Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
Implement some of these fun sales team building activities and you can skip the cheesy “getting to know you” games from the past
As proud as you are of your dealership, you have to admit that sometimes, the attitude in the sales department can be “every man for himself.” It’s not necessarily because your salespeople are selfish or greedy, but because that’s just the type of environment that individual competition and commission opportunities can breed. When selling a car can make the difference between buying groceries and scrounging around the house for expired ramen, motivated salespeople are going to make that extra push.
The problem with that mindset, though? It spawns animosity among your sales team. And while individual competition is good sometimes, you don’t want to create a negative situation that can fester and grow into something even worse. Bad vibes on a daily basis don’t just make going to work unenjoyable for your employees—every customer that sets foot in your dealership can feel it, too.
Your salespeople are all on the showroom floor together. They see each other day in and day out. What if, instead of viewing one another as direct competition, they felt like they were part of a cohesive, friendly team? You need to consider ways—like sales team building activities—that can get your money-makers on the same page.
Increase profitability with sales team building activities
According to a Harvard Business Review article, the impact of individuals’ task performance on unit profitability companywide decreased, on average, from 78% to 51% between 2002 and 2012. The impact of employee’s “network performance,” however, (how much people give to and take from their coworkers) increased from 22% to 49%. In sales, 44% of the impact is attributed to network performance.
Profitability and productivity come from crowd-sourcing skills. Employees need to engage with fellow salespeople to coordinate capabilities and work toward the greater good of the dealership.
Some auto dealerships are moving away from the individual commission-based model because although it can light a fire under salespeople, it can also backfire and generate department-wide hostility. That hostility can trickle down into every other part of your dealership and create a toxic work environment. Give some thought to a fair base salary across the board for salespeople, with quarterly bonuses that are based on the performance of the dealership as a whole—not just a few star performers. Everyone becomes more invested in working together rather than against each other.
Sales team building activities to get your employees to work together
How is taking time away from working going to make your employees more productive? Isn’t that achieving just the opposite?
No. Sales team building activities are an investment in the long-term success of your dealership. They create bonds that are harder to forge during regular work tasks, establish mutual respect, and motivate your team to work together. A study published in the International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research concluded that “the effect of motivation on employee productivity is of paramount importance to the organization.”
With that in mind, how can you start bringing your sales team together? Start by trying some of these sales team building activities:
1. Community service
Nothing brings people together quicker than joining forces to help others. Make community service a regular thing in your dealership; once a quarter, shut down the dealership for half a day, and branch out by department to get out and serve the community. During your sales meetings, have everyone recommend organizations they would like to help. If a specific organization is near and dear to a salesperson’s heart, have them explain why to the team.
2. Get a game for the showroom
Look for a free-standing arcade game that everyone can play. It’s a simple purchase, but it can be a fun topic of conversation for employees and a source of healthy competition. It creates a common bond that’s not related to work (even though it’s at work). For example, Prime Ford in Saco, Maine has a bubble hockey game in their showroom and schedules after-hours tournaments.
“Our atmosphere is fun and energetic, yet we hold each other accountable. Our sales are up considerably over last year, and that’s because we’re all working for the same goal, chasing more records,“ said Michael Mullen, the dealership’s sales manager.
Chances are your salespeople are selling cars because—shocker—they love cars. Plan a day at a go-kart track where they can burn rubber, race each other, and just have some fun.
4. Create appreciation
39% of employees feel under-appreciated at work, and 77% say they’d work harder and be more productive if they felt better recognized. There’s a simple exercise you can have everyone do in your next sales meeting that can make a significant impact. Give each salesperson a list with names of every salesperson in the department. Tell them to write down something positive about each and every person. Collect the papers, combine all the answers, and then later, give each employee a print out of all the kind things their co-workers said about them.
5. Scavenger hunt
This is a good old-fashioned team building activity that gets your salespeople working together and running around town. Be sure to wear gear with your dealership’s name on it, because while your team is darting around, it’s a little bit of free marketing that shows the community your employees like each other and like where they work.
These are just some sales team building activities to help you get started, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative and have fun. Anything you can do to get your salespeople to work as a team will be beneficial to your dealership in the long run.