Colby Joyner is the Vice President of Sales at Konect.ai, an AI-driven software that is built to increase lead engagement and drive conversions for automotive dealers. Colby is a former Air Traffic Controller in the US Air Force and a former EMT. Before joining Konect.ai, he was the Platform Director of Bravo Auto Group. His goal is to bring efficient processes into the automotive space and increase their use of technology. Colby is also a husband and father.
Jarrod Kilway is the Vice President of Strategy and Success at Konect.ai. He is an Automotive News 40 Under 40 Nominee, a founding member of Auto Genius, and the former Director of Digital Strategy and Solutions for Germain Automotive. Jarrod entered the automotive space while in college and holds a degree from the University of Akron.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How Colby Joyner entered the automotive industry and his transition from the retail side to the vendor side
- Jarrod Kilway explains how he got into the automotive industry and how he uses technology to improve dealerships
- How Jarrod helped his dealership succeed during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The biggest marketing problems Colby solves for dealerships
- The need for simple and specific automation in the automotive space
- Why dealerships fear adopting automation and why they should shift their mindset about what success looks like
- The technological problems Konect.ai solves for dealers and the importance of software integration
In this episode…
How specific or targeted is the technology you use in your dealership? Is it too broad and complicated? Or is it easy to use?
Automation is meant to make processes easier and more efficient. Your automated marketing messages need to be targeted to a specific audience and increase engagement with them. Specific automation not only helps in making dealerships more productive but also increases profitability, improves communication among teams and customers, and in the long run, helps build better relationships.
In this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay is joined by Colby Joyner and Jarrod Kilway from Konect.ai to talk about the need for simple and specific automation in the automotive space. They discuss why dealerships fear adopting technology, what success looks like for sales representatives, and the importance of software integration. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Ilana Shabtay on LinkedIn
- Ilana Shabtay in Dealer Marketing Magazine
- “The Biggest Disruption of All: The Quiet” by Ilana Shabtay
- Colby Joyner on LinkedIn
- Jarrod Kilway on LinkedIn
- Germain Automotive
- Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.
Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.
Visit their website at www.autoleadstar.com to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.
Welcome to InsideAuto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to in and out of the automotive industry.
Ilana Shabtay 0:14
Ilana Shabtay here, host of InsideAuto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GMs, marketers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. And before we introduce today’s guests, this episode is sponsored by AutoLeadStar.com. AutoLeadStar is automotives first and leading customer data and experience platform (CDXP). Top dealers invest in CDXPs to unify dealership data sources, automatically create one to one customized journeys and execute omni-channel shopping experiences. All right, today, we have two very special guests with us. We don’t always have two people on the podcast at once. So today I am super excited to be speaking to two people who I’ve actually met in person as well so excited to get to know them, you know, in their new capacity, which we’ll talk about. So welcome Colby Joyner and Jarrod Kilway. Welcome to the podcast. Good morning.
Jarrod Kilway 1:09
Colby Joyner 1:11
Good morning, good morning.
Ilana Shabtay 1:13
Are you guys doing?
Colby Joyner 1:15
Amazing, now that I showed up.
Ilana Shabtay 1:17
Yes, we were waiting on you. But it’s okay. It’s totally worth it. Colby is husband father and former Air Traffic Controller in the US Air Force, former EMT and for the last eight years of car guy and currently the VP of Sales at Konect.ai. Prior to Konect.ai, he was the platform director of Bravo Auto Group. And his goal is to bring efficient processes into automotive and increased automotive use of technology. That is something that we talk a lot about at this podcast. I am obviously a huge proponent of that. So we’ll get into that. Jarrod is Automotive News 40 Under 40 Nominee, Auto Genius founding member, former Director of Digital Strategy and Solutions for Germain Auto. And now VP of Strategy and Success at Konect.ai. So we have to two people from Konect.ai today, we are going to talk a lot about what you guys are doing what you’re solving in automotive. But before we get into that both of you have been in the automotive industry for quite some time. So I’d love to hear how you got into automotive but also recently switched from retail to tech. So definitely want to hear about that. We could start with you. Colby, tell us a little bit about how you got into automotive and what this reason switch has been like, for you.
