Auto Dealerships: Up System or Open Floor?
Which is best?

Timm Cuzzo
January 4, 2024

An Up System makes running your showroom simple and in our opinion, the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

What determines the best sales process for your dealership ultimately depends on your unique needs, salespeople skill sets, and your dealership goals. Only you can decide if it’s the best sales process for your dealership. We want to assist in your decision-making, so we have outlined the advantages and drawbacks of an up system in this post.

Key Takeaways

  • What is the difference between an up system and an open floor?
  • What are the pros of both an up system and an open floor?
  • What are the cons of both an up system and an open floor?
  • Which is the better approach to a sales process?

Up System vs. Open Floor

First up is an up system, a system that creates an order on the sales floor in the dealership. Similar to waiting in line for your favorite ride on the Elementary school playground, the up system focuses on taking turns in dealerships. Contrarily, an open floor has no order and no turn-taking system amongst the sales team. This system operates without a predefined order, relying on a first-come, first-served type approach. If a salesperson is standing out front in the right place at the right time, and a customer arrives that customer becomes theirs regardless of any others, they may have even handled the last customer as well.

What are the Pros?

With an open sales floor, salespeople have to be hungry to be able to prosper, so you will always have a group of hungry salespeople standing out front. Those who actively engage with customers, displaying enthusiasm and intensity, are more likely to thrive. It’s a dynamic that rewards the eager and penalizes the passive, creating an environment of “survival of the fittest.” Conversely, a dealership using an up system creates a queue or order to know the next customer goes to the next salesperson in the line. While it doesn’t lend to the same environment it does foster better time management allowing for more following up on leads or contacting undecided customers, the up system seems to be the obvious choice. Open floors can effectively sift out salespeople who excel at making deals in the dealership. The strong will likely work quickly through customers to meet their goal or monthly quota, whereas the weak salespeople will struggle to put together a deal or two each month. As a sales manager a group of focused and determined salespeople would be an advantage, more sales equals more money. With an up system, there is a big potential for finding more than a couple of stars. When Fred and Sally now talk to the same number of ups in a day, the results may show that Sally is more motivated and outsells Fred. It may also show that the once ‘top dog’ Bob is only mediocre now that he is talking to the same amount of customers the others are. With an up system, every customer is accounted for.

What are the Cons?

The most unfortunate con of an open floor system is the risk of salespeople wasting their entire day away. When times are slow they will either waste it waiting out front or all be somewhere else doing something, resulting in no one up front to greet the customer. Could their time be better spent? The other con of an open floor, managers need to be concerned with is salespeople quickly sending away a customer when they decide it is not a deal. Do you think that the customer was logged in to CRM? In an up system, concerns may arise about fairness when a consistently struggling salesperson receives the same number of turns as their more successful counterparts. One salesperson doing the expected follow-up and makes calls while another just goofs around but both end up getting the same amount of turns. This may seem like an up system is not fair.

Which is the Better Approach? Well, that definitely depends.

Ultimately, determining the best approach depends on various factors and certainly is not just black and white. Gray exists and that means not all processes are going to always be successful. The chosen system must account for the balance between ambitious sales goals and attentive customer service. An up system might result in less for some of your staff, while an open floor may only showcase the abilities of a single salesperson. Choosing the right system for your dealership involves careful consideration of the team’s composition and dealership goals. We would suggest using an up system for a straightforward efficient manageable sales process. Which will be best for YOUR showroom?


Further Reading:
See – Why every dealership should use an Up System
See – Why your open floor isn’t working

Timm Cuzzo

Timm is COO of Nextup, leads the Product Team, and is passionate about marketing.

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