Units per salesperson — this is a metric that dealerships have tracked for decades. It is also a metric that hasn't fundamentally changed in more than 35 years. No matter how much we have trained or incentivized employees to move the needle, the average has held steady at 10 units per person per month. It has been so stable that staffing models have been built around it with formulas that spit out the number of salespeople needed to meet a specific sales target.
COVID-19 has changed all of that, which is perhaps one of the few positive things coming out of this pandemic. When stay-at-home mandates went into effect, foot traffic was significantly impacted. For many dealerships, this resulted in temporary staff reductions and a pivot to remote selling tactics that kept customers and employees safe. Stories began to surface about salespeople closing and delivering 30 to 40-plus vehicles in a given month because they could simultaneously work with many customers in a remote capacity. For the first time, we saw the average units per salesperson rise. In May, the average units clocked in at 12-13 units per person according to both NADA member statistics and additional research fielded by Roadster.
Fast-forward to today, with showrooms open and foot traffic returning, this number has not only held but has continued to grow. A second, follow-up research study fielded by Roadster and NADA reveals that the average in August spiked to 16-plus units per salesperson, 60 percent more than the NADA industry average.