If you have a new role as a dealership sales manager, then you know the challenges that you will face. The dealership will depend on you to build, cultivate and manage the sales team. Here’s a look at the tactics and strategies that can help you get the most out of your sales team.
What is the role of a dealership sales manager?
1. Motivate the team
The first role of the dealership sales manager is to motivate the team to hit their sales goals. Now, that doesn’t mean that the sales manager simply focuses on getting the prospect to sign on the dotted line. The dealership sales manager needs to get the team to find leads, follow-up on those leads, and get the most profit from each sale. Every day, the dealership sales manager should be motivating the team to be as productive as possible.
2. Hold team members accountable
The sales team needs to be held accountable for all of their actions. If a salesperson is unable to follow-up with a lead-in time, the dealership manager should correct this mistake. One of the ways that a dealership manager can hold the team accountable is to have an organized system that tracks all the leads and the productivity of each team member. This will help the dealership sales manager who needs extra motivation to reach his goals.
Teamwork is essential. It lets the team move towards one goal.
3. Train the team
Next, the dealership sales manager should be constantly training the team on everything from news sales tactics to new ways to generate leads. Also, the dealership sales manager will need to keep the sales team on top of the new vehicles that will be coming into the dealership. Finally, the dealership sales manager will need to show the team how to upsell and cross-sell in order to maximize profits.
4. Close deals
Closing is one of the most important parts of being a sales associate. A dealership sales manager should have ample experience in closing all types of prospects. With this knowledge, the dealership sales manager will be able to inform and inspire members of the sales team to close more deals and improve the dealership’s conversion rates.
5. Dealership sales manager organizes the schedules
The dealership sales manager will be responsible for setting the schedule of all the members of the sales team. A good dealership sales manager should know when to have certain sales team members work certain shifts. Over time, the dealership sales manager should refine the schedule to ensure that the best salespeople are working during times with high foot traffic.
6. Managing Leads
The dealership’s leads are going to be the golden tickets that will get you sales. The dealership sales manager needs to carefully distribute these leads to the right salesperson. For instance, a salesperson who is good at selling trucks should get the lead for people looking at trucks. The top salesperson should get the leads that are most likely to lead to high margin sales.
7. Hiring a Sales Team
Dealerships have one of the highest turnover rates when it comes to the sales team. Therefore, the dealership sales manager has to be able to know how to quickly find the right person to join the team. Finding the right person is a skill that may take some time for a dealership sales manager to Acquire. Over time, a top dealership sales manager will be able to find the right candidate who is most likely to convert more leads and expand margins from each sale.
When you interview a candidate, there are a number of things that you want to look for in a candidate. Here are four things to gauge during the interview:
Cultural fit – Every dealership has its own culture according to the type of vehicles that are offered. Therefore, you want to make sure that the candidate is the right fit for the dealership. For instance, if you work at a Cadillac dealership, you want someone who is comfortable talking with professionals and CEO customers. If you work at a Jeep dealership, you will want to hire someone who is comfortable talking to people into outdoor adventures.
Ambition – All candidates should have some sort of ambition. The candidate should not approach a sales position as just a 9 to 6 to make a regular paycheck. The candidate should be motivated to make as many sales as possible.
Engagement – Notice how the candidate talks and listens during the interview. Does the person maintain eye contact? Does the candidate seem engaged to everything that you are saying? Also, see if the candidate has a confident posture and is well dressed.
Persistence – The candidate should have some persistence and appear to seriously want the job. Check to see if the candidate follows up with you, sends a personalized letter, and demonstrates the potential to be a great salesperson.
Finding the right person is a skill that may take some time master.
8. As a dealership sales manager you set goals
Finally, a top dealership sales manager should be able to set the right goals for each sales team member. An individual goal should be set for each team member. Also, there should be an overall goal for the sales team. These goals should strive to provide for the continuous improvement of the sales team’s performance.
Key insights for the role of dealership sales manager:
Motivate the team – Get them hyped up to close more customers.
Hold team members accountable – Identity when sales associates are falling behind and find out how to get them up to speed.
Train the team – Make sure that the team has the latest insights on the market and sales tactics.
Close deals – Show your sales associates how to close deals and prevent customers from walking out the door over a few hundred dollars on the sticker price.
Manage leads – Be able to send the right leads to the right sales associates.
Hire sales team – Make sure you are able to identify the people who have the right potential to be great sales associates.
Set goals – Make sure that your sales associates have goals each month to keep them motivated.