Colby Joyner 2:35
So yeah, so thank you again for letting us be on. Honestly excited about this. I love just chatting about automotive and marketing and everything in general. But automotive kind of came randomly to me. I sold cars very, very briefly when I was like 1819 years old, realized that I was nowhere near mature enough or knowledgeable enough to do it. And so I really was bad at selling cars. So as soon as I realized I was bad at selling cars, went and joined the military, obviously, like you would you had stated and did the military thing for a while. Couple odd, odd jobs. You know, after the military decided, you know, I’m a husband, I had two kids at the time, I needed to make more money and decided, hey, I’m gonna go back into automotive. My parents had always said like, Hey, you should go be a lawyer, you should go do something where you just did you have that gift of gab, you can sit there and just talk to anybody. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to college. And I didn’t finish that. So in order to be a lawyer that would have taken way too long. But I knew that I could just go back in and try to sell cars and so went in, started selling cars and kind of went down that path and was fortunate enough to be around some really, really good dealers and really good people that that placed me in good positions where my talents I guess shined so far, I mean, I absolutely love I’m so blessed to be able to be in this industry. I feel like it’s a perfect match. So going in, you know, you want me to go into the vendor side now or do you want me to have Jarrod kind of say his background?
Ilana Shabtay 4:10
Yeah, I’d love to hear just a little bit more about what it’s been like just from the retail side to to the vendor side, technology side and then and then Jarrod will will give us some of his background.
Colby Joyner 4:22
Yeah, so, you know, this is my, this is my second round on the vendor side. A short, short stint at a at another company and the you know, whenever I when I went into vendor and left vendor the last time I never had any intention on going back into retail. Because retail is just hard right? And I’m not saying hard isn’t like I just don’t want to do it because it’s too hard. It’s just it takes so much of your time and it’s so you know, the mentality when you’re in the retail store is like you know, you got to work below the bell and you’re working these 1214 hour shifts and you know, you’re so highly focused on all the things and a lot of is good, you can learn a lot in a very short amount of time. Because you’re working sometimes, you know, double the hours that normal person works. And but I never had intention to going back to retail, but I went back into retail had a great opportunity with the previous group I was with, and, and stayed there for a while. The the mindset that I had was, I need to spend more time at home, I need to have more freedom to kind of explore and create and see how I can make an impact in a lot larger scale. You know, whenever you change something inside a retail store, or even if it’s a group, per se, you’re still only really impacting the people inside the group or inside the store. And so on the vendor side, my whole mentality is I can make a significantly larger impact, hopefully in the industry for the positive, I don’t ever want to be a negative aspect to the industry or or bring it down, I want to move it forward and make it more progressive in that way. I know that there’s a lot of times I’ve talked about technology within Automotive is kind of behind what other industries have. And so my goal is to try to see how do we move the technology forward as fast as we can, as efficient as we can, but where everybody is staying on board. I don’t want to go so far in the future so far forward, that we start to have people dropping off saying, Man, I can’t even understand this. I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense. So we’re moving as quickly as we can, while still having everybody bought in and everybody moving forward and seeing the positive changes. That’s it’s just exciting to me. I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s been very few very few jobs in my life that I’ve woken up every morning, and just super excited to go in there and see what kind of impact I can make. So that’s, that’s my retail to vendor side. Like, that’s what excites me is being able to impact the industry as a whole.
Ilana Shabtay 6:51
Yeah, I think that’s super powerful. And that resonates with me, obviously. Jarrod, what about you?
Jarrod Kilway 6:58
So I got an automotive back here, early 2004 2005. Yeah, while I was in college, actually, front of mine in college, lived in the same dorm room, it is dad owned a auto dealer group up. And, you know, I, so, you know, thinking of the period of time we were in at that point in time, which attracted me was, you know, how behind auto was, you know, so if you gauge yourself and look back, and what were you doing? She doesn’t for 2005? What was the technology? And like, what was the temperature and thermostat of the industry at that point, looking at digital? Yeah, this is we’re talking about for some, they needed websites, they needed somebody to come take photos of their cars and write descriptions and stuff like this was so new to him. And there was such a limited tech presence in the automotive space. So immediately, you know, coming from a family of background of tech, I’ve always was attracted to automotive. And then this paradigm shift happened from automotive to really grow and go into a digital world. So work through them and then go to the sixth move of Florida was in multiple roles at multiple dealer groups. Great opportunity, and great success. From there, I actually went left and did a similar to Colby, a stint at vendor side before with the cutting edge of CRM at the time, date myself, this is 2010 where CRM is where like the whole rave in the industry. And that’s where all the digital dealer parties, everybody’s a CRM, that’s their own big parties at nada, digital dealer. So it was the place to be. So learned a lot through that experience and eventually migrated over to the OEM side with license as a field consultant for Lexus, and really working with dealers on digital. And it really shocked me now I’m coming back after six and a half, seven years back and dealer. I worked really hard to Brad Kramer to build a presence, build a brand and build a process and scenario. Now, really migrating back to the vendor side, my goal is to bring the knowledge I’ve learned from the years in dealer in vendor with OEMs and dealers around the country bringing that knowledge back to help solve for solutions, that somebody who has may not even realize that the problem right now. They don’t have that internal thermostat set to be able to identify what are the issues? Because if you ask 90% of the dealers in the space today what their biggest issue is, they’re just going to tell you inventory. And I’m going to say well, what’s your process look like? What’s your trade process with all these different structure processes of your store? If they’re not clearly defined and ironed out? This is the opportunity to make those adjustments while we’re under this rise of profitability as an industry to really make sure that we’re set up for that next wave of the unknown and remain successful
Ilana Shabtay 9:59
and actually that that brings me to another question, which is, can you give us an example of how you helped react to like a big market crisis, whether that is COVID, or inventory shortage while you were at, you know, Germain or some other group, in your experience, just because I think a lot of times, it’s easy to react in a very impulsive way and not in a high level strategic way. And it sounds like you were able to bring those processes to the the auto dealers that you were working with.
Jarrod Kilway 10:31
Yeah, yeah. What’s your man through COVID? think everybody through COVID It was the mass adoption of digital retail. A lot of people thought that was going to solve all their problems and was automatically going to work fluidly. And, you know, next, you know, every dealers like Carvana, which we all know and realize today, that’s not reality. But we were able to during COVID, do myself in Florida and stores in Ohio, do not traveling, we were able to launch these digital retail tools, get mass adoption from the team, as well as have great success not only internally, but also with our customers. Because we had this dedicated structured process of what it’s going to look like how it needs to behave, how it needs to engage in, in interact with the consumer, it was so clearly defined, it was almost overly simple for our internal team. But even more simpler for the consumer. I was used the train of thought and Colby starting to pick up on it now that we’re working together. If it’s too complicated for my nine year old to understand it, it is too complicated for the consumer who buys a car every four to five years. And the salespeople in the team inside of the store, it’s too complicated. It has to be Croyle, the grand simple, because when you have simplicity, it makes it easier, and everybody wants to be a part of it. But everybody has clear visibility to what their expectations are.
Ilana Shabtay 11:54
Yeah. That’s great. And then, Colby, I’m sure you’re in line with that. What, what were some of the biggest gaps that you saw on the marketing side at at the dealership that you’ve been at, that you were either able to solve? You know, in your position there or something that you’re super passionate about helping solve? Now they are on the tech side?
Colby Joyner 12:17
You know, so I would say the biggest gaps like going through COVID and looking at some of this stuff, and how are we adjusting marketing? And, and how are we, you know, trying to attract these, the customers into our store? You know, we went from being not very granular with the data, and just kind of being more of a shotgun approach, like, Hey, we’re gonna just chuck it out, because we had the inventory, we had the, you know, the branding, everybody knew where to go, we knew to come to us, to where we had to really start being granular with our approaches, and saying, Okay, we got to start targeting specific people, we got to start targeting, you know, lease returns, we got to start targeting, you know, the three to five year, you know, previous purchase customers, and then really starting to look at the attribution of everything, where are people coming into our website? Where do they, you know, doing our executing on social and, you know, what’s our display ads looking like, you know, changing our whole mindset on? How are we actually marketing versus doing just the overall, hey, we’re just going to put money everywhere. And we know that it works, because the, you know, the pay line at the end is good. So, you know, making that adjustment over and being very targeted about it was our transition over at the other group. But that kind of goes in line with, I can get very granular like that. Yeah. And so you know, that’s the one thing that helps on my side coming into this is, I can have that very strong, 30,000 foot view, overall premise of, hey, this is what we do, in a very simplistic way, breaking it down to like one sentence. But at the same time, the reason that I had that one sentence that makes so much sense, is I’ve dove down into the specifics. Right. And I said, Okay, here’s the problems that are being you know, that the dealerships at the end user are facing, and how do we resolve those very specific problems, but make it easy enough for everybody to understand in a one sentence race. And so being able to kind of go back
Ilana Shabtay 14:21
and forth nine year olds can understand
Colby Joyner 14:23
exactly, exactly. I write I write a lot better in crayon than I do pin.
