The first quarter of 2018 is officially done, April is now in the books and we are now well and truly in the grips of winter – the perfect time to review how your online lead sources are performing and compare with what is working for other dealers throughout NZ.
Whilst March saw solid increases in the volume of Leads, Test Drives and Sales from the previous month, April has seen a slight decrease in Leads (down 5.5% from March), and Test Drives (down 5.0% from March). Fortunately for dealers Sales continued to increase with a 12.5% increase in Sales from March to April.
In April we continued to see ‘Web – Dealer’ open a wider gap as the most common source of Leads with a 33.9% increase from March to April 2018. Conversely Brand decreased by 17.5% and ‘Web Classified’ decreased by 25.0% - further solidifying dealer websites as the most popular source of leads amongst kiwi dealers.
Similar to Test Drives, ‘Web – Dealer’ was the most common source generating Test Drives in April 2018. Test Drives generated via the ‘Brand’ increased by 4.6%, however dropped to third - being leapfrogged by Test Drives generated from the ‘Direct’ source (up 5.3% from March 2018)
The usual suspects occupied the top three sources of Sales in March with ‘Web – Dealer’, ‘Repeat’ and ‘Web – Classified’ occupying the top 3 spots. April saw a significant increase in the number of Sales recorded against the ‘Web – Dealer’ source – up 58.2% from March 2018. This is likely due to the significant increase in the number of leads generated from this source in March. Sales increased across the board with 5.1% more Sales from ‘Repeat’ business and 3.8% more Sales from ‘Web – Classified’ sites like Trade Me.
Make sure to read the next issue of The PlayBook to see what sources of leads were popular in May amongst kiwi dealerships.
March 2018 is now in the books and as expected we saw a reasonable bounce back in the number of Leads, Test Drives and Sales recorded by the approx. 80% of franchise dealers that use AutoPlay Sales Pipeline to manage their leads.
Overall there was a 10.5% increase in the number of leads generated in March vs February. Some of this can be attributed to February being a shorter month, however such an increase still reflects more leads being created each day in March compared to February. Despite fewer leads generated in February, there were still 16.1% more Test Drives generated in March – highlighting that a significant portion of leads are test driven within the same month as being created. In addition, Sales increased by 11.9% overall, making March a successful month for franchise dealers.
One of the biggest drivers for the increased number of leads was a significant increase in the amount of leads being generated from Dealer Websites (up 62.4%). Over the last 6 months we’ve seen a sustained positive trend with lead, test drive and sales activity that can be directly attributed to dealer websites. This latest increase indicates that ‘Web – Dealer’ is really firming as the best place to get your leads from. Offsetting the increase in ‘Web – Dealer’ leads was a decrease 22.1% in ‘Brand’ leads and 4.1% in ‘Web – Classified’ leads.
In March the ‘Web – Dealer’ source was again the number one source of Test Drives – up 9.5% from February 2018. After decreasing 11.3% in February, the ‘Brand’ source bounced back with 33.9% more Test Drives recorded against the ‘Brand’ source in March than we saw in February. The ‘Web – Classified’ source also performed well – jumping into the third position with 16.3% more Test Drives from this source in March than February.
The usual suspects occupied the top three sources of Sales in March with ‘Web – Dealer’, ‘Repeat’ and ‘Web – Classified’ occupying the top 3 spots. However, after a down February where all 3 experienced a drop from the month prior, Sales increased across the board. ‘Web – Dealer’ experienced a small increase of 1.6%, whilst ‘Repeat’ (up 12.2%) and ‘Web – Classified’ (up 9.5%) experienced larger increases.
Make sure to read the next issue of Autotalk to see what sources of leads were popular in April amongst kiwi dealerships.
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.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers