Every dealer can relate to the struggle of having salespeople who are excellent at closing deals but never enter their customers into the CRM or complete the follow-up. No one wants to get rid of their best closers, so what’s the solution?
Don’t ask them to do it!
Play to everyone’s strengths — let the closers be closers and let the callers be callers. Here’s what I mean. Your leads come via the Internet, phone, and walk-in, and they all must make it into the CRM. Your lead providers must send the leads in the right format so they go into the CRM automatically. If the lead provider/manufacturer can’t send them in the right format, I recommend appointing a lead converter.
To ensure that every phone lead makes it into the CRM, pull your phone records for any calls that selected the sales prompt. Next, have the appointed employee go into the CRM daily to confirm that they’re not only entered but that there are updated notes on the customer records and in the correct process. With the right partner, the right technology, and the right follow-up, you can capture the customers who visited your dealership even if your salespeople didn’t get their information. You can also capture website visitors who didn’t submit a lead and get that data into your CRM.
Different Workflows for Different Types of Leads
After you’ve ensured that all the data you spend so many marketing dollars every month has been pushed into the CRM, it’s time to verify that the leads are in the right workflow.
Getting leads in a workflow that relates to their source and type will improve your conversion rate more than anything else.
A lead that is higher in the purchasing funnel needs a softer approach than one that’s farther down the road. Depending on your CRM’s capabilities, I recommend that all leads come into the CRM in a round-robin fashion based on the BDC or salesperson’s schedule. From there, each lead source that needs to be handled differently than a standard Internet lead needs to have its own workflow.
Ideally, the workflow will get assigned automatically by the CRM based on the lead’s origin. Each lead needs to be examined for buying indicators and other clues customers give us — the type of unit they’re interested in, for instance. The most successful dealerships have different workflows based on the type of unit. Customer inquiries about motorized, towable, and used units each need to attach to different workflows. I also recommend having specific workflows for unit specials and specific units. The workflows need to fire automatically until you connect with the customer. Then a new workflow gets assigned to the customer, based on that contact.
Have multiple customer statuses that vary in the frequency between contacts so each customer gets a tailored follow-up. Sticking with this process will help dramatically increase your conversion rates.
Workflows In Detail
What exactly do these different workflows entail? First, they should all consist of different methods of contact, such as email, call, and text. Honor the contact preference customers mention in their initial inquiry.
There are four main categories of leads:
- an Internet lead before contact is made
- an Internet lead after contact is made
- a set appointment
- and a showroom visit follow-up
Leads received in the CRM should be read thoroughly for buying clues. Pay attention to any comments the customer has sent. The worst thing is to send a generic response to a customer who has sent you specific questions. I recommend calling the customer first. It’s easier to sell over the phone than via email. If the customer doesn’t answer, follow up with a tailored email and text. A customer’s questions are important and must be answered. If you don’t provide the information and instead just try to sell them, they’ll go to your competition.
Listen to incoming and outgoing calls daily to make sure customers are being handled the way you want them to be.
Know what your employees are saying on the phone and train those whose calls aren’t up to par.
Place every contacted customer in the appropriate status, such as a “set appointment” status or a “turn over to the sales team” status. Each status category needs to be tracked so customers don’t fall through the cracks. If you have a BDC that follows up with leads, there must be a process for how it and the sales team work together. Ideally, the BDC does the heavy lifting and delivers customers to the sales team when they’re ready to purchase or have more in-depth questions.
Monitor set appointments closely. These customers, who have already said “yes” once, are your best chance for a sale. Once an appointment is set, the CRM should automatically trigger periodic check-ins with the customer until the day of the appointment. Then the confirmation process begins, which is a perfect time for the salesperson to introduce themselves. A text confirmation with the dealership’s address and the name of the person they’ll be meeting with gets things off on the right foot.
Show ratios drastically improve by having the right confirmation process.
The month’s set appointments should be checked daily to ensure they’re in the correct follow-up process. With the right workflows and processes in place, a dealership will see an increase in conversions almost overnight.
Keep Them Coming Back
If every customer in a dealership’s database is properly followed up, the dealership could potentially find enough sales to make the month. But working your database effectively can be challenging. The first thing to do is to make sure every sold customer in the CRM has a workflow attached to their record. Keep the dealership’s name in front of all customers by building out a long-term follow-up process.
One strategy that helps drive existing customers back into the showroom is campaigns.
The most important aspect is putting the right specials in front of the right consumers.
All ads need to address the customers’ interests and past buying behavior. These campaigns should be run monthly and consist of an email and a phone call. Keep campaign lists separate so customers aren’t marketed too frequently. And make sure your leads are in the right category, such as lost, bad, active, or sold — otherwise, customers will receive messages that don’t apply to them.
Customers who visited the showroom but didn’t purchase need a very tailored follow-up approach.
Never use automatic emails on any lead in which the customer has already spoken to someone at the dealership, like a walk-in or a phone lead.
Auto-send emails should only be scheduled before contact is made, or there’s a good chance the email will be irrelevant or not applicable to the customer’s situation. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing that customer.
Assigning the sales managers some of the tasks within these workflows lets customers know their business is valuable to the dealership. Early management involvement with customers is also good for the sales team’s morale because it lets them know their success is a group effort. Keeping your CRM clean of appointments that are hanging out there in the wrong process or no process at all is extremely beneficial. They should all be in a showroom visit process, missed/canceled appointment process, or set appointment status.
Missed appointments need to be followed up the following day in an attempt to reschedule. Having managers follow up on missed or canceled appointments will help your show and reschedule rates.