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DrivingSales Executive Summit 2015: Day 1 Recap | DrivingSales News

DrivingSales Executive Summit 2015: Day 1 Recap

October 19, 2015 0 Comments

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Day Two Recap

Day Three Recap

Nearly 1,100 automotive dealership professionals landed in Las Vegas for today’s kick-off of the DrivingSales Executive Summit. The event is curated for Dealers, GMs and high-level decision-makers and connects with the industry’s top leaders. Unlike other industry events, sponsoring vendors do not dictate the content. Vendors don’t dictate the agenda; dealers do.

Jared Hamilton, CEO and founder of DrivingSales, set clear expectations for the attendees who gathered in the Bellagio’s Main Ballroom this afternoon.

This isn’t an event that’s suited for those just getting in to the industry.

DSES is known in the industry as the most progressive event for dealer professionals. It is designed for the executive level leadership to incorporate new ideas, processes, and insights in to their business plans in the coming year. 

You will be pushed.

Hamilton warned, that by Tuesday afternoon, if attendees didn’t feel like something was over their head or challenging your thinking – then DrivingSales hasn’t done their job.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

The automotive environment is ripe for disruption. Hamilton (who still owns three dealerships) believes opportunity is still in the hands of the dealer. The format for the event is to look at the problems, look outside of the industry to see who has solved similar problems, bring them in to enlighten the dealer body on how they’ve solved the problems, and apply our industry expertise to move the industry forward.

Frank Cespedes, Harvard Business School faculty member and author, delivered the first keynote titled “Leadership in a Changing Auto Business: Aligning Strategy and Sales.”

He shared key insights on U.S. firms spend, annually, on sales force expenses:

  • More than 3x their media ad spend
  • More than 20x their spending on all online ads
  • More than 100x their current spend on social media
  • Average of 10 percent of revenues spent on sales forces (more than B2B)

The message: “If you put a lot eggs in one basket, then keep your eyes on that basket!” – Mark Twain

Cespedes offered many statics and insights into the problems amplifying disconnect between strategy and sales. One was that many companies are failing at communicating vision; less than 50 percent of employees say they understand their firm’s strategy. He attested that social media expenditure is not well-managed and sited statistics by Gallup that 62 percent of car buyers say social media has no influence on purchase decision. As a prescription, he offered three foundational elements to linking strategy and sales and a survey for dealerships:

  • Understanding Customer Value
  • Linking Price and Value
  • Productivity

Mid-day dealer professionals listened to peers that are innovating the industry with the best and newest ideas in the Best Idea Contest. Following, the group broke for a choice of eight breakout sessions on specialized topics within marketing, sales strategy, management, loyalty and fixed operations.

Attendees returned to the main ballroom to wrap up the first day’s festivities with two final speakers. The first was Alan Bird, President and Chief Executive Leader at SCI MarketView, with his Most Valuable Insight award winning presentation “The Importance of an Initial Quality Response.”

The message was simple: 1) Speed is still a factor, 2) No response is better than a low-quality response, and dealers can win by 3) Creating a response process with the right elements, specifically: how quickly respond, how often to respond, when to respond, and quality of content when you respond.

Next Redg Snodgrass, hybrid entrepreneur / corporate executive, delivered the final keynote of the day, titled “Navigating the Internet of Things to Make not lose Money.”

“Everyone in corporate America missed the Internet; everyone missed mobile. Let’s not mix the next wave,” he began. Snodgrass took the audience to not-so-distant future with amazing insights on the capabilities of wearable technology, the rise of “touchy-feely” consumers and employees, and what he believes will be the fourth industrial revolution.

Snodgrass take-aways:

  • Partner, partner, partner
  • Focus on Monthly Recurring Incremental Revenue
  • Strategic Partner with Incoming Startups
  • Pay Attention to Emotional Data
  • Speed Up Transaction and Interaction

Finally, today DrivingSales announced their release of V5, a mobile-first, ground-up, completely rewritten technology platform. Jared Hamilton also announced VendorRatings has been revamped so dealers can rely on an all-new extensive and highly-credible resource for vetting technologies within the ecosystem.

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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