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Why AI Training Will Be Critical to Dealership Success in 2024 with Venus Toro

  • December 18, 2023
17 min read
Why AI Training Will Be Critical to Dealership Success in 2024 with Venus Toro

Ilana Shabtay
VP of Marketing, Fullpath

Venus Toro
CEO, WYN Solutions

Venus Toro is a former Salesforce consultant who transitioned into entrepreneurship to establish WYN Solutions, a dynamic company dedicated to fostering growth in the automotive market in the United States by providing OEM compliant marketing talent and execution.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How Venus transitioned into entrepreneurship and into the automotive industry
  • How being stationed in Columbia has helped propel the business forward
  • The different ways AI can be used in talent acquisition and training to streamline processes
  • Why conferences are a critical part of building relationships in automotive
  • Why implementing AI and creating a knowledge base is critical to improving productivity
  • Why AI is going to be a central focus for WYN Solutions in 2024 

In this episode…

AI is here to help your team become more effective. 

We have already seen the different ways AI can impact dealerships – from taking over repetitive tasks to providing deep customer and business insight. There is no doubt that AI is here to stay and that these technologies are helping to propel dealerships forward, so how can you ensure your team can successfully incorporate AI into their day-to-day activities? 

By offering your team opportunities to learn about AI and to train on specific systems, you can set them up for success. Continued training and education about AI will ultimately ensure seamless implementation within your team leading to improved operational efficiency.  

In the latest episode of InsideAuto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay speaks with Venus Toro, CEO of WYN Solutions about how AI has impacted the way her company sources talent for the automotive industry and the importance of providing employees with AI training in order to prepare them for the continued advancements we expect to see in AI technology in 2024. 

Resources Mentioned: 

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Fullpath (formerly AutoLeadStar).

 Fullpath is the automotive industry’s leading customer data and experience platform (CDXP).

Fullpath enables dealers to turn their first-party data into lifelong customers by unifying siloed data sources and leveraging that data to create exceptional, hyper-personalized customer experiences.

To learn more, visit www.fullpath.com

Episode Transcript:

Ilana Shabtay 

Ilana Shabtay here, host of Inside Auto podcast, where we interview top dealers, GMs, marketers, and entrepreneurs in and out of the automotive industry. Before we introduce today’s guests, this episode is sponsored by fullpath.com. Full Path is the automotive industry’s leading customer data and experience platform, CDXP. Full Path enables dealers to turn their first party data into lifelong customers by unifying siloed data sources and leveraging that data to create exceptional hyper-personalized customer experiences. To learn more, visit fullpath.com. Today we’re welcoming guest Venus Toro to the podcast. Hi, Venus.

Venus Toro 

Hi,  Ilana, it’s great to be here.

Ilana Shabtay

Yes, it’s great to have you and a huge thanks to Jen Sanford for introducing us. She’s been on the podcast. I’ve met her numerous times in person, so really happy about the introduction and looking forward to getting to know you. Venus is a former Salesforce consultant and transitioned into entrepreneurship to establish WYN Solutions, a dynamic company dedicated to fostering growth in the automotive market in the United States by providing OEM compliant marketing talent and execution. So we’ll learn all about that, all the things that you do in the market and how you’re really helping innovate in automotive, you know, in your everyday operations at WYN So thank you again for joining us.

Venus Toro

Thank you. It’s amazing to be here, to be able to share with your community a little bit more of what we do, how we work and how we’ve achieved the growth in the past couple of years.

Ilana Shabtay 

Yeah, so talk to us about how you ended up in automotive specifically. I’d love to know, I’d love to learn a little bit about the transition just into entrepreneurship in general because I’m sure that’s a huge transition and then how you stumbled into automotive.

Venus Toro

Thank you.

Oh yeah, definitely. It was a huge transition, but I’m, you know, I’m really excited of being able to, you know, to be part kind of the entrepreneur community and of the automotive industry, because it’s definitely, even though it’s kind of a niche and everybody always says about how small the industry is, but in reality, it feels so big and it’s expanding so much, especially.

Ilana Shabtay 

Yeah, just so much opportunity with an automotive.

Venus Toro 

So much opportunity to grow. Yes, definitely. So I started as a Salesforce consultant, and then I went very deep into that, but definitely realized that sometimes you need to go very, very technical in order to keep growing in Salesforce. And my passion was more with organizing processes, organizing operations. And I felt that my skills were. So much better into more of operational roles and kind of making sure that people and the business strategy is aligned. And then I started working with Flowfound, which is also a company that I believe maybe you’re familiar with. And then I met Nick Cybela yeah, so we, he actually also started operations in Colombia and that’s when I also helped grow the office in Medellín that there was definitely a huge opportunity in kind of connecting the Colombian talent, specifically the Medellín talent, to the automotive industry that during that time was having, you know, suffering so much from labor shortage. So it’s not that opportunity there, the opportunity to, you know, to make that kind of gap that the industry have into a business structure. So we started with one agency that hired a few of our video editors and graphic designers and now have expanded almost 400% percent restraints.

