Dealers are changing their sales process and upgrading technology, not only to boost close rates and customer satisfaction — but also to help retain staff — says new dealer research concerning turnover and sales processes.
A sizable amount of dealers hold that both sales process and technology changes can combat the biggest factors that lead to employee turnover, according to the 2018 MAXDigital Dealership Process and Salesperson Turnover Survey.
The study found that nearly 80 percent of dealers believe turnover is an issue affecting their business, and 23 percent said it’s a “major” issue.
Dealers point to inadequate or lack of training and ineffective hiring processes as top factors that contribute to turnover issues. In fact, seven in 10 dealers shared with MAXDigital that their salespeople have told them they don't have enough training or information.
Nine out of 10 dealers in the survey said hiring “good” salespeople is hard for them. And a sizable number of dealers acknowledge hiring people with no experience.
Seventy-six percent of dealers said they've hired people without automotive experience, and 62 percent said they've hired people without sales experience of any kind.
In a work environment that can be demanding, increased access to technology at dealerships can provide salespeople with an array of helpful online tools and support they can use to stay informed.
Seventy percent of dealers in the study said technology makes salespeople more successful and builds trust and confidence with customers.
On the other hand, the study also found that 30 to 40 percent of dealers aren’t using tech-based tools to educate salespeople or customers.
Furthermore, while the study showed that higher close rates and increased customer satisfaction index (CSI) scores have motivated dealers to seek new sales processes the most, more than 50 percent said a change in sales process would help retain staff, according to the study.
When asked, “Are you considering changes to your sales process?” 41 percent of dealers said they're considering changes to their sales process within the next 12 months.
In addition to finding that most dealers surveyed seek a more consultative sales process, it also found that many dealers want to adopt a new pricing strategy to improve customer experience.
Four out of 10 dealers surveyed said they are looking to adopt a low/no haggle pricing strategy. Like technology, this change has the potential to help salespeople be more confident with customers and their roles.
“This study shows how dealers are re-examining their sales processes in order to align with the way customers want to buy,” MAXDigital chief executive officer Steve Fitzgerald said in a news release. “Adopting a process that provides a streamlined car shopping experience will help dealers increase sales and profits and improve employee satisfaction and retention.”
Nearly 400 dealers across the United States completed the Dealership Process and Salesperson Turnover Survey in January and six, 30-minute phone interviews were conducted in February.
MAXDigital said survey participants included dealership general managers, dealer principals, used-car managers, owners and internet managers.