Using CRM to Get a Raise

Do you know anyone who would not say that they would like to make more money? I know I don’t! This does not surprise me, as I believe that money is a motivator for us all. Those who don’t admit it are lying about it. Depending on which source you trust, the average automotive salesperson in the U.S. makes anywhere between $38k and $61k per year. quotes an average of $47,852.

We all know folks at the lower end of that spectrum, and many of us may know (or are ourselves) the superstar who makes far more than the upper end. But, for the most part, I think most would agree with me that car salespeople’s wages generally do not reflect how many hours they work. There is plenty of chatter on automotive blog sites and social media pages about pay plans, commission structure, doing away with commission altogether, scheduling flexibility, bonus and spiff compensation, blah, blah, blah. Listen, it all comes down to this: You are trading with your employer; your time for their money!

If you are going to spend 60 hours per week sitting at your desk, waiting for the up-bus, or for the phone to ring, or for a lead to hit your inbox, you WILL get paid (at least for now). You will likely sell the minimum number of cars needed to keep your job for a while, and your employer has agreed to TRADE about $38k per year with you to do so. If you and your employer are satisfied with your trade, congratulations – stop reading now, and have a nice day!

For those of you still reading, we need to get together and go bowling! We are of the same mindset. If I’m going to spend 60 hours away from my family, the lake, my couch – whatever – I’m going to do what I can to negotiate my “trade deal” with my employer in a way that can’t be turned down. Why? Because they don’t know it’s a negotiation! They just know that I don’t seem to be working more days or hours than anyone else, but am selling more cars and making them more money! Guess what happens next – they sign my check. (Let’s go buy the guy who stopped reading two paragraphs ago a drink or two. He’s broke.)

There is one tool at your disposal that will get you the raise you desire more quickly than any other tool — your CRM. Your employer has chosen a CRM tool, invested time and money in having it installed, trained you how to use it and has hopefully transferred mental buy-in to management. Now it’s your turn to put it to good use and make it work for you.

Maximize CRM Technology For a Quick Raise

  • Log everyone — no excuses! Sound familiar? You hear it over and over again because it will sell more cars! You can’t market to customers whom you do not know exist!
    • Logging even with minimal effort will get results
    • You don’t want minimum results — you want a raise! Right?

  • Appointments sell cars!
    • Log every appointment detail so you are prepared when they arrive
    • Confirm every appointment
    • Contact every no-show and set for future follow-up

  • Good old-fashioned prospecting works!
    • Call your satisfied customers. Do they have children turning 16, graduating from college, getting married? If you are diligent about logging all customer information, you should already know these things. Do they have co-workers, friends or family in need of a new vehicle?

  • Detailed logging drives accurate CRM reporting, and that reporting is designed to help you sell more cars. (See a pattern here?)
    • Logging every detail of a conversation, showroom visit, missed opportunity and successful sale will generate better reports today, thereby providing the best analytics necessary to sell more cars tomorrow. Don’t be afraid of the accountability!

  • 2% of your prospects buy each month. Use your CRM to keep track of your activities and regular follow-up to ensure they buy from YOU.
    • Don’t let any unaccomplished tasks fall through the cracks
    • Accurately prioritize your tasks and check off difficult ones first

  • Your CRM is your “electronic assistant” and can help you contact the right people at the right time.
    • Nearing end of term or lease
    • Out of warranty
    • In equity
    • Unsold showroom visits
    • Serviced but never purchased

  • Keep an eye on your service drive via your CRM.
    • Do you have any customers with service appointments today who may have an expensive repair in their future? What is their warranty situation? Start the discussion about a new vehicle for similar payment and full warranty!

  • Use mobile CRM technology to improve the customer experience (and YOURS).
    • Mobile desking eliminates back-and-forth to the sales desk
    • Mobile VIN scanner saves time during trade evaluation
    • View inventory in mobile device — don’t walk the lot while the customer waits
    • Complete tasks from anywhere with your CRM’s mobile app
    • Log showroom guests from anywhere immediately with mobile driver’s license scanner

  • Activities visible in the CRM will provide coaching opportunities, and who couldn’t use some good coaching once in a while?
    • Example: if you are completing all phone follow-up but not setting many appointments, you may need some phone skills training
    • This accountability is a good thing!

Listen, the answer is not setting up a cot in the break room and abandoning your family. I’ve known salespeople who have done practically that and still not achieved what they wanted financially. The answer is to work smarter, not harder! Take full advantage of the time you spend at work and of the tools that are given (yes, given) to you to achieve your goals.

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