I’d like to think that by now most dealerships have a written Internet sales process to handle Internet leads effectively. As the documented, researched and confirmed driver of “lead quality,” an established process is the key to obtaining a maximum ROI from Internet leads. Though many dealers are allocating a substantial portion of their marketing budget to attract Internet leads, many are still not achieving the recommended minimum of five times their ROI on those dollars spent, even with a “good process”. Why not?
Very often, accountability is the missing link between a written process and lack of desired ROI. How easy is it for an Internet salesperson to check off tasks as completed when they are not, or to say “I’ve tried calling that person three times and they haven’t called me back. What’s the point?” A good process that isn’t followed is the same as having no process at all—both salespeople and managers must be held accountable to following that process.
Here are a few tips to help weave accountability into your processes:
Does Your Team Own It? Accountability is about ownership – do your salespeople own the process? Ownership means more than just knowledge of the process, it’s belief in the process and its consistent execution. As a manager, if you want to hold people accountable you have to reinforce WHY they should be following the process and instill the belief that their personal results will improve. Call out individual successes that reinforce that following the process yields personal returns.
Review the Internet Sales Process. Does it mirror the showroom sales process? In the showroom process, there’s always room for interaction with management. Salespeople have check points throughout process; the test drive, desk log and the write-up. In many stores, managers walk the lot and showroom and inject themselves in the process to ensure everything stays on track. Is management involved throughout your Internet sales process, only at the end, or not at all? Create availability of management to the Internet team and reinforce the need for manager involvement.
Openness and Competition. Nothing breeds accountability like visibility. Show the whole team where all of them rank in your key performance areas and include the steps of the sale (i.e. contact rate, appointment rate, show rate), not just sales volume. Regularly review team results in a group, calling out the best at execution, and schedule individual meetings for coaching and personal accountability.
What are your tips for improving accountability? What tips do you have for managers and for salespeople?