The following article is based on roundtable discussion at the 2019 Dealership Minds Summit. To watch the roundtable recap, click here.

You don’t make sales by waiting for sales to come to you. If the world worked that way, you wouldn’t need to hire salespeople. While salespeople are often expected to be in the dealership for certain periods of time, there is a greater expectation placed on them to be out on the road.

Sometimes, you have a salesperson who has their main set of customers and forgets to look for new prospects. Other times, you have a salesperson, often one just starting out, who is more focused on being in the dealership and cold calling people. Regardless of the experience of the salesperson, it’s important to find ways to get them motivated into getting out onto the farms and meeting customer face-to-face. So, what do you do with a salesperson that spends too much time in the store?

To successfully kick your salespeople out of the store and onto the customer’s farm, dealers attending roundtable discussions at the 2019 Dealership Minds Summit came up with several key factors: trust, hiring people with a competitive nature, building programs, compensation and using the right CRM system.

Trust. It all goes back to the hiring process. How are you vetting the people you’re interviewing? What does your ideal sales candidate look like? What core values do they need to meet in order for you to feel comfortable with them working unsupervised? If you’re not bringing the right people in the door from the start, you’re going to have trouble reconfiguring the values and soft skills that shape each individual.

Hire salespeople based on values that fit your culture, not their product knowledge. You can always teach those hard skills. You’ll have a much harder time teaching someone to earn your trust.

Competitive Nature. To find salespeople with that competitive nature, dealers tend to look for people with an athletic background. A competitive nature provides that first step in the motivation process for salespeople. Everything you do after taps into their competitive nature and motivates them to get out of the dealership and onto the farm.

“It’s good to have those people who were former athletes because they have a greater work ethic and drive to finish things,” says one dealer. “If you have a program set up for selling combines and then you remind the salespeople that there are only so many combines available to be sold, the competitive guys will be to ones going out and making those sales.”

Programs. With programs, the goal is to center them around niche parts of inventory, making them as specific as possible. For example, if there is a certain segment of the combine market that is a higher age range, programs should be geared toward that specific equipment.

Programs can also be designed to target specific individuals. One dealer set up a program to target a customer who the sales team and the dealership had not contacted in over 2 years. They sent an experienced salesperson and sold the customer a newer piece of equipment. Location managers and district managers should be tracking performances and tweaking the programs as needed.

“The more programs that I’ve put up front, the more excited they are to go out and talk to customers,” says one dealer.

Compensation. Ideally, you want salespeople who are self-motivated for the sake of self-motivation. However, you need to have a compensation package in place that complements that self-motivation. The structure of the compensation package will look different for each dealership and might even look different for each salesperson at a particular dealership. Whether your compensation structure is working or not, you’ll want to continually evaluate your salespeople’s compensation plans. The right plan will keep your salespeople happy and in the truck visiting customers.

CRM. You need to track the successes, the failures, the quote to close ratio and many other variables to ensure your sales team is running on all cylinders. In the case of making sure your salespeople are out on the road, a good CRM will hold your sales team accountable. With a few clicks, you can see how your team is faring at any given time. You can make sure your team is hitting its quota in number of weekly sales calls. The right CRM will save both you and your salespeople time, allowing for more time to make those much-needed customer visits.

More Dealership Minds Summit coverage 

No More Order Takers: Strategies for Motivating & Improving Your Sales Team

8 Factors for Cultivating & Promoting a Professional Culture of Excellence

Compensation Plans: A Tale of Two Dealerships

Van Wall Equipment’s Formula for Clear Sales Strategy

No Sales Left Behind: Using Tech to Boost Your Sales Team

Ritchie: Create a Team of Solution Sellers

Feed Your Sales Team — A Presentation From Shawn Skaggs

The On-Farm Visit: How to Get the Most from Client Face Time

Redefining Your Sales Mindset

Adding Specialized Product Lines Can Expand Your Customer Base

Getting the Salesforce Out of the Dealership & In Front of the Customer

Purchase Projections: Look Beyond the Sale

3 Ways to Get Your Aftermarket Team to Adopt a Sales Mentality

Is a Call Center Right for Your Dealership?