Tracking Cost per Lead and Cost per Sale – An Automotive Case Study

One of the great advantages of the digital revolution is that it has provided the tools to closely measure where leads are coming from. Within the automotive sector, calls represent around 90% of initial enquiries, therefore understanding what drives a phone call is vital.

Working with one of our large automotive customers, we have shown them how to closely manage their media spend by linking their enquiries all the way to sale. This has created significant operational and media savings.

The challenge

An AM top 10 retailer spends millions of pounds each year on marketing to generate leads and, in recent years, their spend on online classifieds has ballooned.

The classified sites provide their own monitoring tools, and ‘claim’ leads based on call length or postcode matches to justify their price increases. The retailer needed to gain a proper understanding of the true value of the classified sites, by establishing which sites generated response and whether this led to a sale.

The solution

The retailer has been using Mediahawk for over 4 years, and employed a team to listen to all the classified calls on their Mediahawk tracking numbers. This allowed them to accurately understand their actual sales calls from the classified sites – rather than the ‘assumed’ sales provided by the classified sites monitoring tools.

Once the sales calls had been identified, the retailer could analyse how the call was handled within their business and whether it actually led to a sale.

The results

The results have been startling. Not only can the retailer pin down exactly which classified sites generate response, but it has shown the challenges of their internal sales processes once an enquiry has entered the business.


  • 75% of initial enquiries convert to a sale within 48 hours
  • Up to 20% of sales enquiries were not getting past reception
  • Up to 60% of the leads were not getting onto their dealer management system (DMS) within 24 hours


Using Mediahawk’s call data and the listening team’s analysis, the retailer now has robust, actionable management information. This shows the leads each classified site generates on a daily basis, and the cost per lead and cost per sale.

This data is a foundation for their quarterly reviews with the classified sites, and has allowed them resist price rises – with some sites actually reducing their spend. Furthermore, they can be more focused on what services they take and use on the classified sites.

Knowing the true return on leads, and managing their spend accordingly, has gone a long way towards covering the cost of implementing the listening team.


Interestingly, the largest improvement has been the understanding of internal sales performance once a lead has been generated. Now that the retailer had a baseline for lead management, they were able to implement the necessary steps to improve how they manage their sales funnel.

As a result, their sales process has been dramatically tightened and the customer service levels increased.

Now nearly all sales enquiries are getting past reception to a sales person to be dealt with correctly. There has also been a significant improvement in recording the leads on the DMS – once recorded, it can be managed!


The retailer has seen a tangible benefit to their bottom line by working with Mediahawk to properly understand their cost per lead and cost per sale.

Marketing spend is now more effective by being focused on the areas that work, and the overall lead conversion rate has improved.

The automotive market is up significantly year on year, but this retailer has increased their sales percentage at a considerably higher rate than the overall market, with a commensurate bottom line benefit.

For more information about how Mediahawk call tracking software can help you, get in touch.

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