What are the responsibilities of a dealership sales manager?
The dealership sales manager will have a number of specific responsibilities that will help drive sales. Here’s a look at some of the most important responsibilities of a dealership sales manager.
1. Daily check-ins
Each day, the dealership sales manager should spend a couple of minutes with each member of the sales team to see what leads that they are going to follow-up on. The dealership sales manager should also take the time to make sure that the salesperson is on track to meet his sales goal. Finally, the daily check-in should be used as a time for the salesperson to ask the dealership manager any questions that he may have.
2. Weekly training
A successful sales team is constantly receiving continuing education on new sales tactics and refinement of existing sales tactics. These weekly training can help each dealership person get better at all aspects of their sales. This includes everything from dealing with prospects over the phone to handling objections, upselling, and cross-selling.
Training is a must. It improves an employee’s performance and morale.
3. Product training
Dealers are always getting new vehicles and products. Therefore, it is important that the sales team know about the key features of every vehicle that is arriving at the dealership. Some of the specific key features a sales team should know about include favorable comparisons against competitive models.
In addition to new vehicle training, the sales team should learn about any parts or service center selling opportunities. By keeping the sales team on top of the new productions coming to the dealership, they will be better able to convert prospects into sales.
4. One on One Meetings
There will come a time when each member of the sales team should get one-on-one time with the dealership sales manager. During this time, the team member can get an update on their performance, some critiques on how to improve their sales, and any additional information meant specifically for that salesperson. These one-on-one meetings can take place once a month or every two weeks.
5. Monthly forecast meetings
Every month, the dealership will have goals on the number of vehicles that need to be sold and leased as well as overall revenue targets. These goals should be transmitted to the team. This will help the team understand where the bar is and how much work needs to be done over the next few weeks. If the team is not on track to meet these goals, then they understand that they will need to work harder.
6. Annual performance reviews
Each sales team member will need to get an annual performance review to check over their performance over the last 12 months. During the annual performance review, the dealership sales manager will see if the sales team member has hit his goals. The dealership sales manager can also go over what the salesperson has done well and what requires improvement. Afterward, the dealership manager can go over goals that need to be reached for the next year.
Set the right goals for each team member.
7. Monitor and manage social media
Social media has become an important part of the sales mix. Therefore, a dealership sales manager should work with the dealership’s social media manager to ensure that there are enough content creation and curation happening on the dealership’s social media channels.
Key insights for responsibilities for dealership sales manager
Daily check-ins – Make sure you know what’s going on with each member of your sales team.
Weekly meetings – Keep your sales team in the loop on what’s going on in the dealership.
Product training – Ensure that your sales team knows the ins and outs of vehicles, services, and promotions.
One on One meetings – Have extended one-on-one time with each sales associate.
Monthly forecast meetings – Every month, meet with your sales team to set goals and project sales.
Annual performance reviews – Review the performance of each salesperson, once a year.
Monitor and manage social media – Make sure that the dealership has a consistent and positive image on social media.
Tips to Improve Sales Team Performance
There will come a time where an individual salesperson or the entire team may be having issues with closing sales or meeting their performance goals. These issues can be due to a number of reasons. Here are some tips a dealership sales manager can use to help improve the performance of their sales team.
1. Make your sales team listen to a customer’s specific needs
It is important that your sales team members listen to what a customer wants from a vehicle. If the prospect mentions that they have two kids and that space is important, then trying to sell that prospect a sports coupe will make no sense. Once the salesperson has absorbed enough information, he should ask follow-up questions that can lead to a specific vehicle in the dealership. This can greatly increase the chances of closing a sale on a vehicle that a prospect wants and needs.
2. Master the presentation of the vehicle
It is a good idea for the salesperson to work on their presentation of the vehicle. This includes everything from showing off the key features to being able to answer specific questions about the vehicle. The salesperson should also know what parts of the vehicle will be most appealing to the prospect. For instance, if the salesperson is showing off a three-row vehicle, then the salesperson should talk about the fact that the SUV can comfortably seat up to eight passengers with ample room on the third row.
3. Make professional appearance a standard
It is important that the sales team dresses the part. The dealership sales manager should set a strict dress code that the sales team must follow. This will not only make the sales team look more professional, it will make the dealership look good in front of a new prospect.
4. Teach your sales team how to promote themselves on social media
Social media is becoming a more important part of a dealership’s self-promotion. However, individual dealers should also become familiar with how to use social media for themselves. With their own personal social media sites, a salesperson can promote vehicle’s answer questions, and reach out to prospects.
