1. Do include as many qualified employees as you can to your data-mining strategy. Data-Mining tools are activity based, like a snowball rolling down a hill, where positive momentum is built over time with proper usage of your data mining tool. The typical dealer who sells between 45-100 cars a month will need at least 3-4 active users to get the maximum benefits from a data-mining tool. You wouldn't let one sales person take all your Up's would you? So don't let one person call all your clients, spread the love and you'll be rewarded with great ROI!
2. Don't allow your team to qualify the opportunities that your data-mining tool produces. Just like the Up's list, making decisions for your clients before they or the bank has weighed in can only cost you money. Cherry Picking always produces less sales.
3. Do direct your team to regularly go through the training process offered by your data-mining provider. Any data-mining company worth its salt will provide some sort of training or on boarding process before the user starts interacting with clients. Initial training is essential to the success of your data-mining tool, and a few sales early on translates to employee buy-in, which is critical to long term success.
4. Don't create a data-mining team made up completely of "green-peas"! Yes you can put new folks on your data-mining program and they will likely benefit from the additional sales training your provider might offer, but eventually these appointments become car deals and you want to have some experienced staff on your team to provide guidance to the new sales people.
5. Do put a performance manager in place to hold your team accountable for their activities. As I mentioned previously these are activity based tools and someone needs to monitor the activity to ensure you meet your sales goals. A performance manager who spends an hour a day minimum in the tool, monitoring the usage of every user and making sure that the leads are not abused or qualified goes a long way towards maximizing your dealerships ROI.
6. Don't assume your clients will want the exact same car they are driving now! A little over 50% of clients who accept a data-mining based upgrade offer choose a different vehicle than the one they were in previously. Direct your appointment setters to focus on the need for the clients vehicle and NOT the sale!
7. Do establish a strong VIP service drive process! Many data-mining providers offer a mobile app with a Vin scanner that will allow you to identify service drive opportunities in real time. If your provider doesn't offer that, consider a provider that does. A select few providers now offer "Soft Credit Pulls" of service only clients, which will allow you to identify service only clients you can convert into showroom customers. The most untapped sales resource in your dealership isn't your Up's list, it's your service drive!
8. Don't focus on contract ends! This is a huge one folks! Data-mining is all about speeding up the buying cycle of a significant number of your current clients. The average auto loan in America has ballooned to 66 months but the average client only keeps their car for 42 months. Contract ends are the hardest clients to convert because by the time most customers are within 12 months of owning their car they have all the leverage, all the equity and likely have been shopping for months(assuming they still own the car). With data-mining the less time they've owned the car, the more likely they are to accept your offer to upgrade.
9. Do give your team an aggressive pay plan that promotes consistent production! Data-mining tools, when executed properly, are stand-alone revenue sources for your dealership and it behooves you to set up a pay plan that gives your best and brightest incentive to be a part of your data-mining team. In the long run you will make more money with less of an investment if your pay plan attracts the quality sales talent that already exists within your dealership. Hiring and training new people off the street is most often more expensive!
10. Don't forget to keep learning and getting better! The automotive industry is in the mists of significant change and it's incumbent on us to continue to learn and get better. The top shelf data-mining companies offer continuous industry based and brand specific training modules that will keep you and your team sharp and ahead of your competition.
If you have any questions about how to improve your current data-mining offering or if you'd like more information about getting a data-mining tool up and running, reach out to me! Sharing best practices with other industry professionals is how we all improve and Grow our business.
Ryan Mayo AutoAlert Advocate and Client Retention Specialist: 949-679-2256