Dealix recently announced their Precision Targeting product, allowing dealers to customize what zip codes they receive leads from for each model. This kind of flexibility is not something most lead providers have advertised, but is something they are capable of doing, and it's vital that dealers understand how to capitalize on it. What follows applies to all non-finance, new-car leads.
Start by understanding what a lead is worth to you at the model level. Some of your new models are selling like hotcakes, and you can't get as many of them as you would like to. These are going to sell fast whether you have leads for them or not, so don't spend the money. This may frustrate the companies charging you on a cost-per-lead or cost-per-sale basis, because these are the vehicles it is easiest to produce leads for. Nonetheless, if you don't need them don't buy them. Here is the exception, you may want to still buy leads in the zip codes closest to you. If you lose these customers to a competitor buying leads in your backyard, you might lose the service business as well. Think about the competitiveness of service when deciding on your lead procurement strategy. This is why the GM, not the GSM, should have the final say on leads procurement.
You probably have some models in your new inventory you wish you didn't have so many of. Chances are, these are the same models the factory is cramming down your throat. This is where you need leads. In fact, you probably need leads from a wide radius. Whether you have any chance of getting the subsequent service business, you need to get rid of those units. We don't always think about the value of new-vehicle inventory declining over time the way used-vehicle inventory does, but that is the reality. These vehicles are not going to get any more valuable as the next model year approaches. Let some lucky customer own them for awhile.
Even with an expanded level of flexibility, there are some challenges. If all you have are the trim package with cloth interior, and all anyone sends leads on is for leather interior, just drilling down to the model level is not going to be enough. This is a challenge I expect leads providers to step up to going forward.
To make sure there is no confusion, subscription listings (AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, etc.) do not fall into the same category. You pay one price for the service, so don't hold any of your inventory back. Treat these sites as you would your own site. In both cases, your marginal cost for including the hot-selling, low-supply vehicles is zero. Your decisions for subscription services are whether to use the service or not, and at what level.