Ring in the Revenue in 2013!

new year money

The New Year is upon us and it’s time to refocus our efforts to drive incremental sales in 2013.

As the president and founder of Local Search Group, my goal is to help deliver more opportunities to do business at your dealership. One of the most effective ways to increase traffic to your dealership and website, while generating credible leads for your sales professionals, involves successful integration of sales and marketing efforts. Call it “digital sales operations”, if you will.

For 2013 and beyond, I recommend the three resolutions outlined below to help improve your business. Not unlike in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and the three ghosts that visit Ebenezer Scrooge, the best operators will have a focus on all aspects of their business in 2013 including the past, the present and the future, to improve digital sales operations.

Click Below to Watch Jim Flint’s Video

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Past business: relentless tracking

There are so many intricate parts to effective sales operations.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is all about serving your customer and establishing a relationship, but your CRM is the key to understanding what does and doesn’t work in your dealership.

The strongest operators, the biggest volume sellers, stand by the belief that “if it didn’t happen in the CRM it didn’t happen at all.“

CRM’s should be used at all times to update interactions and transactions with access for all the right people on the sales team. Without your interactions in one place, you lose out on effectiveness, you lose out on efficiency, and you ultimately lose out on sales volume.

Invest additional time, not additional money, in the CRM system for your dealership at the beginning of the New Year and then inspect what you expect from your sales team to drive performance improvements.

Present timing: live chat is “now”

By simply adding live chat to all of your digital advertising, you will deliver more opportunities to do business. Many dealers are still reluctant to jump into this space because of staffing concerns.

Q: What’s worse than not having chat?

A: Having live chat and not answering the customer’s requests.

Live chat can be accomplished in several dynamic ways including:

  1. Managed live chat – Communicate with your customers through another company while they visit your website to help drive them to your dealership.

  2. QR (Quick Reader) codes – Develop QR codes for smartphones that provide information to engage consumers in conversation on their terms

  3. Ad extensions or website buttons – Provide an easy way for your customers to connect with you on search engines, your websites and your mobile websites.

Each method above effectively and efficiently engages customers while promoting greater sales activity, however, the best answer is to have someone from the dealership answering requests in real time. If you don’t already have chat on your dealership website, DealerChatTips.com is a great place to learn more about it. In a “now” business, chat is a “now” medium.

Future Planning: the automotive Bermuda Triangle

Don’t become a victim of the automotive Bermuda Triangle. Triangulate your numbers properly. This is the intersection of sales operations and digital marketing.

Here’s a quick example of how to navigate the waters:

  1. Personnel: 20 sales professionals selling 10 cars per person = 200 sales

  2. Inventory: 400 new and pre-owned cars on the ground = 200 sales

  3. Website visitors: 10,000 website visitors that drive a 2% closing ratio = 200 sales

If you have the correct website visitors, the correct closing ratio, and the correct inventory on the ground, but only 10 sales professionals, you will close the month closer to 100 sales than 200 sales.

Continuously evaluate and realign the sides of your triangle in 2013 to maximize sales.

Keep these three resolutions focused on the past, present and future for your dealership’s digital sales operations in 2013 and you will be on your way to a very prosperous and successful new year!

Jim Flint is the founder and president of Local Search Group, a digital marketing sales operations-based agency in Texas. His agency is known for delivering comprehensive, integrated digital marketing solutions for automotive companies and retail clients across the country. As a 15-year sales and marketing veteran, a sought after speaker, and a widely recognized thought leader in automotive sales, marketing and advertising, we’re pleased to have Jim’s first contribution to Dealer Marketing Magazine.

Michael Bowen


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