The Lead Conversion Gap, from Auto Dealer Monthly.
Generating leads from dealer websites and third-party retailers is no longer a “new” facet of automotive retail, and dealers now have nearly limitless opportunities to find more customers and expand their marketing territories. But some still struggle to convert those leads to appointments and sales, and even the most forward-thinking, Internet-savvy dealers and managers have seen foolproof marketing campaigns and investments fail to produce a proportional uptick in revenue.
To find out why, ADM polled some of the nation’s leading lead-generation and -conversion experts. We asked which aspect of converting Internet leads to appointments and sales dealers struggle with most — and why — and the consensus was clear: In too many operations, the processes dealers rely on to close Internet customers are failing them.
In a Word: Consistency
“The most fundamental step in the conversion process is reaching and engaging the customer in a professional, consistent manner,” says Charlie Crowder, marketing director of BlueSky Marketing in San Ramon, Calif. “Depending on how a lead is originated, customers may not always understand the next steps associated with their online finance/purchase request and are hesitant to respond to a dealer or even take their call. Bridging that ‘application gap’ that exists between consumer application and dealer contact requires the right technology, hard work and a commitment to the process from dealer staff.”