I am sure most of us have heard the term Internet Sales Manager before, yet some people seem to be unclear on what the I.S.M. or Internet Sales Manager does. Well to put it in plain and easy to understand terms they Sell Cars. Yes, they sell cars just like the car salesman does (or is supposed to do) the big difference is that they do not take Fresh Ups like a salesman does. The car buying public calls them an Internet Car Salesman.

The Internet Sales Manager works with customers that come from the Internet by way of leads from their website, manufacturers website and/or third party lead providers (and sometimes from Phone Ups depending upon the dealership structure). The desired result remains the same, sell cars and make money. So you might say that the Internet Sales Manager job description is practically the same as a car salesman except that they work with customers that come through Internet sources rather than the lot or showroom and lets not forget there is usually a separate Internet Sales Manager Pay Plan that varies considerably between dealerships. After all we are selling cars because we want to make money.

The Role of the Internet Sales Manager

I have visited and talked to many car dealerships over the years and found that almost every one of them operates their Internet Sales Department a little differently than the next. Some have a dedicated department of Internet Sales Managers (Internet Car Salesmen) that only handle customers that come in to the dealerships via the Internet and some have a couple of car salesmen or saleswomen that take care of leads when they are not busy working the sales floor. Then other dealerships pass leads out to their sales people on the floor and have each one be responsible for the lead they receive. Yet another way that some dealers operate their Internet Sales Department is to have a team that takes all sales calls and Internet leads and sets appointments which are turned over to sales people when the appointment visits the dealership. This is usually called a BDC or Business Development Center.

As you can see each car dealership that has an Internet Sales Department operates things a little differently. The reason is usually based on several factors which include size of dealership, amount of incoming leads, lines carried, GM vision and whether or not the GM is stuck in the past or is embracing the future. We have seen how much the Internet has changed the way we sell cars in the last 5 to 10 years and I am sure there will be even greater impact in the future. I can only believe that the Internet Sales Manager or Internet Car Salesman will become more and more important to the success of a car dealership in the future.

The Question of Internet Sales Manager or Car Salesman

Lets get back to my original statement Internet Sales Manager or Car Salesman. In my opinion the Internet Sales Manager is a Car Salesman that sources their customer through different channels. The fact remains that the customer still needs to come to the dealership to buy the car and a weak car salesman does not become a strong salesman because their customers initially contact the dealership via the Internet. The same car salesman skills that are required for overcoming objections to sell cars on the sales floor are still required of the Internet Sales Manager or what the public calls an Internet Car Salesman.

Some GMs and sales managers thought it was a good idea to take the hard working and dedicated sales people from the floor that were not Top Car Salesmen and make them Internet Sales Managers. I am not sure why because a great car salesman can be a great Internet Sales Manager. A good car salesman learns to interact with people successfully and sell a car in person so they would know how to get customers in the door. Some dealerships are starting to realize that fact and are seeing their sales numbers sourced through the Internet climbing. Others need to open their eyes or get left in the dust.

Becoming a better car salesman is what puts more money in your pocket regardless of where you source your customers. Watch for more posts and car salesman tips that can help the Internet Sales Manager become a better internet car salesman and make more money.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot (or fresh lead)


Either Internet Car Salesman or Internet sales Manager you are there anyway, you might as well make more money…Click NOW! and Get the Book! – Unless you are selling cars for fun and the money doesn’t matter. Learn how to be a better salesperson no matter how you get your customers, READ the BOOK!

Agree or Disagree? Leave a comment!


KB · November 14 at 6:45 pm

Hi Joe,

It’s hard to come up with actual numbers without knowing many other factors, but you should be able to make what a floor salesman is making on the same experience.


joe · October 17 at 11:56 am

Hey all, I just became an ISM and really want some sort of guide and information on what average salary plus commissions range. I am currently earning a salary and a per car monthly sold bonus. Seems low to me but any help woudl be great.. thanks

KB · April 29 at 5:40 am

Hi Junior,

I just finished the book Prospecting, Referrals and Follow Up for the Car Sales Professional.

Junior · April 25 at 7:14 pm

Do you have any training on email followups?

KB · August 31 at 11:09 am

Good to hear from you Steve.

I am going to be doing some posts on being an Internet Sales Manager.

Stay in touch.

Steve · August 29 at 2:01 pm

I am an internet manager at Piercey Toyota, been in internet sales for the past year and half and loving it compare to sales floor, especially when I don’t have to fight my co-workers for ups. lol

KB · December 16 at 7:11 am

Welcome Richard,

The average close rate on Internet leads is between 10 and 14%.
Sounds like you are off to a good start.

Richard Barnard · December 13 at 1:12 pm

As a “Newbie” to the “Car Sales Profession, after over 40 years of military, civilian and government law enforcement security and I have been very lucky to have a GM that believes in properly training his personnel. Prior to finding some of your articles hidden in a drawer we had gone over many of the topics that you have written about, image, over coming objections, how to control and more importantly regain control the conversation, to name just a few. Now that I’m out of training, this last Saturday, and allowed to handle customers I have been handed most of the Internet leads, because the “veteran salesman” find that there’re a waste of their time. This is Monday and have answered 20 inquires have had 8 appointments but no sales as of yet. This does not discourage me but it has shown the “veterans” the value of the Internet.

Have a good day


Comments are closed.