Recently I stumbled across one of the ubiquitous “top digital trends for 2019” articles that you see at this time of the year, every year. One of the key trends I’ve seen identified repeatedly is the need to personalise your communications with your potential customers.
Video is one way you can easily personalise your communication, with the added benefit of being one of the more effective ways to engage with potential customers. As you can see from the images above, according to Google 56% of shoppers could be convinced to buy a car from a 360-degree video without having to test drive the vehicle. In addition, 40% of shoppers who watched a video about cars or trucks visited a dealer as a result.
It is said that some industries are already seeing up to a 30% increase in close rates (Adpearance). At AutoPlay we’ve run our own surveys about the AutoPlay Video Email Response tool and have had dealers report back increases of 60% when replying to customer enquiry with video, as opposed to tradition text-based emails. There’s clear evidence that personalising your customer comms will drive higher engagement from potential customers.
So how can you utilise the AutoPlay suite of products to personalise your customer communication?
1. AutoPlay Virtual Demo Videos
Personalising your customers web experience is difficult, however steps can be taken to inject personality into the online space via AutoPlay Virtual Demo videos. These videos let dealerships customise their own recording scripts, and record their own unique voiceovers on listing videos – a great way to introduce the dealerships personality into the online space.
2. Embed Youtube Videos
If you have an AutoPlay Vehicle Display Page you will be able to embed a Youtube video into the VIDEO LINK field in the AutoPlay Studio. This allows dealerships to embed any video they have rights to use, within their AutoPlay vehicle stock page.
3. AutoPlay Video Email Response Tool – Stitched Video
The AutoPlay Video Email Response Tool was one of the first digital communication tools that AutoPlay built and is still going strong to this date. The Email Response Tool allows salespeople to inject their personality into the online space, and has proven to be an effective way of building rapport with prospective customers. Although we are a tech company, we have an old school mentality when it comes to emails – you are not likely to sell a car directly from an email, but how you reply to email enquiries will directly affect your prospective customers decision to visit the dealership. The default mode for the email tool is to stitch the audio onto the existing images – making it extremely easy to build straight from the app.
4. AutoPlay Video Email Response Tool – Filmed Video
If you are using the iOS App you can utilise the camera on your iphone/ipad to film a true video walk around of the car – hopping in and out, opening the boot and engine bay and even starting the engine. Filming a true video definitely takes more skill and confidence than recording a voice-over, but can really help to personalise the experience for potential customers.
After an up and down last few months saw strong growth in Lead and Test Drive volume in October 2018, November bucked the trend with decreases across all 3 KPI’s for AutoPlay customers. Leads decreased by 2.5%, Test Drives by 5.2% and Sales by 4.1%.
Reflecting the overall trend of a decrease in Lead volume, most sources decreased in the month of November. ‘Web – Dealer’ leads decreased by 6.8% from Octobers high, and whilst ‘Web – Classified’ still accounted for the second most leads across AutoPlay customers, dealers also saw a decrease in the number of leads from this source by 2.5% from month to month. ‘Brand’ generated leads continue to provide dealers a reliable source of leads and were one of the few sources to buck the trend – increasing by 4.7% from October to November.
As with Leads, the overall number of Test Drives decreased in November (vs October 2018). Test Drives from ‘Web – Dealer’ generated leads decreased by 7.8%, but dealer websites still remain the most fruitful place to generate Test Drives. ‘Direct’ Test Drives continue to firm as the second most popular source of Test Drives with a small 2.0% increase from October to November. As with October, Test Drives generated from ‘Brand’ leads accounted for the 3rd most Test Drives, but decreased by 11.7% from the previous month.
Sales across all Lead Sources decreased by 4.1% from October to November 2018. The same three sources accounted for the most Sales in November with ‘Web – Dealer’ decreasing by 1.5%, ‘Web – Classified’ decreasing by 0.5% and ‘Repeat’ decreasing by 3.3%.
Lead Source reports are just one of the reports available to dealerships and OEM’s who use AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. To find out more about the range of reports available via AutoPlay contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 9 361 1505.
AutoPlay are at the forefront of delivering innovative digital tools that are designed to enhance our customers day-to-day activities - whether it be through helping our Dealers become more efficient or by assisting them to drive a higher level of sales performance chances are we’ve got a solution that works for your Dealership.
We’ve been working closely with the team at MotorWeb - Trademe’s vehicle data business to develop a more tailored solution to support the vehicle appraisal process. Recognising not all vehicles are subsequently traded Sales Consultants and Managers have asked for a more targeted report to help them carry out appraisals.
