AutoTrader

  www.autotrader.com
  www.autotrader.com
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5 people found this helpful  

Good job to have for a couple years max- You will tap out or you will burn out

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Advertising Consultant
Former Employee - Advertising Consultant

I worked at AutoTrader full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

Opportunities to travel/dine in different cities, 401K, Brand Recognition, home-office

Cons

Lack of Professional Development availability; Ever-changing compensation plan; poor & unprofessional middle-management; cronyism; over-priced products and strong competition...

ATC used to be a great company to work for. The culture was one of appreciating employees' efforts and contributions as the basis, or at least a huge factor, in the success of the company. Compensation was great- you could earn good money; there were several fringe-benefits like employee events, contests with great prizes/money, expenses were approved for most items; nice overnight trips with dining, realistic revenue goals, etc. Overtime, however, - and especially after the acquisition of the other businesses - employees were not celebrated, expenses tightened up big time (I couldn't expense pens or highlighters or post-its, b/c they couldn't be exclusively used for ATC purposes!), goals increased significantly, pay plans changed for the worse (and continued to do so very regularly), career paths vanished, structured/professional management disappeared and was replaced with the people who got in at the right time and stayed friends with the right people and who managed by the seat of their pants (ironically there was way increased corporatism going on as well); prices for dealers increased, and so on!
Ultimately, with all of these changes, hard work became useless. The work load essentially doubled over the past couple years- really impacting work-life balance- and the pay decreased significantly, like 30-40%! The attitude of the company really changed towards reps. You could be retaining hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not in the Million range) and still creating additional revenue but if you didn't meet the increased goals every single time, you were done- bulls-eyed for getting canned. If you're in an area where's there's constant opportunity (new dealers, dealers you haven't maxed out yet...) this might not be a problem, but for a lot of areas, there are NO more new dealers and dealers are NOT willing to pay twice as much for a product they get from cars.com or other places with better results, and having a few different products (that are still pricey) that don't really deliver ROI isn't a help either and isn't fooling dealers. This is a huge area, ATC needs to stop the arrogance. It's not the only thing helping dealers sell cars- dealers know this, competitors know this, but ATC ignores it.?? This is not a great way to ensure long-term adoption and belief in the product.
In addition, if you aren't part of the "in" group or "favorites" you might as well pack your bags...you will be expedited out (especially in the above referenced situation, you'll have the odd's slowly stacked against you...decreased territory, re-alignment that leaves you with less than ideal accounts, singled out & micro-managed, left out of group meetings, scrutinized intensely...etc) and you will have zero career path- you will be overlooked and not even told about opportunities...these will promptly be bestowed on a person of a more favorable status before you even know they exist. Overall, there's a complete lack of structure in how to properly navigate in this company, no uniformity between regions/districts- at best it'll be like fumbling around in an unfamiliar dark room trying to find the light switch.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Take a genuine interest and concern for what's really happening in the field- how reps AND dealer-customers really feel...and make decisions in accordance with that, not despite of! Properly compensate your reps and morale and performance will probably benefit.

Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

205 Other Employee Reviews for AutoTrader (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    GGeaekdmskm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Individual Contributor in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Individual Contributor in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at AutoTrader full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, energetic people, lots of opportunity for growth, lots of opportunities to learn via internal training offered weekly at no costs. A lead from where you are type of environment where your input is always heard. Rapidly growing organization means plenty of room to grow current roles as well as find new roles. A company that people actually retire from without being terminated months before retirement! A great place to start and finish your professional career.

    Cons

    Although input is heard, decisions that have negative impacts are made daily by leadership who kind of figure it out as they go. Too many managers with no formal training in their areas who continue to figure it out as they go. The transparency boasted by the company has not proven to be true in all areas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your knowledge workers input and really "listen" to employees. Not taking action on employee suggestions is a positive sign that you dont really care about their input. Align your department with other ATG & ATC business units for better input and output across the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    National Sales Software Division

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales
    Former Employee - Sales

    I worked at AutoTrader full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, healthcare, 401k matching 6%

    Cons

    1. ATC bought all these software companies but do not have a knowledge base on how to run them. They basically purchased 4 companies who have overlapping products and by default they pit Homenet, Vin, Vauto and CDM all against each other and want all companies to leverage autotrader to get in with dealers.

    2. its not about whats remotely best for the dealer it's about what is financially best for ATC. Example: if a dealer can buy VIN's market-pricing tool for $300 or Vauto for $2000 then they want the VIN rep to back off. Which is fine if all companies are on board which they are not. VIN wants all of their products in stores including Inventory and Market Pricing and Autotrader does not. VIN is not on the same page as Autotrader.

    3. VIN pushes ERRONEOUS information to dealers on the capabilities of their CRM, Market Pricing tool, Desking and inventory and ESPECIALLY their Websites/SEO.

    4. Environment - While autotrader supposedly has a professional culture they allow VIN and Homenet to be run like unprofessionally and hostile. (in regards to how they treat their employees) Example - constantly swearing at the sales reps and not approving expense reports for their internal amusement which ties up the finances of the sales reps.

    5. The offer drastically different pricing to dealers based on the mood of the sales managers (more so VIN than anyone else)

    6. While the price of the products/solutions are extremely high compared to the competition, they have no problem A. staying in lavish hotel rooms up to $300 per night with out approval, B. throwing lavish parties with bands like kid rock and matchbox 20 and C. allowing dinners up to $85 per person when traveling and much higher if traveling with others. Who pays for all this??? The dealers for solutions that do not deliver the ROI it once did.

    7. Verbal discrimination which autotrader is aware of and consistently does nothing to stop it which adds to the uncomfortable work environment.

    8. These guys have obviously saturated the market, have layers of management and have run out of worthy products to sell.

    9. Success is not determined by ability, it's directed by who the managers like or are sleeping with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dissolve all employees who are part of the BLB's (you know who they are). In addition just do an overhaul of these guys that are heading up these different companies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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