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Jason Volny

Jason Volny National Training Manager

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Who Taught Our Sales Managers To Lead?

Who taught our sales managers how to lead? Who taught them how to develop and engage our millennial workforce?

If your answer is, "they learned by watching the managers before them," you are right.

However, what worked for Generation X is accelerating our revolving door in this competitive workforce marketplace.

Who Taught Our Sales Managers To Lead

It's the perfect storm, we can't get anyone to apply to sell cars, and if we do get them, we can't get them to stay.

We've all been saying this for years.

We promote our top sales people to be our sales managers, however, the competencies to sell a car are different from ones to lead and manage people.

It's not a newsflash that great companies have great leaders and managers.

Just like it's our sales manager's job to develop our sales force, it's the dealer principal's and general manager's job to develop our sales managers.

It's time we give our managers the tools and the knowledge necessary to deliver high-level results through people and give our organizations a sustainable competitive advantage.

Here are the competencies your management should have:

1.   Recruiting New Talent

2.   Conducting an Interview

3.   Create and Deliver a New-hire Orientation

4.   Development by Career Level

5.   Competency-Based Management

6.   Career Mapping

7.   Performance Reviews

8.   Training Schedule

9.   Daily Huddle

10. Managing by Daily/Weekly/Monthly Tasks

Oh, yeah.

11. Sell cars

Our industry is full of egos, and a large portion of sales manager will say they know what they're doing.

However, to borrow from the attorneys, "res ipsa loquitur", let the facts speak for themselves.

According to NADA, average turnover on the sales floor is 70 percent. However according to a compensationforce.com study in other industries it’s only 17.8 percent.

Also per NADA, It takes three years to become an average sales consultant.

Way too long and at a high cost.

Why does it take so long?

Most managers still believe in the sink-or-swim mentality.

Why? Because that's the way they were trained.

If you are in a leadership role at your dealership, your success as a leader is not measured by how many cars you sold, or how many R.O.s you wrote. It is measured by how many leaders you've grown.

Success is almost never an accident, so stop hoping and start teaching.

Brandin Wilkinson

Good article Jason.  The competencies you listed are for Managing, what would you consider competencies for Leadership?

Kelly Kleinman

I've seen this in a number of companies, great sales guys promoted to sales manager.  The organization becomes top heavy and sales suffer.  Mid-level management in America is long-suffering.  

I've said it a million times, a stronger focus on training and truly caring about developing people is critical to a strong dealership culture and lower turnover. Sink or Swim is old school BS! 

Jason Volny

Brandin, sorry for the late reply. A former coworker of mine wrote a blog post talking about leading... here is one of her points that i'd have to agree with:

  • Good Leaders Work. Good leaders are in the trenches, getting their work done and then aiding others to get their work done. No job is beneath them, deadlines aren’t to be missed, and they do what they need to do to help everyone succeed. Being willing to work sets an example for others of what is expected, and ensures that everyone feels equal.
Jason Volny

Scott, that's true! Employees need to be equipped with tools to succeed. One study by gallup says turnover is decreased by 14.9 percent when there are regular employee performance reviews. if you conduct performance reviews, that's a time when you can make sure the new employee feels they are succeeding and help them out.

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