Both AutoPlay and MotorWeb are committed to promoting best practice within the automotive industry. Our workflows are designed to protect both Dealers and their customers. MotorWeb’s reports help you meet both your legal obligations and financial compliance checks, leaving nothing to chance.
The new Appraisal Report will provide your sales team valuable insights at the very start of the process, upfront when you need to engage in great customer conversations.
So what are some of the benefits of an Appraisal Report?
How’s the Appraisal Report integrated within AutoPlay?
If you are currently using the MotorWeb VIR service in NZ via AutoPlay you will notice it change over automatically on 5/12/18. If you do not currently use this service within AutoPlay you can sign up via email@example.com. There is no additional charge from AutoPlay to use this function within the Sales Pipeline.
What’s the next step if we decide to purchase the Vehicle?
The MotorWeb Vehicle Information Report (VIR) will always be required to comprehensively check the vehicle before making any payment, as it checks a whole range of financial conditions including legal ownership, registered finance securities and will soon form part of your obligations under The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT). The VIR is only available through the MotorWeb Dashboard or if we’re integrated within your Dealer Management System (DMS).
To find out more about this service or sign up, please contact the MotorWeb Dealer Support team on 0800 668 679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
View an example of the Appraisal Report from MotorWeb
So much of the focus is on generating new leads, that dealerships sometimes neglect to work the leads they have already generated. In this day and age potential customers are not contacting your dealership for s**ts and giggles - they have made contact because they are interested in buying a car.
We all know that most dealers are only closing 20-25% of their leads, which makes it critically important that you have the right tools to help you follow up with the majority of customers who are not purchasing from you. AutoPlay has a number of built-in tools to help dealerships focus on retargeting leads they have already spent money to acquire.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline includes the built-in functionality to send video eDM’s to your captured leads. Sending Live Leads is integrated with the Sales Pipeline Dashboard and allows dealerships to target specific types of leads that they have already captured in the past.
1. Capture your leads as per business-as-usual
2. At the end of the month review your leads and decide on who you want to target
3. Click on LIVE LEADS then click on the + CREATE NEW LIVE LEADS EMAIL button on Desktop or iOS
4. Choose whether you want to manually set follow up, or use your default follow up settings (i.e create a calendar follow up automatically if a recipient watches X videos)
5. Select your Live Leads template and who you want to send the email from
6. Write a Subject Line and an intro message if required, and click SAVE
7. Select your Listings. Only listings with videos are included so if your desired listing does not have a listing go into the Listings screen and build a video via the burger menu>Listing>Rebuild MP4
8. Click on BUILD RECPIENT LIST to build a list of recipients for your email. You can select from any combination of leads including targeting only those that enquired on certain make/models, or those that only made it to Test Drive
9. Once you have built your list click SAVE and you can VIEW RECORDS to see who your email will be sent to. Your recipient list will be built from the leads you have previously captured.
10. PREVIEW and SEND your email
11. Once sent, wait a couple of hours and then you can click on RESULTS to view which recipients have opened the email, and watched videos. You can click on the VIEWED column to see which individual vehicles they viewed within the email
12. If you have your follow up set to automatic, AutoPlay will automatically create follow up calendar events against anyone that meets your follow up threshold – i.e. they watched at least 3 videos.
13. If you prefer to manually control your follow up you can select the leads you want to follow up with and click on the CREATE NEW LEAD button. This will create a new lead if your lead is closed, or add a calendar event if your lead is still open
14. Follow up your hot leads via the Dashboard
15. Next month, rinse and repeat. It is recommended that you don’t contact the same recipient more than once a month. Practically it is easier to create smaller, target groups that give your sales team a better chance of actually following up individually with recipients who interact with your email
You can read more about Live Leads here https://www.theplaybook.co.nz/playbook/coming-soon-integrated-live-leads
IN MARKET LEADS
As well as using Live Leads to qualify who to follow up with, you can also use In Market Leads to identify potential customers that might be interested when you lower the price of a vehicle, or a new vehicle comes into stock.
