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Is poor enquiry management losing you car sales?

How many sales opportunities are your sales team losing out on through ‘failure to contact’?

This may come as a bit of a surprise, but upon examination of a sample of 63,000 logged sales enquiries in Q4 last year, we found that 64% were ultimately categorised as ‘lost’!

Seeing as today’s car buyers undertake detailed research online, before they as ‘qualified prospects’, make a web, telephone or walk-in enquiry to a dealership – how is it that almost two-thirds of these enquiries end-up being relegated to the status of ‘Lost Sales’? 

We believe the answer lies in the multiplicity of incoming enquiry channels, plus the sheer volume of incoming enquiries.  These two factors combined can lead to an ‘overwhelm’ of a dealership’s enquiry management process – brutally exposing any deficiencies or shortfalls in either the performance of sales staff, or the lack of a robust enough sales lead management and enquiry response process.

So what is the key step your dealership can take to ensure your sales team has the best possible chance of converting the maximum number of incoming enquiries?

The answer? Use an automated process to help your sales staff manage the volume enquiries.

With increasing utilisation by customers of multiple communication channels – phone, email, text, social media – dealers need to ensure that not only are all incoming sales enquiries logged onto a lead management system, but that an automated process is in place to respond to each and every one in a timely fashion, and then at multiple touch points across the customer journey.

Of course, in an ‘ideal world’, there would be one-to-one contact between customers and your sales staff from the point of initial enquiry, but in reality, a salesperson could have to deal with anything from five to seven new enquiries every day, if not more – an extremely time-consuming process that can quickly build-up into a backlog of outstanding enquiries – with only the ‘hot leads’ given really personal attention.

With an automated enquiry response management process in place, 100% of all incoming enquiries can be responded to with a highly personalised and courteous e-mail acknowledgement, that’s fully interactive and mobile responsive – ensuring that every single enquiry receives a minimum standard of a professional, engaging and courteous response.

And with typical open rates of 60% and higher, it’s clear that customers welcome and are engaged with such messages as the dealership’s first line of response.

Referring back to our analysis of 63,000 enquiries where we found that, on average, 64% were identified as ‘lost’ – one of the key reasons for lack of sales progression was found to be that the salesperson had been unable to make contact!

This underlines why a dealership’s enquiry management strategy needs to include, as part of the overall process, an automated step that stops potential customers falling-off the enquiry list because of ‘no contact.’

But that’s only part of the story…

Ordinarily, categorising a sales lead as ‘lost’ normally means that a dealership’s contact with that potential customer is terminated.

However, we’ve found that when these ‘Lost Sales’ are re-engaged with by a bespoke ‘Lost Sale Message’, that an average of 40% of respondents reply that they are still ready and willing to buy a car from the same dealership.  So much for being a ‘lost sale’!

The above highlights just two examples of how the multiple touch points of an automated enquiry management process can positively impact upon and reduce the incidence of Lost Sales, and increase customer engagement and sales conversions.

It’s true that nothing comes close to the engagement level of personal contact in response to an enquiry, but when we see that in excess of 60% of enquiries risk being potentially wasted through ‘unsuccessful attempts to contact’ – there is no argument for not having the safety-net in place of a best-in-class automated enquiry management system.

If you’d like to find out more about how our eCRM enquiry management process can help your dealership increase conversions, including reducing the incidence of lost sales, then please click here and we will be in touch.