When is the last time you inspected your internet lead processes? Do you know what the content of your emails being sent are? Do you know when they are being sent? How often, or not often? How can you know for sure that the emails that are being sent are mobile friendly?
Too many dealers across the country are still following up with their customers like they did in 2009. Longwinded, wordy, and flat our boring templates going out to YOUR customers? How many phone calls is your team being tasked with? Two, three, maybe less? How many of those calls are actually being made? How consistent is your team on sending text messages to a texting society? Are your teams following up like its 2009 or 2017?
The good news is that processes, templates, and scripts can be changed very easily. Your CRM, regardless of which one you are using, can be a Ferrari, even though it’s now being uses as a motorcycle with one wheel.
The true cost of an internet sale must be understood and not discounted. If dealers closing ratios on internet leads are below 13%, they must take a hard look at their people and processes. Many dealers around the country are content with a 5-8% closing ratio and by doing so are leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on the table. Larger dealerships are leaving millions.
So how can a dealer let this happen? Lack of understanding? Lack of caring? Lack of accountability? Regardless of the why this is taking place, dealers must take a hard look in the mirror, realize they need to change, and fix the problem.
I will outline a few things that can help dealers kick start their internet processes. By no means can I outline how a lead handling department be setup and managed in a short article, but my hope is that it can give you a good start along with some questions that can be asked.
So how can dealers start to fix their lead handling department? It’s quite simple. Inspect what is inspected across every other department in the dealership. Understanding the KPI’s that the industry recommends and then train, manage, and hold the department accountable for those metrics. A quick and easy metric is the 4×60 rule.
For every 100 leads, 60% of those should have two-way communication. Of those 60 people that had two-way communication, 60%, or 36 customers, should set an appointment, of those 36 appointments, 60% or 23 customers should show up, and of those 23 that show up, 60% or 13 should buy, which nets a dealer a 13% closing ratio.
By measuring those four metrics, dealers, GM’s, and department managers can manage their department like every other department in the dealership.
The key here is training. If a dealers’ internet or BDC department is struggling, they can’t just wave a magic KPI wand in front of the department and expect results.
From that training, dealers must inspect what they expect with the internet processes. First and foremost a pleasantly persistent follow up process must be in place with at least 7 phone calls taking place in the first week, four of those in the first two days and at least four to five emails must be sent in the first week. During that time, the salesperson must sell themselves with an “About Me” email being sent to the customer, I recommend doing that 3-5 hours after the first quality response is sent. Opt-in text messages need to be sent as soon as the first voicemail is left if no conversation took place, and lastly, the manager must jump in the process within 24 hours after the lead came in and inspect what is taking place as well as sending an email to the customer.
From here dealers must follow up manually for seven days, after that, a few more phone calls until the 14th day. Also, starting after day 6, no more manual emails be sent. Automatic emails need to start triggering if two-way communication has not taken place. The reason for this is that 40% of the leads dealerships will never hear from.
Why so short a phone call process and automatic emails? Industry data from three major CRM companies are now seeing an extremely short sales cycle for internet leads. DealerSocket states the average time a customer submits a lead to the time they purchase is 25 days, DriveCentric is showing 9 days, and Vinsolutions states 7 days!
So why do you want your team following up with customers that have either purchased or no longer in the market. Use that knowledge and free their salespeople up to follow up with their customers in the first week of lead submission.
Dealers no longer have to settle for average results in their internet department. They can easily have a 13% or greater closing ratio by implementing a few tactics. As 2017 comes to close, dealers must place themselves in a strategic position by being the best they can be with their internet processes.
Will you be content with average, or are you willing to make a change and commit to be great?
Challenge your current thinking and methodology of internet follow up processes, and join Marc McGurren’s session at the Digital Dealer 23 Conference & Expo to learn the actual processes and strategies that have been implemented at hundreds of dealerships all across the country to help them sell more cars. You’ll receive actual processes, templates, scripts, and action items that you can take back to your dealership and implement immediately, regardless of your CRM.
Marc McGurren joined PCG as a partner in January 2012. He was formerly the Internet Director for an autogroup in TX and has over 11 years of automotive experience while holding positions all across the dealership. His passion & desire to execute digital marketing strategies is contagious & has helped dealerships all across the country sell more cars through proven processes, training, & best practices.
Author: Contributing Writer
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