Cars.com Podcast: How Can I Take My Performance as an Internet Sales Manager to the Next Level?

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As you settle into your job as an ISM, you may be thinking about your career path at the dealership. Increasing your level of responsibility and making more significant contributions to the business begins with looking beyond the day-to-day challenges of selling to internet shoppers. To perform at a higher level and demonstrate your value to the store, consider these four tips:

  1. Learn the technical tools. Whether you do the work yourself or work with an outside vendor, you must understand the products and services your department uses – from the dealership’s website to automotive shopping sites, third-party leads and search – and how they drive sales. This knowledge allows you to buy only the tools you need and to manage your program so that performance aligns with promises and expectations.
  2. Have an action plan. Activities in your department don’t always go the way you planned, so develop alternatives. Being prepared with ready-to-go options allows you to both respond quickly and follow a process. Your ability to remain calm and accomplish your objectives in the face of changing conditions reflects well on you and your program.
  3. Stay on top of statistics. Unlike other media, internet advertising produces extensive metrics – from the number and types of contacts you receive each month to the percentage of inquiries you close. This data allows you to quantify program results and measure your return on investment. Knowing what works, and what doesn’t, you can develop campaigns that consistently connect you with ready-to-buy shoppers and eliminate unnecessary spending.
  4. Earn a seat at the management table. Although internet departments increasingly contribute to a dealership’s bottom line, their inner workings can seem mysterious to the leadership team. To provide transparency and gain visibility into other areas of the business, meet regularly with the senior sales and management staff. These relationships include you in the decision-making process, ensuring your team has the resources it needs to succeed and positioning you for career growth.

As these tips suggest, taking your performance as an ISM to the next level hinges on your initiative and commitment to follow through. Developing competency in these areas, you’ll likely notice that you’re not just closing more sales in your department but also positively influencing other areas of the business.

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