Ilana Shabtay 14:29
So I love that. I think but I think what you said is really important in that well, two things that you’ve said so far. One of them is that Automotive is always going to be trailing, you know, five to 10 years behind ecommerce and others, I think as an industry because we’re aware of that we’re working on that. But that’s that’s one thing. And then the second thing is that yes, we need to be more targeted, so only now, again, even though this has been available. This Tech has been available outside about him but it’s only now is automotive really focusing on it. Okay, how do I actually cut audiences from my CRM and send proper messages based on that and do it automatically so that I don’t have to have a team manually sitting there, you know, exporting lists from my CRM and importing them into whatever, you know, the email platform they’re using for that month, and then ditch it and then do something else, and then the data doesn’t follow through. So I think that’s really important, because that is going to be if not hasn’t, if it hasn’t been, it’s going to be a huge focus for 20, the rest of 2018 and 2023. For dealers.
Colby Joyner 15:32
Think about it this way. Like it, I think there’s a reason why dealerships are kind of scared of automation, is because automation has been very broad. Right? It’s been incredibly broad, like, oh, yeah, we can automate this, but then it’s just the message is simple. It doesn’t hit the person, you know, in their soul.
Ilana Shabtay 15:51
Being away that touch of, you know, the dealership that everyone’s known for 50 years.
Colby Joyner 15:56
Yeah. So if you can, if you can automate, specific, right, if you can target specific with automation, and make that whole process and workflow easier to where it relieves the dealership, from some tasks, and work and, and other items. And it allows them to be more proficient and efficient and effective and profitable on their side, so that they can focus on the things that matter. I said it in a, in a conversation I had, I only know, a couple weeks ago, but you know, processes can be automated, but people can’t, like I can’t automate Jarrod, I can’t say, Hey, Jarrod, here’s your automation, I’m gonna plug it in, here’s your code. And there you go. And you’re gonna run that way. So, you know, the more that we can automate a process that makes sense. And it’s specific to the customer. And there’s a inherent like feeling behind the process, but it’s automated, and leave the emotion and the relationship building and the manatee, to the dealers and to the salespeople, and kind of had that separated, and so that the process is automated, but the the retail people are able to functionally build the relationships and have the communication and, and talk to them, it allows the dealerships to get better in that relationship style, selling, and also at the same time get better, because a lot of their processes are automated. So they’re not missing stages, they’re not missing things in in time, in terms of trying to blend it both where it’s like you as a salesperson have to be automated, because I need these phone calls, done these emails done all these tests done all these tests done all this, you know, you got to do a lot walk, you got to do all this other stuff. But at the same time, you have to be very personable. And you have to be able to build relationships, you know, better than most. So we just focus on the relationships in terms of people and then use automation to to functionally make the process more simple, and date where that where the dealers are getting the proper information, more information on each customer. So they know how to, you know, engage with that customer. I think that’s where we’re hopefully headed in automotive is allowing that.
Jarrod Kilway 18:00
I think you nailed it, Colby. I gotta jump in on this one, because they’ll vacation on this one. I think that really comes down to where the fear is, on the dealer side is the unknown there, what is this going to do? What’s the disruption, this is going to cause for my customers, and more importantly, my people, my step that you’ve talked about, no, can’t replace people with automation. However, people are afraid inside the dealer world that any automation is going into purely expose the lack of productivity from individuals inside a store. It’s easier for a dealer to try and hold a person accountable to action than it is tech that is already doing the action. So I think the big companies component what it all is put together, they’re afraid of what is going to be exposed when we do this, because managers and GSM GMs be like we’ve added an automation. And now look at our growth and success. And wow, like we could have done this the whole time. If we would have had process procedures internally to execute the same way. I didn’t lead my team the right way. So now I’m gonna be exposed. So I don’t want automation. I’m just gonna keep doing what I’ve always done.
