Dealers planning software updates to stop lead leakage
- February 17, 2020
- Posted by: John Swift
- Category: Automotive Industry
Many dealers are using a simple paper or spreadsheet-based system to track and manage their leads after customers make the initial contact, potentially letting sales slip through the net.
The latest annual state-of-the-nation survey by CarGurus, its One Voice Report, reveals that more than a quarter (26%) of used car dealers still rely on pen and paper to manage leads while a further 15% are a bit more advanced but still only have a simple spreadsheet.
For those retailers in the 21st Century who digitally manage leads and track attribution, measuring where they have come from, a dedicated automotive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is the most popular option with a Dealership Management System (DMS) second. Just over 10% have an internally developed CRM system, and 4.2% use a non-automotive CRM.
Wendy Harris, VP European Sales at digital portal CarGurus, said that even with some software in place, retailers find it hard to attribute sales leads to a particular source to know where their advertising and marketing spend is the most effective. However, dealers recognise this and the vast majority of the almost 40% who said they plan to upgrade their lead management systems this year say they will move to a more digital basis.
Too easy to register an interest
A growing concern, and underlining the need for a robust software system, is the quality of the leads with more than a third of dealers saying they are getting worse. Some said it is because people shop around more online and with email making it easy to contact a dealer, car buyers can research and enquire about far more cars than they used to. One dealer said:
“It’s too easy to register an interest.”
On the flip side, they say that digital lead management and market analysis means that advertising is more accurate now and online tracking has improved too. One used car supermarket, Carbase, said:
“We want all of the leads; but every lead you get, you can use some kind of attribution to trace it back and ask, quite simply, ‘does the customer actually want to talk to us?’ Then when we call or text or email them back, we’re able to work out how engaged they are.”
Wendy Harris added:
“The picture is encouraging, particularly for online sales and the digital tools to help guide buyers to the right car at the right price. However, with two-thirds of enquiries coming by phone or email, retailers need to have the right systems, tools and processes in place for 2020 to make sure there’s no lead leakage.”
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