Written by Tony Loxton
It’s the end of the week at your car dealership and time to review your sales numbers. It doesn’t look good: sales across your entire team have dropped. It must be because your team was slipping up, so you decide to take steps to ensure they lift their performance, including a firm but gentle (or not so gentle) speech to encourage everyone to put in 110% effort.
But what if you were wrong?
Many industries are driven by tight sales targets, putting pressure on sales managers and their teams to ensure they meet their goals. Sales managers can often be quite unforgiving when a team member fails to achieve their targets, since they believe the fault lies with the poor performance of their staff.
This can be hugely detrimental to employee morale, which in turn impacts their motivation and performance — particularly if the employee pulled out all the stops to try and meet their sales objectives. However, the underlying belief that the employee is the cause of the situation may be entirely incorrect, as Jonathan Pau, the Dealer Principle of Doncaster Hyundai in Melbourne, discovered.
The sales team at Doncaster Hyundai were very focused on results but lacked the tools and data to clearly understand what was driving those results. When the Hyundai Motor Company added Blix to Jonathan’s toolkit, they wanted to gain a deeper understanding of their business and identify if there were any opportunities they weren’t capitalising on. They imagined that if they could control lost opportunities they could raise their sales numbers, but thanks to Blix, they made two important discoveries.
The first discovery was that no matter how hard you try, you cannot completely control lost opportunities: “There are uncontrollable factors that affect opportunities. There’s always one [opportunity] that is going to be lost.”
The second discovery completely changed their approach to sales. They discovered it was not any lack of effort or skill, but lower dwell time that was affecting whether a customer made a purchase. The Blix data helped them identify a correlation between dwell time and the closing ratio.
“So in the past a customer comes in asking for a brochure. What happens is we hand them a brochure, we staple our business card, and the customer’s on their way. In Blix, that's classified as a lost opportunity and I couldn't agree more. Because the likelihood of that customer feeling loyal enough to ring that person who just stapled their business card to our brochure is next to zero.”
However, once they understood that dwell time made an impact on sales, they shifted their approach.
“...the biggest difference is the mindset of the salespeople. They're spending more time with customers than before because we're measuring it. So, from the customer's point of view, the experience is better because the salespeople aren't rushed anymore.”
“Now because we're after that five extra minutes, it’s more likely that my sales consultant's going to give them the service pricing of the car, talk about our finance product, share why they want to buy from us, and get their name, phone number and email to contact them if there's a special offer. That's five minutes. That's not a lost opportunity anymore, even though it’s the same customer asking for a brochure. The end result is we're making meaningful contact with the customer which means we're going to sell more cars.”
They summarised how “the mindset has changed. If we spend more time, we will sell cars. So our focus has changed and the results have been very good.”
This data also made them ask different questions when their sales team missed the mark. Did sales staff keep missed opportunities to a minimum? Did they spend enough time with customers? Did they capture the lead data into the CRM for follow up?
Where before it was assumed that poor sales numbers were entirely the responsibility of the salesperson, the team at Doncaster Hyundai are now properly able to unpack whether there are areas of performance the salesperson needs to address, such as dwell time, or if it was simply a slow business day.
“We use Blix traffic data to show the team what's actually happening in the dealership regardless of results. In the past, all we looked at was results, especially for our salespeople. They had a bad week? Their month was ruined. Now if they have a bad week and we can look at the data and go ‘In general everyone's doing a really good job. If the result isn't there, it’s not because the performance isn’t there.”
This integration of traffic data into the core sales process of Doncaster Hyundai marked a dramatic shift in the approach to sales in the auto dealer industry. Not only did this data offer insight that benefited the employer, who could better understand where and when their sales teams may be underperforming, but also employees, who would no longer need to worry about low sales number on slow business days.
“I can't believe we used to run this business without this data. It's powerful. It's useful. I don't know how I'm gonna run the business without it tomorrow.”
To find out more about how Hyundai uses Blix, watch these videos.
If you’re interested in integrating Blix Traffic into your dealership or retail store so that you can also reap the sales benefits of foot traffic data, get a free demo. If you have any questions, please get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.