I just returned from a dealer meeting where I had the pleasure of meeting with many dealers. At lunch, I struck up a conversation with a dealer principal, and we got talking about lead management. My new dealer friend saw himself as the linchpin of the inbound leads game. He told me with pride how he personally receives every single online lead notification so he can carefully assign leads to the right reps.
I asked the dealer when he last had time to field these leads. Not too surprisingly, he hadn’t had a single opportunity to hand-sort all of those precious leads yet that morning.
Do you see the problem here? This slowdown doesn’t only happen at dealer meetings once a year, it happens every day because principals and GMs are very busy people that are constantly working on their business, and directing customer traffic cannot be their primary job focus.
Fielding incoming online leads should be delegated to someone whose job duties include fielding incoming calls. If you’ve got a receptionist, perfect, but if not, the person or people responsible for answering the phone should also field in-bound online leads.
Think about it: when a customer calls the dealership and asks for a salesperson, does the receptionist have to call the boss to determine where to transfer the call? Heck no! The receptionist routes the all to the salesperson available NOW.
The same holds true if a customer strolls into the showroom -- the receptionist will find an available salesperson to make sure the customer is helped immediately.
Why would your process differ for Internet leads? The person who answers the phone and direct in-store customers should receive these leads and forward them to someone that can handle new leads NOW.
Response time is still the most important factor that drives higher conversion rates. Dealer principals and GMs need to get out of the way and empower their staff to ensure all customers engaging the dealership get to the right person as quickly as possible.
Of course, GMs and dealer principals want to stay tuned into the sales process, and they can do so with a lead management system like FootSteps that quickly shows that the leads are assigned, contacted and sold.