Today, a dealership’s online leads come streaming in to the CRM through a variety of digital channels. Beyond the website, leads also come in through social media channels like Facebook.
When it’s time to follow up with fresh new leads in your dealership’s CRM, there are a few best practices that we recommend for turning those leads into vehicle sales.
Fast Lead Response Times
Respond at all hours, on all platforms, and quickly! Whether it’s a text, an email or a phone call, let the new lead know that you’re available to help.
Okay, we know you’re not going to have a sales team available to respond 24/7. But fortunately, most communications platforms have the option to set up automatic responses. This way, you know that any and all leads will be responded to immediately, even if your sales team is unavailable at the time of contact. We recommend personalizing responses as often as possible and saving automated responses for leads that come in outside of regular dealership hours.
Responding to all online leads also includes those that come through Facebook messenger and other social media channels. With Facebook Marketplace’s growing popularity for vehicle sales, car shopper’s are using Facebook more than ever.
According to Digital Air Strike’s recent study, when dealerships respond to an online lead within ten minutes, the potential customer is three times more likely to visit the dealership!
Remember, a lead is most interested at the time of contact, so don’t keep them waiting!
Personalized & Professional Responses That Answer All the Questions
Let your leads know that they’re communicating with real humans who are eager to start a conversation and who value each lead’s inquiry. Include the name of the salesperson or point of contact, dealership location and contact information, logo, reviews, and other valuable information that reinforces professionalism and a positive reputation. Be sure to answer all questions put forth in the lead submission and include all other pertinent information while remaining clear and concise.
Don’t forget to include a powerful call-to-action that lets customers know what the next step to take is! Also, edit thoroughly. Twice. Or Five times. Spelling and grammatical errors are a big no-no!
Be Proactive in Your Responses
Don’t just respond to a lead submission about the specific vehicle they’re inquiring about. Instead, offer other options, as well. Respond with similar new and used vehicle options to reinforce enthusiasm and a willingness to go above and beyond. There are a number of automotive CRMs that will automate this process for you, while still giving you the opportunity to customize each response.
Offer Value in Your Responses
Whenever you respond to a new lead, be sure to include an incentive. Maybe it’s an exclusive offer, a test drive, or a coffee gift card for visiting the dealership. Also include information about upcoming sales events, promotions and discounts as an incentive, as well!
It’s a powerful strategy to offer continuous value to new leads as the conversation moves forward, too.
So, How Many Leads Should Your Dealership be Converting?
Something that’s proven challenging for dealerships is determining what an appropriate conversion rate for online leads should be. Sure, it’s simple to measure dealership visits and phone calls to determine accurate conversion rates.
But when it comes to converting online leads, knowing how many you should be converting can be tricky business. First of all, ease of conversion is dependent on the channel through which leads come. Not all leads are of the same quality so it makes sense that it’s more likely to convert some than others.
Below is a simple breakdown of where the automotive industry currently stands in regard to online lead conversion.
The Breakdown of Internet Leads and Conversion
- Industry Average: 10 – 12%
- Dealer Website: 12-15%
- OEM/Manufacturer: 8-10%
- 3rd Party Websites: 3-6%
If you are measuring your conversion accurately, then a target of 10-15% is realistic. This means that if you have 10 leads, you should:
- Book 3-4 appointments
- Close 1-2 deals
Of course, with quality content on your website, a robust lead-nurturing strategy and well-balanced marketing mix, you can increase the number of leads you generate and target a higher conversion rate.Have questions about your dealership’s online leads and conversion rates? Reach out to our Customer Success team to get the conversation started today!