Auto Sales Contact Management Software

Auto sales contact management software is an affordable and reliable solution for professionals in the automotive sales industry. It helps to manage various tasks in a well planned manner.

Auto sales contact management software enables users to simplify communications with clients. It manages all business contacts and activities, including e-mail addresses, phone numbers and contact addresses. The software keeps detailed records of customer contacts and activities in one centralized location, accessible to the entire organization through password administration. This effective tool is also useful for planning and tracking the progress of team tasks.

Auto sales contact management software has many features. Appointment tracking, call reminders, import/export features, address label creation, sales management reports, order entry and tracking, software generated telephone dialing, visual tracking of tasks status, data merge, flexible grouping and filtration of tasks, recurrence tasks setting and printing capabilities are a few of them. The software can quickly sort customer information by category, status and date. It also helps in identifying sales opportunities.

With auto sales contact management software, the volume of sales for a given date can be easily determined. In addition, it also serves to make sound management decisions regarding inventory. The software reduces the risk of manual processes and provides maximum flexibility to handle communications effectively.

Appropriate auto sales contact management software increases personal and professional productivity. It is simple to use and easy to learn. It is a good option for tracking all sales procedures in the automotive industry. Several auto sales contact management software packages are on sale in the market. Most of the software providers offer a free trial version and guarantee programs for their packages. Before choosing auto sales contact management software, it is always better to run a trial version to ensure that the software meets all business requirements.

Cutting Edge Marketing Generates More Auto Sales Leads

Live chat software and hosted service can boost dealer leads and sales

It is surprising to see auto dealers send a personal letter from the General Manager that says ‘we want to buy your car’ this far into the new millennium. How long before customers realize that it’s just another gimmick in a long history of auto marketing they feel is a trick to get them in the door? How much has your dealership spent on ‘hole-in-one’ or scratch-off lottery packages? Thousands of dollars? Tens of thousands? The same goes for depending on toll-free numbers and ‘contact us’ forms. Most dealers have adjusted their marketing mix to take advantage of social marketing but still rely on twentieth century technology to connect with customers on their website. Live chat is a twenty-first century solution that can take Car Marketing to another level and help generate more auto sales leads.

Live website chat creates quality auto dealership leads

The internet has changed the way automobile dealerships market new cars and used cars, and just posting a website with inventory and business hours isn’t enough to compete in the information age. Buyers demand information at their fingertips, so letting them peruse a website without giving them the option for that communication can be a fatal business mistake.

When you upgrade your automotive marketing plan to include a website live chat software or service option, you can meet your customers’ demand for instant communication. When a dealership website visitor clicks on a LIVE CHAT link, an interactive conversation has begun between the dealership and auto sales prospect. Rather than just click away to another brand or auto dealership, they have initiated a discussion that can result in a high-quality lead more than 60 percent of the time.

Why are Live Chat Website Leads higher quality?

Dealerships that rely on classic (read: archaic) car marketing techniques are limited to the Russian roulette-style methods of buying information from an auto lead broker or depending on third party leads that dealers fight over like hyenas battle for meat scraps in the wild. A lead generated from a Live Chat query is already in your sales funnel. The contact information and transcript from the chat conversation can post automatically to your automotive CRM system.

One of the biggest reason a live chat lead is higher quality than other marketing options is that a dealer that communicates with them directly through their website is giving them exactly WHAT they want, and WHEN they want it: information right now. Once a visitor is engaged in a live chat session, the demand has been removed from the visitor to fill out a ‘contact us’ form and wait for a reply or wait until the dealership is open to call an 800 number.

If you are looking for Car Marketing options that create more auto sales leads and help sell more cars, live website chat is a high-tech answer that yields proven results.

Seized Auto Sales – How to Get a Bargain!

Seized auto sales are getting very popular for bargain hunters. Whether it’s for getting the family car cheap or buying a car to sell on later through the classified ads. The fact remains that you can get a bargain and it’s relatively straightforward.

It’s probably a good idea to go through what a seized auto sale is and where they can be found.

A seized auto sale is where cars have been confiscated by the government for a variety of reasons, the most popular is non payment of parking fines and non payment of court costs. Another source of seizure is goods that have been obtained through criminal activities.

As a starting point it is useful to understand that cars seized through non fine payment are usually of low quality whereas cars seized through the courts because of criminal gains are usually of a very high standard.

So the first step is to filter out, as much as possible, those auctions which sell the junk cars. After all if you’re in this for a bargain you may as well go for the best you can get for your budget!

Where can I go to find the ‘better’ cars?

You can use two methods. Check your local newspaper and/or go online. If you’re lucky you may just find a local auction that hasn’t passed and is selling the type of car that you would want either for yourself or to sell on.

The chances are though that you would be too late or that you wouldn’t be able to get enough information on what is exactly for sale. This is the major stumbling block that most people run into.

Where can I find information on the right auction to go to?

This is what most people looking for a bargain with seized auto sales have difficulty in finding. It’s one of the key elements to success. Basically it comes down to this – if through diligent market research you find the the exact car you want, work out the most advantageous price and the type of the auction you want to go to as discussed above – it all falls flat if you can’t find an auction!

This where there is a really cool solution! It’s joining a reputable membership site. These sites have several benefits. Firstly, they list most of the auctions in the country and list, most importantly, the ‘type’ of auction i.e. seized auto sales which is what you have been looking for. This alone will save you so much wasted time. A great benefit is that these sites usually provide a search facility so you can type in the make and model you’re looking for and see ‘where’ it’s being sold. You may find for example that a better bargain may be had in a repossession auction.

Auto Sales Training – Do Your Salespeople Hate Working For You?

One of the first things you become aware of as an RV Sales Manager is that you have many roles to play. At various times (and often all the time) you are a time management supervisor, a meeting planner, a contest creator, a report generator, a talent scout, a disciplinarian, a coach, a salesperson, a customer service representative, a trainer and a psychiatrist. All of these roles, well executed, make for a great Sales Manager – one whose main purpose is to get the best out of his/her salespeople.

That is the bottom-line goal of every Sales Manager – to build a strong, confident, productive sales staff. It’s not always an easy job, and their are many factors that block our success in that effort. Based on interviews I’ve had with many salespeople around the country, the following portrait of the Sales Manager everyone hates to work for was created.

Ever hear this horror story? A salesperson, little shakey about closing the deal, asks his Sales Manager if he’d come in for a T.O. The Manager, basically a lazy desk-type says, “If you can’t close it, what makes you think I can”, and continues leaning back in his chair. The salesperson makes a last effort, then escorts the customer to the door. The Manager then replies, “You are really weak. My mother could have closed that deal!”.

Not only did the Manager lose any possibility of a sale, he lost all credibility with his salesperson. No doubt this salesperson will complain to everyone else in the dealership. A good Sales Manager, who truly cares about his/her people, and the dealership, would never make this kind of mistake. Which is not to say that great Sales Managers aren’t infallible. It’s just that if they do make a mistake, they’re the first ones to admit it. Every salesperson when asked the type of Sales Manager he/she would like to work for, has the same thought: someone who is honest and upfront, who gives his all to the job and to his people, and who doesn’t have time for blame or games.

Unfortunately, horror-story Managers do exist. Just so you’ll recognize one if you ever run into a bad Manager, here are 10 most common characteristics of the Manager everyone hates to work for:

1. Low energy, low enthusiasm
Mr. Negative never gets excited about anything. He’s unhappy with his job and shares this information freely. He’s constantly depressed and so are his salespeople.

2. No vision
He sets no goals for himself or for his staff. He gives the salespeople one direction on Monday morning, and by Tuesday afternoon he’s saying something completely different.

3. Willing to settle for average performance
He “doesn’t have time” to work with salespeople or develop their potential. He doesn’t expect much from his people, and he doesn’t get much.

4. Takes credit for everything
This Manager’s ego needs constant stroking. So ever success becomes his own, no matter how much or how little he had to do with it. He takes full credit for his salespeople’s success.

5. A finger-pointer
When something goes wrong, he’s the first one to point out who did it and what went wrong (unless the mistake was his). He is quick to point out the salespeople’s shortcomings, and slow to offer any suggestions or solutions.

6. Glued to his desk
He always has paperwork to do and seldom gets out on the showroom floor. He is always telling his salespeople to get to work early and stay till the bell – but is not willing to do the same.

7. Cares more about getting his money then he cares about his people
He’s more concerned about short-term results then the long-term success of his salespeople.

8. Lack of communication skills
He knows how to tell his salespeople what they did wrong, but doesn’t know how to teach them to do it right. His listening skills have a lot to be desired, and his salespeople don’t feel comfortable asking his advice.

9. Let’s his friends stop pulling their weight
He has favorites in his department who take advantage of his friendship and get away with low activity and poor results, causing resentment and discontent among the other salespeople.

10. Doesn’t stand behind his team
He’s only interested in impressing the dealer. He doesn’t realize that the success of the Sales Manager is in direct proportion to the success of his salespeople.

Auto Sales Manager – The Hiring Dilemma

A Sales Manager asked me the other day, “why am I having such a hard time finding salespeople who want to work 60 hours a week?” For those of us who have lived much of our lives in and around a dealership, 50-60 hours a week may seem like a common work environment. But I started asking myself one serious question like “why should anyone have to work that many hours?”

Most dealerships haven’t changed much over the years. We still pay salespeople strictly on a commission basis, we still feel like by hiring them we own their lives, we still have trouble hiring professional people, and we still expect the ones we do hire to be successful on their own. I know there are a lot of reasons we haven’t changed our philosophy for how we run our sales department, some of them even logical. But you would think after all the years the auto dealership has been around we could have come up with a better way of handling our employees.

The Commission-Only Structure
When I first started selling cars in 1979, I was making 50% commission with a $100 pack. I was getting 10% of the Life, Accident and Health premium since we didn’t have Finance Managers back then. I was also getting $50 for every Extended Service Contract I sold and $75 for every Rust, Paint and Fab. Even though we were entering what I considered a depression, I was still capable of making an excellent, high paid living. Then the Dealer started realizing how much the salespeople and Sales Managers were making and started cutting our pay. Now we have salespeople making 20% commission with a $500 pack, and though they may be going into holdback, it’s still tougher to make an above average living.

Adding to the decrease in pay structure, we also have the manufacturers cutting dealer profits adding to lower grosses. It’s hard to believe a dealer will spend $17,000 to buy a car only to make $600 gross profit. I can charge $349 for one of my training programs and net $320 profit. Something went terribly wrong along the way in our industry. Prices kept going up and profits kept coming down.

Adding to the possibility of less income, we’ve taken away demos and cut benefits, which was one of the most attractive aspects of being an auto salesperson. I know we’ve tried salaried salespeople and one-price selling. We’ve toyed with salary plus commission and minimum wage. Since the majority of dealerships still use commission-only pay plans and vehicle negotiations, apparently the above ideas never worked.

The Hiring Dilemma
So under the current pay structure, we now have to hire salespeople to sell our vehicles. Who do we get that are answering our ads? Are professional people coming into our stores to sell cars? How about talented women with families? Or are we getting warm-blooded, out-of-work young people who are having a hard time finding any kind of work with the promise of high incomes?

Most professional people, especially those that have families do not want to work in a commission-only structure, especially when their previous jobs had some sort of descent salary. Wives of professional men are not used to commissions. They like to know how much money is coming in every week so they can budget for the family. Not know how much money will be made, or if any money will be made that week puts a lot of stress on a family, causing much discourse followed by divorce.

Women with children have a hard time working in auto sales because of the hours. They have to pay babysitters or day care out of their commissions. And if they don’t make a pay check, that places a lot of stress on their situation. Add to this, children getting sick and having to leave work, along with the occasional female problems, and now the Sales Manager shows his/her disgust because she’s not there to do her job. And then there’s the guilt. So we have very few women in auto sales when they are needed desperately.

We’ve tried split shifts and letting salespeople come in at noon when they have to work late. We make them work two Saturdays a month instead of four. I’m sure someone has even tried part-time help so that their salespeople could have more time off. Companies like Microsoft and Google provide their employees with free food, free daycare, free laundry, free exercise, flexible hours. Now, I’m not comparing these companies to a typical auto dealership, but maybe they know something about the value of employees that we don’t. I wouldn’t expect a dealership to provide these services, but why not day care for men and women who want to work that have children, or figuring out a way to provide higher salaries for salespeople, or maybe hiring part-timers to give salespeople more flexibility? I don’t know if it’s possible, but that sure would be a great place to work.

So What’s the Solution?
I truly don’t know. I’m writing this article because I’m frustrated not knowing. I’m sure we must have tried everything under the sun over the years. It must have all failed because most sales departments still run under the same structure they always have. But there must be a better answer if we want to attract professional people in our industry. All I know is that salespeople and managers should not have to work 50-60 hours per week. They have lives and families outside the dealership that have to be nurtured and cared for. Auto sales is a stressful enough job by itself. Adding even more stress to a family life does not make for a productive, long-term employee.

As a disclaimer, I know we have a lot of great salespeople and managers in our dealerships making a lot of money and providing their families with an excellent life. But I must assume that the 80/20 rule still applies. We have 20% of the salespeople doing 80% of the work. These salespeople are the cream of the crop and are not the ones this article speaks of.

Increase Dealership Sales – the Importance of Automotive Sales Training

How many times have you driven by a car dealership to find salespeople huddled or lined up by the showroom door like vultures waiting to pounce on the next customer?

In today’s market, spending has significantly decreased, and dealerships must be more proactive in creating a maximized sales environment and managing sales activity if they want to sell more cars and generate profit.

On top of this current problem affecting auto sales, in-store traffic is at an all time low, as many that need to purchase a vehicle do the majority of their research and kicking of the tires online to determine what they want and can afford, and then call the dealership, rather than browse the showroom like the good old days.

The advent of the internet has changed how people shop for cars. Isn’t it time your sales training changed to adapt to get current with the times?

Sales training in the auto industry typically used to just be for the sales team. The managers would send their crew to a seminar where they would learn about the latest and greatest tactics and techniques in showroom behavior. The salespeople would return to their dealerships all pumped up and ready to implement what they just learned. Then two weeks later, it is back to business as usual.

Why This Does Not Work

Bottom Line: You need effective automotive sales management to have effective salespeople. Managers need automotive training as well as the auto sales staff.

Most sales managers became sales managers because they had high success as a salesperson. That does not necessarily make them good at managing a staff, in the same way that the best player may not make the best coach.
Think of the auto sales manager as sales coach. A coach oversees performance and creates strategies based on a player’s ability to execute. The sales manager should oversee his or her staff in the same manner and get trained on how to manage effectively to increase automotive sales.

Automotive management training ensures that the managers can comprehensively supervise the showroom and track the individual progress of his or her staff. They will train with the sales staff and should then learn how to set up an in-house continual training regimen.

Salespeople may indeed learn valuable skills from seminars, but the main difference between training and learning is that training is the repeated application of learned skills. There is not a lot of opportunity for salespeople to repeatedly apply what they learn in the period of a single day, or even a week. Training is something you do, not something you did.

Automotive BDC and Telephone Training

Car dealers need to know how to handle inbound sales calls and talk potential customers into the showroom instead of out. While many salespeople do not want to talk about price, customers will inevitably bring it up, so it is crucial to be prepared and know how to handle the issue of price when it comes up.

Furthermore, auto dealerships, and especially the sales staff, need to be informed about current programs. For example, the last hot topic of the auto industry was Cash for Clunkers. Salespeople should know, first off, whether their dealership is participating in a certain program. Then, they should know the exact requirements of the program, and what kind of rebates or incentives their dealership is offering. Once they are sufficiently educated, they need to practice explaining the ins and outs of the program, so that by the time they have a customer on the line or in the showroom, it feels like second nature to them.

This is where telephone sales training comes into play. Although many auto salespeople feel at home in the showroom, they are ill at ease when it comes to handling the phones. There is great debate about the pros and cons of the automotive BDC or business development center. For many dealerships, the BDC staff is made up of telemarketers. On one hand, they have experience with handling inbound and outbound calls. On the other hand, they may know very little about the automotive industry. What if you could combine your auto sales staff with your BDC? With telephone sales training, you can.

With effective telephone training, the auto sales staff will not only be able to handle inbound calls, but also follow up with unsold prospects, and call back sold customers to generate repeaters and referrals. Although there are many good training programs out there, one of the best, in my opinion, is FirePhone, which is part of Proactive Training Solution’s ADAPT VT virtual training program.

One of the main elements of FirePhone is the virtual role-play, which allows salespeople to get ample practice with virtual callers before moving on to real callers. FirePhone also provides scripts for almost any situation, so that the sales staff always knows what to say. Whether your dealership uses FirePhone or another program, having a sales staff that is skilled on the phone will allow you to cut costs and save money that would otherwise be spent on an outside BDC.

In Summary

An ongoing automotive sales training program that incorporates both the showroom and the phone lines is what will keep your dealership efficient and productive during these tough economic times. Through much practice and sound management coaching, the auto sales staff will become more at ease with various situations, have more confidence with the potential customer, and close more sales transactions.

Successful Auto Sales – Empower And Unleash The Mind’s Gift

When I was in the auto sales business, I’ve come to known lots of great mentors and motivators. Their wisdom and their thirst for success is what made them legends in the business. But what exactly made them into the most successful people? It is now that some of us have made the realisation that sales is for them, how could we make that rich mark in our lifestyle and become the best of the best?

First and foremost, the sales consultant needs to believe in their ability to get away from what everybody else does, and eventually go above and beyond our comfort zone. This is not simple to do, as human beings, we are conditioned to replicate what everybody else does. For example, if I told you to follow me inside for more information, you would most certainly follow. And notice one thing, I didn’t ask you if you wanted to come in, I just told you to do so. In another instance, emotions play an important role in setting a mood. If you were to come see me for a new sofa, and I was tired and unexcited, wouldn’t you feel the same way as well? It’s all contageous. Success in any business is measured by motivation. And believe me, it is not the easiest thing to maintain. Everyday moments in our lifestyle hinder the success process, we always think about the things in our home life that make a big impact on how we feel, think, and operate. This is also a normal function, there is no getting around these types of feelings and emotions.

You have to think about one important memory in your life, not what has already happened in the past, but what will come in the future. If you can imagine and dream about a successful lifestyle, then you have the fundamental keys to achieving that. But there is one barrier that must be broken before total success is even realised. And this is dubbed the “comfort barrier”. In the sales profession, you must know that this job is 99% mental and only 1% physical. The really successful people didn’t dig trenches, climb telephone poles, or did they stock shelves. Early in their entrepreneurial careers, these folks found the ability to destroy that mental barrier that prevented them from accelerating into a wealthy businessman. This is a common psychological response, we’re all too used to staying in what is comfortable to us. It’s the scary response of the “fear of failure”, or the “it’s too different for me” vices that hinder any sort of progress.

So what’s the first step to eliminate this? It’s real simple, you just have to believe in your ability to go above and beyond your normal ways of thinking. Don’t think about failing, because in the sales business there’s plenty of that, and you become less affected by the consumer’s negative response. And don’t think about how you’re going to get your success jumpstarted, you’ll learn and educate from many good people. And when you have the general idea figured out, things will start to come into place. And most of all, don’t let the negative things in your homelife affect the way you go about business. Work and home are two different things, keep it that way. Leave your problems at the door and be ready to set the world on fire!

So what do you think, still have what it takes to succeed? The important thing is to isolate the human thinking machine and how to take advantage of the most advanced piece of hardware on the human body. It’s with this open mind, that you can manipulate everything that comes your way. At that time, you’ll have all the solutions, and no more of the “scratching your head moments”. All success takes, is a little mental push.