5. Learn a sales team individual talents
A top dealership salesperson should be able to know the strengths of each salesperson. This will allow the dealership sales manager to cultivate those talents which can lead to higher sales. For instance, if a salesperson is really good at upselling and cross-selling, then the dealership sales manager should motivate that salesperson to do more upselling and cross-selling.
Motivation allows you to reach goals, enhance well-being, and personal growth.
6. Teach your team to communicate effectively through writing
One of the most overlooked skills in sales is the ability to communicate effectively through writing. There will be times when prospects will email the salesperson with questions. The salesperson should know how to use proper grammar and persuasive writing in order to keep the customer on the hook and get the prospect back into the dealership.
Here are some tips that can help a salesperson be a more perspective writer:
Use personalization – If the prospect includes her name in the email, the salesperson should use the prospect’s last name – in a formal manner in the response. (Ex. Hello Miss Smith)
Use urgency – The salesperson should motivate the prospect to take the next step and come to the dealership to take a test drive. (ex. “Our sale is ending soon” or “We don’t expect this vehicle to last long.”)
End with a call to action – The salesperson should always put a call to action for the prospect to come to the dealership. (ex. “I am available to offer you a test drive today and tomorrow. What time works best for you?”)
7. Teach a new salesperson the basics
Since dealerships have high turnover, a top sales manager should be able to properly train a new sales associate. Here are some of the basics that all dealership salespeople should know.
Get the customer’s name upfront and remember it – People tend to pay attention when they are addressed by their name. Salespeople should be trained to remember the customer’s name.
Listen more than you talk – A good salesperson needs to listen to the customer because that allows the salesperson to better sell a vehicle.
Look the customer in the eye – Good eye contact will allow the salesperson to keep the customer engaged with him.
Be patient and don’t be pushy – It’s important to show a salesperson how to practice patience and not “scare off” customers with pushy behavior.
Know the product inside and out – The salesperson should be able to know all the key features of any vehicle.
Don’t say anything negative about other car dealers – Good salespeople should be able to focus on what the dealership has to offer instead of talking down the competition.
Don’t tell customers what they want to hear – Salespeople should not appear patronizing or desperate.
Keep your desk clean – Maintaining a clean desk will leave a positive impression on all potential customers.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – A good salesperson should be able to imagine what the customer is looking for in a deal.
Follow up – All salespeople should know how to follow-up with a personalized email and phone call.
Key insights on improve sales manager performance:
- Make sales team listen to customer needs
- Master presentation of the vehicle
- Make professional appearance standard
- Tech the sales team how to promote themselves on social media
- Learn each sales person’s individual talents
- Teach salespeople to write effectively to customers
- Teach new sales associates the basics
Tools that can help you as a dealership sales manager
Dealership sales managers sure have their hands full when it comes to managing the sales team and making sure that all sales and revenue targets are on track. Here’s a look at some of the tools that can help a dealership sales manager get his job done.
1. Management books
While dealership sales managers are in charge of training their sales team, the manager needs to train himself. One of the best ways for a dealership sales manager to learn and hone his craft is to stay on top of the latest management books. In addition to the latest management books, there are some timeless classics that can help out anyone in charge of a sales team.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular management books over the last several decades:
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Good to Great by James C. Collins
- The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker
2. CRM tools for the dealership sales manager
Every dealership sales manager needs a CRM tool that will allow him to track the flow of leads into a dealership. A top CRM tool will allow the dealership sales manager to better track all the ad channels, distribute leads and see the dealership’s entire sales performance on one dashboard.
3. Sales intelligence
A good dealership sales manager should have a good idea of what is going in their local market. That includes knowing that other dealerships are doing right and what they are doing wrong. Also, the dealership sales manager should be aware of where the top prospects are in his market and how to reach them. Finally, a top dealership sales manager should have a good gauge of what products are converting best so those vehicles or services can be promoted through the sales and social media channels.
Key insights on dealership sales manager tools:
Management books – Keep up to date on the latest management books to learn the most innovative sales and leadership skills.
CRM tools – Find the most advanced CRM tools to make you more productive. Dealership management systems make your processes much more effective.
Sales intelligence – Stay on top of competitive dealerships and trends in the market
The right blueprint for a successful dealership sales manager
With the right tools and management blueprint, a dealership sales manager will be able to experience increased sales and have a top team that will be able to meet and exceed monthly sales goals. Be sure to take the time to refine your management skills if you want to get top performance from your team.
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