By Alan Ram
Do your managers listen to every sales call on call monitoring? I speak at a lot of Dealer 20 Group meetings, and this is a question I consistently ask them. The overwhelming majority of the time the answer I hear is a resounding “no”. I have even had general managers tell me that they cancelled their call monitoring because they couldn’t get their managers to listen to it. Are you kidding me?
Call Monitoring Is Not Optional
When it comes to selling cars today, there is no activity for your managers to be engaged in that is more productive or more relevant than listening to sales calls and quickly resolving missed opportunities to do business. It’s as easy as your managers having call monitoring open on their desk throughout the day and listening only to sales calls.
I often hear the excuse that managers just don’t have the time to listen to every sales call. Let’s face it, how many sales calls do you honestly get each day? You probably get 10, 20, or maybe even 30 sales calls throughout the day. Compare that number to how many managers you have on staff throughout the day. Don’t tell me your managers don’t have time to listen to sales calls. As long as your phone numbers are tied to the right departments, it’s not a problem.
A “Save The Deal” Tool
Why is it important for managers to listen to each sales call throughout the day? Because call monitoring is more than just a tool used to judge how well your salespeople are handling inbound calls. Call monitoring should not be thought of primarily an accountability tool. More than anything, it should be thought of as a “save the deal” tool. If something goes wrong on a sales call, your managers should be able to immediately intervene and resolve the issue. However, this cannot happen if your managers aren’t listening to the sales calls. If the customer calls your dealership at 10 a.m., that means they will be out buying a car at 4 p.m. If your managers are waiting until 8 ‘o’ clock at night to listen to that call, it’s too late, and the opportunity is gone.
Another benefit to listening to your sales calls on call monitoring is the accountability factor. In other words, when salespeople know that you are listening, and that they are being held accountable for their performance, their effort level naturally rises. It goes hand in hand with training. If you hold your people accountable without training them, all you’re going to hear are weak salespeople and missed opportunities. It’s simple. Train your people and then hold your sales staff and managers accountable.
Call monitoring gives you the opportunity to save deals and make sure that each opportunity is maximized. It also provides you with a tool to hold your salespeople accountable and find areas for improvement. It is an invaluable tool and it is critical that Managers use it every single day.
What About Outsourcing?
In today’s automotive industry, outsourcing call monitoring has unfortunately become an option for dealerships. Outsourcing your dealership’s call monitoring is a bad idea. Someone who is monitoring your calls three time zones away and working out of a basement is not nearly as qualified to make a determination on when a call was maximized, versus when it wasn’t, as your managers. Your managers can tell whether or not a woman who just made an appointment on the phone is really coming in, or whether she simply set an appointment to that she could end the call quicker. They can gauge whether the appointment is real or whether it is smoke, and can make the determination on whether they need to call the customer back and tighten things up.
Don’t waste the opportunities that call into your dealership every single day. Call monitoring needs to be a priority at your dealership. You need to make sure that your managers are listening to your sales calls every day and throughout the day. If you want to see your dealership succeed this is not optional.