Autonomous parking. Advanced backup cameras. Lane change assist. Automatic braking systems. Infotainment interfaces. Internet connectivity. Automakers are developing new cars with digital technologies that rival the techiest of living rooms. While these technologies open a range of possibilities for the customer, they can also vary greatly in user friendliness and unique features.
To bring cars into the new era, salespeople will need to step their tech game-up, lead customers to the car of their dreams AND help them use it. Working behind the scenes to make this happen is the technology district manager (TDM), who delivers training programs and knowledge resources for salespeople to master the technology. As the features and capabilities of these technologies grow, so too will the responsibilities of the TDM.
The Car of the Future
Today’s car shoppers are buying more than an engine. They’re buying a system of interconnected technologies that turn drudging car trips into the ultimate driving experience. In fact, a recent survey by Accenture shows that drivers are twice as likely to choose a car based on its technology option as its performance.1
Customers are becoming more comfortable with their handheld devices and are taking full advantage of voice operated functions like iPhone’s Siri. They’re expecting that same intuitive convenience in the infotainment technologies in their cars. Unfortunately, the connection between customers and infotainment technology isn’t so linear.
The big challenge? The market is constantly updating their infotainment technologies to support the latest features and configurations—leading to unique systems and capabilities every year, for every model. This makes the role of TDM crucial to salespeople landing their sales.
Connecting the Dots between Technology and Sales
The TDM plays the essential role of making sure that all salespeople are informed and confident in technology. In a market where technologies are changing year-after-year, consistent training is a necessity.
The success of the TDM is ultimately the success of the brand. A study on sales performance by Aberdeen Group found that the factor where best-in-class companies performed the strongest was in product knowledge in the sales process.2 As the subject expert, the TDM offers critical training by helping salespeople:
1.Nail the Value Proposition: How does “it” work?
When engineers and marketers work on a product, they do so with a customer’s value in mind. For example, cars with Bluetooth technologies let driver’s user their mobile devices hands-free. On the road, a hands-free driving experience lets drivers focus on the road instead of their handheld devices.
While the benefits of Bluetooth technology sound great on paper, the in-between steps (pairing, configuring, and learning) can make the technology feel like “more work”. This is where the TDM can help salespeople nail the value proposition to tear down the barrier between “more work” and a must-have technology.
In this case, the value of “hands-free” means streaming apps onto the infotainment interface, taking calls, and looking up directions without handing your phone. That’s three processes taken care of for the effort of one!
2. Simulate Personas: Who wants “it”?
No two customers are the same. A technology-centered customer is likely to have a plethora of devices and services that work with a vehicle’s technology without realizing it. This is where the salesperson’s expertise comes into play as they work to figure out and match the customer’s lifestyle to the car.
The TDM can help salespeople ask the right questions that best personify a customer. This gives salespeople the ability to talk shop and explore package subscription and support options with the customer.
3. Use Storytelling: How can they use “it”?
Memorizing an expansive list of technology features and configurations can be a sinkhole. Technology is always changing and updates can make old information obsolete. More importantly, just memorizing information takes away from the most important part of a sale—how a customer will use the technology in their day-to-day life.
TDMs can help by organizing technology features and configuration information so that they’re easy to learn and talk about with customers. This gives salespeople more confidence in their face-to-face interactions instead of being facedown in technology manuals.
Behind every sale is a confident salesperson and their TDM whose training enabled their success. As the capabilities of automotive technologies continue to grow diverse, having well-trained and informed salespeople will make the difference in customer satisfaction.
Keep your Technology District Manager connected to progress of your sales teams using our store relationship management platform, CoEFFICIENT®. CoEFFICIENT is designed to give district managers a complete view of key performance information behind sales, all in real-time. Learn more about our CoEFFICIENT platform and our solutions for automotive.
1. Raffaele M. “The Connected Vehicle: Viewing the Road Ahead”. Accenture. https://www.accenture.com/t20160519T222110__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/Accenture/Conversion-Assets/DotCom/Documents/Global/PDF/Dualpub_4/Accenture-Mobility-Connected-Vehicle.pdf ↩
2. John D and Mike S. “Think Quick! Why Sales Knowledge Fluency Can Take Your Sales Team To the Next Level”. RAIN Group. http://www.rainsalestraining.com/blog/build-sales-knowledge-fluency-to-improve-your-sales-team ↩