I take all of your input very highly when it relates to the auto industry. I am up for a pay plan review since it has been over 2 years since my last. I’m the Internet Director for the store, but do a lot more, as you likely may realize. Right now, I am paid a small base salary plus commission on trackable sales through the Internet. I’m also given some carrots that are out there with closing rates, photos online, cost per sale, etc. I made a good living last year as a single rooftop and was a little over 6 figures, but with the Internet ever-changing our industry with people making decisions on the digital assets of our store that I’m responsible for, yet no longer submitting in leads as much as in the past, what would be a fair pay plan… base, incentives, etc.? Any of your input would be appreciated.
From Joe Webb…
For any Internet Director in a successful single point store, I’d recommend starting with a reasonable base salary (closer to $45-$55k per year). After all, a good majority of your time is spent monitoring fixed and variable costs while controlling all online initiatives, not just increasing the conversion of Internet leads to sales. My guess is that much more falls on your plate such as online ad budget distribution, vendor management, reporting, creation of digital assets, merchandising, website efforts, digital marketing, etc.
A second level of your pay should always be based around profitability online. Your job at the dealership must be one that can generate profit in a proven model. One more common gross bonus is a % of the total gross profit (front/back) from either the store, the Internet department members, or Internet sources.
(This can be a trick bag, though. Everything we know indicates that your work behind the scenes generates walk-in sales traffic for the store. If you can prove it, you legitimately might deserve to be paid on the entire store’s operations. However, dealers are more comfortable paying out a % of the gross based on what the Internet individuals are selling. That may not be a good indication of how much work you are responsible for, at the end of the day, I know. Otherwise, if your dealership sources well, you can request a % of the front/back gross from ALL customers sourced as Internet, be they sold through an Internet team or even the sales team. If it is an Internet source, you’re taking credit for it.)
The final steps are incentives based on growth metrics. If you are currently being held accountable for closing rates, response times, etc, those are metrics for which you might want to be compensated. However, a couple of new variables to consider are…
1) Website Traffic
2) Organic Lead Volume
3) Ratings/Reviews Statistics and Volume
4) % of profit from Service/Fixed Ops lead gen growth
If you can incorporate all three segments that I described above into your next pay plan, Stan, then you will be generating the income you deserve based on the numbers you can prove.
Hope that helps.