Motorcycle Dealer Study
The Victory Motorcycle brand from Polaris Industries, Inc. ranked highest in the newly released 2010 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Study, finishing ahead of Ducati, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Triumph, Yamaha and MV Augusta, all of which scored above the industry average.
Now in its fourth year, the independent Pied Piper PSI study sent 2,014 hired anonymous "mystery shoppers" into motorcycle dealerships nationwide. The patent-pending PSI process accurately measures how effectively each brand’s dealerships help motorcycle shoppers become motorcycle buyers.
Overall industry performance improved across 84% of the individual sales process activities tracked by the study, which also generated higher overall PSI scores for eleven of the fourteen major motorcycle brands.
Victory dealerships achieved their first-place ranking by substantially improving numerous individual sales process activities, including asking for a prospect’s name, asking for the sale, and asking for a prospect’s contact information. Victory salespeople also led all other brands in areas such as asking follow-up questions, addressing features unique from the competition, and encouraging prospects to sit on a motorcycle.
The top-ranked PSI brands from 2008 and 2009, Harley-Davidson and Ducati, also led all brands in multiple sales process categories. For example, Harley-Davidson salespeople were the most likely to remain attentive and focused on a prospect and were most likely to address features and benefits specific to a prospect’s needs. Ducati salespeople were most likely to be able to answer all product questions and were most likely to ask how a vehicle would be used and by whom. The brands with the largest PSI score improvement from 2009 to 2010 were Triumph, Victory and Yamaha.
The past year was difficult for the U.S. motorcycle industry, with fewer shoppers visiting dealerships, and industry on-highway retail sales declining more than 40%. However, the PSI study results suggest that motorcycle dealership salespeople worked harder to help those sales prospects who did visit their dealership. For example, this year salespeople were on average 42% more likely to ask about a trade-in, 23% more likely to ask about factors preventing purchase, and 22% more likely to mention features unique from the competition.
"Sales process improvement leads to retail sales improvement," said Fran O’Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. "The most successful brands are the ones where prospects hopefully buy during their visit, but if not, they still leave as a fan of the brand and dealership."
Even with the widespread improvement in sales behaviors, there is still plenty of room for further improvement throughout the motorcycle industry. For example, motorcycle salespeople still ask for a prospect’s contact information only 48% of the time, give compelling reasons to buy from their dealership only 35% of the time, and mention the availability of different financing options only 52% of the time.
The 2010 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index U.S. Motorcycle Industry Study was conducted between July 2009 and April 2010 using 2,014 hired anonymous "mystery shoppers" at dealerships located throughout the U.S.
Examples of other recent Pied Piper PSI studies are the 2009 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Study, in which Mercedes-Benz was ranked first, and the 2008 Pied Piper PSI U.S. RV Industry Study (Class A), in which Winnebago’s Itasca brand was ranked first.
For more information about the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index and the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, go to www.piedpiperpsi.com.