The last few months have been challenging in many ways and there's no doubt that for many it's not been a good year. Luckily for car dealers, vehicle demand seems to have rebounded quickly and shows no signs of dropping off.
As AutoPlay have visited dealers the most striking thing we see is the lack of vehicles on the yard. When we speak to dealers and OEM's alike we hear about the challenges of ordering stock and many dealers tell us they are increasingly looking towards Appraisals as a viable source of new stock. However to date we have not seen this borne out in the weekly trend data we capture.
Appraisals have been steady, but have actually been affected more by the current economic climate than other KPI's like Test Drives or Sales. Currently Appraisals are actually trending down with 8% fewer Appraisals MTD than the equivalent period in October, and 16% fewer than in September.
With the prevailing sentiment seemingly conflicting with what data is captured we decided it's worth a deepr dive into how AutoPlay customers use the AutoPlay Appraisal Tool.
Over the last 6 months;
Total Appraisals Created = 38,764
How Complete Are Appraisals?
How Are Appraisals Being Utilised?
What Are The Valuations Returned?
What Types Of Vehicles Are Appraised?
With an average of 6,400+ Appraisals being created every single month by AutoPlay customers most dealers have a huge wealth of data ready to be mined. Here are 5 things you can do to better utilise AutoPlay to source and convert Appraisals;
1. For every customer that takes a test drive, offer a no obligation Appraisal.
With AutoPlayAuto.com whilst one salesperson is conducting the test drive, another salesperson can jump on their smartphone and conduct an appraisal of the customers current vehicle. With built in free vehicle lookup, the ability to take photos and record reconditioning items on a splat graph and the ease of getting manager approval the process could not be easier.
2. Work those past Appraisals.
It's possible that some buyers decided to delay thoughts of upgrading due to the fear around job security that many NZ'ers faced. Jump into Sales Pipeline>Vehicle Appraisals and sort by 'This Year'. Any you have not marked as Traded look at any associated lead and if appropriate give them a call.
3. Use the Wishlist and In Market Leads to remind you of deals and record interest when you don't have stock
With a shortage of stock it's inevitable that you'll encounter a customer who is after something that is not currently available. With the Wishlist you can enter the details of the vehicle the customer is after. When vehicles are Appraised or come into stock it will automatically notify the owner of the lead that a car that matches their requirements is potentially available - connecting both the Appraisal and the lead into two possible transactions.
The Wishlist is also perfect for recording leads for new model launches - something you can also achieve by loading leads against brochureware. The advantage of doing this via the Wishlist is that the sales team are automatically notified when the new model does come into stock rather than having to be manually mined.
In Market Leads is a similar concept, but flipped in reverse. By running Appraisals through In Market Leads you can identify potential buyers for the Appraisal based on the vehicle originally associated with their lead.
4. Get Wholesale Quotes Quickly & Easily
Not every AutoPlay dealer utilises the built in SMS capability to request Wholesale Quotes. With AutoPlayAuto.com it's easy to set up Wholesale Distribution Groups - meaning you can push out a potential trade in to multiple wholesalers in a few clicks. Wholesalers can then view all the information and images they need to value the vehicle, enter their offer which will then be displayed against the Appraisal in the Wholesale Quotes section.
5. Share Appraisals Amongst A Group Of Dealers
If your dealership belongs to a group of dealers it's possible to send out your Appraisal to receive offers from other dealers in the group. This can be useful in gauging whether there is already an active buyer amongst the group, and save margin having to buy wholesale.
AutoPlayAuto.com is incredibly feature rich - so much so that there's likely many features that you've never heard of. For the uninitiated here's the A to Z's of AutoPlay....
A – Automation
The newest baby in AutoPlay’s suite of products, automation can help streamline internal reminders and external communication. Automation helps dealers deliver consistent communication where a mere mortals memory might fail them .
B – Brochureware
AutoPlayAuto.com is purpose built for the automotive space - which is why the Sales Pipeline is built around adding vehicles to your leads. "Brochureware" allows brands to load generic examples of their new vehicles for dealers to load leads against - giving more accurate and granular tracking on pre-sale lead activity.
C – Calendar Events
When we were first designing AutoPlay Sales Pipeline we saw many salespeople struggling with their DMS presenting them with an overwhelming amount of leads and follow up actions. AutoPlayAuto.com uses a built in calendar to schedule follow-up and only presents these leads back to users when something needs to be done - avoiding cluttering your dashboard with activity that doesn't currently require action.
D – DMS Integration
At AutoPlay we've always taken the position that AutoPlayAuto.com is the best place to capture and manage your pre-sale leads - but when a sale is complete this information needs to be transferred into the CRM or DMS system. In NZ AutoPlay integrate with most of the main DMS providers (AutoLine, AutoIT, ComsolF2, Magix) and have completed a number of custom integrations at the dealer and brand level.
E – Email Response Tool
AutoPlay has a built in video email response tool for branded HTML emails. Ensure all your comms are on brand and utilise the ability to record personalised video responses to build rapport with your customers. When sending video email responses we've seen dealers increase their rate of reply to outgoing emails from 1 in 5 to 3 out of 5.
F – Fully Responsive
AutoPlayAuto.com is a fully responsive HTML web app - meaning it will respond to any screen size and can be used on any device (works best on Chrome on Windows and Android, and Safari on iOS). Unchaining sales people from their desks has always been a driving goal for AutoPlay and having access to run Test Drives, Appraisals and manage leads from your smartphone lets sales people always be on top of their leads.
G – Great Results
Dealers and OEM's that use AutoPlayAuto.com report great results. From improving response times to tapping into their "lost" leads - AutoPlayAuto.com has all the tools salespeople need to achieve their performance and efficiency goals.
H – How To Guides
AutoPlay has an extensive range of How To Guides and video tutorials available at support.autoplayauto.com/portal/en/kb. These guides cover all the functionality available in AutoPlayAuto.com, but if you prefer a more structured approach make sure you have completed the AutoPlay Academy - our online learning course designed to help you master AutoPlay. If you require more training you can contact email@example.com to book with one of our expert trainers.
I – In Market Leads
In Market Leads allows dealers to set criteria for similar vehicles, and will alert them when new vehicles are loaded, prices are dropped, or appraisals are completed that may be of interest to existing leads. In Market Leads is designed to help connect potential deals together and give salespeople a reason to pick up the phone and call their customers.
J – Just Keep It Simple
Lead management doesn't need to be complicated. Although there are a huge number of features in AutoPlayAuto.com, good lead management boils down to (1) Load ALL your leads (not just the ones you think you will close), (2) Tell AutoPlay what you have done by updating the Progress, (3) Tell AutoPlay what you are going to do via the built in calendar. If you are struggling to improve your lead management habits start with these 3 steps before you move on to more advanced features.
K – Killing it
AutoPlay have over 80% of franchise dealers in NZ using our services in some form or another (depending on whether you count rooftops or volume). We have not got here by accident! We pride ourselves on listening to dealer feedback and providing a tool that is purpose built for the Automotive industry. We have a local development team pumping out more than 12 releases a year - if you have a pain point let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take a look.
L – Live Leads
Email marketing has long been a staple of the Automotive industry, but AutoPlay take this to the next level with our Live Leads eDM's. Live Leads emails take the static images and either a voiceover and music and creates a unique video for each one of your listings. Simply select 9-12 vehicles and track which recipients viewed which vehicles. Particularly effective at retargeting so called "lost" leads, Live Leads can now be automated to trigger on demand or monthly, and notify lead owners when customers interact with their email.
M – Manage Your Leads
At it's core AutoPlayAuto.com is a pre-sale lead management tool designed to help dealers manage their leads. It's impossible to keep track of all your leads without a lead management tool, and by capturing all of your leads, AutoPlayAuto.com becomes your dealerships single source of truth.
N – Notifications
AutoPlayAuto.com can be configured to generate Notifications whenever something happens that you want to know about. From notifying managers when leads are closed lost, to our auto rotation of new leads, AutoPlayAuto.com has a comprehensive array of built in and configurable notifications. Whether you prefer email, sms or in app notifications you can set up AutoPlay to suit your preferences.
O – OCR
AutoPlayAuto.com has a built in Drivers Licence and Business Card scanner (OCR) that can be used when creating Test Drive or Loan Car Forms. Scanning a customers details streamlines the process of taking a photocopy of the customers drivers licence and ensures the accurate capture of customer details.
P – Purpose Built for automotive sales people
When AutoPlay first launched over a decade ago we specialised in video content and a outbound email response tool - at that point we didn't even have a lead management focus. As we noticed dealership staff struggling with using generic CRM's and trying to make them work for selling cars we sensed an opportunity to provide a purpose built tool. We've built AutoPlay around dealers actual processes - we follow the road to the sale and our focus has been to digitise the sales process. As we move forward we spend a lot of time with dealers listening to their challenges and everything we build is designed to help solve a pain point for dealers.
Q – Quality Support
At AutoPlay we try our best to provide quality support to all our customers. From our dedicated customer care account managers to our knowledgable support team, we've always tried to put our customers first. You won't find us charging our customers for support enquiries and we always make sure you can talk to a human about your issue.
R – Reporting
AutoPlay have a full suite of more than 15 reports available via AutoPlayAuto.com. We also have a number of custom CSV reports and can even automate certain reports where required. At times we find some larger groups or brands want to build their own reporting, and we make this easy with our lead api available to share data with other third party vendors. We are currently rebuilding our reporting platform to make it more robust and flexible and will roll this out over the coming months.
S – SMS
In AutoPlayAuto.com we have the ability to hook up to an SMS gateway to send either individual or bulk SMS marketing. In NZ this is becoming more heavily utilised, but in Australia it's one of the preferred ways of communicating with customers. SMS can even be used to send a link to a more detailed video email response - giving you the ability to deliver more detailed comms via sms.
T – Test Drives & Trade Ins
AutoPlay was built around digitising the road-to-the-sale. From Test Drives to Trade In's (appraisals) we digitise the capture of customer information at every step in the sales process. With AutoPlayAuto.com capturing customer infor early and often, we've found some dealers capturing more than 9x as much customer information as using the DMS alone.
U – User Friendly
AutoPlayAuto.com is easy to use. Theres a lot of info to present, but we are always trying to display it as clearly as possible. With so many users in NZ we've become a staple in the automotive industry, but we are not complacent! Where possible we are constantly refining and improving our processes and functionality.
V – Video
Video has always been a huge part of AutoPlay's identity. AutoPlay started from AutoTV which ran on C4 tv for many years. When the audience eyeballs decreased on TV we pivoted to producing online videos, and to this day you can automatically build videos with just your normal listing images, backing music and a personalised voiceover. Our email response tool is built around personalised videos to build rapport, and our Live Leads eDM's allow us a level of tracking of vehicle interest which helps dealer re-prospect any leads they have closed as lost.
W – Wishlists
In some cases your sales team won't be able to qualify their customers to a individual vehicle. AutoPlay Wishlists let you record what the customer is interested in, and alert the sales team whenever a similar vehicle comes into stock or is appraised. This function can be particularly useful with new model launches as it lets you record interest months in advance of stock being available and alerts dealers when the model comes into stock - giving them a ready list of potential buyers.
X – X-Factor
AutoPlayAuto.com gives dealers that X-Factor needed to stand out with customers. Customers are impressed with the technology experience when using AutoPlay, and high quality video emails that are personalised to your customer help to stand out in a cluttered inbox.
Y – Your single source of truth
When AutoPlay set up a new dealership we capture all electronic leads from all sources. We have a purpose built lead API for third parties to submit leads, but we cater to whatever we can get. We can capture an map email leads and can even facilitate FTP imports to capture spreadsheets of new leads. With the help of companies like WildJar and Avanser AutoPlay can capture phone leads and our easy to use software makes it easy to manually load leads. With CRM integration with many OEM's in NZ we make it easy for them to distribute leads throughout the netowrk - making AutoPlay your single source of truth for all sales leads in the dealership.
Z – (New) Zealand’s number one automotive pre-sale lead management tool
Cheating a little here, but AutoPlay is NZ's number one automotive pre-sale lead management tool. It's been a tough year, but end it in style by refocusing on your lead management process to make the most out of your leads. AutoPLay has a huge number of built in features and optional upgrades that help dealers increase accuracy, efficiency and results. If you are not making the most of any of the features outlined above contact your account manager to find out how AutoPlay can help you.
With so much activity occurring at a dealership or across a dealer group it can be difficult to ensure that all customers are communicated with at the right time, with the right message. With AutoPlay AUTOMATION we have built in a wide range of automation triggers designed to send out personalized messages and calls to action to help dealerships progress their leads down the road-to-a-sale - even when individual contact by the sales team is not possible.
HOW CAN I USE AUTOPLAY AUTOMATION?
AutoPlay AUTOMATION has a flexible structure with more than 19+ built in “triggers” designed around particular milestones in AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. Below are just a few of the ways in which AutoPlay AUTOMATION can help your dealership;
WHY SHOULD I USE AUTOPLAY AUTOMATION?
Automation is designed to supplement real phone, f-2-f, email or sms contact with your customers when resources do not allow for human interaction.
WHAT DOES A POTENTIAL WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?
AutoPlay Automation is an optional monthly add-on available to dealers that are signed up the the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline. If you are interested in finding out more about AutoPlay Automation contact AutoPlay on email@example.com
In September we've seen a rebound in in activity across many of the major KPI's that AutoPlay track. As Auckland came out of Level 3 we saw increases in the level of Leads, Test Drives and Appraisals compared to August. To read more about the market trends for these KPI's click HERE.
As of 30th September the top sources of leads remain unchanged from previous months with 'Web - Classified' and 'Web - Dealer' taking out the top two spots, and leads from 'Brand' being the third most common source of leads for Kiwi dealers (AutoPlays customer base is heavily skewed towards franchise dealers). Interestingly Leads from 'Web - Classified' sources actually decreased, but the majority of other sources have increased over the month of September.
Web - Classified - Down 0.8% (vs 24.7% decrease in August)
Web - Dealer - Up 15.1% (vs 28.4% decrease in August)
Brand - Up 12.4% (vs 34.2% decrease in August)
September figures as at 8.20pm 30/09/20
With Test Drives falling in August as Auckland suffered under Level 3, September has seen the top 3 sources of test drives remain the same, but have bounced back in September.
Web - Classified - Up 10.6% (vs 28.9% decrease in August)
Web - Dealer - Up 4.4% (vs 39.5% decrease in August)
Direct - Up 29.0% (vs 40.6% decrease in August)
September figures as at 8.20pm 30/09/20
The first time NZ came out of Level 3 we saw an almost immediate and robust recovery in Lead, Test Drive and Sales volumes. The big question many people had was whether the rebound would be as strong second time around. Whilst Sales have increased overall we've seen Sales actually decrease for several of the main sources. Given the time it takes to convert a lead to a sale this is likely representative that fewer volume of leads from these sources were captured in August. Watch this space to see how sales fare in October.
Web - Classified - Down 1.8% (vs 17.3% decrease in August)
Web - Dealer - Up 1.6% (vs 33.5% decrease in August)
Repeat - Down 8.1% (vs 21.0% decrease in August)
September figures as at 8.20pm 30/09/20
In the last edition of Autotalk we shared some market stats on the recovery in the NZ market – comparing the first 20 days of May to the first 20 days of June 2020. Understandably with May just the beginning of the recovery we saw some significant improvement over the first 20 days of each month.
Now that June is complete, we are seeing a much less significant increase in Leads, Test Drives and Sales as activity has quickly rebounded to pre COVID-19 levels, and then flattened out. That said the last 10 days of June continued to be positive for kiwi dealers and we saw a increase of 22.4% in the volume of Leads, Test Drives increased by 42.5% and Sales increase by 38.6%.
Leads - Up 22.4%
Test Drives - Up 42.5%
Sales - Up 38.6%
As with the first 20 days of June, leads from the ‘Brand’ source continue to bounce back at a higher rate than online sources such as 3rd party listing sites and dealer websites. Leads from the ‘Brand’ source increased by 43.8% from the previous month, compared to an increase of 18.8% in ‘Web Classified’ leads and 10.1% for leads from the ‘Web – Dealer’ lead source. As we typically experience, despite the growth in the volume of leads provided by the dealers’ brand/OEM, leads from dealer and 3rd party sites still account for more than double the amount of brand generated leads.
Web - Classified - Up 18.8%
Web - Dealer - Up 10.1%
Brand - Up 43.8%
Test Drive activity remains strong with a 42.5% increase from May to June. Test Drives from ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 29.4% from the previous month and overtook ‘Web -Dealer’ (up 20.1%) as the top source of test drives for kiwi dealerships. Test Drives attributed to genuine walk-ins are often attributed to the ‘Direct’ source in AutoPlay and this source continued to increase – up 71.5% from the previous period.
Web - Classified - Up 29.4%
Web - Dealer - Up 20.1%
Direct - Up 71.6%
As with all other metrics Sales continued to bounce back in June with a 38.6% increase in from May amongst AutoPlay customers. Sales attributed to ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 27.0%, sales attributed to ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 27.4% and sales attributed to ‘Repeat’ customers increased by 49.4%.
Web - Classified - Up 27.0%
Web - Dealer - Up 27.4%
Repeat - Up 49.4%
As has been widely discussed June was a pretty successful month for a majority of dealerships. So far in July we have seen Lead, Test Drive and Sale activity remain pretty constant against June levels, with a slight lull recorded in the middle of the month.
If your anything like me your sick of hearing about COVID-19 and you may well be rolling your eyes at the prospect of reading yet another COVID-19 themed article....but hear us out - this one is not the normal doom & gloom about the challenges ahead, or espousing any unrealistic expectations that everything is back to normal.
At AutoPlay through our conversations with dealers it's been made clear that a lot of the franchise dealers we work with want to look to the future and move on past what was certainly a difficult time for the automotive industry in NZ. That said something we've heard talking heads rather cynically trot out the old Winston Churchill line that "you should never waste a good crisis".
Whilst a little heartless towards the many people that have lost their livelihoods or struggled over the past 3 months the concept does have merit.
At AutoPlay we were forced to work differently. Like many businesses we had the challenge of maintaining relationships with our customers without being able to do face-to-face contact, and we had to find different ways of communicating with our fellow staff members when we couldn't yell at them from across the office.
For dealerships we've heard a lot of talk of 'right sizing' for the future market - which is entirely valid but not what we want to focus on in this article. During COVID-19 AutoPlay put a lot of effort into shifting our development to what dealers wanted during Level 3 and the early stages of Level 2. Some of these like the Visitor Book were short term ways of addressing specific challenges, whilst others might have ongoing applications well after COVID-19 is firmly in the rear view mirror. So what have we learnt from working with COVID-19? It's time to get out the crystal ball...
Over the shutdown we've seen first hand dealerships embrace Skype/Zoom/Teams as a way to communicate with AutoPlay. Where we previously struggled to get the same level of engagement with dealers and brands over video chat when compared to face-to-face visits, during and post COVID-19 we've managed to run a number of online training sessions. With dealerships we've seen dealers re-engage with video as a communication medium and at a more basic level pay real attention to the information on their website and the way their vehicles are presented online.
+ What will happen in the future?
Many dealers will continue to focus on their online presence more and continue to look at video walk-arounds and recordings as a viable means to connect with their customers.
- What will remain the same?
In NZ in particular there is a large portion of the market that still prefer to deal with people over the phone or face-to-face. Whilst it's possible retail presences will be consolidated its likely the experience of buying a car from a dealership will continue to be a focus for dealers in the next few years at least.
COVID-19 often meant you couldn't be in front of your customer, and when you could you certainly couldn't hand over a shared device to get customers to sign T&C's etc. This forced the hands of many software providers to offer contactless solutions to help support dealerships to continue to sell cars.
+ What will happen in the future?
At AutoPlay we believe on of the stronger learnings from the COVID-19 experience that will stick with dealers in the future is the need to provide customers with alternative ways of connecting with the dealership. This doesn't necessarily mean brand new technology, but rather applying that technology in different ways. At AutoPlay we are working on new ways of prompting Lead, Test Drive, Appraisal and Calendar Bookings to be completed by the customer - be it via web page "plug-ins" or SMS invites. Allowing the customer to complete as much of the process as possible from the comfort of their own home is a win-win for dealers and their customers alike.
- What will remain the same?
The sales process won't change massively in the short term - the road-to-the-sale isn't going anywhere soon. Although the method and location may change, the goal is still to move the customer through the road-to-the-sale process as efficiently as possible whilst ensuring you maintain a positive customer experience throughout the journey.
Making The Most Of What You've Got
We saw first hand that leads dropped off a cliff during COVID-19, and whilst the key KPI's of Leads, Test Drives, Sales and Appraisals have all bounced back to normal (or close to) levels, theres still been an obvious focus from the dealers we talk to on making the most out of the leads you are generating.
+ What will happen in the future?
With sales it's very easy to fall into the allure of targeting the newer leads that have come into the dealership. Lead conversion to sales generally sits between 20% to 30% for the majority of dealers. Coming out of COVID we've seen more emphasis on replying to leads faster, with better quality replies, and working leads more. The feedback right now is that the market is flying high, and whilst it's possible that over the next 6-12 months there could be fewer leads dealerships and brands will demonstrate a renewed emphasis on not only basic lead management principles as a way to leverage the leads they do have, but mining their existing customers, lost leads, end of finance and appraisals as a way to generate more leads rather than waiting for customers to come to them.
- What will remain the same?
I've been told by many salespeople that sales is a numbers game. If you don't have the leads in the funnel you won't have the volume to convert to sales down the track. Dealers will continue to look at ways of generating new leads - whether that's through new brand initiatives, utilizing additional tools and services or branching out how and where they advertise. This is a vital part of keeping a dealership ticking over but will need to be balanced against the need to fully squeeze the existing leads that have already been paid for in time and money.
At AutoPlay we don't know the future....but with over 80% of the franchise dealer market as customers we have a pretty good understanding of the challenges dealers face in the pre-sale space and we are constantly working to improve our products and services to help dealers meet these challenges head on. If you've got any questions about what you could be doing differently in this new reality make sure to reach our to your account manager Norman or Jackie, or zap an email through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Note - AutoPlay don't intend this advice to conflict with any advice from the government on COVID-19 and social distancing rules. This article is only intended to help dealerships get through the shutdown and come out the other end with the tools required to get back onto their feet. Please follow the governments current rules and be safe!
With the recent news that NZ is entering COVID-19 Level 4 it means that the sales departments of dealerships nationwide have been required to be closed down for 4 weeks. What the full picture means for kiwi dealerships will become more clear over the coming weeks, but what is clear is that with no face-to-face customer contact there will be fewer leads coming into the dealership - even considering the potential for the general public to continue pre-purchase research online.
At AutoPlay we are keen to ensure that when the Level 4 Restrictions are lifted that your dealership is well equipped to hit the ground running in a post COVID-19 world. This means not only implementing an effective process for tracking and keeping leads in a holding pattern over the next 4 weeks, but also ensuring the dealership is equipped to deal with the public that may still be gun-shy about face-to-face contact.
What should I be doing now?
With the news having just dropped this week that NZ is effectively closed this week there are a number of things your dealership should be doing to make sure that you are set up for the next phase. If you haven't done this it's not too late!
1. Utilising Social Channels
Make sure to update your customers with what is happening at your dealership. Announcing this on Facebook is a nice, non invasive way of ensuring customers can stay up to date. This is a free activity that a dealership can do to engage with their target audience without requiring a sales team actively working.
2. Review Lead Management Settings
3. Review your Automatic Response templates?
It's very likely that during the shutdown period you won't have anywhere near a full team working - however that doesn't mean all your listing are pulled from being online and nor does it mean that customers won't continue to send email enquiries (though how much this occurs remains to be seen).
What can AutoPlay help with during the Lv4 restrictions?
Whilst the Level 4 restrictions are in place it's a definite that customers won't be coming into the dealership to view, test drive and purchase vehicles. However whats less clear is whether customers will still email the dealership to register interest or ask questions. If this happens you need to ensure you have a mechanism to manage these leads.
1. Send personalised videos with AutoPlay's Email Response Tool
AutoPlay has a built in video Email Response tool. If you can't be face to face with your customers then recording a personalised voice-over video can be the next best thing.
2. Communicate via SMS
3. Ensure you can track customer enquiry via Brochureware and the Wishlist Form
For the vast majority of dealerships in NZ getting stock to our little corner of the world will be challenging - whether it's brand new stock, or used imports.
What can AutoPlay help with once the restrictions are eased?
In an ideal world in 4 weeks the restrictions will lift and everyone can return to normality. However there is going to be fall out even after this happens (whenever that might be). Not only will the dealership be facing stock challenges but your sales team also will not have the cumulative pool of leads to manage. However you are not starting from scratch!
1. Audit your existing leads in AutoPlay
2. Re-prospect with Live Leads
It's likely when normality resumes you'll have a lot of cold leads that will need warming up again. When it's appropriate it might be worth using AutoPlay Live Leads to re-target these potential customers
3. In Market Leads
With cold leads and appraisals it might be tricky to work out which leads are worth contacting again once you finally do get more stock. In Market Leads looks at new listings and will automatically connect them to customers that might potentially be interested in the new stock
What if I still need my Sales Team to sometimes work remotely once the restrictions are eased?
We don't know what the future will hold. It's possible that even with an easing of the rules, there still might be restrictions impacting how your sales team can operate.
1. Work From Home Preparedness
Should we find an increasing reliance on working remotely whether it be through government restrictions or simply if the general public remains concerned about visiting too many places, it might change how we sell cars for much longer than we anticipated. In that scenario there are a number of things you can do to streamline these efforts.
Sales Person Items
2. Ability to conduct offsite Test Drive and Appraisals
Should the market dictate it we may find more customers wanting service away from a traditional dealership environment.
AutoPlay are working throughout the restrictions to make sure we can be there when you need us. If you want any assistance with any of the services AutoPlay can offer please contact email@example.com and we'll get one of our awesome customer experience team to get in touch.
By the time you read this article we will be well immersed in the COVID-19 restrictions implemented on 25/03/20 and remembering February fondly as the last month of relative normalcy in the market. (Watch this space over the coming weeks for more info on market conditions as we see them at AutoPlay)
After a strong month in January, we saw a slight drop in the qty of leads by 2.9%, however this was more a sign of the short month than any early COVID-19 effects on the market – the likes of which we didn’t start seeing until March 2020. February 2020 saw an increase of 6.7% in Test Drives and 3.3.% in sales as dealerships started working the large number of leads that came in during January.
After a massive increase in lead volume of 41% in January, leads from dealership websites (Web – Dealer) decreased by 23.1% in February. ‘Web – Classified’ also decreased by 4.1% but due to the significant decrease in dealer website leads was able to recapture the title as NZ’s most common source of leads. Although ‘Brand’ leads increased marginally by 0.7%, the significant drops in leads from websites resulted in the 2.9% decrease in lead volume experienced from January to February 2020.
Mainly due to the significant increase in leads from dealer websites in January, we saw Test Drives from these sources increase by 8.7% in February to become the most common source for Test Drives. Test Drives recorded as ‘Direct’ increased by 3.4% comparatively to fall to second place, and ‘Web Classified’ Test Drives fell slightly by 1.7% into third.
Overall Sales increased by 3.3% in February with a small increase of 0.7% for ‘Web – Classified’ sales and large increases of 15.4% for ‘Web – Dealer’ sales and an increase of 11.7% in sales attributed to ‘Repeat’ customers.
Make sure to check back next month to see the top sources of leads, test drives and sales in March 2020.
AutoPlay is incredibly feature rich and when used right AutoPlay will help minimise lost leads, as well as helping improve transparency, accuracy and efficiency. In 2019 we put together a case study detailing how AutoPlay has helped one dealer group improve their conversion from 21% to 31% (named here as 'Excellent Motor Group' for privacy reasons).
So how was this improvement in lead conversion from 21% to 30% achieved? Firstly, the industry benchmark for online lead handling is to reply within less than 10 minutes. Most dealers fall quite short of this and although performing solidly - Excellent Motors likewise had room for improvement.
Through working with AutoPlayAuto.com Excellent Motor Group were able to gain transparency over how long their sales teams were taking to reply to leads. Through these insights they were able to focus on improving this KPI by 58% - resulting in more customers engaged with before they have a chance to turn elsewhere.
As well as being first to respond its also important to make sure you continue to follow up. On average it takes 5 customer touchpoints to make a sale. At AutoPlay we also see sales being logged after contacting the customer 10 or more times.
They say success leaves clues. When looking at how Excellent Motors compare against another similarly sized dealer group we see that Excellent Motor Group made more than 340 sales after contacting customers more than 5 times - compared to only 190 for the similarly sized group.
This level of contact can only be sustained with effective lead Management processes and toold designed to show you what you need to do, when you need to do it.
As well as contacting customers first, and contacting customers the most, you also want to make sure you are retargeting customers who have not bought from you. Lost leads is something AutoPlay often preach about as we believe lost leads are the single biggest opportunity to improve lead management and sales performance.
With Excellent Motor Group AutoPlay saw that they only were making on average 2.3 contacts on leads that were ultimately closed as lost. AutoPlayAuto.com helped them re-market to every single lead closed as lost across their entire dealer network. This method of proactively reintroducing their customers to the sale pipeline resulted in an incremental increase of 22 sales in just 12 months - with no increase in lead volumes.
AutoPlay now can offer Dealer Performance Coaching to our customer network. Dealer Performance Coaching focuses on identifying the weak areas in your lead management processes and comes up with a tailored plan to help coach your dealership or dealer group to improved lead management standards. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and reference "Dealer Performance Coaching" to find out more.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers