, we do give him/her a daily task list to call via the CRM but they just prefer to avoid using the CRM or making at attempt to call customers on their daily list.

The retail salesperson on most occasion starts to work once he is handed a customer to work with.

Now, a little about the Internet Agent:

This person arrives at the same time as the retail salesperson. His daily duties are as follows:

1. work on new leads by calling, sending email and also sending a text to obtain an appointment.
2. confirm via phone, text and email their appointments coming in today.
3. Call, text or email all of their recent leads where the status is still "UNCONTACTED" (no 2 way contact established yet).
4. work on current active customers they have on their pipeline by text, email or phone.
5. Send out any quotes that were requested after working diligently to try to get the customer to come in without having to give them a online quote.

On an average day the Internet Agent will make approximately 50 quality phone calls, 20 emails and 25 texts. Talk to approximately 10 to 15 live customers to seek appointments and confirm 2 to 5 appointments per day.

Now, according to the sales manager the Internet Agent has his/her life easy they just call, text and email which is very simple and easy to do while the retail agent has to work hard to close a deal once the customer is handed off to them. One additional item is that with the exception of one Internet Agent; the rest of the Internet Agent's actually work the appointment also to obtain a complete deal as opposed to a half deal only. PS: The Internet Salesperson sales an average of 10 to 12 cars per month with most of them split deals and with a close rate of 12 to 15% of this total internet leads. The retail salesperson sales between 10 to 15 sales with 60% being full deals on showroom traffic with a close rate of 20% on the customers he meets with.

Please give me your opinion on who works harder.

Derrick Woolfson

@Bobby, to be honest, while I can empathize with the frustrations, it is not about who works harder, BUT rather how this system is set-up. I have never understood the "Internet Department" vs. "Retail" perspective. Knowing that more than 95%+ have been "online" to research the vehicle whether they inquired online or not. That said, there has and will always be issues with sales teams making phone calls, emailing, texting, etc. Hence why many dealers introduced BDC's for their dealerships. Though, oddly, some dealers are "fixated" on the word, "INTERNET." -- "Our Internet Manager" -- as if they, literally, manage the "INTERNET"  

That said, there are two things to review. 

The first is that it takes a certain skill level to not just book the appointment, but to get them to actually show up. That is half the battle, no? At which point, getting them to close is the second hardest part. Where, in many cases, less than 60% of the deals close. And while there are times in which the managers will "blame" the quality of the Internet lead as for why it did not close, it is still an issue, which stems from there being breakpoints in the sales process. 

Secondly, when it comes to "who worked harder" in the scenario, both facets of the process are hard, but in different ways. However, the "closing" of the deal can in some instances be easier if the vehicle is already agreed to, credit app is complete, and much of the paperwork is already processed prior to the customer coming in. Albeit, though, this is a very small percentage, and from my experience, it is mostly pre-owned units. 

Bottom Line: I would consider having a conversation with the GM and sorting out what the process(s) are, at which point the processes set in place have to be followed. As there would otherwise be the same issues you are facing now. If the sales managers are not on board or see the situation one-sided, that too - regardless of the processes in place - will cause for chaos. 

Good luck! 

Marie Nies

This is a hard one but generally the Internet salesperson (BDC agent). But I also think that asking for the whole pay on the deal isn't right....

Bart Wilson

I agree with Derrick.  You need to get your management team on the same page.  Aren't we all just trying to sell more cars?

Mark Rask

I agree with derrick

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