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What Speed to Sale Means to the Customer Experience

A couple of years ago, we coined the term “speed to sale.” We then began talking and writing about its meaning for group operators, dealership principals and general managers.

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When properly put in place, speed to sale can transform a dealership by placing a focus on used car sales lead conversion. When speed to sale becomes part of the used car reconditioning cycle, the process becomes much more efficient, which creates a better experience for both the sales team and their customers.

A dealer embracing a speed-to-sale culture throughout the dealership is gaining serious competitive advantages. This culture, or “the way we do it here,” mindset:
• Recognizes that sales efficiency depends on well-oiled reconditioning steps that can get cars from transport to the front line in three to five days;
• Leverages line-of-sight technologies and superior shared internal communications channels that ensure task clarity, simplify directions and coordinate the routing of work up and down the dealership’s workflow — including outside vendors and sublets — in real-time; and
• Gets used cars ready to sell in as little as 72 hours.

At the heart of the speed-to-sale philosophy are exceptional communication channels and robust vehicle-data gathering efforts that reside in the automated reconditioning system. This data:
• Provides the insight for improving efficiency in the used car and internal service operations; and
• Equips sales associates with not just a vehicle’s VIN data, but compelling sales resources such as inspection and repair reports, condition reports and vehicle images and videos.

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Now, sales associates can answer questions from phone-ups, online leads or walk-ins promptly, accurately and convincingly. They have click-ready access to this data, whether at their desk or on break at IHOP, to answer prospect and lead questions on the spot and instantly push this proof evidence to the prospect’s phone or computer.

In a speed-to-sale dealership culture, everyone is accountable for understanding how delay erodes profitability. A speed-to-sale dealership strives diligently to return sales lead inquiries promptly and speed the flow of clear-title status communications and reconditioning repair estimate approvals swiftly. 

Speed-to-sale dealerships have the following advantages over their competition:
They are Equipped to Succeed — Being able to produce the right information at the right time to answer prospect and customer questions on the fly builds value into the vehicle and trust in your sales teams and sets up the opportunity to deliver a breakthrough experience for customers.

They Accelerate the Sale — You can’t sell what you can’t find. In a speed-to-sale culture, everyone knows where every car — and its keys — is located at all times. 

They Counter Customer Expectations — Customers come to the dealership already suspicious of the “let me check with my manager” turn over. Speed to sale equips your team to side-step this delay and pleasantly surprise customers by moving them to close in a far shorter time. 

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If you’re a group operator, dealer principal or general manager, know that speed to sale — and the time-to-line KPIs that drive this efficiency — will add up to become a phenomenal performance multiplier across stores. 

Until speed to sale, no one looked at vehicle reconditioning as the epicenter of innovative customer experience. Think about it: The sale begins in recon because you can’t sell cars you can’t see or find — or talk about intelligently and convincingly. Your speed-to-sale culture can be summed up in six simple words: Know it, Find it, Sell it.

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