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Desking. It’s not broken, but…

…could it be smarter? Absolutely!

Last month, we launched our new Showroom and Desking solutions, and I had several dealers reach out to me, intrigued. “Why would CarNow enter the desking space?” one asked. Another asked, “My desking platform isn’t broken, why would I even consider a change?” Both were fair questions, but let me explain why it makes sense.

Desking is the last step in the front-end sales process. It’s used to structure the deal and define the dealer’s front-end profit. It’s the time when the sales representative walks back and forth from their desk to the tower to understand what the customer is willing to pay and what the desk manager is willing to give up. I remember it well from my time at Toyota of Sarasota. My manager made sure I asked the proper questions before approaching the tower, penciling out the 4-square, drawing an X with a line (in green, of course) to get the customer to commit to the proposed numbers, and properly setting up the TO. If only Fitbits had been invented then!

Demographics of Car Buyers 

Let’s connect the dots on why CarNow would build a desking platform. First, we need to understand our buyers. According to a 2020 J.D Power study, Millennials became the largest cohort of new vehicle buyers with a 32% share, and in 2020, they were the top buyers in 17 of 27 vehicle segments according to a 2021 CNBC report. Millennials are aged between 42 and 27, and Gen Z is right behind them, aged between 26 and 11. Between these two, there are 25 years of car buyers, and Gen Z is expected to surpass Gen X in the number of digital buyers by 2025, according to eMarketer. We are no longer selling to Boomers and Gen X. 

Matching Your Sales Process with Current Consumer Behavior

It’s no secret that Millennials and Gen Z have different buying expectations. They want a mobile, simple, and quick experience. In a recent TimTalks interview, Tim Cox and I interviewed Bob Werner, Dealer Principal at Werner Mazda, who said, “One of the biggest issues facing our industry today is that we don’t sell the way that the consumer wants to buy.”  Exactly! Dealers sell how they want to sell, not how buyers want to buy.  They still want consumers in the showroom or on the phone, but Millennials and Gen Z don’t do that. To win, we must match our sales process to their behavior, online!   

Tim Cox CarNow co-founder and SVP of salesMore: How CarNow is upping the digital retailing game for dealers in 2023 — Tim Cox

Why CarNow Built a Desking Platform

Simply put, to bring the online-to-offline experience together into a single process. Consumers are penciling their own deals online and telling us, in real-time, what they need the deal structure to look like through our digital retailing tools. We transfer this data to a desking tool to streamline the process. Traditional desking methods can be time consuming and drain valuable resources from your team. When team members are focused on desking a deal, it takes them away from serving customers, which can be costly in terms of missed sales opportunities. This streamlined process enables your sales team to close deals more efficiently and serve more customers. 

The right desking solution can impact your dealership in several ways: 

More Streamlined Operations

Efficiency and convenience are key when it comes to the desking process. The right desking tool creates a more streamlined sales process and reduces friction points, allowing customers to interface with a single system and minimal team members at once.   

Real-Time Information

An advanced desking solution should include real-time comparison tools that integrate inventory and market data to give customers a ready side-by-side view of the various vehicles they’re considering, as well as comparisons of the pros and cons between different lenders and payment options. It should also give your sales team and customers the most up-to-date information on the vehicle detail page and other integrated tools, ensuring everyone is provided with the best real-time data available. 

Customer Loyalty

A modern desking solution also enhances the customer experience. You can give your shoppers more control over their deal and provide a feeling of mutual respect by providing insightful, helpful, and actionable data about the terms of the purchase. This increases transparency and ensures they aren’t taken by surprise at any point of a deal. When a customer feels valued and respected, they are more likely to have a positive car buying experience and develop loyalty to your store.  

Schedule a Demo

CarNow offers an advanced desking solution designed to streamline the process for your dealership, offering a seamless experience that is fully integrated with our Real-Time Retail platform. Learn more about our desking solutions and schedule a demo with CarNow today.

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Bob Lanham
Bob Lanham
Bob Lanham is the SVP of OEM Relations at CarNow. He brings over 20 years of technology leadership and marketing experience to the role, having worked at top brands such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and Meta, where he was Head of Automotive Retail. Lanham is an expert in the field, known for his strategic vision and passion for the industry. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Elon University and leverages his diverse background, including experience at Toyota of Sarasota, to drive success for CarNow's customers and partners.

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