1. Capture your leads as per business-as-usual – making sure to qualify them to a vehicle
2. Every week check your IN MARKET LEADS screen. The In Market Leads screen is set up to show listings that have been recently added, or listings that have had a recent price decrease. There is a default setting for your dealership, but you can create your own preference using the PREFERENCES button
3. The In Market Leads screen will automatically return the Leads that have enquiries on similar cars to your new/price dropped listings. A Lead is identified as being similar based on the In Market Leads settings you have in PREFERENCES
4. It is recommended that you play with these settings to ensure you get a good balance between returning enough leads to follow up with, and returning too many leads to reasonably do anything with. A good starting point is match on Make, Model, Year (-1 to + 1) or Price (- $2500 to +$2500). Alternatively swap out make and model for Body Type if your customers are flexible on models
5. If you find a matching lead that you feel might be interested in the new/price dropped listing you can click on the record to view the lead, and + to schedule follow up. In Market Leads creates the perfect opportunity to communicate with leads that might have gone cold, with the introduction of a similar car that may tickle their fancy
You can read more about In Market Leads here https://www.theplaybook.co.nz/playbook/introducing-in-market-leads-making-buyer-matching-easy
At AutoPlay we frequently get asked what is best practice - both when it comes to using the AutoPlay suite of products and also in the broader sense of managing leads. In response to this we've come up with a couple of flow charts that sum up how we believe a lead should be managed from start to finish.
Click on the image below to open a PDF file.
If you would like to talk to AutoPlay on what we believe Sales People and Sales Managers should be doing on a Daily, Weekly or Monthly basis please contact us on (+64) 9 361 1505. We have other Best Practice Guides that cover these topics and are available upon request for AutoPlay customers.
If you have any questions about these best practice documents, or would like to organise training in your dealership please contact email@example.com to arrange.
Over the past 12 months you might have noticed our Dealer Solutions Manager Jackie Hingston in your dealership as we’ve made a concerted effort to get around and visit all our customers. As part of Jackie’s visit she was conducting a review of each dealerships strengths and weaknesses. However, the good news is that you don’t need to wait until AutoPlay visits you in order to conduct your own self review.
If you feel like your dealership is below average at utilising the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline then the areas to focus on that will provide you with the most improvement are;
· Tell us what you did (i.e load leads and update the Progress)
· Tell us what you are going to do (i.e use the Calendar)
You can measure the number of leads loaded by each salesperson by using the Lead Summary and Conversion or Daily Activity Reports. Simply open the report, select your date range and open the salesperson section to have the report display by salesperson.
The Sales Pipeline Report will give you a breakdown of whether your dealership is progressing the leads being loaded. The goal is to ensure that there is not a disproportionate amount of leads sitting at Awaiting Action, and also allows the dealership to identify areas where the leads are stalling through the road-to-a-sale.
The Morning Meeting Report can be used in order to report back on how well the sales team are using the calendar. It will give managers an instant view of how many calendar events each salesperson has created for the day, and how many are complete.
Once you’ve mastered Level 1, it’s time to advance to Level 2. Whilst Level 1 focuses on simply what you’ve done and what you are going to do, Level 2 ups the game. If you can achieve mastery of Level 2 you will be a competent user of AutoPlay Sales Pipeline;
· Are you using the Test Drive Forms AND making sure to mark your Test Drives as DONE when the customer finishes the Test Drive?
· Are you using the Appraisal Form and benefitting from the MotorWeb/MotorCentral/CarJam integration?
· Are you using the Calendar effectively to minimise the amount of leads falling into Overdue or Stalled?
· Are you using the Morning Meeting Report to help with your daily one-on-ones with the sales team?
· Are you using the Sales Pipeline Report to identify the areas in the road to a sale where your leads are stalling?
· Are you using the Lead Summary and Conversion Report to determine your conversion to Test Drive and Sales?
If you can answer yes to all the questions in Level 1 & Level 2 then congrats – you are more than likely using the Sales Pipeline effectively. That said, it’s time to take it to the next level;
· Do you enter salesperson Lead, Test Drive and Sales targets and measure against this month and last month using the Daily Activity Performance Report?
· Do you enter Lead Source and Lead Campaign costs to measure ROI in the Lead Source and Marketing ROI reports within AutoPlay reporting?
· Have you compared the number of leads at Awaiting Action to your normal Test Drive and Sales conversion figures to determine how much money is sitting in your captured data?
· Do you take advantage of Live Leads to target the captured leads you have yet to sell to? Live Leads allows you to build an audience based on your previously captured leads, and automatically schedule follow up based on their interaction with your email.
· Have you got into In Market Leads yet? In Market Leads is a great way to immediately link potential interested buyers when the dealership loads new listings or lowers the price of existing listings.
