Are your sales people spending too much time focusing on bad leads and letting good ones slip by?
Many dealerships have and currently use 3rd party lead sources to increase leads and sales efficiency of their E-Commerce Departments. An exercise in Dallas this week was pretty enlightening; one that dealers and General Managers should consider.
1st) Gross Comparison from 3rd Party (Paid Leads) vs. Organic Leads that originate from the dealerships website. Your Internet Manager should be able to track and give you all the gross average from leads that are bought from leads that have come to you naturally. There is not a right or wrong answer because you are not questioning anything other than how much you are making between the two sources if they are separated out. Usually you will hold more gross on leads that originate from your own website or E-Business efforts than ones that are being sold to you as you are competing with more dealers on these paid leads. Review your gross and see what your store is doing in the two areas, while looking at ways to increase gross through all areas of your online business.
2nd) Review how many leads your sales people are working and what the lead / appointment / sold percentages are on a monthly basis. What you will probably find here is that you are closing a higher percentage of your organic leads than your bought leads. (One thing seen this week was a 3.4% closing radio on leads that we bought from Dealix – out of 322 bought leads – you do the math – these leads cost us a lot of man hours in email correspondence and man power to follow up on). The purpose in reviewing your total leads to sold by source for each provider is to make sure that you aren’t having your staff work a lot of hopeless leads. You would rather them work on 60 very qualified leads per month per man, then 100 low quality leads. Their performance will probably increase if they work 60 as hard as possible than if they work 100 mediocre at best.
A certain percent of your E-Commerce Budget needs to be spent on ways to provide a good steady supply of leads, but you as an owner/operator need to know what you are making per lead and how hard you are making your people work each lead to generate a sale.
You may be shocked at the gross that you hold on your paid lead sources. It may be higher than you or I think, but the bottom line is “you need to know.” Take the underperforming lead sources and drop them. You should be always looking for better ways to create leads and getting rid of the sources that are not effective.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising.