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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Overcoming the current talent crises with the right technology

Date: Thursday 07 April 2022

Like many industries, the independent automotive aftermarket industry has faced a growing talent shortage that is compounding year-on-year, with an ageing workforce and tight supply of younger skilled workers. Not only is there a shortage in the sales talent pipeline, but a large portion of veteran sales talent is deciding now is a good time to retire.

The latest ONS Study indicates the movement of workers into redundancy, including voluntary redundancies and retirement nearly doubled for those aged 55 years and over, compared with the previous year.

Another factor is the low numbers of applications and lack of qualified or experienced applicants. Data from the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) indicates that over 50% of businesses are reporting a shortage of workers that said they were unable to meet demand.

The inaugural Talent Recharge highlighted that over 75% of 200 senior leaders from OEMs attending felt that recruitment had become even more difficult following the pandemic, and 45% admitted that the skills shortage had cost their business over £100k in the last 12 months!

With conditions such as these, it’s no wonder teams are wondering how to meet these changes and opportunities. Instead, they are now facing a talent crisis and therefore any potential growth opportunities could be missed.

Such a talent deficit doesn’t mean you should put a hold on growth. The right sales technology can improve efficiency, all without disrupting current productivity, but instead by enhancing it.

While you search for the next great team members, your existing salespeople can optimise their efforts, serving even more customers – better. That same technology will help you usher in new hires faster and more efficiently.

Power Up Your Existing Sales Team
In a labour shortage, it’s all about increasing productivity per person. Sales productivity isn’t a simple science – but it becomes even harder if you’re doing all the work by hand.

Nothing is more counterproductive than manual, redundant processes that can be automated. Salespeople tediously sort through data to find anything valuable to target the right customers with the right talking points and products. This is inefficient and wastes time – a precious commodity in a labour shortage.

Then, by the time salespeople identify opportunities and risks, the data has changed and may be irrelevant. For instance, a customer at risk of churn may have moved on to a new supplier before the salesperson even identified the red flag.

As labour shortages endure, your staff will be forced to choose between spending time on administrative tasks or helping customers.

Each salesperson gets a substantial power up when you introduce better sales technology into the equation.

"It’s definitely one of, if not the best, IT purchases we’ve made of the last couple of years, I love it to bits!" Charlie Rawson, E-Commerce Administrator, Maxxis/Bickers.

The Power of Time: The time savings from using sales technology and automation are remarkable. How much time does your team spend on administrative tasks, such as data collection and preparation, reporting and communication, at your organisation? Consider the potential if your finance and sales teams got that time back to dedicate to revenue-building activities, customer relationship building and sales, even without taking on more hires.

The Power of Insight: The right technology can identify the most promising prospects from the data, identifying who a salesperson should call next and what to sell them based on behaviour, segment and other factors. Such priority-based selling means salespeople will spend less time on low-quality leads and each call will be more meaningful – and successful.

The Power of Oversight: Technology can also help short-staffed teams keep a pulse on the entire customer base. Salespeople can only nurture customer relationships one at a time. Technology can catch and flag key indicators of risk and opportunity in the customer data, alerting your team as needed. Sales teams save time on analysing the data and they are alerted in time to be proactive and prevent losses.

Give New Hires a Fast Pass to Productivity
In this market, sales leaders are thinking outside of the box for recruitment. They’re hiring more entry-level salespeople, as well as experienced individuals from other unrelated markets and verticals. You can also reduce onboarding time from up to a year, to a matter of months, or even weeks with the right technology in hand, sales reps can offer relevant products and services while familiarising themselves with your business.

By increasing the speed of onboarding and making more effective salespeople right away. Automation will help them be more productive with their time, eliminating redundant administrative tasks.

Labour Challenges Don’t Have to Stop the Clock
Technology offers the independent automotive after parts industry with the ability to drive sales productivity like never before – and overcome headwinds such as the loss of knowledge that comes with retiring pros, the steep learning curves of entry-level hires and high customer expectations.

Insights provided by sales-i, trusted by over 10,000 users in leading wholesale, manufacturing, and distribution businesses. Book a free demo today at