Every month we get leads, lots of leads. But as you know, not all leads are of quality. Yet so many dealers waste precious time answering bad leads. For the sake of this article, a bad lead is one that does not have the following: valid contact information (phone/email), a coupon inquiry from a customer that has sold (yes, this happens), or are plain old spam. If your Sales Consultants or BDC Agents are spending time calling, emailing, or texting bad leads for the sake of completing their CRM work-flow, they are wasting a lot of valuable time. Time that could be better utilized calling leads with a higher probability of booking an appointment. And no, this is not about "cherry-picking" or only working with low-hanging fruit, either.
So what do you do with bad leads? How Do You Manage Bad Leads?
If there is no means of connecting with the customer, the lead needs to be marked "bad." However, there are multiple ways to go about marking the lead bad. One of the best ways to do this - depending on your CRM's capabilities - is to mark the "status" as "bad-lead." At which point, at the end of the month, you can easily report on how many leads were not able to be contacted. This does a few things for your dealership:
First: your BDC Agents or Sales Consultants are not wasting their time trying to contact a lead with invalid information. This also helps them stay on task with calling customers that have valid contact information. And while this - itself - seems trivial or not a big deal, it is a big deal. There could easily be 10-20% of bad leads monthly! That truly adds up after a month or so.
Second: The more you start to mark and report bad leads, you can start to look at the vendor who is supplying them. The idea is that while the vendor is saying you are getting a "tremendous" amount of leads, you can report back saying that out of the 125 leads, 35 were not able to be contacted and we only sold three. Those three sold units - after taking the cost of the provider out - did not have a strong ROI. More so, after two to three months of tracking this vendor's lead quality, it might mean that you ought to move those funds to a campaign that is pushing more traffic to your dealer's website with a stronger conversion rate.
Third: Morale is everything. If your sales managers are not taking out bad leads (again, this has to *CLEARLY* be outlined/defined as to what constitutes a bad lead), then it can - in many cases - become nearly impossible for your BDC Agents or Sales Consultants to hit their core objectives. That is hitting a specific set/show rate when the lead quality is not making that a remote possibility. Again, this is not about marking "leads" bad if the customer simply does not respond. That is a whole other discussion. Instead, this is about removing the "bad" leads that are not possible to communicate with.
Bottom Line: Marking leads bad - due to invalid contact information - is not about "skewing" the system to show better results. The purpose and point of marking leads bad due to invalid contact information is to help keep your team on task and make sure that you are holding your vendors accountable. And yes, it is no secret - that with any vendor - there will be leads that are bad. However, when the majority of the leads are invalid and or the set/show/sold rates are the lowest out of the mix, then you have the data on hand to make a well-informed business decision.
How do you handle bad leads? Do you actively manage this in your CRM?