By Erin Fallon, Manager of Enterprise Dealer Success
Imagine the effects on your business if you could:
- onboard new employees quicker
- keep them around longer
- improve performance and development
As Upstart Auto Retail’s Manager of Enterprise Dealer Success, I witness the challenges faced by car dealerships. With nearly a decade of experience in auto retail, I assist some of the nation’s largest dealer groups navigate the industry’s ups and downs.
Lately, I’ve heard dealership leaders talk about how hard it’s been to hire, retain, and develop talent. And once they finally land the ideal candidate, there’s still weeks of training before they can hit the floor effectively.
But Upstart Auto Retail makes the car-buying process easier and more convenient. That’s successfully reduced the time it takes to train employees and close more deals. All while lifting profits and improving customer experiences, as seen in case studies from some dealers on the platform.
Flattening the learning curve
Upstart Auto Retail dramatically reduces time spent on training and onboarding. I’ve seen some dealers cut down their onboarding substantially—from 90 days to 60 days, for instance. Managers simply set the new hire up with Upstart Auto Retail on a tablet. Dealer-specific training and Upstart’s support team help salespeople pick it up fairly quickly.
Upstart Auto Retail provides a step-by-step workflow which guides sales consultants through the entire process, greatly reducing the likelihood that they’d miss an important step like presenting an F&I or accessories menu. Intuitive customizations of pricing and payments help them learn how to structure deals in no time. The platform helps educate salespeople and give them confidence to then educate their customers. When they feel more comfortable with the digital retail system, they provide a better, easier experience for their customers.
An added benefit of this shorter, easier onboarding? Managers with more time freed up for their other duties.
Expanding the candidate pool
When onboarding is such a breeze, it’s much easier to train someone from outside the industry. Dealerships can find it hard to source sales-experienced candidates. Or they might be looking for those with other soft skills, like customer service or tech-savviness.
Being able to quickly train anyone to sell cars means less downtime, more selling, and a larger pool of job candidates.
Reducing employee turnover
Online car buying is gaining steam, but the car sales world is still driven by personal relationships and networks. So when a salesperson leaves the company, you’re at risk of losing the contacts they’ve nurtured.
Due to a mix of factors, turnover at dealerships has increased significantly to 67% on average. Faster onboarding for replacement staff can help with one side of the equation. But how can you reduce the amount of employees leaving your dealership to begin with?
Upstart Auto Retail helps in multiple ways:
- Making the job easier with simpler integrated deal workflows
- Capturing more online shoppers that go deeper into building their deal
- Closing deals faster, to increase earning potential
- Empowering career development and a more robust, fulfilling role
Features that make sales team’s lives easier
Upstart Auto Retail’s step-by-step workflow makes huge strides in simplifying the car-buying process. But it doesn’t end there.
One feature our dealers love is the ability to request a TO (turn over) with a tap of a button. Without leaving the customer’s side, they can get their manager’s attention and assistance. In a similar way, the app’s built-in chat tool lets sales quickly interact with managers from their tablet. Handling negotiations and questions in seconds, without leaving their desk, reduces friction during the deal.
The dealers I work with also rave about Upstart Auto Retail’s desking tool. With more flexibility in customizing deals, their teams are able to quickly and easily find the right numbers. And fewer trips back and forth to the manager’s or F&I office makes for a better customer experience, too.
Sales teams can also send a deal link to their customers. After clicking the link, the customer verifies their email address and then can pick up wherever they left off in their deal. Keeping these customers on the hook can also reduce the salesperson’s anxiety about possibly losing the deal. They can simply tell the customer, “everything we walked about is in this link—let’s finish it up whenever you’re ready.”
Yet even with all these upsides, you might encounter salespeople who are hesitant to change the way they do business. That’s another area I’m used to helping with when it comes to tool adoption.
Overcoming internal objections to “another tool”
I get it—some people on the sales team are going to hear about your plans to launch digital retail and think, “great, another tool I need to use.” They might be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of technology.
But the kicker is, Upstart Auto Retail will integrate the systems they’re already using into a single, unified workflow. It’s actually reducing the amount of tools they need to login to, because it’s automatically pulling in data from CRM, DMS, F&I, trade-in, desking, and other tools.
There’s no extra lift needed. The platform’s workflow can be tailored to how your teams already manage the deal process. Plus, they’ll save time and won’t have to leave the customers’ side as often. They can easily scan in drivers licenses and other documents and have all the paperwork available instantly. That also reduces the chance for errors during F&I handoffs or elsewhere.
The efficiency of a single program unifying all your technology, plus incremental time savings thanks to digitized tasks, adds up to help sales teams close more deals in less time.
Choose a digital retail tool that makes selling cars simpler
By arming sales teams with tools that make their job easier and allow new hires to onboard faster, digital retail has driven financial benefits, improved career development, and brighter internal cultures.
Best of all, my dealer clients report happier employees and longer tenures, both of which elevate overall customer experiences, too.
About Erin Fallon
Erin Fallon helps large dealer groups get the most out of their online car-buying programs as Manager of Enterprise Dealer Success at Upstart Auto Retail. A former tennis instructor, Fallon entered the auto retail industry as an internet sales manager in 2013. She then moved to the dealership technology segment in 2016, guiding her clients in their use of innovative software solutions. She resides in the Philadelphia area with her husband and cat. Find her on LinkedIn.