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How to Avoid Sales End-of-the-Month Catch Up

by Josh Blick, Dashboard Dealership Enterprises

If you’re in dealership management you’re probably familiar with the routine. No matter how great your intentions are to keep a steady sales pace all month, it’s month-end and you’re playing catch up. Even worse, sometimes you believe it’s going to be a great month until a nasty number shows up on your balance sheet during the last week.

Ultimately it’s the general sales manager who is responsible for making sure there are no nasty end-of-the-month surprises. Fortunately, these days it’s pretty easy to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to avoid last-minute scrambles.

I suggest you review the following KPIs on a daily basis, not just to see where you are, but to find out why you’re there. Knowing the ‘why’ behind the ‘where’ allows the GSM to take immediate action, bringing greater consistency into the sales process and departmental success.

1) Units Sold to Budget

This is your basic scoreboard when you wake up in the morning. Where are you pacing with both new and used? If you are behind more than your three-day, red alert. For example, if your goal is to sell 100 units per month, that means your average is 3.33 units per day. If at any given time you fall more than 10 units behind, it’s going to be very difficult to catch up to goal.

If this KPI signals a problem it’s time to light a fire under someone’s behind. To find out who’s behind, drill down to the following:

2) Gross Profit

Similar to units sold, this KPI should never fall behind your three-day average. So, if your monthly goal is $100K gross profit and you’re down more than $10K at any given time, there’s an issue. To find out where the issue lies, look at the following:

3) F&I Reconciliation

If this KPI is greater than five percent less than your gross profit goal, someone is making some serious mistakes. For example, if you believe that you have $100K in gross profit but the F&I reconciliation comes in at $85K, that’s $15K in errors somewhere.

To find out where these errors are occurring, take a closer look at what your finance managers, salespeople and accounts receivable/payables are doing:

Keeping a close eye on these KPIs helps general sales managers take care of problems as they arise so they can avoid nasty end-of-the-month surprises. As a result, your sales team won’t have to frantically play catch up to meet goals.

Which sales KPIs do you review on a regular basis, and how do they help your team stay on target?

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