Think back 10 or 20 years and consider just how differently dealerships were run. You’d advertise in the paper, on radio, or on classified sites and most leads would either call or walk in and request a test drive. It truly was a simpler time.
Nowadays dealers need to be omnipresent- particularly in the digital space- with ads on social media, Google, third-party websites, audio platforms… the list goes on. As a result, leads are coming at them from every angle and in a variety of forms: as calls; chats; messages; website enquiries; trade-in valuations; social media leads; and test drive requests.
So, how do you keep up with all this data that is coming into your dealership and ensure you are getting the most out of every opportunity that comes your way?
The answer is consolidation, integration, and automation.
By that, I mean that we are beyond the age of relying on dealership staff to manually enter lead information and remember to follow up with prospective customers. Instead, it is time to invest in consolidating all your data by integrating your various technology solutions so that they work seamlessly together and automate a lot of your internal processes.
One of our dealer clients recently came to us with concerns about the level of wastage they were experiencing with their lead management. They believed that only about half of their leads were being contacted because salespeople were not being reminded to follow up opportunities. Furthermore, their managers had no visibility to enable them to keep staff accountable.
The solution we put in place for this client was multifaceted. It included the integration of a number of industry technology systems to provide a more streamlined solution.
Firstly we set up a phone tracking system that pushed all sales call information directly into our own attribution platform and automatically populated the dealership’s LMS. This meant the information no longer needed to be entered manually. We also ensured all sales-related chats, website enquiries, and, third-party leads (e.g. from classified sites) followed the same path, being captured in our attribution platform and the LMS.
With regard to walk-ins, we custom-built the dealership a concierge tool. This enabled the receptionist to record a customer’s details as they greeted them and assigned them to a salesperson. The concierge tool data was then pushed through to the LMS.
By the end of our integration exercise, we had consolidated all phone call, website, third-party, chat, and walk-in data into two easily accessible platforms: our marketing and attribution platform and the client’s lead management system. This gave the dealership a clearer, view of all their leads that they could then access in one place instead of logging into multiple platforms.
It also made them realise that prior to our involvement they had only been capturing about 35 percent of their sales inquiries. Since establishing the more streamlined, automated approach to lead management, this dealership is now capturing on average 98 percent of their enquiries in their lead management system.
Whilst this has made a huge difference to their ability to contact and convert more of their enquiries and in turn sell more cars, there have also been other benefits. It has enhanced the quality of their staff training, as they are now more easily able to identify which team members require support in certain areas. Furthermore, their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is being populated with better quality information, enabling the dealership to run more effective marketing and remarketing campaigns.
The digitisation of the modern world is accelerating at a rate of knots. All that us laymen can do is keep up as best we can and adapt accordingly. In order to do this, our recommendation is to work with nimble technology providers who are willing and able to integrate with other industry software and find solutions that help your unique business grow.