One of the more important stats that dealerships can measure using the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is where their leads are coming from. AutoPlay have a purpose-built Lead Source Report which tracks what salespeople select in the ‘SOURCE’ field when loading a new lead. This information helps dealerships make better decisions about where to spend their marketing money to get the most bang for buck. With our customer base, AutoPlay has access to a significant % of the presale lead stats throughout NZ.
Overall, February was down in terms of the number of leads being captured and entered by AutoPlay customers. In terms of the volume of leads ‘Trade Me’ generated the most leads for dealerships, followed by dealership ‘Websites’. In third place was ‘Brand’ – with OEM’s accounting for the third most leads pushed to dealerships in February.
Interestingly whilst Trade Me was the number one source of leads from dealerships, it only represented the third most sales – and conversion was comparatively lower than it was in January.
The majority of Sales were actually captured as ‘Direct’ leads – which is often what dealerships use to describe a walk-in customer who has approached them directly (generally straight to Test Drive). The lead source ‘Repeat’ accounted for the next most Sales and actually increased by 25% from January. Combine this with the fact that overall leads captured were lower in February, this increase in Sales from Repeat customers shows that dealerships worked harder to generate their own leads through prospecting their repeat customers.
Make sure to read next month’s issues of The PlayBook eDM to keep up to date with where the market is sourcing their leads.
What is AutoPlay’s planned pathway forward to provide solutions for Desktop, Android and Windows Tablet devices?
Since AutoPlay was launched we have utilised Microsoft Silverlight to deliver our Desktop Studio web application on Windows PC’s. Microsoft Silverlight is a browser plug in that came as standard in most Windows OS for many years. Silverlight enabled fast development and a speedy install of our Desktop Studio - allowing us to easily deliver the functionality required to record and play audio on standard Desktop PC’s without complicated set ups. In the past Silverlight was supported by all the main internet browsers including Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer.
Unfortunately, the changing face of workplace technology is forcing us to review our approach to maintaining and deploying our software. In particular;
· Microsoft have announced that Silverlight will cease to exist in 2021. However over recent years’ browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Edge have stopped supporting Silverlight. AutoPlay desktop software is a low impact deployment via web browser and the lack of support for Silverlight is unfairly forcing our customers to have Internet Explorer on their PC.
· AutoPlay focus on iOS development which comes with many advantages. However, in the wider market with Samsung, HTC and other devices running on Android, and Windows using their own platform the environment is increasingly becoming fractured. Limiting our customers to iOS and Windows Desktop is not a viable long term plan.
AutoPlay has been working towards alternative solutions to develop and deploy AutoPlay applications. We have settled on Bootstrap – one of the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web. Bootstrap easily and efficiently scales your websites and applications with a single code base, from phones to tablets to desktops with CSS media queries. This will enable AutoPlay to eventually maintain one single code base and an application that will work on any device, and any screen size – bringing very tangible benefits to our development model.
How Will We Achieve This?
AutoPlay has a commitment to continue to deliver outstanding software applications to our customers. Over the coming years, we will continue to develop and make improvements to our existing Windows and iOS applications whilst in parallel we will be working on our new Bootstrap applications. As such we will be taking a structured approach to this process.
1. AutoPlay are currently working on a stand-alone application called “Test Drive Pro” for the international market. This application is being built from scratch in Bootstrap and is due for completion towards the back end of Q2, 2017.
2. AutoPlay will take the learnings provided from building and deploying Test Drive Pro to rebuild the Desktop Studio within the Bootstrap framework. The Desktop Studio is a far larger application and we are currently forecasting this won’t be ready until early 2018.
Our primary goal is to ensure existing and new users of AutoPlay on Desktop are provided a sustainable, future proof web application that works with any browser including Chrome, Firefox, Edge and also on Mac Desktop Safari. However, addressing these issues will also ensure that AutoPlay Sales Pipeline and associated products will be able to be used on Android and Windows tablets and smartphones.
At AutoPlay, we are proud of the work we have achieved to become the market leader in pre-sale lead and data management. Now we look forward to the next phase of our life and the opportunities that Bootstrap development will provide us. Most of all we look forward to providing our customers with more flexibility to take advantage of all of our products – no matter the device they own.
Enjoy this sneak peak of AutoPlay's article in the next issue of Autotalk
Whenever a new lead management or CRM system is put into a dealership there is always a conflict between salespeople who want the process to be fast, and marketing/managers/CRM people who want as much data captured as possible.
From a salespersons perspective, they need a process that that fits around their existing workflow. No salesperson wants to have to interrupt their flow by capturing extensive details from the customer. Marketing/crm staff come from the other extreme. It’s their job to ensure the database is complete as possible and it’s something that is often a key part of their responsibilities. From a marketing perspective, it’s nirvana to have every possible customer contact point (phone, mobile, email and address) as they each provide a different opportunity for marketing communication.
As with most things a balance needs to be struck between the bare minimum and overzealous collection of customer info. The issue with not collecting enough customer info is obvious - can a “lead” really be called a “lead” if there not enough info to follow up? If only a phone number is captured, then you lose the opportunity to follow up via eDM’s. Additionally, many people change phone numbers or email addresses from time to time. With multiple points of contact you have less chance of not being able to reach the customer in the future. In addition, the fewer contact details you have for a customer the harder it is to match with your existing database – causing situations where there are multiple customers called “Bob”, each with a different phone number or email address.
Conversely if selling starts to become more about capturing data, and the customer experience starts to suffer then the balance is clearly wrong. There is a school of thought that capturing adequate data is such an essential piece of the pie, that salespeople should be forced to capture certain fields when dealing with a new lead/sales opportunity.
The problem with this approach is that no matter how good your system, there is always a way around it. For every salesperson that sees the benefit of asking a customer for an email address there are two that will just enter their own or a fictitious email to get around the requirement. From a technology perspective, it’s very difficult to control a user who is determined to get around the rules, without resorting to draconian policies (that inevitably result in barriers for the salesperson to do their job well).
At AutoPlay, we have a flexible system that enables each of our customers to customise exactly what fields they want as mandatory when capturing leads. However, we believe best practise is to capture the following;
· A name – without this how will you address your customer. At AutoPlay, we recommend at least the first name but last name and company are also very helpful
· One of Phone, Mobile or Email – From our experience we don’t find value in forcing users to capture all of the customers contact detail at the initial point of contact. It’s obvious you need one method of contact, and good salespeople will get all 3, however a customer not having an email address they want to share should not prevent the user from loading a lead.
And that’s it. We don’t make address details or marketing questions like where they came from compulsory as it’s not always appropriate. Additionally, forcing salespeople or customers to answer marketing questions can actually backfire and lead to false results as many users will just choose the first option available. (Note – collecting this information is still vitally important but you need to sell it from management down to salespeople, and allow salespeople the freedom to enter it when it is appropriate to the customer experience).
The beauty of digital lead management and CRM is that it’s incredibly easy to identify who among your team is not putting the effort into capturing customer info, and the types of customer info that is not being captured. At AutoPlay, we have an out of the box report we call the Data Quality Report which does exactly this – providing managers with a detailed breakdown of how each salesperson is capturing customer info and providing opportunities for further coaching by managers.
If you would like to customise your mandatory fields when loading new leads please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers