Implementing change to fix or improve any process requires you to have a plan of action and clear ability to track the effects of the change. Without this you are “flying blind” into the changes and have no way to see if the money you have spent is giving you the results you need. How do you determine your ROI? This is especially important as you check out all the new and exciting booths at the 12th Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition. Understand where you are spending your dollars and the “true” results they are generating will become evident.
Let’s take a step back. Recently I was approached by one of my “partners” who has lost the ability to track his ROI. He is a very progressive dealer who has learned that success does not come to those that wait. With this mindset, when he was presented with the newest tool to hit the market he jumped on it. As he added each piece he has seen growth. However, as he signed on his 28th vendor, he came to realize that he does not have a clear way to track the individual strength and impact of each of the tools. They have become one large conglomerate. This put him in a situation to have to question whether it is one of the products he put in place that has been causing the growth and success or is it a combination of a group of services and if so which ones? If it’s one, should he cancel the others and get an even larger ROI? If it’s a combination, which ones? Where does he go from here?
Clearly many of these vendors are indispensible and certainly you would expect CRM’s to track ROI (they all say they do). In fact many have fantastic graphics and charts to break down every ad/lead source. We are fooling ourselves if we think for one minute that everybody’s calling on a specific toll-free number and not your original land line. Those don’t get tracked the same as the vanity numbers. Remember the quality of our notation and dialogue with consumers is essential for tracking. Vetting said ad/lead source is precisely the backup plan required in today’s fast moving next generation professional automotive sales.
Being spread thin among multiple vendors keeps you from seeing the true strength and benefits of each. To untangle these services and to determine the ROI, it is essential to trace them back to the beginning. Now, with this many vendors, know that the determined results can and will overlap and this is okay. It is essential to eliminate the things that are not showing results first, then break down the rest. To do this you need to first gather information on each of your vendors, specifically what the service was designed to accomplish and then determine how closely the results are matching these intentions.
By no means am I saying that this is an easy process. It takes a little pencil sharpening and can require outside consultations and input. It is key, however, to clean up what you have before you throw more money on the fire. Eliminate anything or anybody holding you back and start implementing specific tracking on everything that you start from this moment forward.
As my dear partner hangs on the walls of every one of his stores “Vision is defined as the precise, clearly defined goal with a detailed plan and timetable for achieving that goal.” Have we all truly clarified said vision for each and every one of the services, leads and products that you are paying for every month, because when, not if, it is precise and clearly defined with a timetable we can have undeniable expectations and ultimate accountability?
Looking forward, one of our most recent “partner’s” approach in the implementation of our training and consulting services was right on the mark. Before taking the step forward we detailed all of the key components that were trackable to help determine that the changes we were about to launch would provide the tangible results that they were seeking. We detailed what their intentions were with the program, including consistency, growth and increased results.
Some of the key elements we were able to provide and track over their six month initial agreements were analysis of where they currently were in regards to attitude, current levels of success and failure in customer contacts, appointments, shows and sales. Next, we assisted in setting clear goals for the next 30, 60, 90 days, etc. The measurements included how each salesperson is using to their advantage the tools we provide, such as the national mentor line, daily warm up and practice, monitoring of progress and retention levels through assessments and quality care calls. As their assistant coaches we are able to use the tools they have on hand and show them, rather than tell them, what is working and what needs adjustments.
This approach is not only effective for training programs, but with all vendors. Before you sign any more agreements know how to use your marketing dollars to maximize their effectiveness. Remember nobody bats a thousand, but getting ahead today requires avid faith in your people and in your process. It must be clearly defined, there must be diligence and most importantly any plan without a backup is still just a wish.