We are now a full quarter away from the disastrous year that was 2010 and we’re starting to see some encouraging signs that the cabinet business is in growth mode. Sure the business may be coming from remodels instead of tract home building but at least people are buying kitchens again. It’s time to move on to greener pastures.
If you’re a dealership and you’re still in business, you deserve a round of applause for getting through the worst of the times. However, don’t assume since your competitors are out of business that you now have the market cornered.
Competitors can pop up any time with much less overhead than you’re dealing with. Leases are cheaper, employees are cheaper, everything for a new business is cheaper these days. As a dealership, you must stay at the head of the pack by making sure your ship is as tight as can be. To that end, we’re offering this advice to dealerships to help margins and grow sales. Here are 3 things a dealership should NOT be letting or making their sales people do:
There is no greater source of time-suck than sales people doing purchasing. Sales people should be out selling. If they are working on purchasing they are losing out on potential sales. As a general rule, having salespeople do anything that takes away from selling is going to cost dollars in the long run.
It is essential that dealerships with two or more salespeople have a centralized purchasing role that has consolidated knowledge of every job that is going on. This will allow for more efficient workflow, as there will be one expert that manufacturers can deal with instead of spreading that responsibility over a number of salespeople. This allows salespeople to “stay in their lane” and sell more kitchens, which is the driving factor in increasing revenue.
You may be thinking this sounds great, but how can I afford to hire a new employee to handle these tasks? The answer is simple. If you have 5 salespeople on staff, get rid of the lowest producing person and hire a centralized purchasing employee. Assume a salesperson wastes 25% of potential revenue on purchasing. If you now free up the remaining four reps on staff you’ll gain 100% back replacing what the fifth rep might have brought in, plus you’ll have a more efficient purchasing system that is scalable for future growth.
Sales people should not be working on internal paperwork. This is another task that takes away from actual selling. Paperwork should be a thing of the past. Dealerships must introduce some form of technology that allows salespeople to track their day without introducing extra tasks, and further streamline kitchen cabinet dealership operations. Paperwork is anything management is requiring salespeople to fill out. Go paperless and see how much time gets freed up and how much revenue increases.
Servicing the job.
Salespeople should not be the point person for follow-up work or service on the job. This rule is much like number one on this list. Servicing takes away from selling and sucks away dollars. Dealerships must have a centralized service employee that is knowledgeable about every project at any time for efficiency and to keep salespeople focused on selling kitchens.
It should be obvious by now that a dealership must do everything it can to keep the salespeople selling. Eliminate the things that salespeople are currently doing that take them away from job number 1- selling kitchens.
By solidifying roles and keeping salespeople in their lanes, a dealership can position itself ahead of any new competition and allow for easy growth in the future.
Don’t forget to read part 2 of this series where we offer 3 more things your cabinet salespeople should not be doing.