Ryan Morrison
| 3 August 2017

How to Fix the Problem of Fewer Leads

Things just aren’t what they used to be and some still are, sadly. Your dealership may relate to these truths:

1. The average cost per sale still hovers around $600

2. Many dealerships are receiving fewer opportunities to do business

3. Generating sales calls and internet leads costs a lot of money

4. Prospects are visiting fewer than two dealerships before making a purchase

5. Consumers are taking advantage of online solutions to get around the traditional purchase process

These facts highlight the reality. It still costs a lot of money to generate a sale. Dealerships are getting fewer opportunities — and they’re becoming more precious every day. Most dealerships are mishandling the opportunities they do get. When you do get a call or an internet lead, it’s essential that your sales team knows exactly how to turn that lead into a quality appointment that shows and buys.

But how do you make sure that your team is ready when their moment arrives?

The Balance Between Ads & Training

When the number of leads coming into your dealership dwindles, it’s natural to fight for more leads. As a result, many people will start pushing more of their budget into advertising in order to drive leads. But investing in your people is just as important. On average, your cost per opportunity should fall around $75 (To calculate it, take your monthly advertising spend and divide by your sales calls, internet leads and showroom visits.).

Once your ads drive those leads, how much are you spending to ensure these leads are handled correctly? According to the Training Industry Report 2015, the average business invests less than $2 per opportunity in training to ensure each lead is handled with care and properly converted. Instead of front-loading your budget in ads, find the balance between training and advertising in order to drive leads and then convert them.

Train Your Team

When fewer leads are coming in, you have to make the most out of those you do get. Dealerships without a comprehensive training and certification program schedule appointments with less than 35 percent of their opportunities and fewer than 50 percent of those show up.

Implement a quarterly certification program for everyone tasked with responding to phone and internet leads. Dealerships with ongoing certification programs schedule appointments with 65 percent or more and 60 percent or more show up.

Don’t Settle

Once you’ve committed to regularly training and certifying your team, make sure you’ve chosen the right partner to create long-lasting behavioral change. There are many training companies that claim to train on sales calls and internet leads, but their approach is outdated. Today’s prospects are smarter and don’t fall for their approaches. Instead, regular training needs to be built into your culture in a sustainable way.

If your average salesperson is selling the same today as they sold a year ago, your training budget is not driving a return. With the right learning program in place, dealerships have the opportunity to sell more vehicles — and sell them more profitably. Look closely at how and where you spend your training dollars and decide if the results are growing incrementally each month.

Ryan Morrison
Ryan Morrison

With retail sales background in the automotive and related industries, Ryan joined CDK Global 21 years ago. As the Senior Director of Retail Solutions for CDK his responsibilities span continued innovation of CDK Consulting’s retail-focused solutions, overseeing CDK Consulting Associates development programs, growing CDK’s Global Business Optimization University, curricula development, and also leading the teams of Dealership Optimization Coaches throughout the US, Canada and Latin America.