Matching online expectations to the sales process

  04 November 2013

Auto Retail Network has just held a seminar to launch our latest publication The Website Report 2013 – an analysis and ranking of retailer and manufacturer sites and their usability from a customer’s perspective. But enough of the plug for the report, you can find out more about that here.

What I really want to talk about is one point raised by Cambria’s Ian Godbold, the keynote speaker at the event. Central to Ian’s theme was the need for the way customers want to shop to fit with the operational sales process of the retailer.

And by this he didn’t mean making the customer change; he’s talking about changing the sales operation to make the customer experience online easier.

This isn’t an easy thing to do. Dealerships are full of tradition and processes and online retailing is developing at a tremendous rate. Getting over the inertia of a traditional physical process is difficult and the impetus for this change must come from the top.

Following Ian’s presentation, several delegates speculated that those dealers that did this well – meeting a customer’s online needs with a shift in the sales process – would be the ones in future to make significant gains over rivals, given the amount of shopping now done online.

So, the question is: are you brave enough to shake up the standard sales team and, as Ian Godbold has done at Cambria, employ (at the expense of some marketing budget) a dedicated web specialist in each dealership with the systems to back them up?

Tristan Young

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