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You did it. Digital retailing is up and running for your dealership. People can officially buy cars from you online. That’s a good first step towards being flexible and working the way your customers want. But it is only a first step.

The bigger task is creating a process that enables your sales team to interact with customers outside the showroom. (And inside as well, assuming that you haven’t formally closed your physical store.)

How to Successfully Move to Digital Retailing

Let’s break it down. In a classic retail environment, there are somewhere around eight stages of the car buying process: 

  1. Introductions
  2. Discovery and needs assessment
  3. Walk-around
  4. Test drive
  5. Discussion or negotiation
  6. Making the deal
  7. The hand off to F&I 
  8. And then the most exciting part, the delivery

Depending on your particular process and the digital retailing tool that you have selected, financing and paperwork are covered. But what about the rest? 

Outside of your digital retailing tools, prospective buyers will be calling you, shopping your website, and filling out forms. How does your existing process link those two moments (Step 1 and Step 7) to deliver on the real promise of digital retail: Working the way your customer wants?

Build Out Your Digital Sales Process & Toolkit

To work the way your customer wants, dealerships need to pay more attention to what customers are doing. Look at your toolkit and ask yourself: 

  • Do I know anything more about a customer than what they tell me via phone, chat, or website form?
  • How can I mirror customer velocity in a digital environment?
  • When customers change their shopping preferences, do I know? 
  • Am I able to keep a pulse on leads I may have never spoken to or seen?

These are the questions that need to be answered as part of Step 2, Discovery and Needs Assessment. This is the work of salespeople—and why we have dealership salespeople in the first place. I continue to believe that cars are a considered purchase. That buying them is complicated and good salespeople add value to the customer

But in an online world, salespeople do not have access to the information they need to see what customers are doing and to respond to those needs without tools like Foureyes. This is exacerbated in the current market as we see inventories shrink. If the customer can’t find what they really want, how can your dealership keep them informed when the inventory starts to arrive or recommend an alternative based on their needs and interests? Foureyes gives salespeople an easy way to see what’s going on with your customers—what they really want, how they are shopping, when they are engaged—and pairs it with your sales process and inventory details for a better customer experience. This way, your salespeople aren’t burdening the customer to describe in detail everything they want and are doing. 

Your salespeople are still selling, but now they have the tools to do their job and add value to the process while respecting the consumers time. 

Where your buyers convert—in person or online—is now up to the customer. But how they experience your dealership is up to you. Make sure you are thinking through your toolkit for the full digital sales journey.