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
Vehicle Appraisals are a big part of the car buying process, so it's no surprise that the Vehicle Appraisal Form is one of the more popular functions within the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. This is particularly the case when it comes to the iPad/iPhone version of the app, which gives salespeople complete freedom to conduct Appraisals anywhere they carry their iPhone or iPad.
Free Fuel Saver Look Up
There's no need to manually type in all of the details and specifications for the customers trade when using the Vehicle Appraisal Form. Just enter in the customers rego and AutoPlay will perform a free lookup to the Fuel Saver database - saving salespeople time spent scribing in vehicle specs and making sure that the minimum required info is easier to capture.
Purchase Vehicle Checks
If you are signed up to either Motorcentral Car Check, Carjam or MotorWeb for your vehicle checks you can run these through the Appraisal Form in the Sales Pipeline as you complete your vehicle appraisals. Your billing relationship remains unchanged and we can restrict which users are able to see this function. To set up contact Support@autoplay.co.nz
When appraising vehicles it's possible to assign just a simple Trade In Offer, but it's also possible to go much more in depth with this function. Users can assign a 'Condition' (Poor, Average, Excellent etc) as well as a $ value for any reconditioning costs in the pre-set categories (Panel & Paint, Windscreen, Interior, Tyres, Mechanical, Grooming). Additionally users can get even more granular with itemised reconditioning costs for a more accurate valuation.
The Vehicle Appraisal Form allows users to email or SMS vehicle wholesalers directly from the app to request wholesale quotes. These can be stored in a Wholesale Quotes section within the Appraisal Form.
It's also possible to set up your Appraisals so that only a designated manager can mark them as approved. This does not stop any user from creating an Appraisal Form, however if the role is set up the Appraisal Manager will be prompted by notification and email to review and approve the Appraisal - giving the dealership more transparency over the Appraisal process throughout the sales team.
If you have any questions about the Vehicle Appraisal Form you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also arrange additional training for the dealership. Contact us for prices.
It costs a lot to list your vehicles online. When a new listing is received into stock by a dealership the first instinct is to get that listing online as soon as possible. For a lot of dealerships this means getting the old Lumix out and getting those photographs onto Trade Me, Driven, Autotrader and the dealership website quick smart - even if the listing has yet to add any Features and Comments.
This isn't necessarily the wrong idea - the sooner the listing is online the sooner the leads can start rolling in right? However recently AutoPlay has been growing into the Australian market and have noticed a definite trend that perhaps has some learnings for the kiwi market as well.
In NZ although some channels charge per lead, the majority of 3rd party sites charge a monthly subscription instead. In Australia the model is quite different with Car Sales.com.au as their main source of online leads. With Car Sales.com.au the dealerships are charged for each lead they receive. Possibly because of this they are far more conscious than kiwi dealers of working their current "in market" leads before paying to list online - and with good reason.
Imagine you pay $50 per lead from an online portal. For each listing you put on line you are generating an average of 5 leads over the listings lifetime (and this is a very conservative figure in the Aus market). This will cost the dealership an average of $250 per listing that comes directly off their bottom line.
Instead what Australian dealerships have been focussing on is using all of the contacts in their pre-sale database (from captured leads) and retargeting these customers BEFORE they actually list the vehicle online. If we look at the chart below we can see a lot of money spent on marketing from various sources which then ultimately converts down to about 40% of leads into Test Drives and 20% into Sales. This leaves 80% which have made themselves known to the dealership as being "In Market". A new Mazda 6 arrives in stock or is traded in? Great, just identify all the customers that came in on a Mazda 6 or similar and call them. If you make a sale you don't have to ever list the vehicle online and you've saved yourself days of waiting and at least $250. If you don't make a sale then list the car online and all you've lost is a day or two and you still have a potential customer who will appreciate that you thought of them. Easy right?
Where the breakdown sometimes occurs is that often it is difficult for the salesperson or manager to identify which potential customers might be interested in the new Mazda 6. Australian dealerships have the same challenges as NZ dealers - in the vast majority of cases the sales team is only loading to the DMS the 20% that actually make it to a sale.
