Are you an Internet Manager, an Internet Sales Director, an eCommerce
Director, an Internet Sales Consultant, a Vice President of Marketing? I think this speaks to all of us, but let’s forget about our positions and corporate structures for a moment. Some of you may already have your 2008 pay plan and some might not, but that doesn’t matter right now. Let’s talk about what we think is right and fair. What is fair to you and the person paying you.
I was reading the “Myth of the Dealer Web Site Conversion Ratio” article, by Mitch Turck, and started thinking deeper about Mitch and Joe Pistell ‘s rebuttals to cross-comparing site conversion ratios between industries. When Mitch posted some actions a customer might take after visiting a dealer website (call an untrackable local phone number, visit the store, etc.) it made me think: he’s right and how silly is that! We don’t give credit to some online ventures that are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do – mainly our own website. We do this because it isn’t easily track-able. Of course, we did this to the traditional medias as well, but keep reading….
If your paycheck is directly tied to what can be proved as a clear and concise contact history inside a CRM, is this fair to you? Did you send your customer an email, or a series of emails, with value proposals? Did you leave a voice-mail saying something about the latest deal on the lot? Did that customer ask for you when he or she walked in the door, but an old “Earl” salesperson gave the customer a reason why he or she should deal with him instead? Did Earl say the customer was a “drive by”? These scenarios are also untackable. I wonder if we’re paying our Internet personnel on the wrong principles?
In that same “Myth” article, T.J. posted some advice for Joe on three methods that have helped him boost Internet sales (Instant Chat, Online Coupons, and a trade appraisal). T.J. – please don’t take offense to this, I could be on the totally wrong track here, and we’ve all done it ourselves. This got me thinking about how we are putting our customers through hoops because our pay plans are structured toward “Internet sales”. It has been my experience that customers can’t stand trade appraisals – it creates a confrontational environment before they even show up. Online Coupons are an annoying pop-up and most intelligent customers know they could have negotiated that amount off anyway, so all it does is knock another couple hundred dollars off every deal. However, I am a fan of instant chats! Anyway, our pay plans are driven to create more conversion so we have more customers to talk to. They drive us to take advantage of ventures that may upset the customer or not be in the dealer’s best interest because we’re working a pay plan.
Working a pay plan is good if you’re in a traditional position, and can be if you’re in an eCommerce position as well, but I’m not sure we’ve structured these things in everyone’s best interest yet. My point is, we are in positions to influence online advertising ventures for the dealer. The dealer has based our pay plans on track-able “Internet sales”. What advertising ventures are we influencing? Are these ventures fair to the dealer? Is your pay plan structure fair to you?