Mediahawk has been working with key automotive customers to improve their sales processes. After analysing over 200,000 phone calls and 20,000 sales leads we found that, on average, 65% of sales enquiries never make it onto a DMS system.
The new battleground for the automotive industry is not lead generation but lead management.
Advertising response monitoring
Call tracking is the process of monitoring where calls are coming from in response to advertising. As dealers and manufacturers rely on the telephone as their initial and primary form of response to their expensive advertising, it’s not surprising that it is now a ubiquitous management tool within the UK motor industry. The level of engagement varies with some dealers just counting calls, to others who have integrated call tracking into their total sales and marketing process. It is the latter dealers who are seeing the most exciting improvements to their sales performance and bottom line.
Effectively manage sales leads with call tracking
We have been working with a number of dealers to understand their sales funnel from initial enquiry through to sale. This has involved reviewing over 100,000 phone calls across over 100 different sites and brands – premium and volume. This analysis shows that approximately 10% of all calls into the dealership are sales leads. The other 90% are either aftersales or general enquiries. Of the sales leads, 20% do not make it past reception and a message is taken to get a sales person to ring back. A shocking 2% of sales enquiries have no message taken in any way. Of the sales calls that get through, we have discovered that on average only 35% of these leads are entered onto an enquiry management system. Or, to put it another way, on average 65% of all sales leads do NOT make it onto an enquiry management system.
The secret to the success of the sales funnel management is to be very up-to-date with the lead data and spoon-feeding it to Sales Managers. On average it takes no more than 5 days for an initial telephone enquiry to be converted into a sale. Customers expect instant gratification and the quicker they are dealt with the more they are likely to trade with the dealership. By managing telephone enquiries in an efficient and effective way you will see this flow straight through to the bottom line – with the added benefit of improved customer service. As an example, when we implemented this sales enquiry process with one dealership, they had not recorded 50% of their enquiries (20 leads). The Sales Manager personally rang each one that had not been recorded; 4 of these were then converted to a sale.
Call recording improves performance
When we discovered these statistics we couldn't believe it was true. However, as we roll-out the process across different customers, that number has stayed virtually static. After reviewing over 20,000 sales leads in the last six months, we feel it is statistically strong enough to realise that there is a huge opportunity within the automotive industry to easily and quickly tighten up sales lead management. This can be achieved by recording inbound sales enquiries and having a dedicated team of listeners to analyse whether the basics of sales are being followed and whether leads are actually being recorded. Once recorded, they can then be managed! There is no point putting in place sophisticated scoring systems if the basics are not being covered.
The challenge is getting dealers to understand the importance of being phone fit as well as being wonderful face-to-face. Most dealers do not even bother to telephone interview their new staff – do you?
Dealers have no problem creating leads (especially online) with their marketing but, to be frank, once these get inside their dealership, how they are dealt with is woeful. Internal sales lead management is the new battle ground for dealerships and we haven’t even got onto aftersales...!
For more statistics and trends, get in touch.