DrivingSales Canadian Dealer Forum Event Summary

POSTED BY Laura Tuturas

Did you miss the DrivingSales Canadian Dealer Forum? Don’t wory, we were there to take some notes for you. There was a lot to learn about what is at the forefront of innovation for dealerships!

In no particular order, here’s a summary of some of best takeaways we’ve gleaned throughout the event.

First and foremost, your employees are the people you work with and see every day, so they need to be picked wisely, since dealerships are competing on consumer experience. How good a client feels about your dealership extends to the online realm and can often make or break your store’s reputation. This is also very relevant in the offline world, especially within small rural cities with a few rooftops competing, where word-of-mouth and referrals go a long way.

Jared Hamilton, Founder and CEO of DrivingSales, gave a presentation about the evolution of the sales model on the first night of the conference and provided some insight into modern sales management for dealers. According to Jared, there are many ways to manage and review your ratings, promote your customer service, and sell your inventory, but the most crucial thing to manage is your talent because at the end of the day, the quality of your salespeople can become one of your most strategic competitive advantages.

Considering most things are becoming automated, developing your sales team’s skills is critical to growth. Back in the day, calculating numbers and analyzing credit took up a lot of time for a sales manager, but delivering a great customer experience will get your dealership much farther today. In order for experiences to be delivered and retained the right way, certain competencies must be developed by your sales team, so they can accommodate changes in what buyers want.

When it comes to self-development, the top trait any sales professional can have is a growth mindset. People that possess this way of thinking recognize that potential is not fixed, but can be developed. For example, the things that may be obvious to a sales manager may not come as easy to someone who is newer to the role, but as long as this aspiring sales professional is open to developing his or her skills and a manager is willing to cover things they may consider menial, skills can be successfully taught and transferred.

There automotive industry has gone through a lot of changes over the years, especially when it comes to the relevant business model for most dealerships. In the past, management was equated to consistency, and dealers used assembly-style systems. Nowadays, management aligns with leadership. A great dealer is able to adapt to change, create a vision, and materialize it. All dealerships ran by great leaders sell more, simply because they no longer cling to the old model and choose to be creative and embrace change instead.

When it comes to addressing change, Ted Graham, the Head of Open Innovation at General Motors, touched upon how to take in feedback and balance risk/reward in his keynote. Employee experiences with buyers need to be analyzed to see which clients give your sales team a chance to have the best impact. These people are the ones delivering value and should be considered when trying to implement any new rewards. Risk is always a factor, but by monitoring demographic and psychographic changes and factoring them into your dealership’s vision and current choices can make all the difference.

What are your thoughts on modern sales management and how does your dealership deal with the fast pace of digital change? Comment below to let us know.

If you’re interested in finding out which vehicle detail page engagement metric is the most closely correlated with car sales, join us at the DrivingSales Executive Summit this October, where we will be presenting the results of our Most Valuable Insight study. Hope to see you there!

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