With COVID-19 impacting most industries right now, including the automotive sector, there’s probably never been a better time to look for ways to get your sales, service, admin, and other dealership teams working as productively as possible.
Even though business may not be operating as “normal” right now, things will pick up soon enough. Take advantage of this quieter period to implement strategies to boost productivity.
With so much helpful technology available, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t utilize tech tools in your dealership to help your teams become more productive. Purchase affordable dealership inventory management software and other products to help your employees better manage stock levels, sales and marketing processes, customer service tasks, and other factors.
Tech tools make it easier to see, at a glance, the location of vehicles and parts at any given time, and their purchase price, plus how long inventory has been sitting around. Software can also provide teams with real-time info about leads, opportunities, appointments, follow-up dates, key performance indicators, and all sorts of other critical business intelligence that leads to improved productivity.
Invest in Training
To help your personnel get more done, invest in training them, too. While it’s essential to help them master the types of technology mentioned above, also pay attention to training related to skills such as leadership and teamwork. Many business owners see themselves or their dealership managers as the leader of the organization, but the fact is that you also want to foster leadership throughout your workforce.
Train people to feel confident and empowered to lead within their own teams, whether this is the sales, marketing, service, administration, HR, finance, or another department. When people do this, they take more ownership of their tasks and collaborate better with their colleagues. In turn, you end up with higher levels of productivity throughout the business.
Structure Workflow Better
Boost productivity by structuring workflow better for your personnel, particularly sales employees. To get the most from their days, workers should have a clear, defined, easy-to-understand route to follow, from the initial inquiries customers make right through to when they sign on the dotted line of a contract.
Efficient workflows ensure teams always know where a client is within the buying journey, and that conversion opportunities don’t get missed. Setting up these kinds of well-flowing pathways makes it quicker and easier to train new salespeople when they join your dealership, too, so there’s less time wastage.
Encourage Communication and Collaboration
Productive teams in any business communicate well with each other and their managers and know how to collaborate to get tasks done and achieve more. In your dealership, make let your workers operate as individuals pitted against each other. If this happens, they’ll be prone to refusing to ask for help when they need it, and they’ll likely miss vital opportunities to join together and obtain great results.
Instead, encourage employees to help each other to become better. For instance, salespeople can roleplay scenarios and give feedback to improve skills, while marketers can join forces to come up with more innovative campaign strategies.
Also, have different teams get together regularly to discuss successes and challenges, opportunities and solutions. People working in different areas of a business will see things that those working in that field all the time don’t notice. Fresh eyes and new perspectives can lead to big breakthroughs, and casual observations can alert people to issues they’d otherwise miss. The more effectively your personnel communicate with each other, the more productive they should be.
Ensure People Take Enough Breaks
While it’s tempting to work your employees as hard as possible to get the most out of them, balance is necessary, too. No one can give of their best when burned out from failing to rest and recharge. Plus, most people are more prone to errors and inefficiency when tired.
Although it’s common for people in the auto industry to work long days, and they often struggle to get at least two days off in a row due to weekend shifts, you should support your employees to take regular breaks. Encourage them to stop and decompress over their lunch hour rather than working through it, and get them to take their vacation days every year.
Also, utilizing the tech tools mentioned above should help to remove some strain as it means more tasks can be automated or streamlined, particularly when it comes to basic administration, accounting, sales, marketing, and HR jobs.
Productivity is an important goal for a dealership, but it stems from multiple areas, not just one. Follow the strategies above to help your teams achieve more this year and beyond.