The Showroom

Who's To Blame When Sales Goals Aren't Met

August 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Mauricio Espinosa - Also by this author

If you’re not reaching your sales goals, most likely your sales force isn't to blame.  I know the individual that handles and negotiates with the customers is the salesperson, but someone manages the salesperson. At least they are supposed to be managed by someone. There is a manager, right?  The question is, can your sales manager or general sales manager really manage? Perhaps I should rephrase the question, is the manager able to manage effectively under the current circumstances?
Too often, in the dealership, we see the sales manager or general sales manager over-extending the dealership resources. They play a numbers game. There is a mentality that if they place their bets on 14 or 15 market segments, one of them has to come up a winner. That one of them will come up a home run. What about all that other business? The other segments of your market, the ones they failed at?

They aren't effective when they do this, and as a result they lose most of the business. Think you're ready to go after the Hispanic market in your market area? First, ask yourself, have I mastered the markets I have already? Your dealership should only be going after the business in four areas or maybe five at the most. Your sales manager must be focused and must effectively manage the sales staff. Once you've met your goals, succeeded in that business and  your dealership has mastered those four, only then are you prepared to pursue other business.

We go to many dealerships and other businesses across North America with our tools and products, teaching, training and coaching personnel in all roles of the enterprise. Of our tools, one of my personal favorites, is the Organizational Performance.  According to definition, we can say that Organizational Performance is how to measure efficiently and effectively the resources of the organization that are used to satisfy customers and achieve the organizational goals.

When you do this you will find those opportunities you are missing. Focus, set goals, follow them and do REAL planning.

Managers are supposed to supervise the use of such resources to achieve the goals set by the organization. It's up to the manager to supervise the sales force, and, at the same time, keep an eye on the goals. The manager may have only one goal—more sales. It doesn’t matter if they are coming from Hispanics, Americans, Europeans, Asians or any other segment of your market. As long as  they have met the final goal of number of deals closed, what's to worry?

When the sales manager decides to go after the Hispanic market in their market area, often I find the sales people frustrated when they start. The big reason for this is that they need an income, and when you are at the developing stages of your Hispanic business it will take some time. Then the sales team may stop focusing on this market and the sales manager has already started going after other business. They decide that they will just wait and give it some time for the customers to start rolling in.  Let me tell you as straight as I can:

 “They are NOT going to come.”

You have to go. Your managers and your team need to go and be part of the community.

When you are ready to go after another market, you must start with a five step plan.

1. Where are you going to prospect this week?

2. How many UPS are you going to get?

3. How many are going to visit the dealership?

4. How many of those are you offering a test drive?

5. How many are you closing?

You have to measure the plan results. Chart the salespeople on how they are doing and how customers are responding to your company. Get the information per day, per week, per salesperson and per month. Follow up on every deal and see if it aligns with the goals you've set.

If you are a multi-cultural dealership, have one chart per minority group and non-minority group of your sales staff. Identify the best salesperson in each group. Educate them on how to sell to everyone. Do not assume the Latinos sell better to Latinos or African-Americans to African-Americans.

Vol 5, Issue 7

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