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