In 2018 dealerships have well and truly grasped the need to capture all their leads to a lead management system. At AutoPlay we've seen the volume of leads captured by dealerships via the Sales Pipeline increase consistently every year. With licence and business card scanning and integration with DMS systems it's incredibly easy to capture leads to the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. In addition, email or other electronic leads are captured automatically either from the website or via our API's - meaning the vast majority of leads are getting captured to your dashboard.
One area that AutoPlay have never been able to confidently report on is the number of 'Phone' leads received by dealerships. Capturing these details is entirely reliant on the salesperson being disciplined in their lead capture processes - something that is far easier said than done. Looking at 5 of the major multi brand distributors AutoPlay works with, we can see that on average less than 7% of all leads are recorded using the Lead Type = Phone each month.
Anecdotally we've heard in Aussie that the number of phone calls can outstrip the number of walk-in/email/other leads by 20-to-1. According to ADP Digital in the U.S, call volumes outpace email leads by a more moderate 4-to-1 ratio, and approx. 19% of car buyers make first contact with dealerships via the phone (J.D Power U.S New Autoshopper Study, 2015). Autotrader/Kelley Blue Book put this figure at 25% of all leads vs 14% emails.
The discrepancy between these figures is significant - which is most likely due to one dealers definition of what constitutes a 'Phone' lead. This only serves to highlight the difficulty in accurately attributing phone leads, but the underlying fact is that the number of phone leads your dealership receives is almost definitely more than what your sales team is recording in the Sales Pipeline.
AutoPlay partner with a company called Adtorque Edge - who offer call campaign tracking to AutoPlay customers. Recently Adtorque began working with a mutual customer based in Auckland. This dealer receives approx. 1200 leads each month and typically records about 7% of these as 'Phone' leads. Through working with Adtorque Edge they have begun tracking Google and facebook campaigns across all channels - including attributing the number of phone calls to the dealership to specific marketing campaigns and channels. What they discovered was that of the approx. 1200 leads, over 27% of the leads were actually phone calls - a fairly large discrepancy from the 7% that are manually being recorded within AutoPlay Sales Pipeline.
Stats available from Adtorque Edge for the Australian market highlight this same concept. Through improving the attribution of phone leads Adtorque were able to highlight the incomplete tracking that dealers were experiencing from their online marketing. The table below highlights that for this customer they believed that Keyword #1 used in Google Adwords was the least effective - with just 17 website conversions recorded and costing AUS$75.47 per acquisition. This ranked Keyword 1 as the worst ROI of all 6 keywords used at the dealership - comparing poorly with the average cost per acquisition for all marketing campaigns of AUS$59.42. However this was based purely on website conversion and did not take into account any phone calls generated from those campaigns. By setting up specific phone numbers for these campaigns Adtorque Edge was able to more accurately attribute how effective the campaign was, finding the Keyword #1 also generated 88 phone calls during the same period - taking the cost per acquisition down to $12.22 and meaning that it now ranked as the most effective keyword based on ROI.
Unfortunately at the present time AutoPlay are unable to automatically capture phone calls as leads within Sales Pipeline. However despite these technical limitations we still believe there is enormous value for kiwi dealerships in gaining more transparency over their online marketing spend. If you are interested in finding out more about call attribution from Adtorque Edge please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll organise them to contact you.
Recently AutoPlay has been growing into the Australian market and have noticed a big difference between Aussie and kiwi dealerships – the value placed on online leads.
The immediate reaction is that this is mainly due to the different online lead model that dealers are used to in Australia. Whilst kiwi dealers spend a monthly fee to the likes of Trade Me that is based on the number of listings displayed – no matter how many leads those listings generated. In Australia dealers will pay approx. $50 for each lead they are sent from the likes of CarSales.com.au.
Naturally this puts ROI front and centre for Aussie dealers as they are faced with the reality that if they ignore any leads they receive they are literally throwing away $50. As a rule, this means that all leads are valued and worked hard by the sales team – no matter the perceived quality.
NZ can be a different beast. Sales teams are smaller so prioritising what leads are being worked sometimes needs to happen. It’s a harsh reality that some of the online leads received by dealers will not look like quality leads. We’ve all seen them – the “tyre clickers”, the online brochure requests, the ones that are so far apart on price that they are never a realistic opportunity to convert to a sale. When you factor in that sales people are often never aware of what the true cost of leads actually are, it’s no surprise that not all online leads are valued.
One of the methods AutoPlay uses to help bring the true cost of generating those online leads to the forefront is by adding Costs to the Campaigns and Lead Sources. This process takes just a few minutes and will yield accurate ROI without changing any dealership process. The majority of dealers are now tracking the source of their leads, and without changing their process the management team can see exactly how much each lead is costing them from everyone of their marketing sources.
