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As our company grows, I am able to get out into the field and talk face to face with clients and prospective clients more so than ever in our history. In my travels, I have noticed a change in the mindset that many car dealers are using when it comes to their Internet department and their dealership as a whole.
It used to be that the Internet Sales Manager or BDC Manager was a salesperson or sales manager who had the strongest knowledge of the Internet. This person would coordinate the leads, work with Internet vendors, and fix internal and external problems related to the web.
Now, we are seeing more and more dealers hire people from other industries, including IT, finance, and marketing, to come in and work with the technical side of automotive Internet marketing. Other dealers are taking their current ISMs and getting them the training they need to be ahead of the curve.
Regardless of the way that dealers go, most are heading in the same direction: towards having an Internet department run by people who know more than just how to run Outlook and their ILM/CRM. In this tough economy, it is so important to either have the right people in the right position or to enable those in the position to gain the proper knowledge necessary to effectively lead their departments from every angle.
What does this mean for car dealers, vendors, and the future? As dealers staff their Internet departments with more tech-savvy people (or make their current people more tech-savvy) it will be more difficult for vendors to use "smoke and mirrors" to sell their products. We have always taken pride in delivering quality, state-of-the-art products to our customers and exceeding expectations, so this latest trend is a breath of fresh air to me. With 75% of people looking to the Internet for information when they are ready to purchase a vehicle, it makes sense to be equipped with tools that appeal to them and people to make the most out of these tools.
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Read more articles by Richard Valenta on Driving Sales.