When your sales team loses a sales opportunity, it can have either a positive or negative effect. The salesperson can accept the loss and be motivated to succeed the next time, or struggle with the loss and lose confidence in making another sale.
The sales team at your dealership is an integral part of increasing sales. Sure, you need to have an optimized digital marketing strategy in place in order to bring potential customers to your website and showroom.
However, once those leads visit your website and connect with your digital sales team or speak to salespeople in your showroom, your sales team becomes a fundamental part of completing the sale.
Top 3 Reasons Why Salespeople Lose Sales
You can boost sales by helping your sales team excel during the sales process and sell more vehicles. However, before identifying how to help your sales team bounce back from lost sales, let’s look at some common reasons why sales are lost.
Lack of Follow Up
Following up sounds like a basic factor in the sales process. Yet, when your sales team fails to effectively follow up with a lead, they will likely lose the customer to your competition.
Of course, pestering a lead with too many calls, emails, and texts can backfire and make the salesperson lose a sale as well. It’s important to find that perfect balance to follow up the right way.
Not Being a People Person
Sales are lost when people do not take the time to understand different personalities and why customers act the way they do. Consider the following types of customers:
- The customer who is always looking for a sale and won’t pay full price
- The picky customer who wants specific features and isn’t easily satisfied
- The uncertain customer who is indecisive and seems to be wasting your time
- The laidback customer who is very friendly and easily swayed by salespeople
- The demanding customer who is never happy no matter what happens
When your sales team learns the different types of customers and how to interact with them, they can start improving their sales process and boost profits for your dealership.
Ignoring Sales Qualifications and Analytics
When salespeople don’t pre-qualify leads, they can lose sales. If they don’t use the available data from your CRM software effectively, they can lose sales as well.
The following tips are important when qualifying a lead for a sale:
- Correctly identifying the lead’s budget for the vehicle
- Fully understanding the lead’s lifestyle and vehicle needs
- Ascertaining the timeline for when the sale needs to be completed
Data analytics is an important factor in managing leads from your website, blog, social media, and paid search ads. For example, analyzing data will provide invaluable insights for what a lead did once they arrived at your landing page or website.
Help Your Sales Team Bounce Back from Lost Sales
Maybe a sale was lost because the salesperson failed to adequately follow up and the lead found an offer from your competitor that they simply couldn’t refuse. The lead may have gotten frustrated that your sales team couldn’t understand what they were looking for regarding vehicle features and timeline.
The salesperson might not have effectively qualified the sale or failed to comprehend analyzed online data. Whatever the reason for the lost sale, it is important to create an action plan to help your sales team bounce back from lost sales.
Consider implementing the following tips to motivate your team in 2020 when they lose sales and need to get back on track:
1. Hold Regular Team Meetings
Sometimes it can be as simple as meeting regularly with your sales team to discuss sales records. Review what is working and which areas need improvement so you can decrease the number of lost sales each month.
Stephen Covey was a renowned businessman and keynote speaker who said, “Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”
Make sure your meetings focus on cultivating team spirit, while also recognizing individual success. Create an environment that is open to positive communication and follows one of the constructive criticism techniques, such as The Sandwich Method, as described in Psychology Today:
- Positive Assessment — Share a positive evaluation of their sales process
- Constructive Criticism — Give advice on what they could have done better
- Positive Assessment — End with a second positive appraisal of their work
Let each team member know that you expect their best in all their in-person and online interactions with leads and customers.
However, be clear that you understand that lost sales are not the end of the world —as long as they can bounce back and complete the next sale.
2. Never Burn Any Bridges
It is important to educate your sales team on techniques to avoid burning bridges. A lead who walked into your showroom or visited your website but decided not to purchase a vehicle doesn’t mean they’ll never buy from your dealership in the future.
Help your sales team understand the importance of never burning any bridges with leads by following these tips:
- Appreciation — Make sure the consumer knows that your team appreciates that they visited your showroom or website and values their time — even if they did not make a vehicle purchase right then.
- Potential Sale — Every lead is a potential sale, even if the sale was lost. Remind your sales team to build a bridge with the consumer and let them know you hope they stop by again. A positive response will leave the consumer with a good impression.
- Future Follow Up — This needs to be handled on an individual basis. Some leads that are lost sales are not immediately open to a request for a future follow up. Others are. However, keep the lead in your CRM for future follow up.
Motivational speaker Katherine Barchetti shared excellent advice that your sales team can take to heart, “Make a customer, not a sale.”
Even if the sale was lost this time, this lead could convert to a customer in the future. Your sales team needs to find a balance between striving to make a sale and cultivating relationships with potential customers.
3. Focus on the Next Sale
Once team members understand the reason for losing the sale and how to avoid completely burning bridges with the lead, they can focus on the next sale. A huge factor in bouncing back from losing a sale is in the state of mind.
Help them change their mindset so they can rebuild their confidence level and be ready to make the next sale with ease. The following tips can help your sales team refocus:
- Reset — For example, consider how you would need to reset a laptop to factory settings when there is a major issue so it can get reconfigured and have programs reinstalled to resolve the problem. The same can be done figuratively with your salespeople. Encourage them to forget the lost sale, understand how to fix behaviors, and look forward.
- Action — Work with them to create an action plan that includes steps they can take to change behaviors during the sales process. Include self-evaluation since it is a pivotal factor in ensuring that they don’t continually make the same mistakes and lose more sales.
Motivational speaker Michael Hyatt said, “Achieving goals takes more than intention. You need to take action and track your progress.”
Check out some of the goal tracking apps like Strides or Goals on Track described in this Lifewire article. You can encourage your sales team to use these or similar tracking apps. Or, work with a Digital Marketing Strategist to identify one that your entire dealership can use to help your salespeople create an action plan and stick to it to boost sales.
4. Host a Lunch and Learn
Resetting their mindset and creating an action plan can be slightly overwhelming. However, since it is necessary, consider following up with hosting a lunch and learn for your sales team.
The following are benefits that your sales team could experience from participating in a lunch and learn:
- Atmosphere — Bring some levity to the situation and help them refocus on why they decided to become a salesperson at your dealership in the first place. They can each share individually what they love about sales.
- Education — Have a manager or guest speaker give a motivational speech to share tips on overcoming lost sales.
- Collaboration — Encourage team members to share which tips have worked for them in completing a sale. Exchanging ideas can help others who are stuck.
- Brainstorm — When you get your sales team and managers together in a positive atmosphere — after evaluations have already been completed — that opens the door for sharing new and exciting ideas for improving the sales process.
5. Where Sales and Marketing Meet
If your dealership is like most of your competition, your sales team and marketing team or agency don’t usually converge. Your marketing efforts bring leads into your showroom or website, and then your sales team works their magic to make sales.
Consider converging sales and marketing for a productive meeting with both respective teams. You can benefit from the following:
- Information — Bringing both teams together can help each department better understand how sales and marketing are currently working — or not working.
- New Ideas — Working together can spark new ideas that your sales or marketing team alone might not have otherwise considered doing.
- Boosted Sales — When ideas are converged and implemented in an omnichannel approach for marketing and through the sales process, you’ll likely see an increase in sales for your dealership and enhanced customer experience, which leads to longer customer lifecycles and future profits.
Of course, it is possible that you do not have an in-house marketing team but work with a digital marketing strategist.
If that’s the case, you can still have a meeting of the minds and work together to collaborate on the best ways to boost sales at your dealership this year.
Implement These Tips and Boost Sales
Don’t allow lost sales to derail your salespeople this year. Follow the five tips discussed here so you can motivate them to make positive changes in the way they interact with leads both online and in-person.