Although early days in the Aus market for us, with AutoPlay Sales Pipeline we are finding that because of this differing approach we are finding some positive reception to what AutoPlay are doing. Some of the Sales Pipelines main strengths are that it is incredibly easy to use, mobile friendly and digitises things like TD and Appraisal Forms - all of which contributes to more customers being captured more accurately - we have seen in kiwi dealerships where as much as 9x more emails and customer info has been captured when using AutoPlay as opposed to using the DMS alone.
There are primarily 2 ways that dealerships can tap into their "in market" leads. The first is on an individual basis. The Sales Pipeline allows you to search on the Dashboard for whoever has enquired on certain models. When you have access to a similar model it's super easy to find those that enquired previously - particularly so when they are often captured automatically for 3rd party sites. Users can also canvas their "In Market" leads by accessing the Listing Summary screen from the Dashboard.
Before deleting the sold listing simply find it via the Listing Summary and you will be able to see a full list of who enquired on the listing, as well as what stage they got to in the road-to-a-sale and the salesperson looking after them - making recycling these leads into another similar vehicle a doddle!
Depending on the time available a similar (if less personal) result can be achieved by utilising the built in Live Leads function available to all Sales Pipeline users. We have gone on at length about Live Leads in this PlayBook, but if you are not familiar with it you can read more here. Live Leads enables dealerships to target based on their previously captured leads any customers that enquired on a particular Make/Model (among other criteria). They can then send unique video emails to these recipients with a range of vehicle videos on them - designed to test whether the customer is still "in market". If a recipient watches a video the Sales Pipeline can be set up to trigger an automatic calendar reminder to contact this customer - thus taking out a lot of the hard work required to gauge the temperature of customers who enquired but didn't purchase.
With the Dashboard, Listing Summary and Live Leads AutoPlay makes it very easy to retarget and recycle previous leads onto similar listings. Although the main sources for electronic leads in NZ do not charge per lead there is still much that can be learnt from this process. Whilst kiwi dealers should still aim to get their new listings online as soon as possible, they should also follow the discipline of checking their potential "in market" leads simultaneously to give themselves as much opportunity as possible.
Contact Support@autoplay.co.nz to order your own managed services Test Drive Kiosk
How well does your dealership use Sales Pipeline?
Within AutoPlay there are numerous ways managers can measure how their team are performing. From their success against targets for Leads, Test Drives and Sales through to their conversion performance against industry benchmarks. But how do you currently measure your dealerships usage of the Sales Pipeline? We have reports for this as well but with all the data available at your fingertips how do you weight one metric against another? You need to take a holistic view of the key metrics to really see the full picture.
Why measure usage metrics?
In a sales-centric environment like car sales, it’s tempting to focus solely on performance metrics like leads, test drives, sales, conversion figures and performance against targets. After all why do you care about how well a user is using the software so long as they are pushing tin – surely that’s AutoPlays problem?
And you would be right, one of the main priorities for AutoPlay is ensuring that our customers are using the software to get all the advantages that come with this, rather than just ticking boxes because they have to. However it should also be driven from the dealership side for many reasons. When the good times come to an end the diligence shown around lead management will set up sales people to maintain their levels of success.
Moreover, a rogue salesperson who sells well but doesn’t manage their leads will inevitably create a wake around them. It creates more work for Managers and if they leave the business it’s impossible to handover to a new staff member.
Most importantly even the best performing sales person can always do better. Unless your conversion to sales is at 100% there should always be room to focus on improving performance – and one of the easiest ways to improve performance is to drive the key metrics that underpin success.
How do I measure usage?
The first step is to determine what the key metrics are for usage. It is about more than just the number of logins, leads, test drives or sales loaded. The following 5 metrics are key to establishing good habits and maximising lead management.
