Are you Harnessing the True Power of Internet Sales Staff?
While car dealers have been working with online transactions for some time now, many Powersports dealerships are just getting on board with a virtual showroom. Whether you are one of them, or if you’ve had an online presence for a while, it doesn’t hurt to check in and make sure that you’re making the most of the staff and resources that you have available. After all, your Powersports internet sales department is only as good as you set them up to be.
Floor & Online......
Floor sales and online sales are two completely different arenas, which is usually where dealerships come upon the disconnect. They have their floor staff already, so they simply hire an Internet team and leave the two to work in their separate departments. The problem here is that a dealership is a single business. Therefore, every department is in this together, and everyone has to work together to make deals happen. Although some customers may buy exclusively online, there are a number of customers who will want to come into your dealership and see the units they’re looking at in person before they make a commitment. If they feel like they’re dealing with two separate situations when they make the transition from an online inquiry to a dealership visit, they aren’t going to have the best experience.
Your Powersports Internet sales department should be set up to not only conduct their own business but to be a segue into your floor sales department for those customers who want it. Rather than making people feel like you’re “passing them off” to the next sales guy, you can make them feel like they’re being treated to a true experience with an entire staff of people to help them get the deal that they want out of their Powersports investment. All you have to do is change the way they perceive things and you’ll get a lot better results in all of your sales, both online and in the showroom.
What Else Can the Internet Staff Do?
Most dealerships have adopted an online staff that is less focused on sales alone and more focused on generating any kind of potential business possible via the Internet. These departments are known in the industry as Business Development Centers or BDCs, and they can be a great resource for your Powersports dealership. You should have dedicated online sales staff, of course. However, you should also have dedicated Internet staff that acts as a dispatch, or triage, of shorts. Their entire role should be to determine what people need and which direction to send them, and ideally, you should be able to do this without a lot of direct interaction so that the customer doesn't feel like they're being shuffled through some sort of queue.
The goal is to streamline your operations so that they are as efficient as possible for your employees, but also to offer your customers the most seamless experience from start to finish, which means they should interact with as few people as possible but also have access to all of the resources and services that they need in their Powersports shopping journey. It's a delicate balance, but it’s one that you can manage if you take a little time to see what the best Powersports Internet sales departments are doing and take notes to improve your own results.
It’s About a New Mentality
The future of your Powersports dealership depends on how you harness the potential of the Internet. Setting up the right type of operation with a staff that is well-trained and ready for the job will serve you quite well. Remember to take notes from those who are doing well, and even from those who aren’t, because you might find some obvious things to avoid that can help you along the way.
You can’t just jump in and assume that sales is your only mission. While that is a priority, of sorts, it isn’t the only thing that you are getting from the online business that you generate. You will also be getting a whole new base of customers that are ready to buy, including many that will buy without even trying a unit first. You can definitely benefit from this, but you have to change the way that you look for online sales in your day-to-day operations.
Multi-Approach Online Efforts
The way that you can truly harness the power of your Internet staff is to make sure that they know exactly what their role is, not only within the organization but within the realm of online shopping and business. That way, you can have reps who are handling the sales process, as well as those who are simply talking to customers about the inventory options or how they can get their hands on a new Powersports unit. Although there isn’t one proven model, taking a multi-disciplined approach seems to be the most effective choice for those who want to succeed in virtual dealership operations.
The Bottom Line
The Powersports Internet Sales staff that you have on hand can do a lot more for your business than you think. Make sure that you take the time to see how other dealerships are building their brands online and how they harness the potential of the Internet to guarantee that they get the outcome that they deserve. Some dealers are even offering hybrid-type dealerships online that serve as both a point-of-sale and a customer service base to connect visitors to important information and resources. Regardless, you have to make sure that you’re putting your team to work for the best results.
If you’re looking to make the most of your virtual dealership and your Internet sales, it’s important to take the time to create the right team for the job. Doing that requires an understanding of how Internet customers are different from your walk-in customers, and what your Powersports dealership needs to do to keep them coming back. Check out our eBook on Internet Sales vs. Floor Sales for more valuable insights and tips.