Colby Joyner 19:29
Yeah, I think they need to change. I think having the mindset of once you start building the automation, you start you have to change the benchmarks of what the dealer sees is a successful rep. Right? That’s successful rep doesn’t mean that you make 25 phone calls a day you turn 25 emails and you send 25 videos and you’ve sent 25 text messages and you know, you’ve done your your to OEM tests. That doesn’t mean that you’re successful. Right? But there’s, there’s so much of a mentality in a store that says, you have to accomplish all these metrics and all these At a point, you got to accomplish these tasks. And that’s what makes you successful. I think, as soon as a dealer is able to adjust their mindset and say, Yes, that’s important for them to do their follow up and make sure that they’re engaging with the customers at the dealership brought in. But what successful, a successful salesperson or BDC rep is the ability to build the strong relationships with the customer and the community, you know, somebody that has a good social presence and is able to have, you know, videos of their customers, and they can put that publicity out there. That’s what would make a good rep. And so adjusting the standards of what you what a dealer sees as a successful rep, will help help automation be able to get inserted into the dealership and be successful inside the dealership.
Ilana Shabtay 20:45
Right. And I think it’s a, like you both are saying it’s a mentality switch, you have automation to help with scaling a certain process so that you can take the person out of that manual. Monotonous here, you have to pick dial 25 times and actually build the relationships, which is going to be a really important thing when it fell into, you know, Gen Z and Gen X, what are we out? We’re at Gen, or Gen Z, Gen Z. Selling to millennials, we don’t have to talk about millennials and Gen Z, because I think that’s what you know, obviously, that they were born into, and that’s what they’re looking for. So the adoption is there, I think the mentality to really understand the impact, there’s still like a little bit more work to be done on the dealer side, to adopt that.
Colby Joyner 21:33
I think it’s so and I’m sorry, I’m not trying to hog anything, but I think it’s so
Ilana Shabtay 21:37
I think it’s so we want to know, we want to hear your expertise.
Colby Joyner 21:41
I think it’s so important. So like, if you look at Carvana, and I’m not attacking Carvana, per se, right. But you look at that was such a large overcorrection to where somebody saw that there was an issue, right. And so they thought, okay, in order to fix the issue, we got to overcorrect, we got to go so far over with technology and process and how you buy car, let’s change the way you buy a car. Most people have a general idea of how to buy a car. And I think that if you take baby steps, in terms of changing that, that technology in terms of changing a process or adjusting the process, if you take baby steps, and you get a far more increased level of adoption of that. And so I think in reality, as we go forward, we need to make these small baby steps instead of coming in there. You know that I think that was a problem with digital retail is obviously COVID hit and obviously we had an issue with dealerships wanted to stay open. So they needed to figure out how to sell a car. So that so they said, Okay, we need to do this digital retail thing that’s coming out. So we’re all gonna go in there? Well, there was no standardization of digital retail, every digital retail company had a different process, a different way of doing things, different API’s different connections and integrations. Right, but if we can, and it’s because everybody just went mass market boom, like there was so many companies that are coming out there saying, hey, well, we have a DR tool. But if we look at automation, and if we look at the way that processes should be kind of adjusted moving forward, if we kind of create a standard on it like, for us, we’re not sitting here for Konect. We’re not trying to take over the entire sales process, we’re not trying to take over the entire communication process, we’re taking over, and we’re helping out a specific portion. Right, because at some point, we need to hand it back to the store, because they’re the experts doing it. We’re not trying to sit here and say that we’re the experts, we’re not going to step on their toes, we’re not going to jump in and answer questions that we don’t have 100%, you know, confirmation that it’s correct. So it’s a baby step, moving forward with the way that the technology sits right now that we know that we can handle this portion. And we know that’s an easy way to have it get adopted. And before we move into other portions to help with automation, we have to make sure that we’re really strong in this one, prior to moving forward, instead of just saying, hey, now, now we’re this automation company, and we can take over your entire sales process, there’s going to be some dealers that would say, Yeah, I want that. But then it’ll be a constant failure, because there’s going to be frustrations, and people are gonna get confused on how this process works. So I think moving forward, like baby steps will allow us to start really moving it’s, it’s one of those things that you can’t take a train that stopped. And just all of a sudden get it going. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of energy to get that thing moving forward. And it creeps forward first before it starts rolling fast. But we have to slowly push it forward. Because eventually, it’s like that exponential growth in any like look at technology. You know, it doubles, the capability of technology doubles what like every two years, every five years or even more. So it’s the same thing with automation. And same thing with changing processes inside automotive. And the way to buy a car, you got to slowly move there because eventually it’s exponential growth. You’ll start making bigger and bigger and bigger changes as we move on as the adoption happens.
Ilana Shabtay 24:52
Yeah, and you you touched a bit on the challenges that that Kinect is trying to solve in the end St. Jarrod, you’ve been there for a month now, maybe a little bit more.
Jarrod Kilway 25:06
Just just a little bit under here.
Ilana Shabtay 25:10
Congrats on the new role. Do you, uh, you know, I’d love to hear from your point of view, what you are solving on, you know, for dealers, where you see in terms of like the strategy where you guys are going in the next, let’s say, six to 12 months. And, you know, I always like to talk about the different ways different technologies are solving for these big challenges that pulled me in, you brought up on this on this episode. So tell us a little bit about that. And what you’ve been seeing and why you’re so passionate about contributing to that mission?
Jarrod Kilway 25:44
Yeah, no, I’m extremely excited. We look at now anywhere you go. I’m not sure if it is where you are. I know here and you know, most of us know, employment right now and trying to find people to do a job is extremely difficult. Yeah, there will help wanted everywhere, Starbucks, they’re shutting down early, you know, they can’t find staff. So we talked about, you know, fix the hole in the roof, while the sun is shining mentality. I’m excited for the ability what Colby has talked about with Kinect to control first a portion of the conversation, to be able to fill the holes we have as an industry, when it comes down to finding staff, you looked at how hard it is to find a BDC rep right now or internet team or internet manager. I’m excited for Kinect to do that. Now that’s on the sales side. And I would say sales is five to 10 years ahead of service. And then trying to talk about service to serve sales to service process, probably another five years behind that from a process of text. And then if you really want to roll back to class to look at like 3040 years behind where we’re at on a sales side, go look at your HR and recruiting, go look at your HR recruiting at your normal dealership around town. How many applications even be engaged, you have applications sitting there, they’ve never been called, never been emailed, there’s been no correspondence from anybody at the store. So I think of this now of Konect is going to be able to help us solve for putting the customer in touch with somebody at the store at the right time with the right information. So that we can have that handoff as streamlined as possible. I look to digital retail is connecting the dots between online and in store I’m looking for to build with Konect to bridge the gap between customer just putting information in and actually engaging. I want to bridge that gap with Kinect to make it easier and simpler for the store to execute and take better care of the customers. So doing some studies, I look at KBB Ico as a as an example. avatrade sand pen, the average Ico storing it’s about 1000 leads a month, you look at that bandwidth that takes to continuously engage with that. That’s big headcount, that’s big overhead expense. But the quality of engagement is not as what most people would expect, multiple calls, emails, text messages to get them engage. Why not take the 300 to 400 people who actually respond and engage those in front of your team, because you know that they are lower funnel, let the other ones run through our AI make it our responsibility to try to get them to engage and pass those on to the dealers. So your team is working more, it’s your team, in essence is working smarter, rather than working harder. At the end of the day, we’re being more efficient.
Ilana Shabtay 28:47
And that goes back to what Colby was talking about, which is instead of having everyone one off answer every single thing this helps just scale prioritize, make your staff more efficient. And and I think when automation was first introduced to automotive dealers, or at least from from the I’ve been only on the vendor side, so I feel like there’s been a shift at first they were really scared about automation replacing jobs. Okay, now we understand that it makes staff more efficient. And now the skip now, you know, the fear is that it’s not going to be personalized. But we also hit on which you know, that the whole point of it is how can you personalize and hyper target at scale? So we’re trying to help
Jarrod Kilway 29:30
you so personalization, if you look at personalization of current communication from a dealer and go audit 1020 dealerships responses if I submitted a lead off their website, a lead off of autotrader by trade information off KBB. Ico that lead from cars. Guess what, the first response no matter where I come from, it’s all the same. Where the personalization really exists because it doesn’t right now. It’s a perception
Colby Joyner 29:58
Ilana Shabtay 30:00
My perception of personalization I love that that is that is on point. Yeah, well, I think automation and just in general technology can solve for both of those things, because it’s really not happening anyway, as
Colby Joyner 30:14
well. And one of the things with with, with automation or any, any, any change in technology, you know, if you look outside of automotive, there’s so much integration, like you can take different didn’t 10 Different software’s 10 Different companies that do different items. And really, you could have one hub, and just you log in to one hub, and you see everything. Automotive is like, No, you have to have 35 browser windows open. And four different software’s downloaded hard coded to your PC, to be able to functionally run, you have to have two screens now. Right, you can’t just have one, you have to have two. And so we’re like with us. And it’s in we do this primarily because we want to make the shift as IT industry, not because it’s an advantage for us in general. But there’s really no reason for a dealer to have to have a browser window open for us. Like we notify, and we push into a CRM, and we do all the stuff that is necessary for the dealer to understand what’s going on with the customer. But they don’t have to log into Konect portal, they don’t have to have a browser window open, they don’t have to go and inspect what we’re doing. We make it non disruptive. Right, continue doing your sales process the way that you want to do it in the way that you are going to do it because I’ve you know, obviously coming from retail, one of the frustrations that I always had was somebody on the outside of vendor, whether they had automotive or non automotive experience, trying to tell me that I needed to change the process inside of our store because they’re the expert. Now, they may be an expert. And that’s great. And I’ll take your advice. And I’m I’m always listening, I never discount anybody but it’s still our process, you’re not in our store, you’re not responsible for selling the cars. So we don’t want to be a disrupter. We don’t want to go in there and say, hey, you need to change your sales process to this, your team should be doing X y&z Like, all we’re saying is give us the opportunity to to help you be more effective with a couple of current customers that you have. So let us we’re going to hop in there in this specific spot, we’re going to create lift on the inbound to give your team more more customers to communicate with. But we’re not going to be impactful, like we’re not going to bother you, we’re not going to disrupt your processes, we’re not going to make your team confused, we’re not going to, you know, throw a wrench into the wheel, like we’re not doing that. And so that’s one of the baby steps of allowing dealers to understand that every time you add a software piece or some kind of process piece with new technology, it doesn’t mean that it has to be disruptive actually, as we move forward, it should be far less disruptive going forward.
Ilana Shabtay 32:46
Yeah. And I don’t know if you guys read any of the Digital Marketer articles out there, but I sit on the expert panel there and I just wrote literally just wrote a piece they’re doing now. disruption, technology, disruption in the industry, is there is there a theme, and I think I don’t remember exact title, but it was like “The Biggest Disruption of All: The Quiet”. And so I very much very much agree with that. It’s all about how the quietest dealerships are probably the ones that are being the most disruptive. So that wasn’t, that wasn’t a shameless plug here. I just want to say that I did totally on point. And I just wrote something about that. So I really do believe that and Jarrod here, if you want to end this off here, I know you’re itching to say something. So we’ll, we’ll hear you out here.
Jarrod Kilway 33:33
It’s great, though. And we were just talking about, you know, what Colby was talking about, you know, the Automation Components of really connecting the dots and live with what you guys are doing as well. And the alignment between us and Konect.ai and what you guys are doing to lead star it’s actually it’s crazy how much it aligns, because we’re trying to achieve the same goal of simplifying the process in making. We’re trying to make the dealerships team more effective, you’re trying to be more effective with their marketing dollars in their marketing spend, that our leads are through automation, and really being able to capitalize and grow their opportunity. Whereas a lot of times, you know, it’s just the money is the money is for marketing, and you guys are really taking it to a whole new level, removing the a lot of the overhead cost where it’s, you know, 510 20 people pulling data list and dropping codes here in an email. So it’s funny how this all came together today, kind of connected, per se. That’s another shameless plug there. We’re trying to really battle for that same goal of streamlining the process through tech, make it easier for our clients in a better overall experience for the consumers because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
Ilana Shabtay 34:54
Yeah. 1,000% And I think the technologies that are going to make it and the partner shirts that are going to work is when the technology has the dealer’s best interest, you know, at heart so we have that in common for sure. Thank you guys so much today for joining InsideAuto Podcast. You can find us on insiderpodcast.com. Of course you can find us on all mainstream outlets wherever you listen to your podcasts. We will be there to tune in like this episode. Thank you so much.
Colby Joyner 35:26
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