There are a lot of factors taken into consideration when initially signing up with a vendor. That is everything from multiple demos, monthly costs, CRM integration, you name it - its discussed. However, as soon as your dealer has signed up for the service, its as if you go dark. That is your working with the vendor to make sure you are getting your monies worth out of the lead source. And while it is equally the dealer's responsibility to ensure that the customers are followed up with - not all leads are created equally. For the purpose of this article, we will discuss the various factors that need to be considered when reviewing lead cost and vendor performance. Knowing that - in many cases - your dealer could potentially be saving thousands of dollars per month.
Vendor Accountability. What is the Responsibility of Your Vendor? It is a Two Way Street. The Dealer Has to Be Involved.
To make the most of your relationship with the vendor, there has to be communication. One of the most significant issues dealers face on the dealer level is the sheer fact that they do not often communicate their concerns or frustrations with the vendor. That is everything to their monthly sales performance to the quality of leads. And while it is expected for the vendor to be offering the dealer a top-notch product, the dealer still needs to be involved. Taking the time to ensure that your information is correctly entered on the third-party site. You would be surprised as to how many dealers have incorrect information on their various platforms. To avoid this, it is best practice to have one (or at the most two) key people that handle the vendor relationships. In doing so, you should be having a consistent dialogue. One that will enable you to better understand what opportunities there are or how to strategize.
Lead Management. How to Use Your CRM to Understand Your Dealers ROI. This is Imperative in Understanding What Your Dealers ROI.
It is no secret that reporting is only as good as the data that was entered. Another one of the biggest frustrations a dealer faces is not having accurate reporting. And without accurate reporting, it becomes that much more challenging to know what your ROI is regarding the specific vendor. That said, while your vendor reporting should be accurate - you still might want to take a moment and review the CRM to verify sales. In some cases, the customer that inquired on the vehicle - on the original lead - is not the lead the customer purchased under. This can create confusion - or, in some cases, the dealer might think your BDC Manager is hiding or deleting leads. Either way, you should keep track of the results in the CRM. Allowing you to compare numbers. And if the reporting is off, you need to set up a call with the vendor.
How to Cut Ties With Your Vendor. Do Not Back Down. Results are Results. The Numbers Do Not Lie.
Not all lead sources are great. And hanging onto a bad lead source for the sake of it does not make sense. Nor is it adding to your dealer's bottom Line. But before you just cut ties with the vendor make sure you have looked at a six-month trend report. Looking at the following trends: cost of inventory, VDP views, and total leads. In looking at the cost of inventory, if it is priced incorrectly that alone will have a negative impact which has nothing to do with the vendor. As for the VDP views, if your inventory (as mentioned above) is not priced correctly, then it should not be a surprise that you are not receiving any VDP's. Lastly, if you are not getting leads that have to do with both the cost of the vehicle and VDP's. Wherein, you might be finding that you are not getting as many dealer website leads, either. And for those reasons, it does not make sense to cut ties with the vendor. Instead, it would help if you worked with them in understanding what the pricing trends are -
Bottom Line: every dollar that is spent on the dealer level counts! And why continue to spend money with a vendor that does not provide quality leads? Spending that money with another vendor or even increasing your total Ad Word spend can increase your sales! So instead of starting the new year off with the same old vendors and lead quality issues, take the time to review all of your year-end stats! That is including a year over year trend report if you have been with the vendor long enough. In doing so, it can have a positive impact on not just your sales but your dealer's Bottom Line!
Do You Review Your Vendors Lead Stats as A Part of Your Year-End Review? If So Have You Made the Much Needed Moves to Increase Your Conversion?