Adding a monthly Campaign or Lead Source cost is easy. On the Desktop AutoPlay Studio just click on the SETTINGS>SALES PIPELINE SETTINGS and open either LEAD SOURCES or LEAD CAMPAIGNS. Next, search for the Lead Source you want and add a value in the MONTHLY COST field.
Once you have done this the Lead Campaign and Lead Source ROI reports will automatically display a cost per lead. This is a great way to ensure your dealership always values leads as it puts the value of those leads front and centre.
If you have any questions about Campaign and Source costs you can contact email@example.com for assistance.
AutoPlay divides the customer contact lifecycle into ‘Out of Market’ contact nurturing, and ‘In-Market’ Leads requiring active in-dealership Lead management. This philosophy supports a mixed vendor ecosystem and maximises the integration possibilities.
Dealer Management Systems (DMS) have been the backbone of dealerships since the inception of automated systems and processes. Over time the footprint of the DMS has increased to cover basic Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) to allow for the integration of many back-office services and applications. In recent years there has been a demand to include simplistic customer contact management as the pricing of full Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have been prohibitive.
With the availability now of fully functional SaaS based CRM’s off the shelf at low per user price points, and many other low-cost marketing automation tools being accessible. Dealerships are now reverting to using their DMS for solely ERP services and investing in dedicated Lead management, CRM and marketing automation platforms.
What Are The Contact Lifecycle Segments?
1. Out Of Market Customers
Nurturing of customer and prospect contact information remains the domain of CRM applications. This allows for a coordinated customer contact plan and centralising of all marketing activity to ensure prospects receive clear and not conflicting market messages. The interaction between the CRM customer activity and marketing automation is based on customer interaction or engagement, and optimises marketing spend and effectiveness. Once a customer prospect is driven across a predefined threshold a Lead is created and passed to the in-market domain for Lead management.
2. In-Market Customers
For in-market customer lead management, time is the key factor in completing a successful conversion to a sale. The customer contact information including all collected background profiling data needs to be clearly made available along with the enquired-on vehicle or request. Based on the premise that people sell to people, the allocation of a lead to a sales agent needs to be efficient in order to allow for a timely first customer contact. Once in the hands of a Sales Agent it is important that there is a defined and adhered to digital ‘Road to Sale’ (RtS) process.
3. ERP Services
On the completion of a successful sale the customer journey must remain seamless as the management continues through the BAU business processes. This includes the completion of the finance and delivery processes and the ongoing service requirements being met. As the customer remains active and engaged with the dealership it is important that this information is in turn fed back to the customer nurturing process that is provided to ‘Out of Market’ customers.
API's & Standards
One of the major enabling technologies has been the maturing of real-time interfaces and API’s and a number of middleware vendors providing integration development and support. This has seen a rapid move away from the file transfer interfaces of the past. This has greatly opened up the choice of vendors available to provide highly effective ‘Pont Solutions’ to improve overall customer experience and management.
Example AutoPlay Deployment
AutoPlay Lead Flow Best Practice
The first quarter of 2018 is officially done, April is now in the books and we are now well and truly in the grips of winter – the perfect time to review how your online lead sources are performing and compare with what is working for other dealers throughout NZ.
Whilst March saw solid increases in the volume of Leads, Test Drives and Sales from the previous month, April has seen a slight decrease in Leads (down 5.5% from March), and Test Drives (down 5.0% from March). Fortunately for dealers Sales continued to increase with a 12.5% increase in Sales from March to April.
In April we continued to see ‘Web – Dealer’ open a wider gap as the most common source of Leads with a 33.9% increase from March to April 2018. Conversely Brand decreased by 17.5% and ‘Web Classified’ decreased by 25.0% - further solidifying dealer websites as the most popular source of leads amongst kiwi dealers.
Similar to Test Drives, ‘Web – Dealer’ was the most common source generating Test Drives in April 2018. Test Drives generated via the ‘Brand’ increased by 4.6%, however dropped to third - being leapfrogged by Test Drives generated from the ‘Direct’ source (up 5.3% from March 2018)
The usual suspects occupied the top three sources of Sales in March with ‘Web – Dealer’, ‘Repeat’ and ‘Web – Classified’ occupying the top 3 spots. April saw a significant increase in the number of Sales recorded against the ‘Web – Dealer’ source – up 58.2% from March 2018. This is likely due to the significant increase in the number of leads generated from this source in March. Sales increased across the board with 5.1% more Sales from ‘Repeat’ business and 3.8% more Sales from ‘Web – Classified’ sites like Trade Me.
Make sure to read the next issue of The PlayBook to see what sources of leads were popular in May amongst kiwi dealerships.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers