Although most people have purchased a car before, the car-buying process is much different from other products or services. While consumer goods like appliances and clothing can be impulse purchases, a vehicle requires more planning and comparison.
Not only is buying a car a big decision, but the industry has changed a lot in recent decades. Consumers are far savvier today than in years past, and auto-buying websites have made it easier to access more information about cars and how they work.
Fortunately, automotive sales training helps your dealership adapt to these changes to close more sales. With the right training initiatives in place, your reps can make a better impression with customers and deliver a healthier bottom line for your business.
With that in mind, this article will dive into the automotive sales training process and how it works. Here is what you need to know.
What is Automotive Sales Training?
Simply put, automotive sales training is the process of teaching your reps on how to sell cars to various customers. Since there are many more steps involved in buying a vehicle, it helps to know the tactics and methods that work best.
Because not all sales reps know the right techniques for selling a car, automotive sales training helps them finesse their approach. For example, some shoppers want safety and comfort, while others may be more budget-minded. Because there is such a broad selection of consumers, reps have to know how to appeal to each one.
Automotive sales training can take multiple forms. In some cases, your reps can watch online videos to learn specific tactics. Likewise, it may help to send your salespeople to seminars to learn from other high-end sellers.
In some cases, automotive sales coaching may be necessary, but we will get into that later. One point to consider is that your training methods and materials will likely shift for each representative. Some reps may do well at selling to families, while others might appeal more to new car buyers.
Overall, it is never ideal to take a one-size-fits-all approach to automotive sales training. Instead, figure out your reps’ strengths and weaknesses and develop a training program around that.
What is Automotive BDC Training?
There was a time when shopping for a car online seemed outlandish. However, in recent years, the idea has become far more appealing. While most consumers still want to test drive their vehicle before signing, shopping online is much easier and more efficient than going to a dealership or car lot.
As a result, many dealerships have been utilizing Business Development Centers (BDCs) to cultivate more online leads and convert them into customers. As online car shopping becomes more prevalent, BDCs will become far more integral to a dealership’s business model.
The shifting online trend is why automotive BDC training is necessary. Not only that, but the methods involved here are much different than standard automotive sales training. Since BDC reps will not be engaging with customers face-to-face, they have to master different skills and techniques.
Some examples of automotive BDC training can include:
- Developing Video Content: Video clips are an excellent way to capture a customer’s attention, and they can be shared across multiple platforms.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): There are so many CRM programs out there that make it easy to follow up with leads and convert them into sales. Reps have to master the CRM software with the right training.
- Cold and Warm Calling: Although BDC reps will not be talking to customers in-person, they will likely have to speak with them over the phone. Training can help deliver value with these calls so that reps can close more deals.
- Analytics: Since BDCs work with online customers, most of their decisions will be data-driven. Reps have to know how to use analytical tools to make them more efficient at their jobs.
Tips for Automotive Sales Training for New Hires
One of the most significant issues that dealerships face is a high turnover rate for sales staff. The pressure of selling cars can be too much for many reps, which creates a revolving door of fresh salespeople coming in and out.
Fortunately, with the right automotive sales training for new hires, a dealership can alleviate this problem and retain high-performing reps for longer. While each situation is different, here are some tips to make it work:
- Develop an Assessment and Training System: Remember that automotive sales training is not a one-size-fits-all system. So, if you are training all new hires the same way, there is a higher chance of churning those who don’t fit the mold. Instead, you should look at reps individually and format their training accordingly. If you have multiple programs developed, you can streamline this step while retaining more agents along the way.
- Focus on Culture, Not Profit: Part of the reason reps can struggle with selling cars is that there is so much pressure to close. While you want your agents to be profitable, you may have to give them time to get on their feet. During the automotive sales training process, focus more on your brand culture. Doing this will ensure that new hires will feel more comfortable and less stressed.
- Use Targeted Motivation: Some sales reps are driven by their commission, while others may enjoy the thrill of the sale. Find out what motivates each salesperson and leverage that to your advantage. Doing so will lead to less turnover and higher employee satisfaction.
What is Involved in Automotive Sales Manager Training?
Because the sales department generates the most revenue for the dealership, sales managers are critical for the success or failure of a business. However, all too often, managers are falling short of their goals.
Fortunately, with automotive sales manager training, a dealership can close more leads and experience much more growth. So, what is involved?
The first element of automotive sales manager training is to trim the fat from a manager’s duties. In many dealerships, managers spend most of their time on dealer trades when they do not have to. Yes, a manager needs to approve the transaction, but they do not have to do all of the detail work.
Instead, a sales manager should be focused on two things – training sales staff and working with customers directly. While there may be a few other duties on a manager’s list, those two should be at the top.
So, if your automotive sales managers are not focused on building a better team or closing deals directly, your training should be centered around that. From there, have a much more robust bottom line and a happier, more productive sales team.
Automotive Sales Training Material
Since automotive sales training is so valuable for your business, be sure you are using the right materials. Here is a breakdown of the various elements to include within your training process.
- Online Videos: Thankfully, there is a ton of content out there related to automotive sales training. To make these videos more productive, focus your attention on specific tactics, such as cold calling. This way, you can make sure that your reps have all of the tools they need to close a sale.
- Webinars and Seminars: One problem with a video is that your reps cannot ask questions. Instead, watching a webinar or attending a sales seminar gives them access to more information and insight.
- Mystery Shopping: One of the best ways to test your reps is to use mystery shoppers to assess their sales process. From there, customize your automotive sales training to fill any gaps.
Do You Need an Automotive Sales Training Coach?
In some cases, automotive sales coaching may be necessary. This is when an outside consultant comes in and trains your sales staff. Typically, coaching is required when your team is falling behind and needs an objective assessment.
Automotive sales training coaches will come in and observe your sales reps and draft a report. From there, the coach may either give your sales managers a list of specific points to work on or train your agents individually.
Overall, automotive sales coaching can provide a lot of value for your business. That being said, use it when you know that it will generate a significant ROI. For example, if you bring in a coach and still have a high turnover rate, training will ultimately cost more than it yields.
Bottom Line: Automotive Sales Training Works
Running a successful car dealership requires a motivated and competent sales staff. With the right automotive sales training program, you can build a much stronger bottom line and experience far better growth.
If you are ready to see what automotive sales training can do for your business, contact Selling Revolution today. We give you the tools necessary to build a program for everyone on your team, from new hires to veteran sales reps to sales managers.