We all know by now that not all leads are created equal. And of course, auto dealers have tailored their follow–up processes in an equally unequal fashion. However, with Internet sourced leads having a significantly higher in–store closing rate than their phone and floor lead counterparts, the typical dealer should ponder whether it is the type of lead or the follow–up process that paves the way to a sale.
Data from DealerSocket shows that Internet leads have the highest in–store closing rate of 53.6%, followed by Phone leads at 44.1%, and Floor leads at 24.8%. These numbers would suggest that the highest quality leads stem from the Internet.
But of course, appearances aren't always what they seem. Lead attribution is often a topic of debate for a dealer. Most can all agree, however, that the typical car shopper will encounter multiple marketing channels during their buying process, with the majority going online before making a purchase. According to Google, 88.4% of consumers consult an average of 10.4 digital sources. Thus, no matter how the lead is sourced in your CRM, it is safe to assume the Internet played a role in sending the customer to inquire to your dealership.
According to Jared Hamilton of DrivingSales, dealers assign the most steps to their Internet follow–up processes, followed by phone follow–up, then walk–in follow–up. However, the most progressive dealers should not assign the number of follow–up tasks based on attribution, but rather employ a similar process for all lead types. Suggesting the same follow–up on all lead sources is absurd of course, and rest assured that is not what is being posed here. Messaging based on lead source and type should always be customized and personalized. Only the touch points should remain consistent throughout all of your follow–up. Send out first day, next day and 7–day emails. Make outbound calls to schedule and confirm appointments.
Changing processes at the store level can definitely seem daunting. Retraining your staff is always challenging. But aligning your phone and showroom follow–up processes with that of your Internet process will likely lead to more appointments set, higher show rates, and more cars sold.
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