The last few years have presented some incredible challenges for the automobile business and its dealers. Those that have weathered the storm are now emerging stronger. They have learned how to do more with less, have a deeper appreciation for loyalty within their customer base, and believe they might have seen the worst...and survived. So what's the plan going forward?
The plan is to capitalize on the revitalization of the industry. To win back market share, unit sales, and restore profitability. However, the engine that drives the business needs a tune-up. In talking with a number of Dealer Principals, each had similar and primary concerns, namely the productivity of their salesforce.
Fortunately, there is a very simple framework which can be implemented that is extremely effective when used to increase productivity and achieve objectives: Goal - Plan - Measurement.
The framework starts by establishing a goal. There are many methods of establishing goals (i.e. quotas, employee set, management set, collaborative, etc.) and without digressing into a discussion about goal setting itself, suffice it to say that setting a goal is synonymous to choosing a destination when one takes a trip. One needs a target. Once the objective is set, a plan is constructed to achieve the objective. This enables one to work backwards from one's chosen destination to one's present location. The plan sufficiently detailed, becomes the road map; the set of daily activities that once completed, ends one at the objective. Periodic (usually daily) measurement determines the efficacy of the plan. Measurement answers the question: Is one's plan getting one closer to one's goal? Further, it establishes a feedback loop that continuously asks this question. Providing the answer is yes, the plan remains. If the answer is no, the plan must be modified to produce the desired result...measurement continues. The process is iterative and continues until the objective is reached. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.