What fast-growing car dealers can learn from the Unicorns*

  • By Phyron
  • Sep 15, 2022
  •  – 3 min read

What do the most successful car dealers do to grow and prosper, also in times of rapid change? Change that escalated with electrification, and became more complex with the challenges of inventory shortages and an increasingly complex omnichannel and multimedia marketplace?

The JM&A Group recently published an e-book summarizing the auto industry’s top challenges and how to turn them into accelerated revenue growth in the coming year and beyond. To mitigate the problem of inventory shortages they, for example, emphasise the importance of a customer-centric approach to build loyalty and trust, ensuring consistent quality, but also maximising every deal with Finance & Insurance (F&I) offerings. 

Revenue acceleration

Yes, services is one area that certainly offers both additional revenues and a golden opportunity to excel and stand out in the marketplace. Regarding the increased demand for marketing options, they emphasize the importance of adjusting the sales process for maximum omnichannel efficiency.

”The key to growth in challenging and fast-moving times is revenue acceleration. Every department provides chances for new and strengthened revenue streams. By partnering with the right people, you can implement flexible and forward-looking new processes across departments.”

Again, spot on. With the right software service partner, a forward-looking dealer group can, for example, easily automate the entire workflow for the creation, managing, and publishing of used car video ads in their online showroom as well as external marketplaces and social media. 

Dealing with extreme growth

*In the world of investors, a “Unicorn” is a privately owned startup company valued at over US 1 billion. The term refers to the fact that such companies are very rare and was first popularised by venture capitalist Aileen Lee in 2013.  

Now, rapid growth comes with its own challenges, and new ways of dealing with them. Products and technologies may differ, but the human aspects affect customer care, internal adoption, motivation, and performance. So, let’s have a quick look at a company outside the auto industry that experienced extreme growth.

Until recently Hanna Larsson was responsible for building and scaling the sales team at Remote Inc. in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Hanna and her team scaled revenue with 42x at the same time as she hired and onboarded a sales team from 2 to 90 people in 18 months.

“We had no offices and hired qualified people in 22 countries. My most important learning from this journey is the importance of being intentional with building culture by leaning into your values, setting expectations, and giving your team autonomy. When people in your team feel trusted and are given ownership you become an unstoppable team.”

To be more specific, the success formula can be summarized in these five bullets:

  • Be intentional with building culture and investing in the team. This will come back to you with 10x
  • Make sure to let your team know that each and everyone plays an important role in building the growth trajectory together and don’t forget to listen to their feedback and input
  • Remove blockers for your team. Aim to remove any friction from the sales process - it should be easy to close a deal
  • Bring people together on a regular basis through team meetings and share your learnings with each other. Knowledge sharing is key when you are scaling fast!
  • Give your team trust, ownership and autonomy. This is how you scale successfully.

Sure, all businesses are different. But people are people. And, if a strategy can succeed across 22 countries in remote mode, imagine what you can achieve face to face in a smaller organisation...

According to Business Insider (July 2022) Remote Inc. is valued at nearly 3 billion USD. Today, Hanna Larsson runs her own consultancy company advising startups on Go to Market strategies and building high-performance remote organisations.