Welcome to 2021!
As we start the new year its appropriate to look back on the last few months of 2020 for the most popular sources of Leads, Test Drives, and Sales amongst kiwi dealers in December.
Overall activity was down in December 2020 with Leads decreasing by approx. 19% from November to December, Test Drives decreasing by 6.3% and Sales decreasing by 7.4% month to month.
When reviewing the volume of leads loaded in December 2020, we saw the same top 3 lead sources as has become standard – ‘Web – Classified’, ‘Web – Dealer’ and ‘Brand’ making up the top 3. All 3 sources of leads decreased from December to November with ‘Web – Classified’ decreasing by 10.5%, ‘Web – Dealer’ decreasing by 17.6% and ‘Brand’ sourced leads decreasing by 18.7% from month to month.
Web - Classified - Down 10.5% (vs 4.0% decrease in November)
Web - Dealer – Down 17.6% (vs 3.6% increase in November)
Brand - Down 18.7% (vs 23.7% increase in November)
December 2020 vs November 2020
With several stat holidays it’s perhaps not surprising that we saw Test Drives decreasing overall in December. Test Drives from ‘Web – Classified’ sources decreased by 5.1% - following a decrease of 8.4% in November. Following last month’s surge where we saw ‘Dealership Visit’ Test Drives increase dramatically in November, we saw a more modest increase of 3.1% in December. The third most popular source of Test Drives was from ‘Web – Dealer’ leads, however Test Drives from this source decreased by 20.3% month to month.
Web - Classified – Down 5.1% (vs 8.4% decrease in November)
Dealership Visit – Up 3.1% (vs 41.5% increase in November)
Web - Dealer – Down 20.3% (vs 3.1% increase in November)
December 2020 vs November 2020
Most sources of Sales decreased across the board, with Sales attributed to ‘Web Classified’ sources decreasing by 1.5%, Sales attributed to ‘Web – Dealer’ decreasing by 20.5%. Due to the increase of dealers using the Dealership Visit source we have seen Sales from this source increase by 17.3%.
Web - Classified - Down 1.5% (vs 5.0% decrease in November)
Web - Dealer – Down 20.5% (vs 2.7% increase in November)
Dealership Visit – Up 17.3% (New to top 3)
December 2020 vs November 2020
So far 2021 has started strong. From the 5th of Jan onwards we’ve seen some strong performance with Leads and Test Drives volumes so far exceeding volumes we have typically been seeing over the first part of the month for the last 3 months. Make sure to check the PlayBook again next month to see the most popular sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in January 2021.
2020 is drawing to a close, and with the end of the year it's a great time to take a look at the latest trends across AutoPlay customers in Leads, Test Drives, Appraisals, Sales and Logins to AutoPlayAuto.com.
After a strong start to the month last week, the week to December 13th was solid with a slight drop of 1% MTD from November, but still at 3% higher than October MTD.
Two consecutive Saturdays with very high levels of Test Drives has seen the number of Test Drives tracking at 16% greater than MTD for a similar period in November.
Like other KPI’s, after a surge in the first week of December we saw a solid week of Appraisals from the 7th to the 13th December – 5% up MTD from November.
After the first week of December Sales volumes were down, the high Leads and Test Drives yielded fruit with a high week of Sales swinging to increase 2% MTD.
Logins to AutoPlayAuto.com have remained at a consistent level with little change from October and November MTD.
From the team at AutoPlay we would like to wish you a merry xmas and looking forward to a successful 2021.
With Christmas and New Years rapidly approaching you may find that you need to review who receives your leads over the xmas break.
There are a couple of approaches to managing new leads in AutoPlay.
1. All new leads are emailed/SMS and allocated to a single Sales Manager who is responsible for replying or allocating the lead to the rest of the sales team
2. All new leads are marked as Not Allocated but are emailed/SMS to a group of managers responsible for replying or allocating the leads. The first to pick up the lead then owns responsibility for the lead
3. Leads are automatically allocated to specific members of the sales team to manage directly - sometimes bypassing the Sales Manager. User A gets the first lead, User B the second, User C the third etc etc. You can read more about Auto Allocation at support.autoplayauto.com/portal/en/kb/articles/auto-allocat-new-electronic-leads
It is also possible to set up different recipients for leads after hours. This can be either a single recipient or multiple recipients. You can specify your after hours options by Weekday, Saturday or Sunday.
