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Posts Tagged ‘automotive lead management’

Lead Management or CRM?

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by credit

Many businesses confuse lead management and CRM or customer relationship management thinking that they are the same. In effect, they also confuse their needs. Some are using lead management systems when what they really need is CRM and vice versa. Although the two systems may seem similar, it does not follow that one will work well with both lead management and CRM needs.

What is Lead Management?

A user-generated definition in Wikipedia says that lead management is “used to describe methodologies, systems, and practices designed to generate new potential business clientele, generally operated through a variety of marketing techniques.” Meanwhile, Rao Vallabhaneni in his book Corporate Management, Governance, and Ethics Best Practices defined the term as “the process of rapidly and effectively creating, nurturing, distributing, and analyzing leads. The ultimate goal is to increase the likelihood that a lead will convert to a qualified sale opportunity and then a new, satisfied customer.” Applying lead management now to dealership context, automotive lead management is the process of generating leads through various dealership marketing efforts and converting them into sales.

Automotive lead management systems, on the other hand, are the ones that automate monitoring, measurement, and all the management processes involved from the time a lead comes budding until when it blooms into a sale. These are tools, models, or software that make the process easier for dealerships and other businesses.

You need lead management systems to:

  • Contact leads fast. Leads grow cold quickly. Studies show that leads receiving a response within five minutes after they dropped their query in are most likely to turn into sales. Quick response time also give a dealership a higher customer satisfaction rating.
  • Speed up sales process. Lead management systems allow you to monitor the performances of the various lead generation techniques you are employing and improve those that appear ineffective. You can also track the status—needs follow-up, closed, or not yet contacted—of the leads and ensure that they are qualified.

What is CRM?

According to Samara Lynn of PCMag.com, CRM is a “strategic business tool that helps companies streamline their business processes…and can increase revenue by attracting and retaining customers…and shortening the time it takes to close a sales deal.” CRM systems focus on fostering your and your salespeople’s relationship with your dealership’s prospects and customers.

You need CRM systems to:

  • Build relationship with prospects. CRM systems make data collection easier. They also help your salespeople understand the needs of customers, which is essential in almost all sales approaches, and provide solution for them. This helps build trust and rapport with prospects and customers.
  • Foster customer loyalty. CRM systems help you serve your existing customers better, keep a record of customer complaints and resolve them, and modify sales and marketing approaches according to shifting customer behavior and needs.

Lead Management Techniques for Auto Dealers

Posted on: April 12th, 2012 by credit

There are two ways by which auto dealers can generate leads. One is through their own marketing efforts and the other is by hiring the services of a lead generation company like Approved Auto Leads. Auto dealers can generate quality leads by employing either or both ways. However, there are many of them who do not know how to handle leads well. They often end up failing to convert the leads they have obtained into sales. Auto dealers can reverse this cycle by coming up with a well-planned automotive lead management system which includes effective lead scoring, lead nurturing and lead distribution.

Auto dealers should build criteria for leads to know which ones are already sales ready. This is called lead scoring. It is also the phase in automotive lead management where the levels of interest of the leads to the services or products of a dealership are defined. This can be done by collecting demographic and behavioral information from the leads. Demographic information usually include the geographic location, company size or number of employees, job title or role, and company type or industry. On the other hand, behavioral information can be culled by observing the activities of leads through analyzing data such as number of pages viewed, number of forms filled out and submitted, emails opened, relevant keywords searched, and the like. The criteria and the definition of each category can be customized by an auto dealer according to his or her needs.

Lead nurturing is more than just keeping the leads interested. It must also be about building relationships with them. Auto dealers should understand that leads are not just prospects but also real people. They should be able to understand their needs and preferences, giving genuine advice and help, during the process of lead nurturing. The process mainly includes sending emails to all leads regularly and making phone calls to all leads in an auto dealer’s database. The goal of lead nurturing is to keep the leads’ knowledge of the auto dealership and to make it as one of the first options that a lead would consider checking out when he or she is ready to entertain sales representatives.

Lastly, when leads are already sales ready, auto dealers should now be able to make a smooth transition to turn the leads over to the sales team. This is called lead distribution. Auto dealers can smoothly turn over the task to sales reps by giving them complete details of all the leads and all the necessary information that the sales reps might be needing. Despite the turn over, auto dealers should still be hands on by keeping track of the leads’ statuses and supervising follow up activities. They should also have regular updates about the leads so they can modify their lead scoring and other automotive lead management techniques to more effectively manage leads in the future.

Working On Having an Efficient Automotive Lead Management

Posted on: April 2nd, 2012 by credit

A car dealer has auto leads now in hand.  Now what?  The obvious answer to this is to turn these leads into sales.  But how will a car dealer exactly do that?  This is where right automotive lead management comes in.  A lead generation company like Approved Auto Leads may be able to deliver sure quality leads to a car dealer.  However, those leads will not significantly help increase the car dealer’s sales at all unless the car dealer will be able to manage them well.  Here are some important things that car dealers should keep in mind when drafting out a plan for their own automotive lead management system.

The first contact with the lead, particularly the response to their query, is crucial.  Car leads are expectant and they would appreciate a quick response.  Thus, car dealers should develop a response system that would quickly attend to the leads’ concerns.  Moreover, if car dealers would slack in responding to the leads, other dealers could steal the car lead’s interest from.  One way by which car dealers can make a quick response is by using auto-responders in emails.  They are programs that automatically sends the sender of the query a message of response or acknowledgment.  However, it is better for car dealers to personally answer queries in their own words whenever they are available to do so.  They can also respond via SMS or phone call.  On their first contact with the lead, car dealers should draw as much information as they can from the lead.  They should be able to get a hold of the lead’s preferences which could help them prepare for the negotiation.