1. Lead Source %
How effective is your dealership at capturing the details of where your leads are coming from? Tracking the lead source is one of the easiest things to achieve, yet is commonly an area where even good salespeople let themselves down. Part of this can be attributed to not seeing how capturing this info can have a direct effect on their own personal bottom line – the obvious answer being that understanding the most profitable marketing channels will help the dealership make decisions to generate the most leads, for the least cost. More leads equal more sales opportunities which can only be a good thing.
How to weight: Score/20
(% of leads with Lead Source x 20 points)
2. Overdue + Stalled Leads #
Is your dealership letting leads fall through the cracks, or are you keeping up to date? If nothing else, the key focus for any salespeople is to keep their leads in the Now or Future date ranges. If leads are falling into Overdue or Stalled then they are not being managed well. The goal should be to have zero leads in Overdue or Stalled.
How to weight: Score/20
(20 points for zero Overdue/Stalled. – 0.5 points for any lead at Overdue or Stalled)
3. Awaiting Action #
If you don’t respond to leads quickly and efficiently then no amount of good lead management practices will win you these customers back. It’s vital your salespeople move leads through the road-to-a-sale and don’t leave them languishing at ‘Awaiting Action’.
How to weight: Score/20
(20 points for zero Awaiting Action. – 0.5 points for any lead still at Awaiting Action)
4. Average Data Capture %
Is your sales team making sure to capture the customer info required to follow-up? For most dealerships they are not converting 70% to 80% of the leads the dealership receives. If you don’t capture customer details it makes it hard for the dealership to remarket to these contacts who have not resulted in a sale. Score at Meet & Qualify stage to account for throwaway web enquiries that never progress beyond an initial reply.
How to weight: Score/20
(% of data captured for contacts at Meet & Qualify stage and beyond x 20 points)
5. Close Reason %
When closing leads as lost is your sales team recording a reason for the lost lead? Creating a discipline around qualifying “lost” leads not only helps isolate the reasons customers are not buying, but also forces salespeople to pay attention to how they close leads in order to open up more remarketing opportunities down the line.
How to weight: Score/20
(% of leads closed lost with reason x 20 points)
Using this process to gauge your performance out of 100 will help dealerships attribute their overall usage of AutoPlay to one easy to digest single score. From AutoPlays side we are in the very early stages of planning out a Dealership Score for our AutoPlay reporting suite. If you have any questions about these metrics or feedback on how you measure usage please hit us up at email@example.com
Ah good ol’ new year’s resolutions. Most of us set them……and unfortunately most of us don’t follow through. Despite this there’s nothing wrong with a little self-improvement. A recent newspaper article stated that after 4 years of record growth in new car sales, 2018 is likely to be a flat year for kiwi dealerships. With that in mind now’s the perfect time to think about how you currently utilise AutoPlay, and set some new year’s resolutions about the role AutoPlay will play within your dealership in 2018.
1. I WILL BE BETTER AT TRACKING MY LEAD SOURCES AND CAMPAIGNS
Some dealerships are fantastic at tracking the source of their leads and the campaigns that generated them. These dealers have a fantastic understanding of how both their own, and their brands marketing is affecting in dealership activity (not just sales!). On the flip side if you are only capturing lead sources for 50% of your leads then you are only seeing half the picture. Capturing lead sources and campaigns is easy and as of 17.4 you can now hide sources you don’t want to see. In 2018 managers need to take control of this process to ensure their sales teams are capturing this valuable info. Some AutoPlay clients make it part of sales KPI’s for their team, whilst others simply make the fields compulsory. However, it’s achieved, one of your biggest lead management goals for 2018 should be to increase the rate at which you are capturing Lead Sources and Campaigns.
