In partnership with DealerRater, Cars.com is continuing to enhance the car shopping experience with the launch of Salesperson Connect, which allows consumers to select an employee to work with directly on the Cars.com VDP (vehicle details page) and SRP (search results page). These connections personalize the shopper experience, reward top salespeople by featuring them on the VDP and SRP, and improve dealership brand presence. Shoppers on Cars.com now have access to all the information they need to make an informed decision – the product, price, place, and now person.
Which dealers will have Salesperson Connect active on Cars.com VDPs?
Only DealerRater Connections customers will have Salesperson Connect activated on Cars.com
Will DealerRater Connections dealers automatically have their employees featured on their Cars.com VDP and SRP?
Yes, for all DealerRater Connections customers, as long as an individual employee is not opted out of the setting to "allow customers to tag me in reviews" and "allow customers to contact me through profile/VDP" they are eligible to appear on either DealerRater or Cars VDPs and SRPs.
What determines how employees are ranked in Salesperson Connect?
The sort order used for Salesperson Connect will be the same that is utilized on DealerRater: employees will be displayed first by
- Certified Employee status (employees who are not Certified can still appear, but the sort favors those that are Certified)
- then the highest individual average rating
- then most reviews within the past 30 days
- then the highest number of overall lifetime reviews
Employees must also be labeled as either the Sales or Internet department on their DealerRater profile to be included.
How many employees will be featured on Salesperson Connect?
The design focuses on the top 3 employees, but consumers have the ability to select any eligible Sales or Internet employee at the dealership on the lead form
Does a consumer have to choose an employee to submit a lead?
No, they can choose to send a lead without choosing a salesperson to send the lead to.
How should dealers handle Salesperson Connect leads if they have a separate team managing the assignment of leads, like a BDC or eSales department?
If a consumer has requested to work with a specific employee, the best practice is to have the lead assigned to that employee. The members in the BDC or eSales department can still be notified of the leads by assigning them as admins.
If another dealership representative needs to reach out to the consumer first, it’s recommended that they say they are reaching out “on behalf of” that salesperson and that they would like to set up an appointment to meet with the salesperson selected.
Make sure each Sales and Internet employee has enabled their contact settings, so they can receive email, text message, or as a push notification in the DealerRater for Dealers mobile app on iOS or Android. If the selected employee is not able to work the lead, it is also sent to the dealer’s CRM so it can be routed to any other available employee if desired.
What if I prefer to not enable consumers to select salespeople to work with when submitting a lead?
We strongly recommend against this, but a dealer can opt-out of Salesperson Connect by logging into the DealerRater Dealer Panel> Profile> Employee Profiles> click on Individual Employee> Settings> Optout of “Allow Customers To Contact Me Through My Profile Page And VDP.” Doing so will also opt-out on Cars.com VDPs and SRPs and remove the ability for that employee to be contacted through their Employee Profile on DealerRater, which is a fundamental feature of DealerRater Connections.
Will there be a record of the leads that a dealer has received?
Yes, there are a few ways in which these leads can be tracked
- The lead will be labeled as coming from Cars.com when it is sent to the dealership CRM
- The Leads/Connections section of the DealerRater Dealer Panel will show Cars.com VDP or Cars.com SRP as the source
- These leads will be counted toward the overall email leads in their Cars.com Dealer Dashboard
Will only new car salespeople be listed on new VDPs and used car salespeople on used car VDPs?
No, any salesperson tagged in either the ‘Sales’ or ‘Internet’ department on DealerRater will be featured on the VDP. It will not be filtered by ‘New’ or ‘Used.’ However, dealers can edit the title of each employee to include whether they are new or used, as the title of the employee will be shown on the VDP. This can be done by accessing DealerRater’s Dealer Panel > Profile > Employee Profile > Select a specific Employee > Title.
How does the salesperson’s name gets assigned to the lead in their CRM?
We send an email to the dealer’s CRM with ADF/XML code that assigns “primary contact” to the salesperson selected. We use industry standards so it is clear that the consumer has requested to work with that salesperson.
What parts of the Employee Profiles are integrated into Salesperson Connect?
Salesperson Connect features the employee’s title, star rating, number of reviews, years of industry experience, years at the dealership, and languages spoken (depending on whether the salesperson has filled out these parts of their profile in DealerRater’s Dealer Panel).
The employee’s most recent 3 tagged reviews will also populate. A snippet and star rating of those reviews will display.
Who should dealers contact for more information?
Dealers can call DealerRater Support at 800-266-9455 for assistance with DealerRater reviews. Dealers are also welcome to call Cars.com Dealer Support at 888-252-7731 for any questions on their Cars.com account.
A press release announcing Salesperson Connect can also be found here.