People have specialties. Quarterbacks aren’t asked to kick field goals. Offensive Linemen aren’t streaking down the sideline to catch a long bomb. Coaches on the sideline don’t jump on the field to run block. And not every person you employ is capable of handling every inbound opportunity. Job responsibilities change based on skill set, as they do for all businesses.
The position of running back in the NFL is a demanding one. It is often a bruiser’s mentality. Taking more hard hits than other positions on the field. You must understand how to find the seams, block a blitzer, catch out of the backfield, read the defense, and run like lightning to the endzone. It takes a special type of player. But they still aren’t asked to do it all. They don’t have to call plays. Unless the rare halfback option play is called, they aren’t throwing to a receiver. They have their limits.
In regard to breadth of job responsibilities, I equate the running back position to that of today’s salesperson. We ask them to be extremely efficient at the basics. They must:
- Have incredible product knowledge. (Do they?)
- Understand inventory comparisons with competitors. (Do they?)
- Build value in the product by selling feature and benefit. (Consistently?)
- Identify customer goals and buying triggers by executing a needs assessment. (Every time?)
- Complete all necessary paperwork and transaction activities. (They better, right?)
- Get along with coworkers and be a positive influence on the showroom. (Maybe?)
- Get to work on time. (We hope?)
- Be as researched as our clientele. (Yeah… in our dreams?)
- Utilize the CRM competently. (When they remember their passwords?)
- Deliver a memorable guest experience and build a book of business. (If they stay long enough?)
- Garner reviews from happy customers. (When they remember to, sometimes?)
- Carry themselves respectfully both on-hours and off-hours in a way that is representative of the integrity the dealership strives to project. (crickets)
If the average salesperson is not fully adept at those core job responsibilities of their position above, why are we hampering them with countless other digital communication tasks. The debate arises as to who should be handling inbound Internet leads, chat opportunities, or sales calls.
Yes, ideally everyone should have the capacity to handle those customers, but we know so few are enthusiastic to excel at it. And inbound calls, chats, and leads are far too important and profitable to an organization to distribute them freely to everyone unless they are willing to give maximum effort.
Four questions to ask that will determine whether or not your entire team is ready to handle inbound sales calls and internet leads, versus that of a BDC…
- Were these written as job responsibilities in their job description when they were initially hired?
- Are they being financially motivated based on performance metrics for these specific tasks?
- Have you provided them training to excel at these tasks, or just told them to do it?
- Are you providing them consistent feedback as to how well they’re doing?
If you cannot answer ‘Yes’ to all four of the above questions, you are not setting your team (or dealership) up for success. People need to understand what is expected of them, but they must also be given the training and resources to manage all of the activities. Don’t put more on your team’s plate than they can handle, especially if they haven’t mastered their core job responsibilities. Without training, coaching and consistent feedback, how can they be expected to be skillful at the handling of phone calls, live chats, and Internet leads?
Recognize that being a salesperson is a skillset, much the same way being a great BDC agent is a skillset. Or being an excellent content creator is a skillset. This doesn’t mean all three cannot be adept at handling leads and calls, but it does mean that some individuals are naturally better at it than others. If you want every person to be just as good as the next, then additional patience in teaching, training, and (gulp) practice must be given. Only with experience should you consider moving someone into a starting position. Only with training should you hand them the lead/call/chat/pigskin and expect them to move the chains.
Not everyone can master managing leads or calls. Creating content is a gift some have and others strive to learn, the same way some are true artists, and some only try to be. Management can be a natural-born gift, while others must work at learning how to manage. And that is okay. Not everyone can be expected to be proficient at everything. Identify their skillsets and emphasize those. Don’t expect them to overcome all of their weaknesses. Asking your team to be superstars at their core job responsibilities is much more valuable than asking them to be average at a lot of different duties. Assigning the right tasks to the right people makes management easier, hiring more focused, and training more targeted. In the end, not everyone was born to run the ball.
(The above just details job responsibilities and a basic job description for salespeople. Want to understand the management side? Check out my blog “The 5 Responsibilities of a Sales Manager“)