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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers