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Who Won the DSES Innovation Cup 2015? | DrivingSales News

DrivingSales Executive Summit 2015 Innovation Cup Contest: And the winner is…

November 12, 2015 0 Comments

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Dealerships today have an abundance of advanced tools to assist employee processes and support data-driven decision-making. A growing challenge for leadership is determining where and how to insert technologies that support and enhance the human piece of transactions. The Innovation Cup Contest fosters healthy dialogue between dealership management and vendors; and recognizes service providers with innovative solutions that resonate with dealers and advance the industry as a whole.

The Innovation Cup Contest begins weeks before the DrivingSales Executive Summit takes place in Las Vegas in mid-October. Automotive dealership product and service vendors present a new and innovative solution or enhancement to an existing product/service by submitting an application for a chance to advance to the main event at DSES. The DSES dealer panel reviews each application and votes. The top five finalists from the pool of applicants battle onstage for the esteemed title, “The Most Innovative Solution of the Year.”

DSES 2015 took place October 18-20. The five Innovation Cup Finalists were Ben Anderson, CEO at AutoMotion; Steve Cottrell, CEO at DealerVault; Mike Martinez, CMO at AutoPoint; Andreas Ronneseth, CTO and co-founder of RevolutionParts; and finally Joe Orr president and CEO of Dealer Success and Virtual Dealâ„¢.

Each finalist was given five minutes to make a case for their innovative solution, followed by four minutes of Q&A from onstage dealer executive judges. This year, the onstage judges were: Robert Karbaum, national digital strategy manager at Dilawri Group; Bradley Lillie, vice president of Gregg Young Chevrolet; and Erich Gail, chief operating officer of Cardinale Auto Group. There were also approximately 30 other dealer executives in the audience scoring each finalist. Once the contest ended, all scoring sheets were collected and the points were tallied to determine the winner.

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And the winner is…

Joe Orr presented Virtual Deal™, an online deal creation tool co-created by a technology company and a dealership. He opened by citing a study that uncovered that just 1.5 percent of consumers expect to be satisfied when car shopping; urging dealers, “Wall Street has a billion dollar opportunity to jump into our business.?

Virtual Deal™ was designed to control the first pencil with the dealership and reduce the time spent at the showroom by allowing the customer to select their vehicle, get a trade quote, finance, and reserve the vehicle online. An online “deal manager” assists the customer with questions from the dealership’s BDC or Internet department utilizing the virtual desking tool to develop perfect payment and present a full-disclosure proposal.

The solution was tested at Dick Hannah Honda where Orr was the GM for 25 years. Pilot stores saw a 46 percent increase in Web leads with no change in traffic. Of those leads, the stores experienced a consistent 96 percent closing rate. The judges grilled Orr on the validity of Virtual Deal™, but in the end he was awarded the 2015 “Most Innovative Solution of the Year.”

“I’m very excited about innovation, but I also think it’s very confusing for dealers,” Orr said in an interview following the conference. “It’s time that we as vendors really talk about products that have the potential to move the market forward,” he continued; emphasizing the broad industry need for innovative solutions that make the dealer the hero, build the relationship between the customer and the dealership, and satisfy the customer through exceptional experience.

Video of the Innovation Cup Contest and conference highlights will be available soon on DrivingSalesExecutiveSummit.com to those in attendance. DSES 2016 will be held October 23-25 once again at the Bellagio, Las Vegas.

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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