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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The first month of the year is done and dusted, and with it brought a return to normalcy in the volume of leads, test drives and sales captured by AutoPlay customers (approx. 80% of the franchise market by volume). Where December saw a lull in the number of leads captured, January has returned to normal levels which have resulted in big increase across the board - leads increased by 17.3%, test drives by 15.7% and sales by 16.5% December 2017 to January 2018.
Leads captured increased across all sources with the ‘Web – Dealer’ source increasing by 22.4% from December to January and regaining the top spot as the most common source of leads for kiwi dealers. ‘Web – Classified’ slipped from first to second but still increased by 13.6%. After a 33% decrease in December, brands rebounded and the number of ‘Brand’ leads increased by 41.9%.
In January ‘Web – Dealer’ increased by 20.9%, ‘Direct’ increased by 21.9% and ‘Brand’ increased by 21% - knocking ‘Web – Classified’ off the number 3 spot. As leads decreased in December there likely wasn’t a huge number of December created leads waiting to be converted in January to test drives – showing that many of the leads generated in January are being closed the same month.
In December 2018 the ‘Brand’ source was the only lead source to buck the trend and experience an increase in sales from November to December. In January big increases in sales generated from ‘Web – Dealer’ (up 41.2%), ‘Web – Classified’ (up 19.6%) and ‘Repeat’ (up 23.4%) saw the ‘Brand’ source disappear from the top 3 sources of sales. In particular sales from classified sites jumped back into the top 3 – helped by the fact that in December 6.8% more test drives were captured from sites like Driven, Autotrader and Trade Me.
Make sure to check out next months issue of The Playbook to see how leads, test drives and sales by source changed in the month of February.
Top 3 Sources for Leads, Test Drives and Sales New Zealand Dealerships December 2017 (vs November 2017)
Now that 2017 is over we can take a look back at Lead, Test Drive and Sales activity over December 2017. Overall December was a quiet month as we lost a number of days to stat holidays and the quiet period between Christmas and New Year’s. Overall, the number of Leads captured by dealers using AutoPlay Sales Pipeline were down 17% from November 2017 to December 2017. Mirroring this trend, we also saw the number of Test Drives decrease by 12.7% and Sales by 12.9%.
Although Leads decreased by 17% in December, ‘Web – Classified’ managed to buck the trend and increase by 4.4%. Whilst the discipline of loading leads can slip around the holiday season, AutoPlay captures leads from 3rd party websites automatically which has helped to keep this figure stable. With ‘Web – Dealer’ accounting for 10.7% fewer leads in December this helped ‘Web – Classified’ regain the top spot in December 2017. After a strong November, the number of leads provided to dealers by the ‘Brand’ decreased by 33%, causing this lead source to slip to the third best source of leads for kiwi dealers.
Test Drives were down across the board in December. but after several months as the number one source of leads for dealers, there were still a number of leads from the ‘Web – Dealer’ source to be converted to Test Drives – resulting in a smaller decrease of 0.9% compared to 12.7% across all sources of Test Drives. ‘Direct’ was the second most prevalent source of Test Drives and ‘Web – Classified’ accounted for the third most Test Drives – up 6.8% from November 2017.
Sales were also down across the board with ‘Web – Dealer’ down 10.6% and ‘Repeat’ down 20.6%. In between ‘Brand’ accounted for the second most sales in December and was up 20.2% from November – likely due to the high volumes of brand leads pushed through from previous months slowly being converted to sales.
Make sure to check back next month to see the most frequent sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in January 2018.
As I write, Xmas is just around the corner and this provides dealers with a great opportunity to review what lead sources are, and are not working for them. Overall activity remained pretty static in November. Leads decreased slightly by 0.2%, Test Drives decreased by 0.1% and Sales increased slightly by 1.0% from October.
In November the top 3 sources of Leads remained ‘Web – Dealer’, ‘Brand’ and ‘Web – Classified’. ‘Web – Dealer’ fell by 6.2% but still managed to retain the top spot, though there were 1.7% more leads generated by ‘Brands’ in November than in October. ‘Web – Classified’ continued to drop, with 5.1% fewer leads from these sources in November than in October.
October saw a significant 35% increase in Test Drives for the ‘Direct’ source, however this proved to be an aberration as the top 3 spots were occupied again by ‘Web Dealer’, ‘Brand’ and ‘Web – Classified’. ‘Web – Dealer’ was the most common source of Test Drives, however in November the volume decreased by 12.3%. Both ‘Brand’ (up 39.2%) and ‘Web – Classified’ (up 19.3%) were popular sources of Test Drives in November.
After becoming the number one source of Sales in October, ‘Web – Dealer’ retained prime position with a further 6.7% increase. In November a large number of Sales were recorded as being from the ‘Referral’ source – with an unusual 124.9% increase. ‘Direct’ also increased by a significant margin with an increase of 44.1% month-to-month.
What are the Top 3 Sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales for kiwi dealerships? (October 1st to October 31st)
In October 2017, for the second consecutive month AutoPlay customers experienced an interesting scenario where Leads captured increased (up by 6.3%), but Test Drives (down by 4.9%) and Sales (down by 4.0%) both decreased from October levels as dealers converted less of the leads that they generated.
Lead sources were distributed across many different channels in October – resulting in drops for 2 of the top 3 lead sources. Only ‘Web – Dealer’ increased by 2.8% from September – making dealer websites the top source of leads in October. ‘Web – Classified’ continued to fall from previous heights to the 3rd most frequent source of leads in October. Following a decrease of 15.4% in September, the number of leads from 3rd Party sites dropped again by 12.4%.
In October there was a significant 35.2% increase in the number of Test Drives where the source has been recorded as ‘Direct’ (which is often used by dealerships for walk in Test Drives). Despite this ‘Web – Dealer’ remained in the top spot for the second consecutive month with a slight increase in the number of Test Drives from dealer websites. ‘Web – Classified’ continued to decrease with a further 23% drop from September to October – predominately due to the decrease in the number of leads being received by AutoPlay customers from 3rd party websites.
‘Web – Dealer’ jumped ahead of ‘Web – Classified’ as the top source of Sales in October for AutoPlay Sales Pipeline due to an increase of 3.2% for the former, and a drop of 11.5% for the latter. As always ‘Repeat’ continues to be the third most frequent source of Sales for kiwi dealers and rebounded from a slight decrease in October to grow by 10.6% last month.
There are only 3 ways that a customer can communicate with a dealership – face-to-face (walk in), email or by phone (some may argue SMS but that’s a discussion for another article). AutoPlay Sales Pipeline has a number of in-dealership tools that make capturing data face to face easy including Drivers Licence/Business Card scanning, Test Drive Forms and Appraisal Forms. Similarly Email leads are captured automatically from dealer and third-party websites via our lead capture mechanisms or our API’s. That leaves Phone leads as one of the main areas where there is still massive potential for leads to fall through the cracks.
Face-to-face may never go out of style in NZ, but in an increasingly digital landscape it’s easy to focus on email activity over phone leads – after all it’s much more transparent to managers, and this makes it far easier and less expensive to track. Despite this, phone calls both in and out still play a significant part in the sales process. If you are not tracking phone activity it’s akin to driving with one hand over one of your eyes – you are just not seeing the whole picture.
Tracking phone leads will improve your lead quality as it will give salespeople a better idea of how “warm” their leads are. It will help you convert more leads as it’s very likely phone leads are not getting the same love and attention as email or walk-in leads – although initially your conversion figures may actually look worse. Most importantly you’ll be seeing a clear picture of real activity – allowing better tracking of marketing success and better analysis of performance.
What type of Phone Activity should be tracked?
There are two types of phone sales activity that should be tracked alongside your walk-in and email leads.
1. Inbound New Sales Phone Leads
Currently AutoPlay don’t automatically capture phone leads (though it’s something we are exploring – read more below). This means the onus is on dealerships to record Phone leads to the Sales Pipeline to ensure a clear picture of real activity. You can easily do this by selecting the Lead Type as ‘PHONE’. Some dealerships have taken this a step further and had reception load the lead upon receiving the call – ensuring the lead was logged and streamlining the process for the salesperson that ultimately handles the call. If tracking phone leads is something that is important to you (and it should be!), then the best dealers find a way to incorporate this into their process.
