How Automation & Incentive Management Drove Dealer Results

One global auto brand increased unit sales and dealer staff retention through professionally managed incentives. The result? Above-industry-average employee retention and a 21% increase in year-over-year unit sales.

2,500 dealers. 40,000 sales team members. Hundreds of potential incentive opportunities. Executing efficient, accurate and ever-changing dealership employee incentives weighed heavily on the automotive brand. Lack of time and resources created obstacles. The brand engaged ITA Group to help impact dealer employee engagement and retention.

The Solution Came to Life Through Two Key Segments

  1. Audiences & Strategy
  2. Platform & Administration



1. Audiences & Strategy

Business Objectives Guided Program Design

In addition to enterprise business objectives, custom dealership personnel experiences (curated by role) drive program design and ensure a relevant user experience. Communications, earning structures and award experiences fuel necessary engagement among the full earning audience. All components are supported by a custom program platform hosting multiple role types (e.g., sales managers/sales consultants/F&I managers/service and parts team members, including technicians).

diagram of business objective and channel incentive program design

Broadening the Effort

ITA Group has partnered with the auto brand since 2008, helping them navigate a staggering market recession, stagnant sales and below-industry average customer satisfaction. And while our current partnership helps navigate economic expansion challenges (e.g., constantly changing incentives and retention issues), it also includes initiatives beyond incentive and engagement efforts.

diagram of four types of initiatives

I have been using the program since it began. I am very happy with the way it has evolved over the years!

Dealership Sales Professional


2. Platform & Administration

An Easy & Intuitive User Experience

A consolidated platform prioritizes efficiencies of scale while providing a personalized portal experience for each role type and individual. Relevant metrics, progress-to-goal, leaderboards, incentives and training courses are informed by UX assessment, and continuous optimization has users coming back for more (to the tune of 3.2M portal visits in 2021 alone, an average of 266K/month).

Dashboard-Style Landing Page
Dealership personnel get at-a-glance visibility into training completion, dealership eligibility (including both cash and point balances), message center content, next best steps and more.
A Gamified Experience
Badging, gameplays and leaderboards spur competition and create additional earning potential.

A Flexible Administrator Experience

Dealership personnel aren’t the only users that benefit from intentional experience design. 

channel incentive message center on laptopThe ability to communicate quick, time-sensitive incentives is at administrators’ fingertips. Paired with the option to upload points for ad hoc SPIFs like a weekend sell-a-thon, administrators get flexibility for planned and unplanned self-service touchpoints and incentives.

Automation & Integration 

Automating 20+ previously manual processes was just the beginning. In addition to developing a custom rules engine to administer and automate incentive programs within hours, the team also manages a platform that consolidates data from across the organization and other third parties, breaking down silos and offering a unified view through a single dashboard view. 

Integrating With Enterprise Systems & Data Sources

  • Dealer management systems
  • Sales files (ERP)
  • External validation data sources
  • Internal systems
  • Satisfaction scores
  • Training (LMS)

On-Demand Reporting & Data Analysis  

Custom dashboards help dealer owners and program administrators visualize progress toward goals and earning status while pinpointing areas of improvement. Custom dashboards also help sales rep participants track customer experience KPIs (e.g., send appropriate sale follow-up communications, use multiple methods of customer interaction (text message/email) and reach out in a timely manner, helping transform historically flat KPI performance). On-demand reporting and exports support filtering the data to view through a variety of lenses and from various perspectives to give users access to pull relevant insights. And expert analysts regularly provide insights and program optimization recommendations back to program owners. 

Custom tracking options on channel incentive platformAdministrators have the ability to track performance to multiple budget centers, and segment the data (e.g., by region, dealership, participant and time period, to name just a few).

Real-Time Incentive Creation 

Incentive administrators respond to market shifts on a regional level, building and deploying custom Incentive independently of or in tandem with ITA Group support. 

Ongoing Support   

The dedicated ITA Group team manages overall operations to ensure all program elements run smoothly.

  • New incentive
  • SPIFs
  • Platform content
  • Earning auditing
  • Communications
  • Customer support inquiries 

The support frees up the brand’s program administrators to focus on market strategy and steering the business.


Program Results

Program Metrics

  • Platform Logins: 250–300K/month (258% increase over 5 years)
  • Incentives: 184 incentives launched within 12-month period (average 40/month)
  • Participant Inquiries
    • 707 average calls/week
    • 96% answered within 32 seconds
  • Process Enhancements: Automation of 20+ manual processes and reduction of hundreds of software coding hours annually

Brand Success

  • Employee Retention
    • Top Performers*: 85%
    • Overall Retention: 44% (11% higher than 2021 industry average)
  • YOY Sales Increase
    • Top Performers*: 30%
    • Total YOY Unit Sales: +21% 

*Top-performing 20% of audience.


98% client satisfaction

In addition to measurable enterprise-level improvements, program owners report overwhelming satisfaction with ITA Group partnership.