Sales floor automation technology helps improve the natural dealership process while keeping management informed of floor activity. Larry and Danny discuss how.
Technology-Assisted vs. 'The Old Way'
Danny James: Larry, can you summarize the benefit of using a CRM to assist with the sales process? It's not technology that you use, entering data after the customer is gone. Not just a historical recap. It's part of the salesfloor flow - from the handshake all the way through and keeping the manager in the loop. Describe how that differs when you're utilizing a proven CRM and Automated Sales Process.
Larry Bruce: The technology is helping the salesperson through their natural floor process and it's helping keep management informed throughout their activity in working the natural floor process.
The salesperson is no longer working this old school "daily plan". The daily plan is working them. They can continue throughout their day, doing what they do best and the system is calling them up and telling guiding them in what they should be doing next in the sales process. The system is telling them what the next follow up is by making determinations based on the customer's behavior. Who should be called right now versus who should be called later.
Larry Bruce: It's prioritizing calls based on ratings rather than arbitrary human thinking or subjective reasoning. Every salesperson thinks everybody's going buy so they think they're all hot. Right? You can't ... they can't all be hot. You've got to prioritize calls and if the system isn't capturing all the activity data digitally, you'll find very quickly it's impossible to keep up with it all.
As a manager, it's your goal to keep salespeople focused on the top 50 customers that they need to work this month. Those are the hottest and you let the system work the rest.
Dealership management is helping their team through the system. They are taking a lot of detailed data entry and assumptions off the salesperson who could have anywhere three to five hundred follow-ups in a month.
If you're capturing everything digitally and you're not letting any sale go then, right? Realistically, some of those deals will be ready now, some will be ready next month, some six months from now, and some will never be ready. So the system will work most of those while the salespeople stay on top of the hottest prospects, the ones most likely to be in the market right now.
Let It Go
Larry Bruce: And that can change very quickly. In other words, a salesperson could be talking to a customer today and they're not very hot. They're not really engaging in the process at the moment. But then something happens to increase their urgency to purchase. They wreck their machine, for instance, so now they're back on your website shopping. Or the machine breaks and they' decide to buy a new one instead of fixing the old one again and now they're opening an email from the dealership salesperson. Suddenly, the customer who was not previously engaged is starting to interact with your website. Now is time to call them.
Danny: Without a system to tell them that the customer is back on the website, they wouldn't have known. They would just be guessing at the right time to follow up. This takes the guesswork out of the process. It tells you who to call, when to call, and what to say.
Larry Bruce: Let the system go...let the system go do what it does. Let the system continue to follow-up with newsletters and in other ways to keep your name in front of them in a relevant way. But the salesperson shouldn't be doing that.
Danny: The fastest way to push a customer away is to harass me when I'm not ready to purchase or I'm longer in the market, but I submitted my customer contact information on your website and the salesperson continues to keep following me and following up and bothering me for the next year and a half. I'm not interested.
Larry Bruce: Right. If the salesperson is engaging with a customer and they're not engaging with you and you try to call them later without any indication of further interaction with your digital dealership - the website, email communication, and marketing - they're just not that into you. Let THEM go.
It's okay for the consumer not to be interested right now. The system will keep touching base with them with relevant information and when they get interested, if you haven't bothered them, they are going to come back to you.
Danny: But by utilizing the system, an automated way of sales and marketing, you're able to avoid over farming the field. It allows the consumer to re-engage more comfortably with you then if you had just inundated them with information at time when they weren't in the market.
Read Their Minds
Larry Bruce: That's the whole point - to be relevant. Relevance means that the consumer is in the market now. But how do I predict that without reading their minds? Without ESP, the next best way to gauge relevance is to see how the consumer engages with my digital marketing efforts:
- SMS Text
If they are engaging often then they are probably still in the market, so it's okay for the salesperson to continue to follow you up directly. If they are not engaging with the website or clicking on emails and digital interaction has faded - something may have happened in their life and they have moved past the sales funnel right now. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It just means they're not interested right now.
It is sometimes as important to know that someone is not in the market as it is to know that they are.
Danny: So as a rule of thumb here: If someone is in the market and you're contacting them, that's a good thing. If they're not in the market and you're contacting them, that can be the end of the relationship. You certainly don't want that.