Building Team Strength: DealerRater’s Sustains Value-Based Selling with Targeted Skills Coaching
“I’d had experience with “one and done” training that lead to excitement but no impact. Winalytics helped us build manager and individual seller skills around a high-impact, repeatable sales approach.”
- Raised average sales bookings per rep by 15% in first 12 months after the engagement start
- One-third of the sales team raised their performance by 25% in 2nd quarter of engagement
- Shifted sales team from a culture of “feature dumping” to “selling on fit”
- Sales acceleration supported successful acquisition by Cars.com
Recently acquired by Cars.com, DealerRater’s is the industry-leading automobile dealer review site. The company has just under 6,000 dealer partners in North America, 14 million visitors a month, and 48% more dealer-specific reviews than all other consumer reviews and social media sites put together, including Autotrader, Edmunds, Cars.com, Yahoo, and Yelp. DealerRater started the dealer review category in 2002 and continued to enjoy very significant sales growth for a decade. However, as new, better branded companies began to enter the dealer review market, sales growth declined in 2013 and 2014. When company executives analyzed the sales decline they recognized that the lack of an effective selling system was a key contributor. Each rep had their own version of “feature dumping” and as a group they were not effectively positioning DealerRater’s unique value and ROI outcomes.
Winalytics began its engagement focusing on sales process and sales qualification, working with the VP of Sales and Marketing, Director of Sales, and sales managers to make sure that reps were qualifying effectively and focusing on deals that were most likely to close. The engagement continued with building a shared messaging framework focused on creating consistency in the way the team probed on prospect’s challenges, presented DealerRater’s capabilities, and articulated a fit that would motivate a purchase. The project then moved into sales coaching, starting with coaching high potential sales reps and then moving onto to coaching managers.
The performance impact of the engagement was quick and significant. Sales managers noticed within weeks that their reps were having more disciplined conversations and really focusing on identifying and speaking to prospects pain points rather than feature dumping. Almost 70% of the team had performance gains in the second quarter of the engagement, with 1/3 of the team improving their performance by 25% or better. Overall the team was booking 15% more revenue per rep per month 12 months after the start of the engagement and the double-digit sale slide experienced in 2013 and 2014 had been halted.