Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Internet Process - Back to the Basics

With more and more customers originating from the internet, it is important that your dealership has a good internet process to respond to every lead quickly and efficiently. If a customer submits a lead on a Third Party site, that lead is often sent to multiple dealerships. This is one reason why response time is so important because most customers usually buy from the first person who responds to them. What are you doing to make sure your internet depart is doing the absolute best it can do?
One thing I have learned is not every customer that’s sends in a lead is in the market to buy a car right now. Often customers are online doing research and submit a lead or request a quote by mistake. For example, many customers don’t know that when they go to Cars.com or CarsDirect.com they are actually going to be sending a lead to a dealership. Often they just want to know if the car is in their price range. These customers are sometimes as much as six months out from buying a car. This is the leading reason, in my opinion, that sales people often are unable to connect with the customers or they don’t respond to your calls and e-mails. Do you have an internet follow-up campaign that goes out to six months?
  • It is important that your CRM/ILM handles your webleads correctly. How are the leads routed? Do they all go to one person, or are they distributed to a team? Do you have anything in place to only give leads to those who are working that day?
  • Are your leads being routed to the salesperson’s phone so they can respond quickly from their phone?
  • Does your CRM/ILM check for duplicates? Nothing is worse than having your internet department competing against your own showroom.
  • What is your ideal response time? Are your salespeople held accountable for their response times? Do you monitor reports that show this?
  • Do you have a process of escalating or transferring the lead to someone if the lead is left untouched?
  • Do you encourage your salespeople to call or e-mail as their first response?  Which type of response will foster a better relationship?
  • Do you have someone monitoring social media for leads and opportunities?
At the end of the day, it’s all about the relationships. Dealerships have the ability to choose and customize which process they use based on their own unique needs. Just remember that this industry is constantly evolving and what worked a year ago might not have the same success today.

About Hunter Swift

Hunter Swift is the Director of Sales Development at DealerSocket and has been with the company since 2005. In addition to his current role, he has fulfilled the responsibilities of customer support, consulting, training, and sales. Hunter specializes in helping dealerships improve sales and follow-up processes through the use of CRM technology. He is known for his ability to connect with people and demonstrate his knowledge to help others solve their problems. Hunter honed his dealership skills as a salesperson prior to joining DealerSocket. He has earned a Business Degree from Pepperdine University. Hunter can be reached at hswift@dealersocket.com and on social media at @HunterSwift.

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