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Tracking Performance Is What Makes Dealership Training Work

By Ryan Leschel | Aug 13, 2021

Last updated on Aug 23, 2023

You’ve likely heard the story before: teams that feel more engaged in their work perform better.

The more engaged they feel, the better they perform, creating a positive feedback loop that drives up ROI. Of course, the inverse is also true — disengaged employees tend to perform at lower levels, which makes them feel even more disengaged.

This push and pull relationship is easy to understand, but difficult to manage for dealership owners and managers. Performance is a tough thing to articulate if you can’t quantify it, and many metrics used on the lot or in a service center don’t line up easily with long-term results.

Without effective performance tracking, automotive sales training programs often end up just spinning their wheels. So how do you track the most valuable key performance indicators, or KPIs, over time? 

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Quantitative performance tracking

The human mind is great at a lot of things, but processing data isn’t one of them. One thing brains do that gets in the way of understanding data is temporal bias.

Basically, if they’re not using dashboards or other data visualization tools, most people will focus too much attention on just two data points: the most recent experience and the most memorable experience.

This temporal bias can be very influential in the way a salesperson or technician feels about their job performance. They might judge themselves too harshly based on a recent failure, or ride too long on the high of a big win.

Managers can also be affected by temporal bias, which can skew the way they plan training initiatives.

Establishing quantitative performance tracking helps you see trends and improvement over time, so you can make data-based decisions instead of relying on your memory or intuition.

Why focus on quantitative data?

  • The power of visualization — Employees benefit from being able to see their performance laid out. Something as simple as a number helps to map out a trajectory and turn progress into a concrete, attainable goal. Research shows that 76% of people who write down their goals and weekly progress achieve their goals, compared to only 43% of those who don’t.
  • Ongoing visibility into metrics — Performance issues should never come as a surprise to employees, but they often do. Regular updates with ongoing performance tracking lets employees know if they need to step on the gas to hit their goals.
  • Choosing the right training — Employees often appreciate training that helps them hit performance goals, but they don’t want training they think is unnecessary. With quantitative visibility into performance, leadership can see which training is generating results, and which areas need work. That way, investment (and time) poured into development is well spent.
  • Building specialized in-house talent — Building up your in-house talent reserves with focused programs like auto dealer finance training ensures that job openings can be filled quickly — and inexpensively — with personnel you already know and trust. Often, access to dealership F&I training can also improve retention rates by presenting an actionable path into growth opportunities for entry-level staff.

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When everyone is on the same page, everyone wins

Effective auto dealership training builds talent that can perform and grow their value and performance over time. This benefits both the dealership and the sales associates themselves — the dealership enjoys more revenue, and the employees have the opportunity to build the skill sets that will increase their compensation.

Both management and their associates have the same goal in mind, and training helps to align the way they communicate to create actionable outcomes.

From a management perspective, performance tracking levels the playing field and eliminates the mystery and anxiety that sometimes comes with dealership training and performance programs. Taking the guesswork out of training with clear, consistent performance tracking allows you to focus on what works.

Partnerships that produce results

Ask anyone in dealership leadership and they’ll tell you: team member performance is key for dealership success, and ideally, performance will increase over time. And yet, if you ask those same people if tracking performance metrics is an essential part of that process, they’ll often start to backpedal.

Why is that? Above all else, it’s because tracking performance can be very complex, involved, and time consuming — and it’s not enough just to keep an eye on a single KPI. Understanding the big picture requires advanced data analysis that requires a lot of time and resources.

A lot goes into implementing effective dealership training programs that create an impact on your associates and drive your business goals. Having an experienced partner who understands dealership training can help you build a performance tracking model that measures the holistic performance of your employees.

Start defining your talent development strategy and turning your team into powerful, well-rounded performers. That way, you can maximize the talent you have, and attract even more rockstar team members with your success.


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