Over the Christmas and New Years periods you may find that there are changes to the users that normally manage your new leads that are captured from your website and third party listing sites. In AutoPlayAuto.com it is possible to set users as being either 'ON HOLIDAY' or set specific days of the week the they do not work.
If you are using the Auto Allocation function this can be particularly useful as specifying their rostered days off, or marking the user as 'On Holiday' will ensure the Auto Allocation does not route a lead to them. When the user returns to work make sure to untick the 'On Holiday' option as the user will not be automatically allocated any new leads whilst this remains ticked. You can read more about how these settings work at support.autoplayauto.com/portal/en/kb/articles/lead-allocation-rostered-days-off
If you have any questions about how best to manage your new leads within AutoPlayAuto.com please contact our support team at email@example.com
2020 has been a hell of a year and like many of you the team at AutoPlay are looking forward to a well deserved break. As with previous years, the action never stops so AutoPlay will be running a skeleton crew over the Christmas and New Years period to deal with any urgent issues.
During the period from December 29th to 31st, and January 4th to 8th we will have limited Support available for any emergencies. We will not be doing any new onboardings, new set ups or any new projects over this period. However if you have any issues with listings being exported to websites or 3rd party sites, any issues with leads being captured to your AutoPlay account, or any issues with AutoPlayAuto.com that prevent you using the system you can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full Xmas and New Years roster is outlined below.
When it comes to motivating people there's a saying - you can use the carrot or the stick. So much of managing sales people comes down to this - do you put your foot down and enforce compliance or do you offer some other form of incentive?
With incentivizing behavior there are several different ways of doing so. Offering features that help salespeople manage their time, connect deals and generally sell more cars is one such way, and historically a big focus for AutoPlay.
Another way to incentivise is with cold, hard cash. At AutoPlay we don't have this kind of remit, but we have regularly been involved in providing data to from the Sales Pipeline for dealers, groups and OEM's that enables them to set KPI's to manage salespeople and dealers.
In 2021 AutoPlay will be launching AutoPlay Rewards - a brand new way to incentivise behavior and action through AutoPlayAuto.com.
AutoPlay Rewards allows OEM's, groups and dealers to offer salespeople the chance to earn points based on completing certain actions within AutoPlay - from keeping Awaiting Action leads under a threshold, to keeping response times under 60 minutes.
Click on the image below to cycle through a presentation for AutoPlay Rewards. If you would like to know more about how AutoPlay Rewards can work for your dealership or network please contact email@example.com
November was an interesting month. Overall Test Drives and Sales were down on October levels and it's possible we would have seen the same with Leads but for a large push of leads from OEM's to dealers late in the month.
Leads from Web – Classified sources decreased significantly with a 4.0% decrease from October to November - however this is still the number one source of leads across AutoPlay customers. Leads from dealer sites remained solid with a 3.6% increase, however a late surge of leads pushed from distributors/OEM's saw the volume of brand supplied leads increase by 23.7% from the previous month.
Web - Classified - Down 4.0% (vs 1.4% decrease in October)
Web - Dealer - Up 3.6% (vs 17.3% decrease in October)
Brand - Up 23.7% (vs 18.4% decrease in October)
November figures as at midnight 31/11/20
Overall Test Drives were down from October to November. Test Drives attributed to 'Web - Classified' leads decreased by 8.4%, yet this source still remains the most common way to generate Test Drives. Like Leads, Test Drives from Dealer Websites remain fairly reliable with a 3.1% increase month to month. For the first time in several months a new source has cracked the top 3 with 'Dealership Visit' increasing by 41.5% from October to November and pushing 'Direct' out of the top 3 sources of Test Drives. However this does not represent a sudden change in buyer behavior, but rather the impact of some dealers changing how they classify leads in AutoPlay. The reality is that walk in Test Drives are likely more common than the data clearly shows as 'Direct' is still in the top 5 - though whether this represents a true attribution of the source of Test Drives is questionable.