We’ve worked hard to make sure the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is easy to use and intuitive, and we’re proud that many users can pick up the software and with a minimum of assistance start managing their leads via the Dashboard. That said we understand that the primary job of a salesperson is to sell cars, not learn software. From time-to-time it can be beneficial for sales people to have a refresher on AutoPlay. We offer a number of options for new staff or refreshers
AutoPlay Academy (Free of charge to AutoPlay customers)
The AutoPlay Academy is AutoPlay’s e-learning module and covers use of the Sales Pipeline on Desktop, iPad and iPhone. Each series is made up of a range of courses designed to help you get the most out of the Sales Pipeline. Click on the link below to find out more and get started with AutoPlay Academy
Skype ($250 + GST per 4 hours)
Everyone learns in different ways, and sometimes it might be more appropriate to be walked through the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline via Skype. Skype sessions last up to 4 hours and cost $250 + GST. With Skype sessions you can tailor the agenda to suit your dealerships requirements or have one of our trainers recommend training based on the strengths and weaknesses of your sales team. Skype sessions can be one on one, or for multiple salespeople at once.
Face-to-face Training ($1,000 + GST for full days training in dealership + expenses/flights/accommodation if applicable)
For those that prefer face-to-face training AutoPlay can spend the day at your dealership (exact hours dependent on availability of flights). Typically, it’s a good idea to divide the day into 2 sessions to ensure there are always salespeople available on the sales floor. This also ensures smaller sessions which result in more hands-on attention, and more willingness to get involved. AutoPlay Sales Pipeline training is hands on and is perfect for both new salespeople and as refreshers for existing salespeople. As with Skype training, dealerships can tailor their own specialised training or let AutoPlay’s experienced trainers recommend best practice.
“Just wanting to pass on my appreciation for your efforts today at our dealership. You gave me a couple of really helpful things that we will be able to utilise going forward. Thanks again, look forward to your next visit”
Spending time with AutoPlay staff members can yield great results. At AutoPlay we don’t just want you to pay for our product. We want to help dealerships connect buyers and sellers and we firmly believe that if your dealership takes advantage of the functionality available within the Sales Pipeline, you’ll improve accuracy, efficiency and transparency throughout the dealership.
To book training with AutoPlay or enrol in the AutoPlay Academy contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
Events play an important role for many marketers. According to Lead Liaison (another overseas company in this space), 58% of marketers have used an event lead management solution or lead capture tool at a live event. Despite this only 34% of marketers use new referrals, quality of leads and sales closure to measure event ROI (Marketing Charts 2013).
In addition, over 80% of marketers cannot quantify the data they collect during events, yet 46% of marketers view generating leads as the main reason to attend events and trade shows. Most damningly of all, some sources suggest 75% of all leads are never followed up with after an exhibition.
When you consider that some exhibitors are using paper forms to capture their potential leads at events these figures start to make sense. Inevitably it’s a lot of work to type out all the details on the form into a spreadsheet, and then distribute that spreadsheet out to their dealer network – not to mention chase up individual dealers and salespeople to see where they got to following up their leads.
In the last few years AutoPlay has been working with a number of brands to improve the efficiency of their lead capture at various events, and more importantly making their follow up considerably easier. There are several approaches on how AutoPlay can be utilised at events to help capture more leads;
1. “Cold walk ins, light touch approach”
Collect leads via a very simple web form that feeds leads into your Sales Pipeline Dashboard
+ Can design your own custom form especially for this event – making it as simple as you need it to be
+ Web form is a one-way push to Sales Pipeline and as such can work much better when internet is patchy
+ Don’t need the Sales Pipeline on-site. Can access the web form on any device that has an internet connection
- Doesn’t allow for any customer lookup – meaning there is no opportunity to prequalify event attendees
- Cannot link a database to pre-event marketing activity
2. “Pre-qualified, integrated marketing approach”
In conjunction with marketing activity prior to the event you can pre-qualify leads that are likely to attend the event. These leads can be sent from a CRM to AutoPlay Sales Pipeline – allowing salespeople to lookup pre-qualified leads during the event.
+ Ties in with pre-event marketing to ensure ROI tracking is linked from start to finish
+ Pre-qualified customers are further down the decision channel and this streamlines the experience during the event
+ Minimises chances of duplicate customers or duplicate leads
+ Enables salespeople to use built in tools such as database lookups, business card and drivers licence scanning
- Looking up a database of thousands of leads can require a reliable internet connection – something that is not always guaranteed at events and trade shows
- More pre-event work required to pre-qualify leads
- No ability to provide customers with a simplified lead capture form – leads entered manually at the event must be manually entered to the Sales Pipeline
Why capture leads with AutoPlay during events?
The most obvious answer is in order to track ROI of how many potential leads are generated during the event. However, it goes much further than this. By capturing leads via AutoPlay dealerships and OEM’s benefit greatly in the weeks and months following;
If you are interested in using AutoPlay for events talk to email@example.com about the approach that would be suitable for your dealership/brand.
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 Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers