Top 3 Sources for Leads, Test Drives and Sales New Zealand Dealerships December 2017 (vs November 2017)
Now that 2017 is over we can take a look back at Lead, Test Drive and Sales activity over December 2017. Overall December was a quiet month as we lost a number of days to stat holidays and the quiet period between Christmas and New Year’s. Overall, the number of Leads captured by dealers using AutoPlay Sales Pipeline were down 17% from November 2017 to December 2017. Mirroring this trend, we also saw the number of Test Drives decrease by 12.7% and Sales by 12.9%.
Although Leads decreased by 17% in December, ‘Web – Classified’ managed to buck the trend and increase by 4.4%. Whilst the discipline of loading leads can slip around the holiday season, AutoPlay captures leads from 3rd party websites automatically which has helped to keep this figure stable. With ‘Web – Dealer’ accounting for 10.7% fewer leads in December this helped ‘Web – Classified’ regain the top spot in December 2017. After a strong November, the number of leads provided to dealers by the ‘Brand’ decreased by 33%, causing this lead source to slip to the third best source of leads for kiwi dealers.
Test Drives were down across the board in December. but after several months as the number one source of leads for dealers, there were still a number of leads from the ‘Web – Dealer’ source to be converted to Test Drives – resulting in a smaller decrease of 0.9% compared to 12.7% across all sources of Test Drives. ‘Direct’ was the second most prevalent source of Test Drives and ‘Web – Classified’ accounted for the third most Test Drives – up 6.8% from November 2017.
Sales were also down across the board with ‘Web – Dealer’ down 10.6% and ‘Repeat’ down 20.6%. In between ‘Brand’ accounted for the second most sales in December and was up 20.2% from November – likely due to the high volumes of brand leads pushed through from previous months slowly being converted to sales.
Make sure to check back next month to see the most frequent sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in January 2018.
The end of the year is a great opportunity to review what you've been doing for the last 12 months to make sure you make the most of the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. Check out the top 10 easiest tasks you can do to take your Sales Pipeline usage to the next level.
1. Update your Lead Sources
With the 17.4 release it is now possible to hide the Lead Sources you don't want your team to see when creating new leads. Having a long list of Lead Sources can be detrimental to capturing accurate data as there will always be salespeople who cannot be bothered hunting for the right source and either leave it blank, or even worse - they add the wrong source. With the ability to hide brand sources or AutoPlay's standard list without affecting reporting you can keep this list lean and easy to use.
2. Update your Lead Campaigns
A lot of customers will set up Campaigns for tracking activity against certain marketing actions. Unfortunately many dealerships are also guilty of leaving these Campaigns active forever. Just like Lead Sources, you don't want your Lead Campaign list to grow out of control. You can untick old campaigns as not 'Active' which will remove them from the list - but you will not lose any historical reporting.
3. Add Monthly Costs to your Lead Sources and Campaigns
Who doesn't want to know ROI on their marketing activity? By adding Monthly Costs to your Lead Sources and Campaigns, and capturing this source when loading leads the Sales Pipeline will automatically calculate monthly cost per lead generated. Setting up costs is easy - just click on Settings>Sales Pipeline Settings>Lead Sources/Campaigns and enter a $ figure in the Monthly Cost field.
4. Review your Mandatory fields
It's possible to customise which fields are compulsory when loading a lead in the Sales Pipeline. AutoPlay sets a default of one of First Name or Company, and one of Mobile, Phone or Email. However it's best practice to check your Data Quality report and work out which fields are getting missed. Similarly check your Lead Source Report and see how many leads get captured without a Lead Source. Although it's important to not make it too hard for your salespeople to load a lead, a balance must be achieved. This field is not yet visible to customers so if you need this tweaked, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Add Targets at the Dealer, Yard and Salesperson levels
The Daily Activity Performance Report lets users view how they are tracking towards a target against the 3 key KPI's of Leads, Test Drives and Sales. Setting targets is easy - just go to Settings>Sales Pipeline Settings then select either Dealership, Yard or Salesperson KPI's. This will add the green target line to your reports.
6. Check you are capturing all website leads
In this day and age no one should be manually loading leads from websites. The end of the year represents a good opportunity to not only review your digital channels for effectiveness, but to double check that all of your digital leads are getting automatically captured to AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. If you discover you are not capturing from Trade Me/Autotrader or your website then contact AutoPlay Support on email@example.com. We'll supply you with a capture email address to provide to your website provider/Trade Me/Autotrader.
7. Review how many of your Closed Lost leads have a reason added
You can learn as much (if not more) from the leads you don't win, as the leads you do. Whilst brands will do a good job of engaging with their customers, very little is done to assess why leads were lost in the first place. The feedback from your Sales Team should be valued as it will reveal exactly where the process is failing.
8. Clean up any Overdue or Stalled Leads for the new year
It does a dealership no good to have hundreds of leads sitting in Overdue or Stalled. There seems to be a perception that these leads are as valuable as gold, but the fact is if nothing is done with them they are not going to ever help the dealership achieve it's sales goals. If you do have a lot of leads Overdue/Stalled it will help make your Sales Pipeline more effective to close these leads as Lost. With the new Live Leads process you can easily retarget these leads (see 10.) so you are not losing any potential sales opportunity - you are merely making your dashboards more cleaner and easier to manage. The process is easy - just filter your Dashboard to Stalled or Overdue leads and use the 'Bulk Manage' option to bulk Close Lost.
9. Clean up your User List
The automotive sales market has a pretty high staff turnover as salespeople move from dealership to dealership. What can happen is that Dealerships forget to remove the users access to AutoPlay. This not only clutters the screen when allocating leads, but it is also a security risk. With the Sales Pipeline when you change a User to 'No Access' it's possible to bulk allocate their leads to a new user. This helps keep your Dashboard tidy and up to date and ensures that these customers continue to get looked after.
10. Set up a plan for retargeting "lost" leads
With only 20% of leads being closed as sold there is a huge pool of potential sales just sitting in your Dashboard right now. The best AutoPlay dealerships have set up a plan to retarget their lost leads using AutoPlay's Live Leads process. The key to this process is the ease with which you can build a list of recipients from your pool of captured leads. This makes these emails more targeted and also allows follow up to be created automatically against the original leads and/or customers. AutoPlay Live Leads does not cost anything additional for all customers on the Sales Pipeline package - send as many Live Leads emails as you want!
From everyone here at AutoPlay we'd like to wish you a merry xmas and happy new year. If you have any Support issues over the xmas break you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The end of the year is here and with it the AutoPlay team takes a well deserved break. Our last day before Xmas is Friday 22nd - we will be wrapping things up around 1pm (pun intended!).
As always AutoPlay will be closed over the stat holidays. Over the 27th, 28th and 29th December the office will still be closed, however for any emergencies you can email email@example.com. This email will be checked a couple of times a day for any issues that is critical (i.e wrong price on Trade Me). Any improvement requests or non critical issues will be addressed when the full team is back on board.
The office will reopen with a skeleton crew on the 3rd of January, with reduced hours of 9am to 4pm. The full team will be back on January 8th, 2018.
FULL XMAS HOURS
Friday 22nd December
Closing at 1pm
Monday 25th December
Tuesday 26th December
Wednesday 27th December
Office Closed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for emergencies
Thursday 28th December
Office Closed. Email email@example.com for emergencies
Friday 29th December
Office Closed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for emergencies
Monday 1st January
Tuesday 2nd January
Wednesday 3rd January
Open 9am to 4pm
Thursday 4th January
Open 9am to 4pm
Friday 5th January
Open 9am to 4pm
Monday 8th January
Full AutoPlay Team back on board - business as usual
If you have any issues over the XMAS and New Years break please email email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
As I write, Xmas is just around the corner and this provides dealers with a great opportunity to review what lead sources are, and are not working for them. Overall activity remained pretty static in November. Leads decreased slightly by 0.2%, Test Drives decreased by 0.1% and Sales increased slightly by 1.0% from October.
In November the top 3 sources of Leads remained ‘Web – Dealer’, ‘Brand’ and ‘Web – Classified’. ‘Web – Dealer’ fell by 6.2% but still managed to retain the top spot, though there were 1.7% more leads generated by ‘Brands’ in November than in October. ‘Web – Classified’ continued to drop, with 5.1% fewer leads from these sources in November than in October.
October saw a significant 35% increase in Test Drives for the ‘Direct’ source, however this proved to be an aberration as the top 3 spots were occupied again by ‘Web Dealer’, ‘Brand’ and ‘Web – Classified’. ‘Web – Dealer’ was the most common source of Test Drives, however in November the volume decreased by 12.3%. Both ‘Brand’ (up 39.2%) and ‘Web – Classified’ (up 19.3%) were popular sources of Test Drives in November.
After becoming the number one source of Sales in October, ‘Web – Dealer’ retained prime position with a further 6.7% increase. In November a large number of Sales were recorded as being from the ‘Referral’ source – with an unusual 124.9% increase. ‘Direct’ also increased by a significant margin with an increase of 44.1% month-to-month.
Version 17.4 of the Desktop, iPad and iPhone Sales Pipeline is well under way and is scheduled for release on Wednesday, December 6th. This release will be the last for the year excluding any urgent bug fixes. Although this has been a shorter development window of 2 months since our last release, we've still managed to pack in a tonne of new features.
More details on all of these new features will be sent with the release notes on December 6th
HTML5 Studio Rebuild & Development Freeze 2018
We have started our planning for the rebuild of the AutoPlay Studio into a HTML5 Application. This will be a significant improvement as it will allow users to access the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline on Chrome, Firefox or Safari. At present you are required to run Internet Explorer (at least for the initial software download). Additionally it also means that users will be able to use the Sales Pipeline on Android or Windows tablets and smartphones.
We are completing this work from January to June/July. This is a massive project and as such we will be freezing all non essential development on our current Desktop and iOS Applications. This means that 17.4 will be our last release for approx. 6 months.
This is essential to allow our developers to focus on the rebuild of the Desktop Studio/Sales Pipeline. Freezing development over this timeframe is not something we have considered lightly, but we believe this is the best way to ensure the project stays on track, and we can deliver an improved AutoPlay experience to our customers in 2018.
We are aiming to deliver our HTML5 version of AutoPlay Sales Pipeline by early July 2018. From late December to July there will not be any new functions added to the iOS or Desktop applications. Development will be restricted to any critical bug fixes over this period.
When the new software is launched we will begin to phase out the current Desktop Studio. We will continue to run the iPad and iPhone Apps for a minimum of 12 months after launching the new application (depending on the functionality we are able to replicate from the iOS apps to the HTML5 version).
If you have any questions about the 17.4 release, the Desktop HTML5 Rebuild or the development freeze please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
From 1st November 2017 there was a change in the way Registered Motor Vehicle Traders will be allowed to access information about the owners of vehicles registered on the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR). If you already belong to the MTA or VIA then you are already covered. However if you don’t belong to either of those industry associations you need to read the below.
This is important for users of Motorcentral Car Check, Car Jam or MotorWeb VIR reports – whether you run these via AutoPlay Sales Pipeline or direct with your provider. In particular when trying to verify the owner of a vehicle before trading it, as of 1st November, you and your organisation are only allowed to access this information if you are registered with an NZTA-approved industry body, or have been approved directly by the NZTA to access this information.
How do I know if I can access this information from 1st Nov 2017?
If you have applied directly with and been accepted by the NZTA, you should have received your authorisation letter already. Otherwise, if you are a member of any of the following industry bodies you should have access to owner information using that bodies’ authorisation:
• National Automotive Industry Technology Association (NAITA)
• Motor Trade Association (MTA)
• Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA)
• Financial Services Federation (FSF)
• Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ)
• NZ Bankers Association
To confirm you will have access, please check you are on the following list:
What if I'm not listed?
If you are not on the list of companies and individuals who have already been granted access to owner information and you are a member of one or more of the above industry bodies please check with that body immediately to determine why you are not listed.
Otherwise you have the following options available:
1. Become a member of an authorised industry body
The easiest way to access the restricted information is to become a member of one of the above listed industry bodies who have already been approved to access this information. During our research, we found NAITA to be the most cost-effective for this purpose, with their annual membership being only $95 per dealership. More information can be found on their website including their 2017 Membership Application Form. (DISCLOSURE – AutoPlay is one of the founding members of NAITA which was formed by technology providers in the Automotive sector) www.naita.org.nz
2. Apply directly to the NZTA for individual authorisation
NZTA offer comprehensive information on how to apply directly for access to the current owner information here - http://www.nzta.govt.nz/…/who-should-and-shouldnt-apply-an…/. Please Note: The Transport Agency generally allows up to eight weeks from the time of receiving a complete application (together with full payment) to provide you with a draft decision. You will not be able to access personal information during this time.
3. No longer access this information
Having access to this information may not be essential to your situation. Your reports will still work as they currently do, you will just no longer be given the current owners details (name and address) without the necessary authorisation. If however, you believe you know the current owners details (name or driver’s licence number), you can still verify they own a particular vehicle by using the NZTA's 'Check registered person query' online form (https://transact.nzta.govt.nz/…/ConfirmRegisteredPers…/entry). It’s free and returns an instant result that you can then have emailed to yourself.
What do I need to do next?
If you are already on the list of authorised companies and individuals you do not need to do anything. From November 1st we will automatically allow continued access to owner information via your MotorCentral, MotorWeb or CarJam reports
If you are not listed, then on November 1st you will no longer see owner information on your reports. For uninterrupted access to this information, you will need to apply for authorisation either directly with the NZTA or by becoming a member of one of the listed industry bodies.
What are the Top 3 Sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales for kiwi dealerships? (October 1st to October 31st)
In October 2017, for the second consecutive month AutoPlay customers experienced an interesting scenario where Leads captured increased (up by 6.3%), but Test Drives (down by 4.9%) and Sales (down by 4.0%) both decreased from October levels as dealers converted less of the leads that they generated.
Lead sources were distributed across many different channels in October – resulting in drops for 2 of the top 3 lead sources. Only ‘Web – Dealer’ increased by 2.8% from September – making dealer websites the top source of leads in October. ‘Web – Classified’ continued to fall from previous heights to the 3rd most frequent source of leads in October. Following a decrease of 15.4% in September, the number of leads from 3rd Party sites dropped again by 12.4%.
In October there was a significant 35.2% increase in the number of Test Drives where the source has been recorded as ‘Direct’ (which is often used by dealerships for walk in Test Drives). Despite this ‘Web – Dealer’ remained in the top spot for the second consecutive month with a slight increase in the number of Test Drives from dealer websites. ‘Web – Classified’ continued to decrease with a further 23% drop from September to October – predominately due to the decrease in the number of leads being received by AutoPlay customers from 3rd party websites.
‘Web – Dealer’ jumped ahead of ‘Web – Classified’ as the top source of Sales in October for AutoPlay Sales Pipeline due to an increase of 3.2% for the former, and a drop of 11.5% for the latter. As always ‘Repeat’ continues to be the third most frequent source of Sales for kiwi dealers and rebounded from a slight decrease in October to grow by 10.6% last month.
There are only 3 ways that a customer can communicate with a dealership – face-to-face (walk in), email or by phone (some may argue SMS but that’s a discussion for another article). AutoPlay Sales Pipeline has a number of in-dealership tools that make capturing data face to face easy including Drivers Licence/Business Card scanning, Test Drive Forms and Appraisal Forms. Similarly Email leads are captured automatically from dealer and third-party websites via our lead capture mechanisms or our API’s. That leaves Phone leads as one of the main areas where there is still massive potential for leads to fall through the cracks.
Face-to-face may never go out of style in NZ, but in an increasingly digital landscape it’s easy to focus on email activity over phone leads – after all it’s much more transparent to managers, and this makes it far easier and less expensive to track. Despite this, phone calls both in and out still play a significant part in the sales process. If you are not tracking phone activity it’s akin to driving with one hand over one of your eyes – you are just not seeing the whole picture.
Tracking phone leads will improve your lead quality as it will give salespeople a better idea of how “warm” their leads are. It will help you convert more leads as it’s very likely phone leads are not getting the same love and attention as email or walk-in leads – although initially your conversion figures may actually look worse. Most importantly you’ll be seeing a clear picture of real activity – allowing better tracking of marketing success and better analysis of performance.
What type of Phone Activity should be tracked?
There are two types of phone sales activity that should be tracked alongside your walk-in and email leads.
1. Inbound New Sales Phone Leads
Currently AutoPlay don’t automatically capture phone leads (though it’s something we are exploring – read more below). This means the onus is on dealerships to record Phone leads to the Sales Pipeline to ensure a clear picture of real activity. You can easily do this by selecting the Lead Type as ‘PHONE’. Some dealerships have taken this a step further and had reception load the lead upon receiving the call – ensuring the lead was logged and streamlining the process for the salesperson that ultimately handles the call. If tracking phone leads is something that is important to you (and it should be!), then the best dealers find a way to incorporate this into their process.
In AutoPlay Reporting the Lead Summary Report provides a clear picture of the number of ‘Phone’ leads. The pie graph at the top shows the proportion of your leads by ‘Walk-In’, ‘Email’, ‘Other’ (sent from Brand/DMS etc) or ‘Phone’. In the table below, you can view the count of Phone leads for the period, as well as conversion of Phone leads to Test Drive and Sales. Interestingly for many dealers their conversion figures will mirror those below – with conversion on ‘Phone’ leads having far more in common with ‘Walk-In’ leads than with ‘Email’ leads.
AutoPlay can also provide a Prospect & CRM Follow Up screen which enables tracking of phone activity for actions that don’t yet qualify as leads – for example 12 Month Follow Up, 24 Month Follow Up or 36 Month Follow Up with existing customers who previously purchased a vehicle from your dealership.
2. Inbound & Outbound Phone Activity On Existing Leads
It’s also important to track the phone calls your sales team make & receive in the course of following up existing sales leads. There are a couple of methods to achieve this within AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. At its most simple you can simply update the Lead Progress as you move the lead through the road-to-a-sale. Using the iOS Apps or the Desktop you can click on PROGRESS and select ‘PHONE CALL MADE’ to record that you have had the first interaction with the customer. The current progress of the lead can be seen on the Dashboard, or the Sales Pipeline Report (pictured below).
The Lead Progress gives you a simplistic measure that a Phone Call has been made, however to get a truer picture of activity you need to be tracking ongoing follow up on each lead. After updating the Progress, the Sales Pipeline will automatically prompt users to schedule follow up – our philosophy is “tell us what you have done, and tell us what you are gonna do”. When creating a calendar event, it’s as simple as selecting Phone Inbound or Outbound as the Event Type.
AutoPlay Reporting allows managers to keep on top of this activity. The Morning Meeting Report allows you to drill down to individual salespeople and view the phone activity – both completed and to be completed – by using the Refine Search option. You can also view this information in the Overdue Lead Report.
What Does The Future Hold?
At AutoPlay we are always exploring options to improve our product further. Recently we’ve been talking to other providers who have the capability of capturing phone leads digitally. Working with a provider of these types of services would enable these leads to be automatically fed into the Sales Pipeline – saving the effort of manually loading Phone leads.
This would involve additional costs from the other vendor and AutoPlay in order to facilitate this service. At present we are exploring options but if the automatic capture of phone leads is something you would be interested in please flick an email to email@example.com so we know this is a service worth pursuing.
What are the Top 3 Sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales for kiwi dealers? (September 1st to 31st 2017)
September 2017 was a comparatively quiet month compared to the bumper growth we saw in August. Whilst Leads continued to increase (by 1.2%), Test Drives decreased by 1.7% and Sales were down 1.0% from the previous month across all AutoPlay customers.
After increasing by almost 25% in August, ‘Web – Classified’ lead sources came back down to earth with a 15.4% decrease in the number of leads generated from these sites across AutoPlay customers. Dealership websites continue to perform well and are the second most popular source of leads. OEM’s/brands continue to provide a high proportion of leads to AutoPlay customers with another big jump in the number of leads pushed to dealerships from their brands.
For the first time ‘Web – Dealer’ overtook ‘Web – Classified’ as the number one source of Test Drives for AutoPlay’s customers – the result of a significant increase in Test Drives generated from dealer sites, and a decrease in the number of Test Drives from classified sites of 13.3%. As brands continue to focus on providing their network with well qualified leads, the ‘Brand’ source continued to be a productive way to generate Test Drives for many of AutoPlay’s customers.
After a massive increase in Sales from classified websites in August, September saw the ‘Web – Classified’ source of leads drop by 7.3% - still occupying the number one source of sales for AutoPlay customers. ‘Web – Dealer’ followed up a big increase in August with another increase of 15.7% in September. ‘Repeat’ business continues to be the third best source of Sales for kiwi dealers – despite not featuring in the top 3 for Leads and Test Drives – proving the old adage that it’s easier to resell to existing customers than it is to attract new ones.
Make sure to check the PlayBook next month to see the most popular sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales for AutoPlay customers for the month of October.
One of the options visible in the Sales Pipeline is 'Send to Remarketing'. This option is visible when you are viewing an individual lead and allows you to remove from the Lead Dashboard.
We had the best of intentions when introducing this feature, however we have found that the function is not working in the real world within dealerships. Instead of doing anything with these leads in the future some dealerships are using the Send To Remarketing function to hide leads without marking as Closed Lost.
The problem with this approach is that these leads are never closed, never followed up and eventually become Overdue and Stalled - rendering such reports like the Health Check useless, and many customers are falling through the cracks.
As such in the upcoming 17.3 release for iOS and Desktop we are removing the 'Send to Remarketing' option. Additionally we will remove the filter on the lead Dashboard to 'Show Remarketing'.
The vast majority of these leads are stalled and as such any that are under the 'Remarketing' flag and are either Overdue or Stalled will be Closed Lost. Any that are under the 'Remarketing' flag that are scheduled for the Upcoming or Future date range will remain open in your Dashboard.
This will happen automatically when we release our 17.3 version. You will be reminded a week before this occurs - currently scheduled for approx. the first week of October. For dealers with complicated set ups or with more than 50 leads flagged as 'Remarketing' we will call to work through the process of tidying these up. We recommend that you check your Dashboard for any leads that are sitting in 'Remarketing' by clicking on the search icon, and selecting the 'Show Remarketing' option.
Instead of squirrelling away your hard earned leads in Remarketing it is better to actually remarket to your customers. The new Live Leads processed we recently introduced provides our customers with a much better approach to be able to identify which customers are worth future follow up. The new Live Leads process enables you to build a recipient list from your captured leads on the fly, and remarket to them via Live Leads. When those recipients interact with your email you can automatically schedule follow up which will be added to your Dashboard. To find out more about Live Leads read our step-by-step How To Guide HERE
If you have any questions about the process please contact Support@autoplay.co.nz to discuss.
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