Are your leads slipping through the net?

Are your leads slipping through the net?

Interview with Stuart Buckley in October 2017 issue of AutoRetail.

Are your leads slipping through the net?

Despite the relative quietness of the automotive retail industry as we head into the heart of Q4, I believe that the opportunities are still out there, but too many are slipping through the net.

Only 50% of sales calls are answered

Research has shown recently that only around 50% of sales calls coming into a retailer are answered, and of those we believe that only around one in four are adequately dealt with first time around. This leaves a large number of potential customers that are not buying cars from you, and are most likely moving further down their shortlist of cars and buying from the first retailer that answers their call, and gets back to them with the information they want.

A retailer might look at their call records and see that they sold a car to, say, eight out of 10 of the customers that called in asking about a car, and think that they are doing well. However, that figure doesn’t give the full picture. If, as estimates suggest, there were a further 10 calls that never got answered or tracked properly, that is another eight potential sales that never even made it into the net in the first place.

A big issue is that once calls are answered, it looks like they have been dealt with. But in reality answering the phone is only half the battle. Consider how long it takes to have a decent conversation, bearing in mind that a lot of these calls will be coming via a receptionist or an IVR and the initial process of answering the phone will take up a significant amount of time. To then get through to sales and take down the right amount of information to find out what a customer wants takes even more time. Answered call stats are very misleading.

Calltracks is able to identify exactly which page of a website a customer has been looking at when they call in to a retailer, which means we get a good idea as to what the call is about. A recent case study with a client showed that around 20% of calls came from customers who were looking at new or used car pages on a retailer’s website – a sure sign of their intent. Of these calls, as many as 55% were too short to have a decent conversation. These are potentially lost sales opportunities, that we will alert you about in real time.

A recent and exciting new development from Calltracks is giving the dealerships more awareness around those customers that are not getting through, and then resurrecting the leads. The tool, which is the first of a number of new products that will be able to improve sales conversion, can identify the caller’s intent and enable Calltracks to inform the retailer – the sales manager or the dealer principal – if the call doesn’t meet the set criteria.

Real-time alerts then allow the retailer to see where the problems are, and concentrate on the most important thing, which is getting back to the customers as soon as possible, before the lead goes cold. It is important to recognise that the customer has spent days looking at cars, and for them to pick up the phone means they are keen. Someone not getting back to them is really bad.

It is essential to identify a potential lost sale and get back to the customer before they move on to the next retailer on their shortlist. Rather than spending even more money on marketing, isn’t it better to generate more sales from an existing investment? You may as well, as the customer has already called you.