What 3rd party lead program do you use??

Matt Lero
I am a Mazda dealer and a lot of our manufaturer generated leads are filtered through AutoByTel, and I won't lump them into any categories such as credit challenged, but I can tell you the the overall responsiveness of that lead source is poor, and I get a lot of, "never intended to inquire". I have had a lot more luck with optimizing my own site to convert traffic by adding chat drop ins, and Black Book online scribbles. However, I also just tried out Edmunds.com recently, and so far so good!
Ron Henson
Hi Linda, Truth of the matter is that all of the items mentioned are simply excuses from your staff for poor process or conversion performance. Someone will sell those customers a vehicle. It will either be your dealership or your competitor. The trade or credit situation of those leads is a reflection of the same issues faced with people who walk in the front door, but it's easier to make excuses on Internet customers because most likely management isn't taking T.O.'s on Internet leads. My advice is to tighten up the process and analyze every lead and manage every lead through the sales funnel. I think you'll find that the 3rd party lead providers do work, as long as the dealership works them properly.
Matt Lero
While I agree with Ron about tightening up processes, I would never say that all 3rd party lead providers are created equal. There is a definate difference in closing percentage from one lead provider to the next. I run the same general process for all inbound 3rd pary leads, but the ROI report doesn't lie. I'll take 20 sales on 170 leads vs. 2 sales on 60 leads anyday, and those are the variations that I see between leads provdier performances at the dealer level sometimes. If you're confident in your processes then it's time to start testing the waters. Run two leads providers at the same time, similar to an A-B test for your website. After 60 days get rid of the company that just doesn't perform as well. By running them side by side you will be removing a lot of the variables that might cloud your judgement otherwise. Whether your process is "good" or "bad" at least you will be measuring the two companies with the same stick. Once you've declared a winner then move on to another company and run an A-B test there. Eventually you'll be left with the BEST for your dealership.
Ron Henson
I agree Matt. One thing that I would add is that once you identify the lower performing provider, don't just launch them. Use that data to negotiate a better deal or to demand that they perform better. Let the data make the decision rather than emotion. If they aren't interested, then it's time for the boot.
Shannon Hammons
Leads are only as good as the people and processes that are in place to handle the leads. Not all providers are equal, but you can find good and bad with any provider. Also, depending on your finance sources and how your store works, you need to decide if you want prime or sub-prime leads.
Ron Henson
Well said Shannon.

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