Data Equips Dealership Sales Teams To Shift Tactics And Capitalize On New Opportunities


Dealerships are facing a distinctly different operating environment now than in the past two years as factors like returning equipment supply, increasing machinery values, higher interest rates, and likely lower farm profitability trigger a return to normal.

As the market transitions, dealership sales teams strategize how they use data insights to be better positioned to move forward. These three perspectives from dealership leaders across the Midwest detail what works in their organizations.

Lead the Sales Team out of an Abnormal Market

“We’re going from abnormal to more normal {cycles},” Brian Knotts, Vice President of Asset Management at Koenig, says. “Abnormal has been what we’ve been experiencing lately with extremely high turn used equipment that goes from one farm to the next and allocation by our suppliers to manage that.”

The challenge now, Knotts says, is leading the sales team and other staff to change the habits that sustained the business in the past five years. Koenig has three strategies in place to do this:

  1. A data analyst is on staff using tools to establish new and used equipment purchase history and comparing that with territory information of who has been quoted to or not to discover where opportunity exists.
  2. Utilizing a reserve of money set aside during good times enables Koenig to adjust inventory prices as market conditions change so the Customer Account Manager (CAM), who is paid based on gross margin, can still benefit.
  3. Sharing evaluations with the CAMs daily via the CRM, Anvil Enterprise from Anvil App Works, allows the team to see activity early, understand trends, and give the CAM a chance to indicate if they already have a lead for equipment prior to trading.

Provide Financial Literacy and Track Trends

Trent Giles, Regional & Wholegoods Program Manager at KanEquip, says, “As an industry, we need to spend time training reps about the financials and how it affects the dealership the way an owner would think about it so they can understand how we make decisions.” Providing financial literacy gives the sales team a more global view of the business, the ability to be more proactive, and a better understanding of equipment holding costs, and the knowledge of when to take a deal or walk away.

To capitalize on this understanding, keeping track of the trends is essential. At KanEquip and other dealerships, Giles sees inventory building, particularly high class combines and planters, which trickles down into other cash crop equipment. In addition, he sees more judicious use of reserve funds and more defined lifecycle management for inventory and more data and system needs for the entire dealerships.

“On the customer side, they’re becoming more price-sensitive than the last few years. We see fewer rolls and more cautious adoption of tech as customers become more reserved in their buying approach,” Giles says.

Be Proactive

“One of the biggest challenges now is getting our sales team to understand that things have changed,” Duane Kautzman, Vice President of Asset Management at Hutson, says. “We aren’t just keeping up with phone calls; we need to call on customers again. That’s changed in the last 18 months.”

For Kautzman and the team at Hutson, the focus is now all about activity and tracking and they’re using a customer relationship management tool like Anvil to help manage the process. It’s a numbers game, he says, and takes support from managers to find and close deals.

“The biggest challenge is mental,” Kautzman says. “We have to drive the streets again, pound on doors, and ask for the business.”

This article and quotes were sourced from a webinar hosted by Anvil App Works and Tractor Zoom on June 15th, 2023.

Article Written By Tractor Zoom


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