Superstar Salespeople May Not Always Shine Brightest

A few years ago, we looked at a type of salesperson known as the “superstar,” and how they can impact the sales volume of the entire team in a negative way — contrary to what you would believe at first glance. That particular blog struck a nerve, and continues to be a pain point we hear about from our clients today. So we wanted to revisit that idea, and look at how to motivate the entire team so they can shine alongside the superstars.

Too often, dealerships want to find and hire superstars who can sell double or more  than the national average of 8-10 cars per month. It is an “easy button” for increasing the bottom line; after all, if you have a few top performers on the team, then it doesn’t matter if everyone else fails to meet their targets, right?

Myth: Superstars are a surefire way to increase the bottom line.automotive recruiting

The problem is that while the superstars get all of the attention and praise, the achievements of everyone else goes unnoticed or overshadowed, leading to frustration and demotivation. After all, why should your salespeople bother working hard to push themselves to the next level when you aren’t going to notice because the superstar is still selling more units than they are? To be truly successful, every member of the team must be performing at their peak level, which is difficult to do if they are carrying the burden of knowing they can never live up to the superstar.

Managing your sales team — Superstars and Average Joes alike — is a very delicate balancing act. The focus should be on lifting everyone up, and highlighting the contributions every person brings to the team, every month. If you have been focusing solely on the number of units sold, try looking at some of these factors instead, giving you a way to recognize the achievements of every member of your team, and  providing everyone with the motivation to work harder. Instead of the standard “Salesperson of the Month” that ensures only one or two top performers will be recognized, try these rewards instead:

Gross Per Unit

Maybe your superstar sells the most units, but someone else consistently gets a higher gross per vehicle on the units they send out the door. Designate a time each month to recognize those efforts, and encourage everyone to learn from that person on what techniques they use to make the add-ons and upgrades more attractive to their clients.

Most Improved

Sure, Average Joe might have only gone from selling 3 cars per month to 10, but for him, that’s a huge leap. Recognize that hard work and the effort it takes to improve if you want to keep motivating him to go even further.  Allow Average Joe to share his plan for becoming more than average.

Best CSI

Maybe you have someone on your team who doesn’t sell a huge number of units, but that’s because they really take the time to get to know their customers and establish a solid rapport that will lead to referrals and repeat business. These are the salespeople who will get the highest CSI scores. Make a point of recognizing the work these people are doing to help build your dealership’s reputation as a friendly, engaging place to purchase a vehicle.  Encourage others on your team to adopt some of these practices.

Most Conversions

Maybe your superstars are selling to everyone who walks onto the lot, but you have someone else on your team who converts more Internet or phone appointments into sales. Recognize that accomplishment and allow them to share their talent.

Most Cold Sales

On the flip side, maybe your superstars are meeting and exceeding their targets because they are experts at converting leads into units sold. If that’s the case, then take an opportunity once a month to recognize the salesperson on your team who is best with the walk-ins.

And these are just a few ideas on how to recognize the rest of your team — without taking away from what your superstars are accomplishing. By changing up what metrics you use to motivate and recognize your sales team on a regular basis, you give everyone a chance to shine, and you motivate everyone to want to improve every aspect of their sales approach. They might never be superstars, but they are solid, dependable people who drive the dealership’s profits and reputation forward month after month.


The Manus Group Stephanie YoungAbout the Author

Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. Stephanie is a former Forestry Queen and still continues to promote her platform encouraging young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers.

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Copyright © 2015, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.

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