You’re stuck. You’re simply not progressing. The mouse isn’t making anything move. Your computer is turned on, but getting you nowhere. Your Internet efforts are at a standstill. It is time you hit the CTRL ALT DEL button and go back to the beginning.
It happens. You’re working and working and working and, all of a sudden, the computer freezes. It’s not responding. You’ve tried the few tricks you know to trigger a response, but, alas, no movement. You have to CTRL ALT DEL and start over.
Now let’s look at your dealership’s Internet efforts. Ask yourself these five questions:
1) How long have we been selling roughly the same amount of vehicles from the same Internet leads?
2) How many times has our Internet sales manager reached the exact same amount of sales as the month before?
3) Has my Internet lead volume remained steady, fallen, or grown?
4) Have we seen the same ROI from the same vendors and technology as the past?
5) Have we reached a plateau with either our current structure, technology, sales/Internet team, or leads?
If the answer is “Yes” to more than two of these scenarios, it sounds as if you need either a major jumpstart or to CTRL ALT DEL your Internet department.
Could it be that the one Internet Sales Manager you’ve chosen is simply not gaining any more ground on the competition? Quite often, an ISM reaches their maximum potential in how many leads they can handle, calls they can or are willing to make/take, appointments they can set, and cars they can sell. And they repeat the same deliverables for the dealership over and over. They are quite happy with the volume of vehicles they are moving. And you are happy with their numbers as well. But are those all the cars you wish to sell online? Could there be an opportunity to move more units with more leads or more people?
Or is it the technology and leads failing you? Are you getting all the leads you need? Recognize that we live in an environment where more leads tend to mean more sales. Do you see your website continue to bring you in more emails and calls or are their metrics consistent, but not continuously growing? It is often while training that we see dealers having operated with the same technology or same lead/website providers for years. We love consistency and quality dealer-vendor relationships more than most, but are you doing your dealership a disservice by not being more aggressive with other vendor partners?
CTRL ALT DEL can mean many things. It can be as simple as switching websites, lead providers, ad agencies, or pay plan structure. It can be as difficult as bringing in an entirely new CRM suite, dedicating yourself to training, or eliminating a person/department and distributing leads to an entirely new candidate or group of people. Either way, it takes work, and it takes dedication. Don’t CTRL ALT DEL without ownership buy-in and the drive to work tirelessly to succeed. Either way, putting in hard work is often better than being complacent, resting on your laurels, and simply not improving your profitability.
I rarely ever advise a dealership to “go back to the drawing board”. It’s unhealthy to start from “square one”. However, sometimes people and technology (and their corresponding success rates) become complacent. You need to kick start it. You need to grow your dealership’s online sales or enhance its online presence. To do this, it often takes disconnecting, hitting CTRL ALT DEL to one or more of your vendors, employees, or practices, and starting fresh. First know that you should never make a big change without guidance, training, a plan, a partner to lean on, or goals. However, sometimes starting over with a dedicated vision to grow beyond the hum-drum deliverables you’ve always been achieving is the only course of action to get you over the hump. Ridding yourself of the bad or underperforming and finding new partners can be all you need to get your dealership to a happier place.
If you can continue growing and moving forward without rebooting your efforts, do it. If you can’t, hitting CTRL ALT DEL on your current game plan may be your only salvation. It eliminates those pesky viruses that brought your computer to a crawl in the first place. And don’t be worried. If you choose to start over, it doesn’t take long to catch back up to where you were before. It’s often the only way you can continue working.