Do you have a Dealer Technologist? Do you know what a Dealer Technologist is? I’m not talking about your Vehicle Technologist- the person that knows how all the new gadgets and gizmos on your new year vehicles work or your IT Director; they know how to fix computers. I’m talking about a Dealership Technologist. Well, you probably need one because you are throwing your money away. I know that is a big statement, but hear me out. This is how the pitch usually goes:
“Mr. Dealer, purchase this new shiny CRM/APP/DMS, whatever product, it will increase your visibility dealer-wide and you will be able to blah blah blah profits, ROI, customer acquisition. You will increase sales by X in the next 12 months. Insert generic dealer name here down the street purchased our product and they are killing it!”
Yes, this usually sounds great at the time. We have all fallen for it. The sales guy is on point with a great presentation and it blows your mind. You know about the dealer down the street using it, and they are doing well. You are pitched a new product, and in theory it looks pretty good. Little did you know that 12 months later you would end up hating it and firing the person that brought you the idea.
With the explosive growth of data analytics and SAAS products (Software As A Service), companies have been able to correlate data never before seen, unless you had a Department of Scientific Analysis. They are able to increase customer upsell while giving the dealership valuable insight. The problem starts here.
This is how it usually plays out: you move forward with the purchase and something gets lost along the way. It may be interest, time, vision, etc., while YOU, Mr. Dealer, lose interest. The next rung manager gets the project thrown in his lap and it immediately starts to deteriorate. The next thing you know, six months down the line, the new shiny product is sitting in the IT room, covered in dust next to your printer cartridge replacements and old computer monitors.
As a Dealership Technologist, the job function is designed to understand the holistic operation and technology integration to a level that can procure, project manage, implement, and train your employees on any new technology tool that the dealership has recently acquired. This ensures that one person is the new product “champion” and consolidates buy-in from the early adopters in each department.
By following this process, the organization will be able to achieve an organic integration of the new product. Once that is completed, they will be able to leverage the newly acquired technology and use the product to its fullest potential. The days of dealers not leveraging technology and data are over. In any major market you will get left behind in the dust while more tech-focused dealers sprint ahead. Every day, markets are more competitive, manufacturers are more compliance happy, and customers more educated.
After completing the initial phase and managing the adoption, integration and successful launch, the DT will be able to start showing managers and owners data-focused results. They profoundly understand how the product works in concert with day-to-day operations and produce hard, evidence-based feedback. They will be able to show data trends and results backed by facts. Long gone will be the days of selling by hunches and shooting from the hip. Leave that for the Wild West.