When we’re confronted with a “situation,” it can quickly derail your dealer’s efforts – where our age-old solution of “getting back to the basics” is back in full force. We get it. It’s not easy to sustain everything you’ve accomplished. More importantly, you need empowered managers who become empowered leaders to keep your efforts going. To have Sales Managers become Empowered leaders, they not only need autonomy, but more importantly, they need training. How can they train their Sales Consultants or BD Agents if they haven’t had any training themselves?
But My Sales Managers Don’t Have Time for Training!
This has to be one of the worst excuses, yet it’s one of the most common excuses on the dealer level. And make no mistake about it, it is 100% an excuse. Instead of focusing on the response itself, let’s focus on why we’re responding with “they don’t have time.” I get it. Time is money. But having quality trained Sales Managers results in not just increased sales and better retention, it also means more profitability.
Not that we need to, but if we were to break down your Sales Manager’s day’s you’d find time for training. So, if it’s not about “not having time,” what is the reasoning behind not wanting to train? Part of making training successful is the conversation had on training. It is critical to include your Sales Managers in the conversation. When we don’t include them in the conversations, simply telling them they “need” training can create a defensive response. A response that doesn’t do anyone any favors.
But before we get to what that conversation even looks like as the GM, you have to have a vision or end goal with training. Sure, the goal is to increase profitability and increase your retention. To increase profitability & retention, you have to have insight as to what the breakpoints are. To analyze those breakpoints in the sales process, you first have to have a single process. Trying to analyze breakpoints with each manager following their own process – not only doesn’t work, but it’s also not sustainable. Think about it, not only do your Sales Managers each have their own process but that also tends to mean that each Sales Consultant and BD Agent also has their own process.
When taking a step back, it makes your head hurt thinking about just how many processes are followed on any given day. So, if it’s as simple as having “one process” to increase your profitability or retention, why aren’t more dealerships focusing on this issue? Well, it’s not as simple as having “one process.” If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it, right? To have one process means training not just your Sales Managers, Sales Consultants, or BD Agents. It also means that you – the GM – is also trained on the new process.
How can you assist and empower your Sales Managers to increase their performance if you’re not a part of the training and dialogue that creates the process? The Sales Managers will often take the training, and their teams will be trained, BUT nothing changes? Why? Well, what tends to happen is that as you’re shifting focuses and realigning the Sales Managers’ goals and the “process,” we get impatient. Wanting results yesterday. And it takes time to see those efforts pay off. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Think about it, when you start a diet, do you lose all the weight in one night? No. And if you have to keep “restarting” the diet, what happens? Well, you’re always back at square one. Same for training, we “revert” back to the same-old “everyone has their own process” method because you know it “worked.” All this winds up doing is putting your dealership on a vicious auto-loop of “learn & burn.” Imagine if your training slogan was “Training isn’t for closers, follow that sales guy, sell, or move on.”
You’d be hard-pressed to sell the dealership in that interview, right? So then why follow the same old processes? And sure, you can show the prospective hire those reports and sample commission sheets, but that doesn’t show them how to achieve those results, and most what admit they just don’t know how. And sure, you’ll possibly hit the jackpot and retain 5-10% of the new Sales Consultants or BD Agents. But imagine retaining 60%, and instead of constantly focusing on “new hires,” focus on training that will turn those “green peas” into quality trained Sales Consultants or BD Agents.
Are you done with the burn & turn? You should be!