Ilana Shabtay 

Wow, that’s amazing. And are you actually located in Columbia? I forgot to ask you, where do you sit?

Venus Toro 

Yes, I am normally in Medellín in the office. We have an office there as the headquarters, but we also have an office in Atlanta. So this week I’m actually in the Atlanta office recording some content as well with the biographers team here.

Ilana Shabtay

Oh, nice. Okay, cool. I just have, I have such a special place in my heart for Columbia. My stepmother is from Columbia and she just, yeah, and she made our family so much better. So she’s from Pereira. I’m probably butchering that. Yeah, yeah, yes. You say it much nicer than I do. But my father has gone a bunch with her and, you know, she just, all her friends and her whole family from there, they’re so warm. So that’s really exciting that you actually are there.

Venus Toro 

Yes, Colombian talent definitely has kind of like that warmness and passion about the things executed. So that’s some of the things that we’ve been able to achieve and to have that cultural shift also. We have, yes, making sure that the people here can also offer things, but also we understanding the automotive industry and the American industry now to be able to make sure that is a very smooth transition.

Ilana Shabtay

Yeah, yeah, that’s wonderful that you’re doing that. So what are, I know we talked a little bit about this in some previous conversations, but what are some of the innovative, you know things that WYN specifically is doing with the talent management and acquisition, whether that’s leveraging AI in certain places within the company, what are you guys doing that’s different than the average or the Joe Schmo talent acquisition company, obviously besides for bridging the gap between the two different cultures.

Venus Toro 

Oh, that’s a really great question because I believe, you know, especially I would say in the past year where AI has become the, you know, it’s in everyone’s mind is then definitely everybody is kind of thinking how to inch, you know, put it inside the operations to make sure that we can all use it as the amazing tools that it brings. So I would say that we use it in two different, very specific stages. And the first one is when it comes to talent acquisition as well as talent training for interviews and for making sure that we’re betting candidates in the most efficient way as possible also understanding the client needs. So we use different tools for resume optimization, for finding the best candidates, to make sure that we’re asking the best questions and that are the questions that are updated with the industry trends and things like that. And that when we’re presenting our insights and when we’re presenting the candidates to our clients, that they are receiving all that information in a very well structured report, hard labor intensive if you had to like type it down how we you know we companies used to do it in the past now all of that is automated and in this and in the second part, what’s with the training that we have constantly with the team members that are already placed. So we are ensuring that we have training for each specific position. So for graphic designers, for video editors, for copywriters, for digital media, that we have specific trainings into how they can keep using AI to make sure that their job is being done in a more productive way so that we are clearly saving time to the client and not just being another team member but that we’re actually bringing more value and kind of like good practices as well.

Ilana Shabtay

Yeah, I think that just hits home exactly, I think the role that AI is playing in dealerships right now, specifically, or across the board really, but we generally talk about dealership operations here, but it’s really not about replacing your team members, it’s all about like, complementing, right, and making sure that they don’t have to do the monotonous work so that they can actually do more strategic influential work while AI can work in the background to just make the processes much more efficient. So I’m really happy to hear that Win is obviously adopting that practice and making sure that across the board, all your team members are also trained in that. I’d love to know any plans for 2024 on how that might change operations or how you see it, just making operations way more productive. I don’t know if you’re layering anything new in 2024 that you can reveal to us in terms of where you guys are going as a company,

Venus Toro 

Well, absolutely. I think it’s definitely an excitement, a very, very excited year next year. Because as you’ve seen, AI is really changing kind of almost in a daily basis. On a daily basis, you see new tools that you can use and, you know, new features of the tools that are already existing. And there’s this constant you know, interaction and there are this constant opportunity for us to use those tools and to keep implementing them. So definitely, if for 2024, one of our biggest kind of like innovative procedures is going to be to keep implementing AI and to making sure that everybody on our team has it, you know, has a knowledge base from day one. And what we’re building from inside of WYN is, let’s call it a prompt library so that we’re ensuring that basically everybody in every team can access this library and they can you know see how they can proactively keep using all these different prompts that we’re creating of course with help of different features and tools that we’re using and that you know from day one somebody doesn’t have to know about automotive doesn’t have to know specifically about the procedures in one of our current clients because all of so onboarding is going to be much faster, much easier, and everybody is going to be able to access the library for different uses.

Ilana Shabtay

That’s incredible and I think every single company should be doing that just to streamline and make sure that everyone has the same knowledge base, access to it and obviously that it’s most efficient way possible. So I’m happy that that’s something you guys are focusing on. And I know you mentioned that you’ll be attending NADA in 2024, what does that look like for when? Is it just you? Do you have some other people coming with you? Do you, how does that, how does that conference look, what does that conference look like for you?

Venus Toro

Yeah, so in that conference, I’m going to be there as well as I’m bringing somebody from my team, who is director of talent acquisition. So it’s kind of like the person that is coordinating with all the major accounts and with all the accounts to make sure that we’re able to, you know, to keep fulfilling the, we have a goal of two weeks, you know, two weeks since you started working with us till the moment you get your hire. It normally takes two weeks to find a person in the team.

So I think that that’s the main kind of introducing as well and putting more people in our team to start building also relationships and networking for us because definitely what we’ve seen is that, we’ve have really been able to grow a lot thanks to the relationships that we’re able to 

have with our clients and kind of establishing that long-term commitment because I believe when you have somebody entering your team, you’re definitely expecting them to stay with you for extended period of time. You’re not expecting to switch somebody every six months months to just adapt to the company processes.

Ilana Shabtay

Did you, do you find that there’s one specific role that you’re filling more than other roles just by chance, meaning are there any patterns like that? I’m just really interested in myself and even knowing what kind of roles are popular these days.

Venus Toro 

Yeah, yes. I would say there are three roles that have been very popular. So graphic designers for us has been, I would say is the role that we’re able to fulfill the quickest because of the amazing talent pool that we’ve had in Meningene. From the creative side, I would say that’s one. From digital media, there’s a huge need also in bilingual copywriters. So copywriters that are not only able to create copies and prompts and everything in English but as well in Spanish. And then I have a third one and I would say a bonus. A third one would be customer success especially. This is one of the roles that we’ve been so excited to fill and that I see is something that everybody is looking for right now. And then the bonus would be a CRM specialist, you know, since I’ve come from Salesforce. Exactly. So that’s something that I’ve always been wanting to kind of keep integrating into the operations of the company. We’ve actually placed already a few Salesforce specialists, but you know, kind of focusing that into specific automotive CRMs is what’s on our minds for 2024.

Ilana Shabtay

Yeah, and I think that really aligns with just in general, the idea of staying on top of your data and being able to really keep it clean and organized and integrated with all the other data sources. You really need someone who’s living that every single day. So I would love to see not just agencies, but dealerships really adopt CRM specialists, CDP specialists, like someone who just sits in that role and really makes sure that the customers are getting the most relevant messaging and the most updated messaging, you know, most recent behaviors. So I obviously am very aligned on that as well. And unfortunately, we don’t see much sales force within dealerships, but I’m sure a lot of the agencies are using it. So.

Venus Toro 

Yeah, exactly. Yes, I would say a lot of agencies are using it now because it’s, you know, agencies procedures tend to be very complex and then they require a more robust infrastructure sometimes. I see a couple, I know a few, one dealership that uses has been, you know, really, really great, but I would say, you know, focusing on the specific CRMs that we already have in automotive, it’s a great opportunity as well.

Ilana Shabtay

Yeah, and tell us a little bit about the Atlanta office right now. How big is it?

Venus Toro 

It’s a small office just for a few people, but we have our videographer here that’s also helping us create content and making sure that we are, especially for AI trainings and pre-recorded content that we need for the knowledge base we build.

Ilana Shabtay 

Okay, great. So you have, and how was, we didn’t really get to touch on this as much as I wanted to, but before we sign off, I want to hear a little bit about, I don’t know, you could pick one thing, the most rewarding thing about transitioning to entrepreneurship or the most challenging thing that you’ve faced and overcome. I just want to hear a little bit about that just because that’s really your identity. So if you could share that with us before we sign off, I think that’s a nice way to end the podcast episode.

Venus Toro

Well, I would say You know everything tends everything is kind of a challenge with your Yeah, but But I would say The biggest challenge that maybe we faced is being able to You know bring To two cultures together or creating that bridge has been a little bit challenging, but again, we’ve had such an amazing welcoming into the industry, which has been really, really good on our side.

Ilana Shabtay 

Great. Yeah, I mean, automotive is all about just like the grind. So if you have someone who’s motivated and who is contributing, they’re gonna be accepted in automotive. So I’m happy to see that that’s working out.

Wonderful. Well, I hope to meet you in person at NADA in February. And thank you so much for joining, telling us a little bit about WYN, your impact on automotive. I think it’s incredible what you’re doing. I’m all about bringing cultures together and figuring out how to bring different strengths to make the best product, which it seems like is going very well at WYN. So thank you again. And thanks to Jen for introducing us. And I look forward to meeting you.

Venus Toro

Yeah, thanks so much to Jen and thank you for having me. I really, really loved this space and being able to share a little bit more of what we do. I’m very excited to meet you in NADA.

Ilana Shabtay 

Yes, me as well. Thank you and for those listening, Inside Auto Podcast, you can tune in on all your favorite streaming channels, insideautopodcast.com. Thank you again.

Venus Tor

Thank you.

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