Here are the top reasons your dealership sales consultants aren’t hitting targets

It happens to even the best of sales managers: end of month is fast approaching, and your target isn’t shrinking, but the chances of your team hitting it are. Now is usually the time when sales managers start to pace the showroom, pushing sales consultants to call faster, and sitting in on calls in hopes of speeding up the sale.


There are a lot of tactics and strategies that can be used to turn things around. The most effective ones should be implemented ongoing from the start of each month. So, here are three important reasons why your sales consultants may be missing targets, and what you can change starting now.


1. They’re not following a process


Most dealership sales teams lack a thorough, documented sales process in place for sales consultants to follow. In most situations, sales consultants have a list of Leads, and are expected to make a certain number of Sales from them by the end of month. However, the process to turn a Lead into a Sale is missing.


An appropriate process would consist of the next steps Sales Consultants should take to progress the Lead along the sales funnel. With noted interested in buying a car, a Prospect should inevitably progress through the automotive sales funnel: Lead, Prospect, Test Drive, Finance, Order Intake, Delivery. Each Sales Consultant should track every Prospect they have through the same funnel, knowing exactly where each Prospect stands at any given time throughout the month.


I.e. Do I have 10 Prospects who have yet to take a test drive? My next actions for today are to schedule given test drives.


Having a plan and process in place gives transparency to sales managers, as well as accountability to sales consultants. Knowing how to convert a Lead into a Sale, and the standard next actions he should take, will have a tremendous impact on sales productivity and performance improvement.



2. They’re not focusing on the right deals





One of the most frustrating situations for sales managers and consultants alike is when the sales funnel looks good, but nobody’s closing. So despite all of your great work converting a Lead to a Prospect, and having the Prospect progress through the sales funnel, your sales target is still out of reach.


One common mistake is a lack of focus from sales consultants; not putting priority on certain Prospects to close. When end of month is approaching, and targets are still behind, you need to understand what sets one Lead apart from another, and which will be quickest to close. Sales managers & consultants should track and mark Prospects with certain criteria as ‘Hot Prospects’ within their Sales & CRM to know which deals are ready for closing within next 24-48 hours. For example, Hot Prospects can be any Prospect that has been through every ‘step’ required with the sales consultant, i.e. needs analysis, vehicle presentation, evaluation of trade-in, test drive (mandatory), and the sales consultant has a reasonable understanding of the financial abilities of the prospect. Secondary criteria can include: prospects who are enthusiastic after a test drive, not getting a negative reaction after compiling a quotation, prospects are speedily responsive to follow up, etc.


This type of prioritisation will give guidance to sales consultants in their outreach, and give sales managers a clue where to help with reinforcement.





An example of tracking ‘Hot Prospects’ in aureso’s Sales Control Board



3. You’re not tracking the right data


When used correctly, there is no doubt that sales analytics can be among the most useful and impactful data available. Where the problem starts is when sales managers and consultants focus on the wrong metrics. Many sales consultants get caught up in hitting ‘call quotas’ or ‘task list’ targets, rather than focusing on what’s important: selling cars. You can make 500 follow up calls and make one sale, or you can make 100 calls and make 10 sales. Outcomes speak louder than activities.


If you have sales consultants who stay late and act busy but are still falling behind the rest of the pack, you may be experiencing a case of “productivity placebo effect.” This means that it may feel like your team is being productive, but in reality you are mistaking busyness for effectiveness.


Rather than only tracking task list metrics, you should be constantly (daily) tracking sales funnel progression and conversion ratios. For example, rather than ‘how many calls did you make today?’, you should be asking ‘what is your test drive conversion ratio for the month? If below average, that could explain your low sales.’


Or ‘Do you have enough leads to meet Lead>Sales conversion targets this month? If not, you will need to liaise with Marketing for more Leads.’ The most meaningful sales metric look at the outcomes rather than the number of tasks that sales consultants complete.

Curious to see what this looks like in a Sales & CRM solution?
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