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From the NCM Institute: It's Time to Raise the Bar for Automotive Internet Closing Ratios Written By: Garry House

Written By: Garry House

In the second quarter of 2012, the NCM Institute (NCMi®) formed a training partnership with Automotive Internet Management (AIM). AIM has conducted five “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%.

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.

Now that you're thinking about your Internet Sales execution, how are you doing responding to your Internet leads? If you'd like to improve your Internet close ratio to 20% or more, consider attending our upcoming Internet lead management training in Dallas this month, April 16-17th, presented by Automotive Internet Management. Visit us at or call 866.756.2620 to learn more!

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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 Tarry Shebesta on April 22, 2013 at 12:32pm
How about focusing on the quality of the lead source. It really doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot what you do with a lead if you first don't focus on the quality of the leads you are generating/buying.

Comment by Willie Cruz on April 6, 2013 at 1:34pm
Very interesting post, what is considered an "Internet Lead"? I have never been able to nail down what different people call an "Internet Lead". Can someone clarify this for me? Thanks!

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