DealerKnows Consulting, an Automotive Internet Sales Training firm, officially announced eCommerce expert, Bill Playford, as their new Vice President today.
Playford continues, “Joe Webb and I have known each other for several years and fast became friends. We share a deep-seeded desire to change the way vehicles are bought and sold. We understand that people buy cars from people. We also know that with practice and dedication, the car business cannot only be financially rewarding, but also a way to create friends (and clients) for life. These shared philosophies, coupled with our experience with dealers and vendors, will allow us to continue to offer world-class consulting to our dealer clients.”
Bill brings a decidedly different skill set to the DealerKnows team. While spending the last three years working for Trilogy, Bill played an instrumental role in launching three new retail solutions for the domestic and international market. He adds a depth of knowledge of vendor technology, and its effective implementation at the dealer level. Moreover, he brings the experience of working for one of the most successful privately owned technology companies in the world.
Having recently served as Director of Retail Operations for Trilogy’s SmartLeads program, Bill brings intimate knowledge of lead acquisition, lead quality, lead scoring, and lead segmentation. In the process of adding nearly 150 dealers and over 350 franchises to beta test Trilogy’s lead scoring and lead prioritization software, Bill helped dealers develop successful ways to efficiently acquire and convert third party leads. His efforts were reflected in OEM and dealer group adoption of the SmartLeads lead purchasing program.
As the Vice President of DealerKnows Consulting, Bill will be dedicating his time to the Virtual Dealer Training program recently launched by the company’s founder, Joe Webb. “I couldn’t be more excited to have Bill Playford take the reigns of an already successful program like our Virtual Dealer Training. Clients on our Virtual Dealer Training program have been seeing huge jumps in their online business and Bill’s involvement will only help us grow our virtual offerings and assist more dealerships.” Webb says.
“Throughout my career in the car business, I’ve come to grasp that training (or lack there of) is the root cause of many issues that plague both car dealerships and customers, alike. Many new retail hires lack the perspective and understanding that it takes to experience success. Workload, turnover, management shuffles, and egos tend to impede training from within. Expense, consistency, and timing tend to preclude training from outside. Hiring an “expert” to run the operation is often cost prohibitive, or just not practical. The end result is that training is viewed as a good idea, but too hard to coordinate, and thus put on the shelf. “Playford states.
“Since cloning is not yet a convenient solution,” he continues,” virtual training provides the means to train retail staff conveniently, and cost effectively. A dealer doesn’t know what’s going happen in the eight weeks after they book a consultant, and when the consultant shows up. Incentives change randomly, which can radically affect staff availability. Consultants typically aren’t local, and they surely don’t come for free. Hiring an experienced Internet director can be extremely expensive, and may yield mixed results. Virtual training provides the means to get a dealer’s staff on track, and keep them there- all at an incremental cost. With the DealerKnows training program and client base already in place, this allows us the opportunity as a team to continue carrying the torch toward a more progressive way to virtually educate and consult dealers.”
Prior to joining the SmartLeads team, Playford spent six years developing “click to buy” initiatives, catering to car buyers who are no longer interested in purchasing vehicles the traditional way. Over the course of eighteen months Bill’s team at Trilogy developed and launched a web buying service for the nation’s largest publicly traded auto-group, as well as the developed of a web specific, OEM backed, buying service for the international market.
Like the rest of the DealerKnows team, Bill also brings front line experience to the table. Bill spent four years at one of the first Internet dealers in the country. Building on what he learned from the best, Bill was among the first to launch an analytics program to ensure his dealer was delivering the right message to the right customer. His research directly led to the creation of association-specific buying programs, neighborhood level marketing programs, as well as cost saving lead optimization strategies. His pioneering geographic and demographic specific targeting methodology was also noticed by KBB, where he served on its inaugural Dealer Advisory Panel.
Bill is extremely passionate about automotive ecommerce and says his goal is to share his sales, marketing, and product development skills to help dealers sell more cars, and add customers for life.”I’m truly excited to be joining the DealerKnows team.” Playford states. “Having spent the last few years developing technology, I’ve come to the realization that even the best technology cannot reach its full potential if it is not being used properly. After much careful consideration, I decided I to rededicate myself to helping people sell cars.”