Currently there are thousands of sales managers manning the towers at car dealerships across the country. Many of them have paid their dues on the floor, worked their way up to the desk and honed their skills as a sales manager.
The question is where will your next sales manger come from?
What will be their pedigree? More than likely they will have been trained to sell cars at your dealership or some other, with the same culture and motivations that have been in play for years.
We have all seen the auto sales industry move towards an ecommerce model in the past few years’ right; or have we? Will the next sales manger that your dealership brings on board or promotes from the floor be cut from the same cloth as those that came before; will they be obsolete by the time they get comfortable at their new desk?
At the onset of the automotive internet world as we now know it, many (too many) dealers shoved the nice guy who just couldn’t cut it on the floor into the internet department. Now I see a necessary turning of the tide. Even at the most ecommerce centric dealerships there remain the old guard at the tower. Yes they’re still getting the job done and many of them are great at what they do, but for how much longer? How many sales managers currently working the desk can truly evolve and keep step with what is happening digitally in our industry? Are they merely leaning on the “internet manager” to handle that aspect of the business?
Our customer is now becoming our network, and like it or not the network has already begun to dictate how businesses operate. The days of businesses pushing their products and processes on the consumer are coming to an end. The rise of online reviews and dealer reputation management are just the beginning, of a major shift in the way all business is conducted, including the auto industry.
Dealers that embrace training and development of their management and sales teams will have the upper hand moving forward. They will have the people in place with the skills necessary to keep their dealership relevant and growing in this digital economy. It is no longer possible to have just one person at your dealership that gets it, and feeds it to the rest of the store.
For many dealers this may seem like science fiction and for some this may hit a nerve, but to all this is a wakeup call. Invest in training your team. The biggest assets that your dealership has are your most educated team members. They are your dealerships future, and will help you to dominate your market now. Consider this; your next sales manager had better have worked their share of deals and “leads” before being considered for the job. If your dealership is going to be successful, it is vital that you invest in education.
The next level begins with a first step; send your two best and brightest team members to the Automotive Digital Boot Camp in Orlando, Florida April 16 – 18. Review the schedule with them before they go and set expectations for what they should take away. Send them with a focus on the areas that you want to see your dealership improve on and help them initiate a game plan upon their return. This will be the best investment that you can make for your dealerships future, guaranteed.
Where will your next sales manger come from?