Going to add a 3rd to Alex's list: Process Management
Kershner's dead-on. You CANNOT have a good process working 200 leads a month -- ESPECIALLY working cradle to grave! It quite literally defies the space-time continuum. There is simply not enough time for one person to dedicate enough time to any acceptable level of ILM Best Practices -- even if he/she worked 30 hours a day, 40 days a month.
150 is too much for dedicated appointment setters to follow an aggressive 30-day follow-up regime. Half that number is pressing it for cradle-to-grave.
And I'm not bragging, but to back-up some claims: my store closes, YTD, 22%-23% on (avg.) 700 leads per month -- that's with 5 dedicated appointment setters, trying to replace the sixth who didn't work-out. And this is not what you would consider a strong e-commerce market.
I may agree that all things being perfect, a great and organized salesperson can live with 100 leads/month. The problem is that is is hard to find great and organized salespeople.
The fact that there are XYZ dealers in the US and that each one should have at least 1 ISM with perhaps an average of 1.5 people per dealer involved on the Internet department tells you right away that we don't have enough people with the talents needed to cover all.
So the average dealer has to provide 150-200 leads/month rather than the optimal 80-100 that you guys talk about just because otherwise their ISM will starve.
There are many vendors reading this forum, isn't one of the questions dealers ask you all the time: "do you know a good ISM I can hire?"
So are we talking abut how many leads someone like Jeff or Pistel would need to sell their allocation of vehicles or one of the other thousands of people that are doing the Internet thing just because the opening was available?
Look at this local for hire ad, Some vehicle sales experience preferred but not necessary Internet Sales Representative
Yago de Artaza Paramo
CEO, Paramo Group Inc.
Our appointment setters work directly with the desk until the lead walks through the door. And they are "aggressive" in the 1st 30 days, in that we are constantly following-up. If a client asks for a price, we send them 4 -- and our philosophy is that "we gave you more than you asked for, so we are now entitled to at least sell you an appointment."
The "magic" is matching the right appointment setter personality to the right desk manager personality... but I digress.
117 is too many leads for a good cradle-to-grave process (setting aside a later discussion of whether there really is a good cradle-to-grave process), but yes, I like that for dedicated appointment setters.
And if you're a dealer inflicting some poor schmuck with 200 leads per month, forget about wasting money on leads, lost sales, etc., but you're just letting the Door Bell ring and ring and ring.
"Hi, My Name is John, Your Name is...." still exists - it's just moved. Would you let one person greet 200 floor ups a month?
If the conditions are right, the offering competitve, and managers know the goals--then you look and find more Kershners to join our team.
It is funny that as competitive as dealers are they settle for whoever shows most-of-the-time rather than looking to build a team of superstars.
Maybe dealers need to start to think liek a sports team and build up for the season that way.
Yago de Artaza Paramo
CEO, Paramo Group Inc.
I'm with John Quinn on this one.
Jeff Kershner is as rare as an all-star NFL quarterback. Easily, one in 100 million... you're not going to find a Jeff Kershner, you have to build one (actually, you'll need 2-3 people to cover his depth of knowledge and experiences).
More importantly, how can they recruit and empower a Jeff K without knowing WTF is going on out here? John Q nailed management's new attitude perfectly:
"...The Front Door ain't that thing on the hinges on the front wall anymore, now is it? The Front Door has moved. Traffic is still "there," you just gotta know how to answer the door!"
Such a simple and true concept. John Q's comment should have been an "ah ha!" moment to dealer/managers in 2002. But, rather than exploring the new opportunity, they consider it a threat (to their pay plan). This begins the parade of moronic management comments (read: excuses) that reveals EVEN A MORON CAN MANAGE A STORE AND SURVIVE.
If a Dealer is LATE to the Internet PARTY, who's to blame? THE TOP BRASS.
From my seat, the Dealer's single greatest handicap is it's top management. It's bothered me for some time, from my post:
Who’s training the managers to be leaders? The Black Hole in Sales Training
Self Employed for decades. Co-Founder 3 successful start-ups, 2 retail, 1 internet. Cashed out, ex-wife took 1/2, IRS took the other half. Left town with pocket change & became a self-taught professional Stock Trader 7 years. Quit that to start up a local web site company, got an eye popping offer to become the Marketing Dir. at a Chevy Dealership, been in the biz for a decade, now I'm bringing it all together as Senior Director of Product Performance & Innovation at Dealer.com
LinkedIn: Joe Pistell
One of my friends is a new GSM at a store that has three franchises. He values my input. I was visiting his store and looking at his CRM reports. Their average response time was 330 minutes ...5 1/2 hours! One ISM had 58 leads but zero sales. On their website, they had vehicles that were not styled properly, so we didn't even know if they were cars or trucks. Over the last six months, they have changed CRMs and Websites. They had changed from one good one to another good one ...real progress. They cancelled their new vehicle listing on AutoTrader and Cars.com. The Fixed Operations Manager told me, "we feel that we are spending enough on the Internet".
"If a Dealer is LATE to the Internet PARTY, who's to blame?" Joe, we have people that think they are at the PARTY if they have a CRM and a website.
Can't say it any better than Uncle Joe: "If a Dealer is LATE to the Internet PARTY, who's to blame? THE TOP BRASS."
Someone in this thread wrote they couldn't hire an ISM without promising 150-200 leads a month. Instant RED FLAG: Warning! Warning! Danger! This management team does not value/understand PROCESS MANAGEMENT! Stay Away! I can't think of a better example of a dealer being "Late to the Party" than seeing this type of model.
It's about understanding the marketplace, and developing effective strategies to capture market share. You plug people into the process, not the other way around -- you don't "find" a team of All-Stars: you GROW them.