Car sales reps and finance managers often operate in silos, with little motivation to work together to sell finance and insurance products.
But at the nine Sacramento, Calif., area dealerships owned by Niello Co., a compensation plan rewards salespeople for products sold by finance managers and also motivates those managers to sell more products, said Dennis Gingrich, the company's director of sales and finance.
"In most dealerships, salespeople are strictly concerned with selling cars, not about what's happening in finance because there's no money in it for them," said Gingrich, who has extensive F&I experience. "Plus they're a little envious of finance managers because they make more money."
With its pay plan, Niello is aiming to break down the "siloing and infighting" that often occurs between finance managers and salespeople in the industry, Gingrich said. He noted that the tension often is a direct result of the "terrible compensation plans" that are generally used.
"But we align them as much as possible," he said. "We train salespeople to plant seeds during the sales process that F&I managers can build upon. ... It helps when salespeople have some skin in the game."