DSES Breakout Session: “More Consumer Data + Sales Motivation” with Jenny Vance

By: Felicia Savage

The final breakout session I attended on Day 2 of the DrivingSales Executive Summit was presented by EVP of Sales, Jenny Vance. Presenting alongside Jenny was Dealer Principal of Krieger Ford, Chris Thomas; who provided further insight and validation to Jenny’s talking points.


In her presentation, Jenny discussed the importance of optimizing your sales team so that they’re in the best possible position to be successful in their communication with prospective customers.


Here were the 3 BIG takeaways from Jenny & Chris’ presentation, More Consumer Data + Sales Motivation:

Today’s Consumers are Expert Researchers

Nowadays, consumers have higher expectations of what they should get from our dealership’s website. When consumers visit an eCommerce website like Amazon to buy, say, a vacuum, they’re sifting through a whole inventory of vacuums. They’re reading reviews, filtering through prices and looking at shipping options. Basically, these consumers are doing a ton of extensive research; and they now expect this type of experience from every site they visit.


Big brands like Amazon, Google and Facebook have set these expectations for consumers — but many smaller companies aren’t delivering what they should. Guided online experiences have helped consumers find what they want and need. “Lead traps” or static lead forms just aren’t cutting it anymore. Not only do they drive consumers away, they don’t fulfill the consumer’s desire to dig deeper.

There’s a Disconnect Between Sales & Marketing

With guided consumer experiences, obtaining unique information on the consumer is easier than ever before. When consumers are provided with the opportunity to get more information from your dealership (via trade appraisal, an evaluation, an offer, etc), they’ll be more inclined to give up their information.



If the consumer is getting something of value, providing preferential information is the least they can do. This is a fantastic scenario because, even though it doesn’t seem like a big deal to the consumer, the information they’re providing is incredibly valuable to the sales team. It’s information that can help sales rep improve their follow-up efforts.



Now, despite this new information being obviously beneficial, motivating your salespeople to leverage this data in their interactions with consumers can be challenging. Many sales reps are used to working off a script; which means they’ve memorized canned conversation starters and responses based on some of the general inquiries received. It’s what sales reps are used to. It’s what they know.



However, reading from a script takes away from any personalized follow-up. The whole point of leveraging this new data (from these guided consumer experiences) is to better cater to a consumer’s individual needs. This, of course, leads our sales reps to revert to YOU-based messaging — which brings us to the last point…..

“It’s Time to Remove the YOU from Sales”

Even though dealers might have access to specific information on a consumer, it’s can be hard for them to get out of the habit of telling consumers what they should and shouldn’t do. The mindset (for most dealers) is that they know what’s best for the consumer. When dealers say “I think you should do this” or “You should do that,” it immediately makes the consumer feel uncomfortable. Assumptions are being made about the consumer’s preferences and experiences; therefore, it might make that consumer believe that the dealer really doesn’t know what you’re talking about.



Instead of saying “I think you should do this,” or “You should do that.” some dealers have begun leveraging statements like “This has worked for us in the past” or “This product/service has helped my other customers.” These types of statements validate what the consumer is saying and that adds trust to the relationship between the dealer and the consumer.

“It’s our role as leaders to make our team feel more capable.”

Remind sales people of wins.  If they don’t have them yet, find them in their past OR use wins in the dealership to help them build confidencew in their ability to have those wins.  Great athletes have short memories when it comes to mistakes.  Great sales people do the same.  


Check out the full presentation for yourself here:


Photos from the Session

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