The statement made in automotive dealerships, and the questions to ask instead.
I joined the Sweet Relish Team after a successful career in Automotive Dealership Marketing and Consultation. Anyone who has spent time working in a dealership knows the “end of month” stress. Sales Team rushing around. The BDC frantically setting appointments. Management pushing to meet sales goals. Late nights, no day off. Dealership life, right?
No matter the “end of the month” push to meet goals, no matter the final lead count or how many vehicles were actually sold, each new month starts with the same statement.
“We didn’t sell enough. We need to spend more money on marketing to get more leads.”
There is definitely a time to increase marketing budgets to capture more leads. However, if the lead management process of the dealership is poor, buying more leads is the most expensive (and often, ineffective!) way to solve the problem. Make sure your dealership is getting the most out of the leads that they are already getting with these questions!
What is considered a “Bad Lead”?
Is a “Bad Lead” one with no usable contact information (Phone number not in service, Bounced email address, etc.)? Or maybe it is a lead that was only left a few voicemails and deemed unreachable? By giving a clear definition to what is considered a “bad lead” dealers often find that leads they once considered “bad” aren’t really bad at all! They just needed to be managed properly. It is truly amazing how many appointments our F.A.S.T. team makes with leads that were once considered “bad”.
Action: Today, sit down with your team and write out what makes a lead “bad”. Make sure your team knows to use that as a guideline for marking a lead “cold” or “bad” in the CRM!
Do we have clear goals?
What percentage of leads is your team actually selling? With the national average reported to be 15%, there is most likely room for growth here. If your dealership is only selling 10% of the leads obtained monthly, there’s most likely room to grow 5%. The combination of proper lead management and proper sales process can make this growth happen!
Action: Right now, pull up your CRM and divide the number of vehicles sold by the number of leads obtained last month. Then, find what 15% of your leads count would be. Compare the two numbers to and form a realistic plan to bring up your sales through proper lead management and sales process.
Are we executing properly?
Most dealership CRM’s have an automated follow-up system that alerts the BDC and Sales Team alike. Evaluate whether that process is being executed. Is EVERY lead being treated the same? Do ALL Missed Appointments get both BDC and Sales follow up that same day? By finding inconsistencies, and working with your team to correct them, your dealership gets closer to your goal!
Action: Immediately, sign into your CRM. Pull up the work plans for each employee (Sales and BDC). Are there tasks that should have been completed previously that went untouched? Plan to have a meeting to discuss workflow, lead management, and the priority of capturing leads already being obtained.
Your dealership’s marketing budget should not increase until these questions are asked, answered, and action is taken to correct any current lead management issues!
So back to the “end of month” stress mentioned above. By nature, dealerships push to meet sales goals at the end of the month. That isn’t going to change. BUT much of that stress comes from “catching up” on tasks and trying to make up for the times that process and lead management wasn’t executed earlier in the month. At Sweet Relish, we believe consistency throughout the month is key. Not only does is maximize the marketing dollars already being spent, but it also makes the “end of month push” more effective and less stressful. See our blog post about consistency here.
Written By: Kate
Sweet Relish Marketing Department
“Sweet Relish is committed to working with dealerships to provide Automotive BDC solutions. With our F.A.S.T and SMART Software, we specialize in proper lead follow up, including improving outbound productivity up to 400%. Your BDC or ours, we have what dealerships need to succeed.…...if we can be of assistance or if you’re curious to know more, reach out to us. Let’s problem-solve together. Mike@Sweetrelish.com or (888) 415-4933”