Web - Classified – Down 8.4% (vs 4.3% decrease in October)
Web - Dealer – Up 3.1% (vs 2.7% decrease in October)
Dealership Visit – Up 41.5% (New To Top 3)
November figures as at midnight 31/11/20
The sources of sales have become more diverse over the last month with many sources of Sales that are smaller volume actually increasing (including a surge of Sales attributed to Dealership Visits). However with Sales attributed to 'Web - Classified' sources and 'Repeat' sources both down, the overall trend in Sales is down from October to November.
Web - Classified - Down 5.0% (vs 7.7% decrease in October)
Web - Dealer - Up 2.7% (vs 6.6% increase in October)
Repeat - Down 8.3% (vs 7.8% decrease in October)
November figures as at midnight 31/11/20
Overall, from the data we see at AutoPlay the market is still seeing activity, but trending slightly down as the year ends. Due to the timing of Christmas and New Years we won't be publishing the December stats in the next issue of the PlayBook. Keep an eye out in January 2021 for all the details on how we fared in December 2020.
The last few months have been challenging in many ways and there's no doubt that for many it's not been a good year. Luckily for car dealers, vehicle demand seems to have rebounded quickly and shows no signs of dropping off.
As AutoPlay have visited dealers the most striking thing we see is the lack of vehicles on the yard. When we speak to dealers and OEM's alike we hear about the challenges of ordering stock and many dealers tell us they are increasingly looking towards Appraisals as a viable source of new stock. However to date we have not seen this borne out in the weekly trend data we capture.
Appraisals have been steady, but have actually been affected more by the current economic climate than other KPI's like Test Drives or Sales. Currently Appraisals are actually trending down with 8% fewer Appraisals MTD than the equivalent period in October, and 16% fewer than in September.
With the prevailing sentiment seemingly conflicting with what data is captured we decided it's worth a deepr dive into how AutoPlay customers use the AutoPlay Appraisal Tool.
Over the last 6 months;
Total Appraisals Created = 38,764
How Complete Are Appraisals?
How Are Appraisals Being Utilised?
What Are The Valuations Returned?
What Types Of Vehicles Are Appraised?
With an average of 6,400+ Appraisals being created every single month by AutoPlay customers most dealers have a huge wealth of data ready to be mined. Here are 5 things you can do to better utilise AutoPlay to source and convert Appraisals;
1. For every customer that takes a test drive, offer a no obligation Appraisal.
With AutoPlayAuto.com whilst one salesperson is conducting the test drive, another salesperson can jump on their smartphone and conduct an appraisal of the customers current vehicle. With built in free vehicle lookup, the ability to take photos and record reconditioning items on a splat graph and the ease of getting manager approval the process could not be easier.
2. Work those past Appraisals.
It's possible that some buyers decided to delay thoughts of upgrading due to the fear around job security that many NZ'ers faced. Jump into Sales Pipeline>Vehicle Appraisals and sort by 'This Year'. Any you have not marked as Traded look at any associated lead and if appropriate give them a call.
3. Use the Wishlist and In Market Leads to remind you of deals and record interest when you don't have stock
With a shortage of stock it's inevitable that you'll encounter a customer who is after something that is not currently available. With the Wishlist you can enter the details of the vehicle the customer is after. When vehicles are Appraised or come into stock it will automatically notify the owner of the lead that a car that matches their requirements is potentially available - connecting both the Appraisal and the lead into two possible transactions.
The Wishlist is also perfect for recording leads for new model launches - something you can also achieve by loading leads against brochureware. The advantage of doing this via the Wishlist is that the sales team are automatically notified when the new model does come into stock rather than having to be manually mined.
In Market Leads is a similar concept, but flipped in reverse. By running Appraisals through In Market Leads you can identify potential buyers for the Appraisal based on the vehicle originally associated with their lead.
4. Get Wholesale Quotes Quickly & Easily
Not every AutoPlay dealer utilises the built in SMS capability to request Wholesale Quotes. With AutoPlayAuto.com it's easy to set up Wholesale Distribution Groups - meaning you can push out a potential trade in to multiple wholesalers in a few clicks. Wholesalers can then view all the information and images they need to value the vehicle, enter their offer which will then be displayed against the Appraisal in the Wholesale Quotes section.
