What is the cause? When asked what COVID-19 strategies are here to stay, the vast majority of dealers (88 percent) said remote selling is at the top of the list. While it is no surprise for those who had successfully adopted omnichannel retailing before the pandemic, working with customers in a remote capacity allows some, if not most, of the transaction to be completed online and then the rest can be finalized seamlessly in the showroom. Remote selling takes what was once a very linear, face-to-face process and makes it possible to concurrently guide multiple customers through the transaction at the same time.
In the traditional sales model, a customer comes into the dealership and the sales professional stays by their side working through as many steps of the sale as possible. For the customers who buy a car that day, it could easily require 3-plus hours of undivided attention per customer. This linear workstream caps the number of customers any given sales professional can work with on a given shift.
The new model uses omnichannel retailing technology to digitize the sales process. Sales professionals now have the tools to guide customers through various purchase steps, either before or after the showroom visit. By putting the customers to work, we no longer have to spend huge blocks of time working with each customer. We can have multiple workstreams, mostly performed by the customers themselves, going simultaneously.
Dealerships across the country saw this efficiency gain firsthand when showrooms were closed. They found clever ways to build relationships via phone, chat or videoconferencing while guiding customers to do more on their own time. It is no surprise that 70 percent of dealers surveyed say that omnichannel retailing technology made them more efficient, with close to half of them claiming that their salespeople can sell more cars per person because of it.