Aside from auto-responders, another great tool for having an efficient automotive lead management is the customer relationship management or CRM software.  There are several CRM software available which are very helpful aids in managing car dealers’ sales relationships.  These software organize leads into a database, alert for any new leads, provide aid for call center service, identify repeat customers, enhance production and customer service, and many more.

Car dealers should also have a system and firm policies on keeping the leads’ personal information private and secured.  They should give their potential customers an assurance that they can keep the information that the applicants will be providing private.

Car dealers can also seek help from lead management companies which are also lead generation companies most of the time.  They usually provide services like lead generation, call center services, and lead sales.  Approved Auto Leads is an example.  It provides call center services to car dealerships which do not have their own call center department.  The staffs of Approved Auto Leads are guaranteed trained for and skillful in the job that they do.  In fact, Approved Auto Leads offer a call center service training for the sales representatives of car dealerships.  Companies like this and others can indeed be of great help to lighten the work load of car dealers.

Automotive Lead Management

Posted on: January 29th, 2012 by credit

Automotive lead generation companies have been a great help for car dealers nowadays in increasing their sales and income.  However, if there has been no significant change in the revenues, car dealers should not put all the blame on the lead providers.  Achieving an increase in sales is a two-part process.  First is by a quality auto lead provider that a car dealer should select wisely and the second one is by the car dealers themselves in employing an excellent automotive lead management system.  If both of these work well together, car dealers can guarantee themselves a sure increase in their revenues. The problem is, many car dealers do not know how to rightly manage the leads they acquire.  This is one of the most important things car dealers should learn to ensure revenue growth.  Here are some of practical ways to effectively manage automotive leads.

Car dealers should be organized in compiling and listing the leads.  They can put all leads in a spreadsheet, like in Excel.  In this way, keeping records is easier and orderly.  Car sales representatives would not also have a hard time sorting out the lists and finding names, contact details and other information.  They would also be able to keep track f the status of each lead. Car sales representatives will also be able to avoid repeats.

Another automotive lead management technique that car dealers should learn is communicating with the leads immediately.  Upon acquisition, car dealers should make a call to the leads immediately or make a response in some other ways because these prospective customers are just waiting for replies to their enquiry.  Some car dealerships employ auto responders and other software to automatically and immediately respond to the enquiries even if the car dealers are not in their offices.

Speaking of auto-responders, it is also good that car dealers like you utilize some modern automotive lead management techniques.  An auto responder is a program or software that automatically responds to emails.  It is an effective tool, especially in email marketing, in attracting leads and sending follow-up messages.  In the automotive industry, the main benefit of auto responders is perhaps maintaining the interest of the prospective car buyers.  These leads were interested with the offer that is why they dropped their information in.  And as mentioned earlier, they are just waiting for someone to take heed to their queries.  An immediate reply would not let the interest of these leads go spoiled.  Auto responders would surely do this job well for car dealers.

Another modern technique of automotive lead management is using customer relationship management or CRM software.  CRMs basically do a large part of the car dealer’s tasks.  It can sort information, collect leads, create prospective customers profiles with their preferences, improves customer service, and many more.

Managing auto leads is not an easy process and system to maintain.  Car dealers would really have to be creative and diverse when looking for better ways in managing leads.  Approved Auto Leads provides quality leads to their customers and it would not want those leads go wasted just because of poor auto lead management system.  Having an excellent one is indeed the key to turn hot leads from Approved Auto Leads into sure sales.

The Importance of Automotive Lead Management

Posted on: January 5th, 2012 by credit

Lead Managment

 

Successfully turning auto leads into sales requires time, effort and skills.  Persuading a prospective car buyer to take the offer you have is indeed a challenge for car dealers like you.  However, there is one more thing that could greatly contribute to the conversion of auto leads into sales.  A successful conversion would not be possible if the car dealer has no efficient system of automotive lead management.

Obtaining more and more car leads from lead generation companies, the car dealer’s own website, walk-ins and the like could be clearer vision of increased revenues.  However, the way car dealers process and take these in would impact how much of these will indeed increase their revenue. Thus, car dealers should be organized in handling all the leads that go to them.

When people seeking to purchase a car or get a car loan drop their information to a loan company online, this means that these people would sit at home and wait for the phone to ring.  This means that these are interested car buyers and are serious about purchasing a car.  These people are strong leads that should not be wasted.  Therefore, car dealers should respond to them immediately.  Otherwise, they might lose interest with the offer or some other dealers would get them.

It is important for car dealers to have an organized response system.  This is also being in control of the leads that the car dealers have obtained.  You would not want leads waiting for weeks before someone finally reaches out to them.  This could build a bad impression of your dealership’s performance and credibility.

Car dealers can purchase a customer relation management or CRM software which can centralize everything into a single system of reaching out to the car leads.  CRM software can provide car dealers with the complete information of a customer or lead, automate sales processes, computerize records and lead statuses, automate response through email, organize database of leads, provide marketing tools, and many more.  It is recommended that car dealers employ this type of tool for a more effective service.

Auto Approved Leads can provide you with quality leads.  It is quite saddening for us to hear car buyers complaining about not getting any response since the day they dropped their application to us.  If you want to learn more about systematic automotive lead management, Approved Auto Leads offer refresher courses on call center skills that might be really helpful to the development of your dealership.

 

 
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