Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
What are the key measurement criteria that you use to guide your focus in the dealership's Internet Sales operations? I am attaching numerous spreadsheets and reports that show some examples of what i have tracked in the past, but would love to get both input and feedback on new items as well as the spreadsheet templates I have uploaded to this forum...
I have removed the Courtesy Chevrolet examples at the store's request and added in a few templated spreadsheets as both tools and discussion starters.
More reporting spreadsheets that can be downloaded, revised and customized for use in any dealership...
Thanks for sharing, Ralph. I answered a similar dealer question on DrivingSales a year ago and think it still applies... http://www.drivingsales.com/discuss/what-are-standard-bdc-metrics
"How should BDC representatives be measured effectively and with what metrics?"
Measure them based upon:
a) average response time,
b) average # of days it took per prospect from lead to close,
c) # of new prospects received this month,
d) # of prospects still active from prior months,
e) # of prospects with actual contact made,
f) # of appointments set,
g) # of shows,
h) # of closed,
i) % of closed deal revenue vs. new lead expense.
"What are standard appointment scheduled and appointment show percentages for both phone leads and internet leads?"
In my experience, both running and then working with hundreds of dealerships' BDC and Internet Departments over the past decade, it really depends on the following factors:
1) How many prospects is each appointment-setter handling monthly?
Optimally, depending on skill level, each BDC rep should be able to reasonably handle 150 new leads/mo., while simultaneously following up with as many as 300+ unreached and unsold prospects from just the 2 or 3 prior months.
A remarkable person can effectively handle 250 new prospects per month; meaning there are also as many as 500+ additional older prospects (just from the prior 60 days) to continue to follow up as well. Only a precious few top-level BDC reps have the skill to reach out personally via phone and email to 750 prospects on a rolling monthly basis...
The more they handle, the lower your contact ratio, appointment sets and shows, and closing percentage will be.
Optimally, with 450 prospects (150 new, 300+ older) to contact monthly, in my opinion, top BDC reps should achieve:
a) A 50%+ actual contact made percentage, or 225 contacts (including older prospects now ready to buy).
b) From those 225 prospects reached, 120-160 appointments set should be expected monthly (30-40 weekly, 6-8 daily).
c) From the 140 average appointments set, 60-70 appointments should show. Are they greeted by the person they set the appointment with and properly TO'd to a Sales or BDC Manager? How your dealership handles the hand-off can affect your closing percentage drastically.
d) From your 60-70 shows, you should expect to close 15-35 deals per month (10% vs. new leads received on the low side, 25% vs. new leads received on the high side). I understand that this is a pretty broad range, but so many unknown variables play in here, that once the customer arrives, it's really up to the sales team to take over and make the sale happen. That's going to depend, among other things, heavily upon:
i) the inventory available (colors, options, etc),
ii) the availability of test-drive vehicles,
iii) whether the price and experience they received when they arrived at the dealership was consistent with the one offered online - if they received a price and came in based upon that price, then price was not likely an objection, and may have been the selling point. If they receive a different price on the same vehicle when arriving - that can kill a sale very quickly.
iv) the rapport that the salesperson developed with the potential buyer
Some dealerships are more "on-the-ball" than others, and that results in a higher closing percentage.
2) How does your dealership address pricing requests?
Calling the prospect prior to emailing a PRICE MENU (with choices) to address the request, or worse, never emailing any pricing to address the request, will result in lower contact ratios, lower appointments set, fewer shows, and ultimately, fewer sales. Addressing pricing up-front will allow the first phone conversation's tone to change from adversarial and skeptical (on the prospect's side), to understanding that you're willing to address any and all questions on price in a timely, professional manner. It conveys a message that you're not afraid to discuss price, which is what the majority of consumers think since it's still very often difficult to get real pricing from dealerships.
3) How long do the people in your BDC actively work a prospect before declaring it "dead"?
Some untrained, unmanaged BDC reps give up too early in the process, after not hearing from a prospect after 5 or 6 calls and several emails (usually about 2 weeks, max). Sometimes, the buyer was collecting information to make a decision 2-3 months down the road, but since the BDC rep didn't continue to stay in touch, the dealership potentially lost out on that sale.
The less time, on average, each prospect is worked, the fewer deals outside the current month's leads will be sold, reducing your closing percentage and wasting the opportunity to more cars every month. A good way to measure your department's effectiveness at long-term follow up would be to count the number of days the prospect was worked from the last lead received or last walk-in date.
If you'd like to hear more, feel free to reach out to me directly. You can call me at (201) 448-7253.
Infinite Prospects Inc. - Online Solutions for Car Dealerships
Adam, take a look at the date on this forum topic... I originally posted it in January 2008. What is most notable is that the executables really have not changed that much in the past 4 years. And, whether a BDC, Internet Sales Specialist, or even leads being handled by a salesperson on the floor, the customer expects nothing less than the information they requested in a timely manner delivered by professional, courteous and prompt dealership employees.
To your point Adam, we do see similar questions asked over the years... New people come into the business and they have to learn all the same things the rest of us have learned. The difference is, they do not have the luxury f time to figure it out like those of us who started handling the first Internet leads in the mid-90's. The newer people today need to accelerate their learning so they can earn a living and keep up with the competition who has already, in many cases, learned what they are still trying to figure out.