Work Truck Solutions is working with Maritz Automotive to provide sales coaching as dealers and vendors look to expand in the growing commercial vehicle market.
Work Truck Solutions, a provider of software services for commercial dealers and upfitters, and Maritz, an automotive training and marketing services company, have launched a combined effort to provide assessments, sales coaching and training to commercial dealerships using the Work Truck Solutions platform, according to a Maritz release.
Maritz will provide tailored assessments and coaching solutions to the 1,300 dealers on the Work Truck dealer platform. Work Truck Solutions will use Maritz’s commercial sales knowledge and dedicated personnel to train sales providers, Work Truck Solutions founder and Chief Vision Officer Kathryn Schifferle told Equipment Finance News.
“We see how [Maritz] thinks, we see [its] tools, and there’s a big opportunity for us to work together,” she said. “The [market] opportunity is huge, the resources are slim and the dealers could use help.”
Maritz dedicates personnel to analyze, report and provide weekly feedback to dealers, Schifferle said.
The desire to grow commercial sales led to a 14-month pilot program in which Maritz and General Motors assessed dealers and how their leads process, Schifferle said. The pilot determined that dealers often don’t have the tools to manage the commercial sales process when compared to the retail sales process, she said.
As a result of the pilot program, Maritz created a system of audits that helped form the dealer coaching system, Schifferle said.
Commercial vehicle sales growth
The program comes as both companies work with commercial vehicle vendors to capitalize on the growing commercial sales industry, Schifferle said.
“It’s almost a $1.8 trillion space. That’s the whole life cycle, which includes not just the vehicles or service, but financing, warranties, insurance and all the things that businesses depend on,” she said.
The commercial vehicle industry is growing 30% year over year while retail is only growing 8%, Schifferle said. Further, 80% of the United States Gross Domestic Product is powered by the whole life cycle of commercial vehicles, according to data from Work Truck Solutions.
Growth in the commercial vehicle industry comes as manufacturers such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors introduce features like commercial insurance, telematics and rewards/gas cards at dealerships, Schifferle said.
“In addition to vehicles, you can also now talk to these business customers about telematics, special warranties, gas cards, charging and fleet management,” she said. “These are things that the OEM is structuring and then bringing into the dealership so that the dealership can generate revenue [beyond] vehicle sales, and have a deep, ongoing partnership with the businesses in their community.”
Dealer, vendor benefits
Maritz’s program provides training for dealerships and vendors with new or inexperienced commercial sales departments, but can also help veteran vendors and dealers, AJ Hewitson, commercial and fleet sales director at Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac in Temecula, Calif., told EFN.
Identifying pain points and opportunities as well as training new staff quickly provide key benefits to the commercial sales department, Hewitson said. Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac plans to use the program to train staff who are starting in the next month, he said.
“We have been operating a successful commercial department for over 13 years, and I am always on the lookout for ways to help our team to grow business,” Hewitson said.