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From the NCM Institute Blog: It's Time to Raise the Bar for Automotive Internet Closing Ratios

In the second quarter of 2012, the NCM Institute (NCMi®) formed a training partnership with Automotive Internet Management (AIM). As of last week, AIM has conducted four “Bridging the Internet Sales Gap” training workshops under NCMi sponsorship. After personally auditing two of these sessions and receiving client-dealer feedback from all of the sessions, I’ve become convinced that dealers and their sales management teams need to “raise the bar” on their expectations for Internet closing ratios.

At NCMi, we have always believed and taught that a 12% to 15% Internet closing ratio was a really good job. Most of the OEMs, Internet consulting firms, and “best practices” dealers have paralleled our belief. However, after experiencing the AIM training, and talking with a number of the AIM clients, I sincerely believe that the “true” Internet closing ratio metrics that define a “really good job” need to be raised to 18% to 21%. Here’s how I see these metrics being developed:

Internet lead management metrics

It’s also interesting to note that there is no “silver bullet” required to achieve what may appear to be very lofty objectives. According to Bill Phillips and Greg Elam at AIM, these metrics are attainable by doing the following:

  • Effectively organizing and managing your Internet lead data

  • Employing tenacious and quality lead follow-up

  • Ensuring greater involvement by sales managers in the eCommerce process

  • Thoroughly documenting lead management activities

  • Working smarter, rather than harder

  • Implementing and executing the Six Elements of Effective Accountability Management that we talk so much about at NCMi

The folks at AIM believe the automotive Internet sales process is really pretty simple. People will always sell vehicles. When used properly, technology is only an aid to selling. Internet consumers are the same as other customers; they are just communicating with you electronically. Just as with floor retail business, implementing basic, proven sales processes and management techniques will improve your eCommerce business. You CAN generate more gross profit from your eCommerce business if those proven principles are applied.

The General Management Executive Program is one of the NCMi training curriculums that focuses heavily on eCommerce marketing and management. Enrollments are now being accepted for the 2013 class that begins on March 4th. Learn more about the GMEP by clicking on the link, or call Brandiss, Kara, or Cassie at 866.756.2620.

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Tags: Accountability, Automotive, Best, General, Institute, Internet, Lead, Management, Manager, NCM, More…Practices, Processes, Sales, Selling, Skills, Training, eCommerce

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Comment by Ralph Bradford on May 17, 2013 at 1:37pm

The other tangible is that purchased leads are rarely as "scrubbed" as the "seller" claims and I've got leads that were already sold customers from cars.com. 

Comment by Ralph Bradford on May 17, 2013 at 1:11pm

What is not mentioned is the higher closing ratio for used cars as opposed to new cars because the new car can be purchased at any new car dealer and the used cars are generally "one of a kinds" by comparison. The other factor is "organic" leads as opposed to "generic" leads that are the norm for new cars. The higher the "organic" lead ratio, the higher the closing ratio. 20% is attainable on the used side but is NOT obtainable on the new side when there are several other  "like" new car dealers in the locale. Everyone seems to smudge this data. 15% is the benchmark with a 50% organic ration of new and used car. 

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