5. Share Appraisals Amongst A Group Of Dealers
If your dealership belongs to a group of dealers it's possible to send out your Appraisal to receive offers from other dealers in the group. This can be useful in gauging whether there is already an active buyer amongst the group, and save margin having to buy wholesale.
After a turbulent year, we have found activity stabilising over the last few months. Whilst activity in October was slightly down from September, we are still not seeing the “dead cat bounce” that many expected after the last round of wage subsidies ended. In October Leads were down 2.2% from September levels and still well short of the peaks we saw in June after the first nationwide lockdown.
Conversely Test Drives are slightly up from September with a small 2.4% increase – likely due to the bump in leads we saw in September coming to fruition. Overall Sales recorded by AutoPlay customers are down 4.7% from September to October and reinforce the idea that whilst we are still seeing high levels of activity it is slightly less easier than it was earlier in the year to convert your leads to sales.
Leads - Down 2.2%
Test Drives - Up 2.4%
Sales - Down 4.7%
October figures as at midnight 31/10/20
Leads from Web – Classified sources were in line with the overall decrease across all sources at 1.3% decrease from September. Interestingly though leads from dealer websites and from the brand suffered greater than average decreases in excess of 15% - suggesting that other less popular sources of leads either suffered smaller drops, or actually increased from September to October.
Web - Classified - Down 1.4% (vs 0.8% decrease in September)
Web - Dealer - Down 17.3% (vs 15.1% increase in September)
Brand - Down 18.7% (vs 12.4% increase in September)
October figures as at midnight 31/10/20
Although Test Drives slightly increased from September to October the top 3 sources of Test Drives all decreased last month. The primary reason for this is that we saw some significant jumps in Test Drives from these sources in August and September – meaning these decreases can be viewed as more of a normalisation of these KPI’s rather than a statistically significant decrease.
Web - Classified – Down 4.3% (vs 10.6% increase in September)
Web - Dealer – Down 2.7% (vs 4.4% increase in September)
Direct – Down 7.3% (vs 29.0% increase in September)
October figures as at midnight 31/10/20
Of the 3 main KPI’s AutoPlay track by source we have seen Sales have been the most strongly affected by the COVID rollercoaster. In October we saw Sales decrease by 4.7% and this overall decrease was mirrored across the top 3 sources of sales. Sales attributed to Web – Classified sources decreased by 7.7%, sales from Web – Dealer sources decreased by 6.6% and sales from Repeat customers decreased by 7.8%.
Web - Classified - Down 7.7% (vs 1.8% decrease in September)
Web - Dealer - Down 6.6% (vs 1.6% increase in September)
Repeat - Down 7.8% (vs 8.1% decrease in September)
October figures as at midnight 31/10/20
Overall, from the data we see at AutoPlay the market is still surprisingly robust. As Xmas approaches it will be interesting to see if this continues or whether we finally start to see activity taper off. Make sure to check back next month to see the top 3 sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales for kiwi dealers.
AutoPlayAuto.com is incredibly feature rich - so much so that there's likely many features that you've never heard of. For the uninitiated here's the A to Z's of AutoPlay....
A – Automation
The newest baby in AutoPlay’s suite of products, automation can help streamline internal reminders and external communication. Automation helps dealers deliver consistent communication where a mere mortals memory might fail them .
B – Brochureware
AutoPlayAuto.com is purpose built for the automotive space - which is why the Sales Pipeline is built around adding vehicles to your leads. "Brochureware" allows brands to load generic examples of their new vehicles for dealers to load leads against - giving more accurate and granular tracking on pre-sale lead activity.
C – Calendar Events
When we were first designing AutoPlay Sales Pipeline we saw many salespeople struggling with their DMS presenting them with an overwhelming amount of leads and follow up actions. AutoPlayAuto.com uses a built in calendar to schedule follow-up and only presents these leads back to users when something needs to be done - avoiding cluttering your dashboard with activity that doesn't currently require action.
D – DMS Integration
At AutoPlay we've always taken the position that AutoPlayAuto.com is the best place to capture and manage your pre-sale leads - but when a sale is complete this information needs to be transferred into the CRM or DMS system. In NZ AutoPlay integrate with most of the main DMS providers (AutoLine, AutoIT, ComsolF2, Magix) and have completed a number of custom integrations at the dealer and brand level.
E – Email Response Tool
AutoPlay has a built in video email response tool for branded HTML emails. Ensure all your comms are on brand and utilise the ability to record personalised video responses to build rapport with your customers. When sending video email responses we've seen dealers increase their rate of reply to outgoing emails from 1 in 5 to 3 out of 5.
F – Fully Responsive
AutoPlayAuto.com is a fully responsive HTML web app - meaning it will respond to any screen size and can be used on any device (works best on Chrome on Windows and Android, and Safari on iOS). Unchaining sales people from their desks has always been a driving goal for AutoPlay and having access to run Test Drives, Appraisals and manage leads from your smartphone lets sales people always be on top of their leads.
G – Great Results
Dealers and OEM's that use AutoPlayAuto.com report great results. From improving response times to tapping into their "lost" leads - AutoPlayAuto.com has all the tools salespeople need to achieve their performance and efficiency goals.
H – How To Guides
AutoPlay has an extensive range of How To Guides and video tutorials available at support.autoplayauto.com/portal/en/kb. These guides cover all the functionality available in AutoPlayAuto.com, but if you prefer a more structured approach make sure you have completed the AutoPlay Academy - our online learning course designed to help you master AutoPlay. If you require more training you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book with one of our expert trainers.
I – In Market Leads
In Market Leads allows dealers to set criteria for similar vehicles, and will alert them when new vehicles are loaded, prices are dropped, or appraisals are completed that may be of interest to existing leads. In Market Leads is designed to help connect potential deals together and give salespeople a reason to pick up the phone and call their customers.
J – Just Keep It Simple
Lead management doesn't need to be complicated. Although there are a huge number of features in AutoPlayAuto.com, good lead management boils down to (1) Load ALL your leads (not just the ones you think you will close), (2) Tell AutoPlay what you have done by updating the Progress, (3) Tell AutoPlay what you are going to do via the built in calendar. If you are struggling to improve your lead management habits start with these 3 steps before you move on to more advanced features.
K – Killing it
AutoPlay have over 80% of franchise dealers in NZ using our services in some form or another (depending on whether you count rooftops or volume). We have not got here by accident! We pride ourselves on listening to dealer feedback and providing a tool that is purpose built for the Automotive industry. We have a local development team pumping out more than 12 releases a year - if you have a pain point let us know at email@example.com and we'll take a look.
L – Live Leads
Email marketing has long been a staple of the Automotive industry, but AutoPlay take this to the next level with our Live Leads eDM's. Live Leads emails take the static images and either a voiceover and music and creates a unique video for each one of your listings. Simply select 9-12 vehicles and track which recipients viewed which vehicles. Particularly effective at retargeting so called "lost" leads, Live Leads can now be automated to trigger on demand or monthly, and notify lead owners when customers interact with their email.
M – Manage Your Leads
At it's core AutoPlayAuto.com is a pre-sale lead management tool designed to help dealers manage their leads. It's impossible to keep track of all your leads without a lead management tool, and by capturing all of your leads, AutoPlayAuto.com becomes your dealerships single source of truth.
N – Notifications
AutoPlayAuto.com can be configured to generate Notifications whenever something happens that you want to know about. From notifying managers when leads are closed lost, to our auto rotation of new leads, AutoPlayAuto.com has a comprehensive array of built in and configurable notifications. Whether you prefer email, sms or in app notifications you can set up AutoPlay to suit your preferences.
O – OCR
AutoPlayAuto.com has a built in Drivers Licence and Business Card scanner (OCR) that can be used when creating Test Drive or Loan Car Forms. Scanning a customers details streamlines the process of taking a photocopy of the customers drivers licence and ensures the accurate capture of customer details.
P – Purpose Built for automotive sales people
When AutoPlay first launched over a decade ago we specialised in video content and a outbound email response tool - at that point we didn't even have a lead management focus. As we noticed dealership staff struggling with using generic CRM's and trying to make them work for selling cars we sensed an opportunity to provide a purpose built tool. We've built AutoPlay around dealers actual processes - we follow the road to the sale and our focus has been to digitise the sales process. As we move forward we spend a lot of time with dealers listening to their challenges and everything we build is designed to help solve a pain point for dealers.
Q – Quality Support
At AutoPlay we try our best to provide quality support to all our customers. From our dedicated customer care account managers to our knowledgable support team, we've always tried to put our customers first. You won't find us charging our customers for support enquiries and we always make sure you can talk to a human about your issue.
R – Reporting
AutoPlay have a full suite of more than 15 reports available via AutoPlayAuto.com. We also have a number of custom CSV reports and can even automate certain reports where required. At times we find some larger groups or brands want to build their own reporting, and we make this easy with our lead api available to share data with other third party vendors. We are currently rebuilding our reporting platform to make it more robust and flexible and will roll this out over the coming months.
S – SMS
In AutoPlayAuto.com we have the ability to hook up to an SMS gateway to send either individual or bulk SMS marketing. In NZ this is becoming more heavily utilised, but in Australia it's one of the preferred ways of communicating with customers. SMS can even be used to send a link to a more detailed video email response - giving you the ability to deliver more detailed comms via sms.
T – Test Drives & Trade Ins
AutoPlay was built around digitising the road-to-the-sale. From Test Drives to Trade In's (appraisals) we digitise the capture of customer information at every step in the sales process. With AutoPlayAuto.com capturing customer infor early and often, we've found some dealers capturing more than 9x as much customer information as using the DMS alone.
U – User Friendly
AutoPlayAuto.com is easy to use. Theres a lot of info to present, but we are always trying to display it as clearly as possible. With so many users in NZ we've become a staple in the automotive industry, but we are not complacent! Where possible we are constantly refining and improving our processes and functionality.
V – Video
Video has always been a huge part of AutoPlay's identity. AutoPlay started from AutoTV which ran on C4 tv for many years. When the audience eyeballs decreased on TV we pivoted to producing online videos, and to this day you can automatically build videos with just your normal listing images, backing music and a personalised voiceover. Our email response tool is built around personalised videos to build rapport, and our Live Leads eDM's allow us a level of tracking of vehicle interest which helps dealer re-prospect any leads they have closed as lost.
W – Wishlists
In some cases your sales team won't be able to qualify their customers to a individual vehicle. AutoPlay Wishlists let you record what the customer is interested in, and alert the sales team whenever a similar vehicle comes into stock or is appraised. This function can be particularly useful with new model launches as it lets you record interest months in advance of stock being available and alerts dealers when the model comes into stock - giving them a ready list of potential buyers.
X – X-Factor
AutoPlayAuto.com gives dealers that X-Factor needed to stand out with customers. Customers are impressed with the technology experience when using AutoPlay, and high quality video emails that are personalised to your customer help to stand out in a cluttered inbox.
Y – Your single source of truth
When AutoPlay set up a new dealership we capture all electronic leads from all sources. We have a purpose built lead API for third parties to submit leads, but we cater to whatever we can get. We can capture an map email leads and can even facilitate FTP imports to capture spreadsheets of new leads. With the help of companies like WildJar and Avanser AutoPlay can capture phone leads and our easy to use software makes it easy to manually load leads. With CRM integration with many OEM's in NZ we make it easy for them to distribute leads throughout the netowrk - making AutoPlay your single source of truth for all sales leads in the dealership.
Z – (New) Zealand’s number one automotive pre-sale lead management tool
Cheating a little here, but AutoPlay is NZ's number one automotive pre-sale lead management tool. It's been a tough year, but end it in style by refocusing on your lead management process to make the most out of your leads. AutoPLay has a huge number of built in features and optional upgrades that help dealers increase accuracy, efficiency and results. If you are not making the most of any of the features outlined above contact your account manager to find out how AutoPlay can help you.
The article below will be published in an upcoming issue of Autofile magazine.
AutoPlay has a wealth of reporting information for your dealership. Contact your Account Manager to find out more about our comprehensive reporting suite.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers