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

Design: The Driving Factor Behind Showroom Sales

Design: The Driving Factor Behind Showroom Sales

Many factors go into creating a successful showroom. While often overlooked, design plays an essential role in the customer experience and overall success …

5 Reasons You Should Seek Out Consumer Generated Content

5 Reasons You Should Seek Out Consumer Generated Content

It may seem like a good idea to always be the one writing about your dealership, but in reality consumer-generated content is as important, if not more so,…

DealerRater Reviews now Available on Cars.com

DealerRater Reviews now Available on Cars.com

DealerRater pushed a press release today that they have pushed reviews to the Cars.com Platform. According to the press release, this is about three millio…

Why Should You Attend NADA 2017

Why Should You Attend NADA 2017

As you investigate the possibility of attending NADA in New Orleans this year, you might be questioning the benefits of attending. It’s possible that…

The Most Wonderful Time of Year for Luxury

The Most Wonderful Time of Year for Luxury

It’s that time of year again: lights line the houses, the air is brisk, and luxury manufacturers are trying to make sure their vehicles are the best …

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