In AutoPlay Reporting the Lead Summary Report provides a clear picture of the number of ‘Phone’ leads. The pie graph at the top shows the proportion of your leads by ‘Walk-In’, ‘Email’, ‘Other’ (sent from Brand/DMS etc) or ‘Phone’. In the table below, you can view the count of Phone leads for the period, as well as conversion of Phone leads to Test Drive and Sales. Interestingly for many dealers their conversion figures will mirror those below – with conversion on ‘Phone’ leads having far more in common with ‘Walk-In’ leads than with ‘Email’ leads.
AutoPlay can also provide a Prospect & CRM Follow Up screen which enables tracking of phone activity for actions that don’t yet qualify as leads – for example 12 Month Follow Up, 24 Month Follow Up or 36 Month Follow Up with existing customers who previously purchased a vehicle from your dealership.
2. Inbound & Outbound Phone Activity On Existing Leads
It’s also important to track the phone calls your sales team make & receive in the course of following up existing sales leads. There are a couple of methods to achieve this within AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. At its most simple you can simply update the Lead Progress as you move the lead through the road-to-a-sale. Using the iOS Apps or the Desktop you can click on PROGRESS and select ‘PHONE CALL MADE’ to record that you have had the first interaction with the customer. The current progress of the lead can be seen on the Dashboard, or the Sales Pipeline Report (pictured below).
The Lead Progress gives you a simplistic measure that a Phone Call has been made, however to get a truer picture of activity you need to be tracking ongoing follow up on each lead. After updating the Progress, the Sales Pipeline will automatically prompt users to schedule follow up – our philosophy is “tell us what you have done, and tell us what you are gonna do”. When creating a calendar event, it’s as simple as selecting Phone Inbound or Outbound as the Event Type.
AutoPlay Reporting allows managers to keep on top of this activity. The Morning Meeting Report allows you to drill down to individual salespeople and view the phone activity – both completed and to be completed – by using the Refine Search option. You can also view this information in the Overdue Lead Report.
What Does The Future Hold?
At AutoPlay we are always exploring options to improve our product further. Recently we’ve been talking to other providers who have the capability of capturing phone leads digitally. Working with a provider of these types of services would enable these leads to be automatically fed into the Sales Pipeline – saving the effort of manually loading Phone leads.
This would involve additional costs from the other vendor and AutoPlay in order to facilitate this service. At present we are exploring options but if the automatic capture of phone leads is something you would be interested in please flick an email to email@example.com so we know this is a service worth pursuing.
What are the Top 3 Sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales for kiwi dealers? (September 1st to 31st 2017)
September 2017 was a comparatively quiet month compared to the bumper growth we saw in August. Whilst Leads continued to increase (by 1.2%), Test Drives decreased by 1.7% and Sales were down 1.0% from the previous month across all AutoPlay customers.
After increasing by almost 25% in August, ‘Web – Classified’ lead sources came back down to earth with a 15.4% decrease in the number of leads generated from these sites across AutoPlay customers. Dealership websites continue to perform well and are the second most popular source of leads. OEM’s/brands continue to provide a high proportion of leads to AutoPlay customers with another big jump in the number of leads pushed to dealerships from their brands.
For the first time ‘Web – Dealer’ overtook ‘Web – Classified’ as the number one source of Test Drives for AutoPlay’s customers – the result of a significant increase in Test Drives generated from dealer sites, and a decrease in the number of Test Drives from classified sites of 13.3%. As brands continue to focus on providing their network with well qualified leads, the ‘Brand’ source continued to be a productive way to generate Test Drives for many of AutoPlay’s customers.
After a massive increase in Sales from classified websites in August, September saw the ‘Web – Classified’ source of leads drop by 7.3% - still occupying the number one source of sales for AutoPlay customers. ‘Web – Dealer’ followed up a big increase in August with another increase of 15.7% in September. ‘Repeat’ business continues to be the third best source of Sales for kiwi dealers – despite not featuring in the top 3 for Leads and Test Drives – proving the old adage that it’s easier to resell to existing customers than it is to attract new ones.
Make sure to check the PlayBook next month to see the most popular sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales for AutoPlay customers for the month of October.
A few weeks ago, we released an update to our Sales Pipeline Reporting. Included in this release were a few key improvements to make digesting and understanding your Sales Pipeline usage and performance easier.
1. Multi Select New, Demo Used Filters
Previously it was only possible to filter by New Vehicles, Demo Vehicles or Used Vehicles one at a time - meaning if you wanted to refine your report by just 'New & Demo' you had to run the report twice. The latest release allows you to tick or untick multiple options under the 'LISTING TYPES' menu option in reporting.autoplay.co.nz
2. Multi Select Available at Brand/Group Level
We also introduce the ability for Brands/Groups to utilise the multi select filters. This means that head offices can now refine the reports they have access to by choosing multiple filters - instead of being forced to either run for all filters or a single filter at a time. The multi select options allow the brand to multi select Dealerships and Models - giving greater control over the data they extract (Note - filters can only be run one a a time i.e. Filter by a selection of Dealerships OR a selection of Models - not both at the same time).
3. Export to CSV
Reporting.autoplay.co.nz also now allows users to export files to CSV. Just under the 'Run Report' option there is now an 'Export Report' option on all of the reports (excluding Floor Log TV Report). Clicking on this report will email you a CSV file to the email address you are logged in on. This CSV can then be opened in Excel and will include the raw data that was used to build the report. The exported report will be built based on whatever data is currently filtered to.
4. New Wish List Report
A new Wish List Report is now available in reporting.autoplay.co.nz under Select Report. The Wish List Report provides an overview of the top 5 models your customers are looking for, as well as the average price range of the vehicles they are interested in. Underneath the graphs the report also features a table including all the Wish Lists created over the reporting period.
After a drop in the total number of captured leads in July, August bounced back with an increase in the number of leads of 12.2%. Last month we saw increases in Test Drives & Sales of over 5%. In August Test Drives and Sales continued to rise, but by smaller margins with Test Drives increasing by 3.7% and Sales increasing by 2.3%.
The usual suspects occupied the top 3 lead sources again in August, with ‘Web – Classified’ continuing to increase as the main source of leads post Fieldays. A lot more leads were received from dealership website with a significant 50% increase from this source – a great sign of dealers focussing on marketing to drive customers back to their websites. Last month we saw a massive drop in the number of leads referred by Brands. This was due to the unusually high volume of leads generated by brands around Fieldays returning to normal levels. In August ‘Brand’ rebounded as a lead source to occupy the third spot and increase by 28.6% from the previous month.
In July ‘Web – Classified’, ‘Brand’ and ‘Direct’ were the top 3 sources of Test Drives – although ‘Brand’ and ‘Direct’ were on a downward trend. In August, both of the Web Sources increased dramatically and ‘Brand’ slipped to third.
‘Web – Classified’ regained the top spot for source of Sales in August – increasing by 72% as some other sources dropped off. As with Leads and Test Drives, Sales from the ‘Web-Dealer’ source also increased significantly. Sales from ‘Repeat’ business continued to occupy one of the top 3 spots in August and increased by 16.5% from July 2017.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is like a gym membership....it's nice to have, but unless you use it consistently, regularly and continually you won't achieve results. And just like a gym membership, you need a goal to work towards.
To help our customers get the most from AutoPlay we've put together a list of best practice actions that you should be doing in AutoPlay, as well as some benchmarks to help you stay on track.
1. CAPTURE EMAIL LEADS AUTOMATICALLY
Firstly the easy part - are all of your email leads being captured to AutoPlay automatically. You should never have to manually load email enquiries to AutoPlay - if you are contact firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the web form in question, a copy of the enquiry that is submitted and an outline of what source and campaign you want to map to in AutoPlay.
2. LOAD ALL PHONE & WALK IN LEADS
Slightly trickier is ensuring that all leads are loaded in AutoPlay - not just email leads and not just those most likely to result in a sale. Luckily there are several ways AutoPlay make this easier;
- Loading leads is easy with the ability to scan business cards, drivers licence and choose existing customers all save salespeople having to type everything from scratch
- Floor Log TV Report can be set up for managers in their office on a TV to view real time as new leads are entered in AutoPlay
- The Health Check email can be set up to be received daily or weekly and provides managers with a breakdown of how many leads are being loaded to the Sales Pipeline.
3. LEAD CONVERSION TELLS YOU A LOT
Conversion to Test Drive generally falls within the 35% to 50% range - Deloittes use 40% as the benchmark. Sales conversion should fall within the range of 15% to 30% - Deloittes benchmark at 20%. If you have a Salesperson who is achieving well in excess of this it's highly likely they are not recording all their leads - a fact you will know if they are achieving their Sales targets or not. Conversely if conversion is too low this could indicate a performance issue, but could also indicate that particular user has fallen behind in updating their own Sales Pipeline.
4. SET TARGETS
The Sales Pipeline allows you to set Dealership, Yard and Salesperson targets for Leads, Test Drives and Sales. It is highly recommended that you set salespeople targets as this provdes a very quick reference of whether your sales team is on track or not. If you are not sure what to set as your Lead and Test Drive targets it's a good idea to work backwards from sales at standard conversion rates. Just multiple sales x 2 to get your Test Drive target, and multiply sales x 5 to get your lead target.
5. NO LEADS AT AWAITING ACTION
If there is one metric that you need to be aggressive about maintaining, it's that by the end of the day you should aim to have zero leads sitting at Awaiting Action in Progress. Leads at Awaiting Action indicate leads that have not been touched or followed up on. It's easy to keep on top of Awaiting Action leads. You can...
- Filter the Dashboard by Progress
- Check the Daily Health Check email which highlights whether there are any leads that have been at Awaiting Action for longer than 24 hours
- Check The Sales Pipeline Report in reporting .autoplay.co.nz
6. NO OVERDUE OR STALLED LEADS
The Sales Pipeline is set up to show user the leads they need to action now - within a +/- 3 day window. A lead becomes overdue when there is a scheduled event that is not actioned. The dealerships that are most successful are those that on a daily basis ensure there are ZERO Overdue or Stalled Leads. Managers can easily stay on top of this by using the built in filters in the Dashboard, checking the Daily Health Check email or running the Overdue Lead Report in reporting.autoplay.co.nz.
7. TRACK WHERE YOUR LEADS ARE COMING FROM
Every dealership should be tracking where their leads are coming from. For email leads this happens automatically so salespeople only need to add this on Phone or Walk In leads. At a minimum dealerships should be aiming for 75% of leads with a recorded lead Source, and 50% of leads with a Campaign assigned (though the best dealers should aim even higher!). In addition it is highly recommended that dealerships add costs to their Lead Sources and Campaigns - this will automatically calculate a cost per lead that can help make marketing decisions more than "intuition". If you want to make Lead Source compulsory this can be arranged - contact email@example.com to request a change to your mandatory fields.
8. DATA QUALITY
AutoPlay has a purpose built report in reporting.autoplay.co.nz to measure how effective your sales team is at collecting data. Dealerships need to aim toward capturing 80% of leads with email addresses, 80% with mobile numbers, 60% with Phone numbers and 50% with addresses (though this becomes more important when the lead is converted to a sale). Integration with your DMS makes this much easier to achieve as users will be shown any similar customers from their database whenever they try to load a new lead.
9. DON'T BE AFRAID TO CLOSE LEADS AS LOST
Some dealerships shy away from the word "lost" and leave leads sitting open in AutoPlay forever. These leads inevitably fall into 'Stalled' and gather digital dust. It is far better to close these leads as lost. This helps keep your dashboard tidy and easier to manage. Lost leads can be filtered to in a click/tap and with the new Live Leads process you can retarget these lost leads incredibly easily with Live Leads eDM's.
10. USE THE TOOLS AT YOUR DISPOSAL
AutoPlay is incredibly feature rich. Once you've mastered the basic you are silly not to take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Some of the features users often forget about include;
- Video email responses can make converting email leads to face-to-face a lot easier
- Live Leads remarketing can help dealerships retarget cold leads for no added cost
- Use the calendar properly - it will help you become more efficient managing leads
- Find out if DMS integration is right for you - it can save time and streamline your processes
- Use Appraisals including SMS to wholesalers, Manager approvals and the built in vehicle checks via CarJam, Motor Central and MotorWeb
- Use the Wishlist - it helps connect potential trades with potential sales
- Understand reporting - there is a wealth of data available via Sales Pipeline. Identify and understand a few select reports and you'll be well on your way to improving performance
If you have any questions about AutoPlay features you can contact our Support Team on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel like you need additional training this can also be booked via Support (charges apply for all offsite training).
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers