CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
The year 2012 was a favorable year for vehicle sales. We know trending tells us that a greater percentage of sales can be attributed to leads that were acquired from the internet. This is great news for car dealers because it also means they experienced an increased volume of quality internet leads. Hopefully this trend continues throughout 2013; however, it is important that these leads do not fall through the cracks.
Many dealerships already complain of insufficient number of sales staff to follow-up on their leads. And they're also competing for these leads with multiple dealerships because approximately one-third of customers submit leads to multiple dealerships. Josh Vajda of AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions suggests 3 best practices for high internet lead volume:
1. Make sure your dealership is appropriately staffed and responds to leads as quickly as possible. Salespeople cannot wait an hour to respond to leads, response must be right away. Studies have shown the quicker a lead is responded to, the more likely they'll become a sale.
2. Since multiple businesses are competing for your leads, it is important to meet the customer's needs as early as you can. Ask questions, maybe put out an offer, but make sure your customer is accommodated as best as possible.
3. Especially if it is difficult for your dealership to manage leads, technology is needed to supplement the efforts of the internet staff. Such as AVA (Automated Virtual Assistance), an artificial intelligence that engages the customer and carries on a two-way conversation with them over email, sending messages, receiving responses, interpreting the responses, then taking some action based on the customer's reply. This is a great way to manage leads in volume.
There is also something to say about leads that come through the dealership website. These are some of your most serious customers because they specifically searched for your website and were converted. These are in the market consumers, ready to buy now and coming to you to make that possible. Capturing these consumers is imperative and makes the use of many conversion tools worth while. However, too many dead end leads (tire kickers) do nothing but add busy work to the desks of your team.
So what does this all mean? It seems to mean that a focus on quality is far more important than a focus on quantity. It's easy to get sucked into a deal with a company that claims to provide you with many, many leads. The question to ask yourself is how much busy-work is justified? Followup on all leads is important; however, the best approach seems to be implementing the 3 best practices coupled with a concentration on first party leads.
We are one source for first party leads. www.leadcrafters.com