5 Habits of a Successful Internet Sales Manager

Discover the 5 key habits of a successful Internet Sales Manager. Learn strategies to boost online sales, drive dealership success, and stand out!

Internet Sales Manager Habits - Master of Skills

The Internet Sales Manager (ISM) position at an automotive dealership has a lot on their shoulders when it comes to modern automotive sales—knowing that an ISM is pivotal for driving revenue and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Successful dealership Internet Sales Managers need to master a variety of skills and habits specific to the automotive industry. Professionalism, personality, and speed are valuable attributes when conjuring up an image of an ideal Internet Sales Manager. Let’s explore 5 additional areas to get a complete picture of one of the more essential jobs at a dealership.

1. Maximize Online Presence & Use Technology for Effective Marketing

Almost anything can be accomplished online, including buying a car. Thank goodness there remains a strong demand for purchasing vehicles in person, but it’s still important for an ISM to understand the workings of an entirely online car-buying experience, especially its inception.

It’s expected that a dealership will maintain an online presence, and it’s often where customers are looking first. Leverage social media to engage with potential customers, share promotions, and showcase inventory. Create valuable content such as blog posts, videos, and customer testimonials that can help attract and engage potential customers and drive traffic.

Internet Sales Manager Habits - Social Media Accounts

With over 70% of the US population having at least one social media account, ISMs should try to utilize every digital platform to the fullest. Facebook and Instagram posts are the go-to for social media presence, but don’t be intimidated to step outside your comfort zone and share stories and reels, create polls, post videos, and maybe even go live when the event or instance calls for it.

While it might appear geared toward the younger generations, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube channels are popular among customers of all ages. It’s an easy way to make your dealership relevant and visible to a broader audience, and it’s all free!

Invest in online advertising channels such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other automotive listing sites to drive traffic to your dealership’s website. And don’t forget your home base. Optimize your website and test to see if it is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and search engine optimized (SEO). High-quality images, detailed vehicle descriptions, and easy navigation improve the customer’s online experience.

2. Effective Lead Management & Customer-Centricity

Effective lead management is at the heart of the dealership and should be treated as such. An ISM understands the importance of fostering long-term customer relationships by providing excellent service, promptly addressing their concerns, and staying in touch through regular follow-ups. Strategies and technology must be in place to accumulate leads and manage customer relationships.

Internet Sales Manager Habits - Lead Generation

One of the top tasks an Internet Sales Manager can do is vet and adopt a powerful automotive CRM system. The ISM needs to know how to manage leads, track customer interactions, and streamline the sales process, all from the dealership CRM. It’s the easiest and most successful way to administer a seamless purchase process and create loyal customers.

An ISM is skilled at handling clients before, during, and after their purchase. This includes managing inbound Internet leads and sales calls and corresponding follow-up with email, text, phone, and video. They should assist customers in appropriate vehicle selection, be product experts, and deliver an exceptional customer experience while following a multi-media progressive sales communication process.

A great ISM, with quick and efficient responses to customer inquiries, can significantly improve its ability to capture the interest of potential buyers and convert leads into sales. Promptly addressing emails, calls, and chat queries builds trust and enhances customer satisfaction.

Implement a robust follow-up system using your dealership’s CRM tools and regularly update and nurture leads to keep prospects engaged. Tailoring messages and offers to individual customer preferences fast-tracks customer engagement and conversion rates.

A good ISM won’t stop at closing a sale. Providing exceptional after-sales support, seeking feedback, and promptly addressing issues ensures long-term customer loyalty. Providing a positive resolution can turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal advocate for your dealership.

3. Analyze & Optimize Performance with Data-Driven Decision Making

Internet Sales Manager Habits - Using Data

Beyond daily operations, successful ISMs think strategically about the dealership’s future and weave long-term planning into regular operations. This includes market expansion, new vehicle product launches, and anticipating industry shifts.

They constantly analyze their strategies and outcomes, using data to refine their approaches. This habit of continuous improvement ensures their processes are working and they are staying ahead of the competition.

ISMs will monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as response times, lead conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores and use this data to identify areas for improvement for the staff and the dealership software.

As an ISM, it’s a good practice to periodically conduct a thorough analysis of each page of your website. Taking an analytical view can provide excellent information to strategize from. Find out which pages drive the most traffic, how much time is spent on each page, and where you lose viewers. Ensure your website is consistent with your brand and voice across every touchpoint.

4. Leadership & Communication

Internet Sales Manager Habits - Failed Business

ISMs know the importance of building strong relationships within the organization. It involves regular collaboration with all dealership teams to ensure cohesive strategies and a seamless customer experience from the initial inquiry to post-sale services. Knowing when and what to delegate is crucial. Empowering team members to take on responsibilities not only optimizes productivity but fosters a collaborative environment.

Successful ISMs will instill constant communication with their team, clients, and stakeholders. Regular updates on sales performance and market trends help keep everyone informed and aligned with the dealership’s goals.

Establish clear, achievable goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, and aligned with the dealership’s overall objectives. Goals and objectives should also be regularly reviewed and adjusted to ensure that specific desired outcomes are achieved.

5. Adaptability & Continuous Learning

Internet Sales Manager Habits - Continuous Learning

The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and there’s always something new to learn to ensure your dealership doesn’t fall behind. Successful ISMs routinely stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices through webinars, courses, and industry news.

Experienced Internet Sales Managers will regularly participate in training programs and workshops to stay updated with the latest sales techniques, technologies, and automotive industry trends. ISMs in the know easily adapt to market changes and adjust sales strategies accordingly. This includes keeping an eye on competitors and understanding changes in consumer behavior.

Receiving (and learning from) constructive feedback from clients, team members, and performance metrics is valuable for making necessary adjustments and is a hallmark of successful managers of any kind. Furthermore, ISMs who incorporate consistent training for their staff on utilizing all dealership platforms and resources, in addition to sales training and OEM product standards, reap the benefits of a staff that knows how to use their systems to create positive customer experiences and increase dealership sales.

Being an Internet Sales Manager requires strategic thinking, customer-centric focus, and data-driven decision-making. Whether you’re new to the role or looking to improve your skills, focusing on these five key areas, dealership Internet Sales Managers can effectively navigate the complexities of automotive sales and drive significant growth for their dealerships.

Consistent improvement and adaptation to new trends and technologies are essential for staying ahead in this competitive field. To continue your discovery of cutting-edge approaches to dealership best practices, click here for the automotive CRM that can keep up with even the best Internet Sales Manager.

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