When it comes to the almighty quota, which sales tactic works the best for the team?  Some dealerships prefer an up system, while some prefer to have a simple open sales floor.  There are advantages to both systems, of course, but does one weigh in over another?
In grade school, children are told to wait their turn?  The up system focuses predominately on turn-taking in dealerships.  Rather than having your salespeople climbing over each other to get to the next customer, each member of the team is given a turn in a specific order.An open sales floor is when there is no turn-taking system amongst the sales team.  This system operates on a first come, first served approach.  If Bob happens to be standing in the front of the store and a customer walks in, he doesn’t have to alert Steve to tell him it is his turn; the customer belongs to Bob.There are advantages and disadvantages to both the up system and the open sales floor, but nine times out of ten, the sales team will have a preference.

So what are the pros?

With an open sales floor, sales people have to be hungry to prosper.  An eager salesperson will spend her day on the floor greeting people, making eye contact, and displaying the right mix of intensity and concern.  Most of the time in an open floor environment, the eager will be rewarded while the wallflowers will be steamrolled.

However, in a dealership that works on the up system, the next customer goes to the next salesperson in line.  While it doesn’t lend to the same “survival of the fittest” environment, it promotes fairness.  It also means that your sales team doesn’t have to spend their entire day on the sales floor waiting for someone to walk in.  If they’d rather pad their sales by following up on leads or phoning undecided customers, the up system is the obvious choice.

Open floors are arguably a better way to weed out the salespeople that are going to be the dealmakers in a dealership.   The bold will likely meet their quota on a monthly basis, whereas the meek members of the sales team will have to struggle to make their numbers.  As a dealership manager, a team made up of determined and enthusiastic people would be advantageous.  More sales are always a good thing.

In an up system, there is a potential to show to the emergence of rising stars as well.  If Steve and Bob are getting the same number of ups in a day, and Steve is drastically outselling Bob it may show you that Steve is more motivated, and thus a valuable member of them.  In contrast, it may also show you that Bob got two customers who were lost and needed directions during his turns, while Steve got two customers intent on purchasing a new vehicle.

And what about the cons for each?

Unfortunately, with an open floor system, there is a big chance that a salesperson can waste their day away.  If it’s a day when the sales floor is slow, couldn’t their time be better spent elsewhere?  Also, a manager must confront the issue as to whether or not there is such a thing as too eager.  Is your sales team clamoring for the customer’s attention?

In an up system, is it really fair that Joe gets the same amount of turns as Bob and Steve when he’s scraping by at the end of the month?  Is he as hungry or does he just have bad luck?  Bob and Steve both spend the time between turns trying to make things happen while Joe takes coffee breaks and does his paperwork, but they’re all getting the same chances.  In this case, in an up system fair?

Which is the best approach?  Well, it depends.

When it comes to sales, nothing is black and white; every potential sale exists in a gray area.  Not all approaches are going to be successful.  In addition, if the most ambitious sales person takes on too much responsibility, the potential increases for them to drop the ball on one of their sales.  When weighing the numbers, it must also be taken into consideration how many customers walked away due to the salesperson that was more focused on the quota than the needs of the customer.

When considering the sales style all of these aspects must be taken under advisement.  Using an up system may leave a dealership stuck with a less than stellar staff, while an open floor may allow only one salesperson to shine.  If you’re trying to assemble the best team possible, which style will work the best for YOUR dealership?