2. I WILL IMPROVE MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE AUTOPLAY REPORTING SUITE
Besides improving accuracy and efficiency across dealership processes, one of the real cherries on top of the AutoPlay pie is the huge amount of reporting we make available to dealerships at no additional cost. AutoPlay reports are designed to be easy to understand and digest, however like anything gaining true understanding requires work. In 2018 whether you are a salesperson, sales manager or dealer principal you should focus on really understanding some of the data at your fingertips. If you already have a basic understanding of AutoPlay reports then your focus should be on understanding what that data means. An example of this is knowing that 50 leads in awaiting action is likely to translate to 25 Test Drives and 10 Sales at your normal rates of conversion. This represents the next level of understanding over your reports which can help take performance and decision making to the next level.
3. I WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE TOOLS I HAVE ACCESS TO
As a rule, most dealers use AutoPlay Sales Pipeline well – capturing leads, scanning driver’s licences and business cards and completing digital Test Drive, Appraisal and Write Up forms. With AutoPlay we don’t charge per lead entered, or per form completed. Most of our services follow a ‘fill your boots’ model – meaning users can really focus on taking advantage of the tools available to them. One aspect that can yield real benefits is the new Live Leads process which makes it easy to build a database from your captured leads, and automatically funnel any resulting follow up activity back against the customer and lead in the Sales Pipeline. AutoPlay will typically send one of these emails on behalf of each dealership who wants it, however we place no limits on how many Live Leads eDM’s each dealership can send if they create and manage the campaigns themselves. As the emails are templates with your branding and vehicle videos it’s incredibly easy to build these emails. If you are not taking advantage of this already jump on board.
4. I WILL MANAGE MY OVERDUE & STALLED LEADS
One of the most common issues we see at dealerships is their response to Overdue or Stalled leads. Overdue leads are those that were due for action -3 to -20 days ago but have not been diarised forward yet. Stalled leads are more than 21 days overdue without being diarised forward. These leads are easily filtered to and management is alerted via Daily Health Checks and other reporting. However, what we commonly see is dealerships paralysed by fear when it comes to this data. For some reason many dealerships see huge value in their Overdue or Stalled leads and seem unable to make the decision to close the leads as lost. It sounds redundant, but there is no value in these leads unless you action them. There are several approaches to handle Overdue & Stalled leads.
a. Allocate them to another salesperson – nothing is more effective at motivating salespeople to update their system than threatening to give those leads to another, more motivated salesperson. You can do this individually or in bulk using the ‘Bulk Allocate’ function.
b. Close the leads as “Lost” – you don’t need to be scared of the word “lost”. In AutoPlay’s context all “lost” leads are still visible in the Sales Pipeline and can be easily found using the search filters. Closing leads as “lost” helps keep your dashboards manageable.
c. Use AutoPlay Live Leads to retarget these Overdue or Stalled Leads by emailing them with Live Leads. You can do this by selecting Close Lost if you had previously do so, or alternatively you can use the other filters to isolate these Overdue or Stalled Leads. If the customer is still in the market the lead will be updated accordingly – saving time communicating individually with customers who may be more than 6 months overdue.
5. I WILL USE THE CALENDAR EFFECTIVELY
The calendar built into the Sales Pipeline enables users to diarise leads forward for future follow up. As the default AutoPlay dashboard is set to only show activity due in +/- 3 days, this means that you only see the leads you need to be focussing on right now. A good habit to get into at the end of handling each lead is treat the Sales Pipeline like your manager - tell us where you got to, and what you are going to do next. In practice this means updating the Lead Progress, then setting a Calendar event for follow up. This serves multiple purposes;
a. Keeps your Dashboard clean and makes finding leads easier
b. Minimises the number of leads falling through the cracks into Overdue or Stalled and being forgotten about
c. Ensures the Morning Meeting Report contains accurate information about what is happening within the dealership
d. Ensures the Overdue Lead Report and Daily Health check provide management with an accurate reflection of salesperson activity
Sticking to these 5 new year’s resolutions can be an effective way to get better at using the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline, however they are not the only ways to make positive changes. We encourage all our customers to sit down, review their own usage and commit to 5 of their own lead management resolutions. If you have any questions about AutoPlay products & services, or wish to book training you can contact AutoPlay on firstname.lastname@example.org
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers