Dealers have become more aware of the ‘cost of not selling’ because of the coronavirus crisis.
That’s according to connected motor retail technology specialist iVendi, which said it had been told of time wasted on inefficient processes by sales people when they could be actively working to create sales instead.
‘One of the effects of the pandemic, with so many staff furloughed, is that dealer management have been working closer to the showroom floor and gaining greater visibility over staff productivity,’ said CEO James Tew.
‘This has been immediately translating into a desire to allow sales staff to spend more time engaged in the actual business of selling, with many telling us that their people simply waste too much time because of poor processes.
‘In some cases, sales people spend hours using manual processes to create quotes on multiple systems, entering applicant data and then re-keying if declined.’
In addition, time was spent taking deposits or reservation fees by phone, explaining finance products and recording that a product suitability assessment had been carried out.
‘There is a real desire to tackle the cost of not selling through the adoption of systems that enable processes to become not just more appropriate to the needs of the retailer and consumer, but simply faster and easier for everyone to use.’
Tew said the trend was part of a wider development to use technology to actively drive deals, following the pandemic.
‘Some dealers have tended to view the technology they use as reactive or even passive.
‘You might set up on an online retail process and wait for a potential buyer to see an ad for a vehicle on a portal who then chooses to enter it.
‘Thinking is now shifting to a more proactive stance, using the system to push the retail process forward.
‘We’ve very much seen this with our Digital Deals product, introduced a few months ago, which allows a proposition to be created including finance and value-added products.
‘This is then sent to the potential buyer as the basis for online negotiation designed to replicate the subtleties of an in-person dialogue.’
He added: ‘Vehicles totalling more than £62m on finance have been sold using Digital Deals during the last six months.
‘We now have dealers who send them to every potential customer with whom they have contact and are subsequently seeing sales increase.’
Tew said it was likely that 2021 would be about increasing efficiencies and lowering costs, and it was seeing more interest in using technology to achieve those objectives.
‘The coronavirus situation has shifted the relationship between the showroom and online for dealers.
‘There’s an increasing recognition that these are not separate spheres but two elements in a single, omni-channel sales process that need to be connected in the most seamless manner possible.’