By JoAnn Bedenbaugh, Sales Director, Volie
You’re not closing as many leads as you want, but you can’t figure out how to improve the situation. Your sales team is jumping on hot leads and setting follow-up reminders in the CRM, but your closing ratio is still below the 12.5% industry average.
It’s common for follow-up to be perfect for one week to 10 days, and then fall off a cliff. That’s a problem when the average cost for an automotive lead is $205, and that figure is on the upswing. Abandoning follow-up is as good as throwing money away.
Yet, it happens every day with hundreds of leads. In fact, nearly 24% of the average dealer’s leads are flagged for not receiving follow-up within 24 hours. Nearly 68% of those flagged leads do not receive a follow-up within a week!
I believe the problem is that a manual follow-up process is time-consuming and difficult. Plus, there’s very little visibility into follow-up activities and minimal accountability. How do you know a salesperson is calling that list you provided instead of going rogue and making birthday calls that net you zero sales?
The problem of dropped leads is compounded today with our historic labor shortage butting up against time-intensive follow-up. There is a lot of pressure to attack new leads, while older leads languish and are eventually forgotten altogether.
You can solve the problem without adding more staff. The solution lies in combining the right technology with automated processes so one salesperson can do the work of three and convert more of the leads that other dealers throw away.
Relying on your CRM to help with lead follow-up, schedule tasks, and click-to-call dialing will never get you the results and productivity you can expect from an automated contact management system. The right technology will perfectly track all productive time your agents are punched in and engaging with customers.
A system that manages customer data, campaigns, and follow-up tasks in one platform allows salespeople to quickly work through all leads, not simply the lowest funnel. You keep more of the leads that you paid for in the funnel until customers purchase from you, tell you they’ve purchased a vehicle or dropped out of the market.
Automated follow-up allows you to set rules so that salespeople contact customers according to a prescribed cadence and length of time. So instead of follow-up dropping off after a week, you can put in place a process that triggers communication for as long as 180 days.
The latest in automated dialing technology is key to help salespeople make more calls in less time. This software automatically pulls up the next customer record when a salesperson is done with a call so there’s no rummaging through your CRM or scanning spreadsheets trying to decide who to call next.
As an example, I recently spoke with a dealer with a list of nearly 4,000 leads who had not been contacted in 30 days. Using dialing software, the dealership was able to contact every lead in one day and connect with 592 customers. That’s nearly 600 “lost” customers back in the pipeline!
Dialing software also ensures salespeople can’t skip records. If you put a list in the system, you’ll know that every customer is contacted, notes are automatically logged, and the next action is automatically scheduled.
Too many salespeople give up on leads way too quickly, leads that your dealership paid good money to acquire. You can convert more of the leads that other dealerships throw away with an automated contact management system and sales processes that keep leads in the pipeline without adding more staff.
About the Author
JoAnn Bedenbaugh has created call centers for over a dozen of the automotive industry’s biggest players.