Dealer Sales DNA

Driving auto dealer profitability through talent excellence

Successful car dealerships and manufacturers achieve sustainable growth through strong sales performance. However, the industry faces annual staff-turnover rates of up to 67%. Without a clear hiring and training strategy, it’s difficult to build and retain a high-performing sales force.

Dealer Sales DNA solves this problem. Our diagnostic survey assesses a salesperson’s personality traits, skills, mind-sets, and motivations and compares that data to individual sales performance. By identifying which characteristics correlate to sales success, Dealer Sales DNA helps tackle skills gaps, fine-tune coaching strategies, and replicate the drivers of performance so that dealerships and manufacturers can achieve growth through strong sales performance.


Create a profile of your ideal car salesperson—based on automotive and cross-industry benchmarks, as well as performance drivers unique to your dealership—to ensure you’re making the right hiring decisions.

Capability building

Use performance data to create a tailored onboarding and training plan, identify the talent management program, and revamp sales-manager coaching methods based on which strategies work for your sales force.


Design effective incentive plans based on staff-satisfaction insights and data about what motivates your sales force.

Want to learn more about how Dealer Sales DNA can help your organization improve its financial performance?

Our impact

In exchange for just over half an hour’s time from each sales rep, companies have developed successful talent strategies that have led to a sustainable 3–5% increase in revenue—and reduced recruiting and training costs.

5% quarter-on-quarter sales increase and 15% pipeline increase

A distribution company designed a comprehensive field-and-forum training program around the priority areas identified by Dealer Sales DNA. In the months following the launch of this training program, 300 account managers and 50 frontline managers were trained. Among account managers with demonstrated skill increases, the pipeline grew 15% and sales grew 5% quarter-on-quarter.

15–25% increase in selling time

Analyzing the ideal sales-rep profile at a European cargo solutions provider revealed the causes of low sales productivity and growth: low hunting ambition and skills gaps in account planning, product knowledge, and understanding customer needs. These gaps were addressed with a targeted capability-building and sales-management-hiring plan.

Our approach

A comprehensive report

Our reports contain in-depth insights and analyses into the profile of your top car salespeople, benchmarking the data internally and against peers.

Follow-up discussions

We conduct follow-ups to review results, prioritize opportunities, and set a frontline improvement plan.

On-site workshop support

McKinsey experts provide on-site support to thoroughly review insights and prioritize key initiatives.

Why Dealer Sales DNA?

Unique correlation

Individuals’ personalities, capabilities, and performance are uniquely correlated to reveal the intrinsic differences between average and high-performing car salespeople.

Academic credibility

Dealer Sales DNA was built in partnership with the leading figure in industrial psychology, Professor Timothy Judge of Notre Dame University, and uses the accredited five-factor personality model to ensure our methodology follows the most up-to-date thinking in the field.

Unparalleled benchmarking capabilities

Our proprietary, cross-industry benchmark database allows dealers to compare their assessment results with data from more than 100 clients and 25,000 salespeople.

Data security

Your assessment results are confidentially aggregated and securely hosted by McKinsey—an unbiased, independent third party.

These qualitative and quantitative insights were an immensely useful and insightful presentation into our own organization and sales force.

Client CEO after debrief workshop

Want to learn more about how Dealer Sales DNA can help your organization improve its financial performance?

Meet our people

Senior Partner, Munich

Michael Viertler

Helps clients achieve above-market growth by managing sales and developing go-to-market strategies
Partner, Stamford

Ben Ellencweig

Advises clients on strategy and growth topics, with a focus on sales and channel excellence, digital, and go-to-market strategies

About us

Dealer Sales DNA is part of Periscope, a solution within McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales Practice. We help organizations across all aspects of marketing and sales, from product and price management to communications and sales and channel management. Our experts collaborate with leading universities and best-in-class marketing associations.

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