Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Phil DuPree

Phil DuPree President

Exclusive Blog Posts

2017 Presidents Club Insights - Patrick McMullen

2017 Presidents Club Insights - Patrick McMullen

Listen to what Patrick McMullen from MAXDigital has to say about the future of automotive, what dealers can do today to prepare, and how DrivingSales Presi…

Five Tips for Selling Used or Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

Five Tips for Selling Used or Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

Selling used or certified pre-owned vehicles can be daunting task. With prices, laws, and competition varying across the country selling a pre-owned car fo…

What Motivates Your Employees to Perform?

What Motivates Your Employees to Perform?

Sorting through resumes, you find applicants who show potential. There are some with experience to walk on the job and set your service department abla…

How to Recruit the Best Talent for Your Dealership

How to Recruit the Best Talent for Your Dealership

Employee turnover can cost a dealership approximately $400,000 per year through lost sales, service offerings, new hire search, and training expenses even …

2017 Presidents Club Insights - Mark Brown

2017 Presidents Club Insights - Mark Brown

Hear from Mark Brown, sales director at Grappone Auto, about what he thinks is coming for the auto industry, how dealers can prepare, and how the DrivingSa…

Prepare for Increased Internet Leads in 2012

 

Urban Science recently analyzed its lead management data and, according to these recent articles in the Sacramento Bee and by CBS Detroit, is offering several rosy projections for auto dealers in 2012:

 

  • A projected Seasonal Annual Adjusted Rate (SAAR) for vehicle sales of 13.95 million; and according to this report by Automotive News, J.D. Power & Associates estimates annual sales will surpass 14 million.
  • Internet lead volume will increase by as much as 10-20%, with the average dealer getting 85 leads per brand per month, up from 75 leads in 2011.
  • Much of that growth will come from third party web sites, like KBB.com, Cars.com, Edmunds.com and other sites
  • An estimated 30% of OEM retail sales originate from Internet leads.

That’s the good news, but here are the challenges involved:

 

  • More than 30% of customers submit a request to at least two dealers, increasing competition for dealers
  • 30% of dealers still don’t quote prices online to buyers, which could be costing them business

Increased competition means that dealers have to respond to leads not only quickly, but with a quality message. According to Urban Science's best practices for lead management, dealers should include the following critical elements in their online customer responses: responding quickly, quoting a price, providing alternative vehicles in a similar price range, confirming that the vehicle requested is available in a range of offerings and that the dealer offers the customer next steps – such as coming in for a test drive.

 

I would add these four best practices to that list:

1) Persistent follow up. Not everybody who submits leads buys within 30 days. Continue to follow up over at least 90 days and have a long-term follow-up plan in place. If your lead volume overwhelms your follow-up capacity, consider a technology solution that focuses on lead re-engagement.

2) Manage lead volume. No more than 80-100 leads per month for an experienced salesperson. If your current sales staff is overwhelmed, consider a technology such as an Automated Virtual Assistant that can engage with thousands of leads every month and has been proven to raise closing rates from the average 6-12% up to 28%.

3) Management involvement & accountability: The more the GM is involved in the process, the more successful it will be. Every week the GM should review the metrics with the Internet department. How many leads did we get? How many are open? How many calls have been made? How many appointments set? Accountability breeds responsibility.

4) Manager confirmed appointments. Customers feel special if they are contacted by the manager and offered a warm welcome, increasing their likelihood of showing.

 

How is your Internet department preparing for the increased lead volume? What best practices are you implementing to stay competitive?

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now