ProMax COO Shane Born has spent his entire career in automotive, and a good chunk of it at ProMax. He began his journey with seven years in retail automotive sales before coming over to ProMax in 2003. After several award-winning years of online software sales, he was promoted to Director of Training, and then to Chief Operating Officer, a post he has held since 2011.
Shane, thanks for sitting down with us today.
Thank you, glad to do it.
You’ve been in automotive for several decades now- how is CRM different now than it was 10 years ago, and where do you see it going in the next 10 years?
Almost everything about it is different. Even the acronym isn’t accurate anymore. Customer Relationship Management is only a small portion of what SaaS and DaaS platforms offer. Over the next 10 years you’ll see a continued improvement on personalization with communications, and a more frictionless, transparent purchasing process.
Was this the impetus of the new Stack platform? And how does it tie in to #FutureProofingAutomotive?
Futureproofing Automotive is a commitment to our partners that we will continually innovate solutions to provide a better experience for their customers. Designing and launching Stack was a monumental effort that was a long time coming, but the general idea was to modernize and futureproof our already powerful platform.
Describe what you do at ProMax and how it impacts our clients.
I’m COO in the ‘wherever I’m needed’ department. I’ve held positions in pretty much all areas of the company, nowadays I primarily focus on the team that takes care of our customers and our vendor relationships.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities to have a positive impact in the lives of our ProMax family.
What do you see as the big risks and opportunities in retail automotive right now?
I believe the biggest risk in retail is the impact of affordability on average trade cycles. In Q3 we saw ~70% of financed vehicles over 5 years long. Almost a third over 6 years. Combined with the increases in vehicle cost and interest rates there could be fewer people in market a couple years from now. While the threat of disruption is always a risk, it hasn’t had the predicted impact on the average dealer. Tesla has been around for 15 years and Carvana may or may not make it a decade. The biggest opportunity for dealers is leveraging their strengths, like being involved in their communities, to deliver first rate sales and service experiences for their customer base.
What 3 traits define you?
I have a hard time answering that question. For Boss’s Day the team got me a sign displaying their ‘one word to describe me’. There were 72 different words. I have the list taped behind my monitor and whenever I feel overwhelmed or frustrated, I read it and remind myself what I’m trying to live up to.
What does true leadership mean to you?
Humility, service, and a vision of hope.
What advice would you give your younger self if you could?
Earn so you can be generous, not so you can buy more stuff, and remember that winning (in relationships) is when the people who know you the best respect you the most. Other opinions are irrelevant.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I was homeschooled for a while, and I didn’t go to college because I believe that education is a discipline not an institution.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Anything involving our circle of friends, being outside, or competing. Preferably competing in something I’m good at. I enjoy reading, running, and the occasional game of Call of Duty.
What movies and TV shows do you like?
I’ll watch just about any movie if I’ve previously read the book; I also enjoy the Marvel movies, mysteries, and sports movies. As for TV, currently watching Yellowstone, recently enjoyed Rings Of Power, Peripheral, and Suits.
What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
Cheerios, they are unsinkable and you are what you eat. 😊
If you could learn to do anything new, what would it be?
Anything? Hmm I suppose if I could learn it Matrix-style (without the burden of the investment of time), I would say probably learn to play the piano.
What sports/teams do you follow?
The 49ers, dating back to the Joe Montana days; love how we are playing this year. I also follow the Los Angeles Angels and the Iowa Hawkeyes (only recently based on relentless peer pressure from my best friends).
Are you looking forward to NADAShow 2023?
Of course! It’s like the Super Bowl of the Auto Industry.
Thanks for your time, Shane. We will see you, and the newly rebuilt Stack, this month at NADA 2023!