Leaders: Stop Making Excuses About Your CRM

In the far majority of dealerships, there are either some or all of the salespeople not using the CRM system. Dealers who are looking for tools to help their business search out solutions spend vast amounts of time and money and then the tools are either not used at all, the majority of the functions available are not being used or the salespeople manipulate the system.

I have heard the usual excuses from the salespeople of, “The CRM system does not work”, “They have not showed us how to use it”, “I don’t have time”, “It’s a waste of time” and several more.” “A lot of these people were not buyers.”  These are all excuses and I would all invite salespeople using these excuses to, “Stop it!”

I often hear managers use some the same excuses plus “He sells a lot of cars and I am afraid of losing him if I make him use it”, “He is not a computer type guy”, “I don’t have time to babysit the salespeople, they should just do their job”,  “They just manipulate the tasks anyway so why bother?” “I can’t get good people, so I just do the best I can with who I have.” These are also all excuses and I would invite all managers who are using these excuses to just, “Stop it!”

I have a friend who is a pharmaceutical sales representative. All pharmaceutical companies require their reps to log not only the direct person they call on, but also all the people they speak to in the course of their visits. Let’s say a pharmaceutical sales rep calls on a doctors office, nursing home or hospital and the rep speaks to a couple of doctors, pharmacy directors, nurses or other staff, then the rep is required by the company to log every person she had contact with.

If a pharmaceutical sales rep has a luncheon, the rep by company policy and by federal regulations must collect all the names and information about each person at that luncheon. In many pharmaceutical companies it is not uncommon for the company to require the rep to visit seven to nine locations a day and speak with a representative from each one. However, at each visit, the rep may wind up speaking with multiple people. Every single person and their information must be recorded.

It is not uncommon for a sales rep to log one hundred contacts a week into CRM or database.

At most dealerships, the average salesperson is not making anywhere near one hundred contacts a month, let alone a week.  If a pharmaceutical company a sales representative is trained, required and held accountable for logging customers. It’s pretty simple, you do not log the customers and you will lose your job. If you are a primary care sales representative, you have 24 hours to do log your customers. In other areas of pharmaceutical sales, you will have to log your customers at a minimum twice a week. There is no forgiveness, no leeway and no excuses. If you are a top selling rep and do not log your customers you will be terminated immediately.

Let’s examine the difference between a typical pharmaceutical company and a typical dealership. The pharmaceutical spends a lot more time, care and detail in hiring the right people and then training them. Well, I can hear the excuses right now, such as we can’t get good people like that into the car business.” If that’s the case then you may change your work environment, culture, pay plans, hours, methods of recruiting, time and resources spent in recruiting, your interview process, the tools you use to find the right person, your initial and ongoing training, your daily and weekly coaching or your accountability but you must change something. Changing nothing and wishing for something different is not a game plan for success.

The truth is that saying you cannot get or keep good people is an excuse that you allow, tolerate and use like a warm blanket to make you feel better. It’s easy to not take responsibility, uses excuses and to be a victim. You get in life what you tolerate both good and bad.

As a leader, do you use the CRM? Do you perform a save-a-deal meeting every single day first thing in the morning utilizing the CRM?  Do you perform one-on-one coaching with each salesperson everyday utilizing the CRM? Do you go through the reporting for your BDC and Internet departments using the CRM?

If you are a leader and you want to be successful, you must do the following:

  1. Attract, recruit, hire and retain good people
  2. Educate your people consistently
  3. Motivate your people consistently
  4. Give clear expectations for job duties and requirements
  5. Hold people accountable

If you perform those five things, you cannot help but to be successful. If you are not doing those five things you cannot be successful and if you are making excuses about any or all of those things you are doomed to be failure and misery. Your first step is to simply, STOP IT!

Take a demo drive on Mark Tewart’s 24/7 Automotive Training at www.tewartonlinetraining.com