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Answering a lead doesn’t have to be rocket science. Sometimes we overthink situations where the best solution is usually the simplest. When it comes to lead follow up, dealerships should follow these three best practices, and the metrics attached to them.

Response Time - 30 minutes or less:

We all know that a timely response is important for leads, but how many dealerships are tracking this consistently? Following up with a lead should start with a quick response. To track these follow up calls, place a board up in the tower that displays each internet sales person’s response time and allows them to compare to others. You can also create a spiff for the fastest average response time. Auto responders do not count as a completed response!

Quality of Response – Lead Contact ratio over 70%:

Most leads come in with information about what vehicle the person is interested in and their questions. The overall goal is to do a greatest online needs assessment without dodging their questions. If a person asks, “Does this car have navigation?”, they most likely value the options a vehicle has; therefore you should be listing out all the pertinent options of the vehicle they are interested in. You should also provide various trim and package levels, including the pricing and details. The more information you provide, the less likely they are to ask your competitor for information instead. Provide them with a digital brochure if your CRM allows it, and offer them an additional vehicle to look at. If the goal is a great needs assessment, then we want to gather as much information as possible in regards to what they are looking for and what they need.

Persistent Follow-Up - Appointment to lead ratio over 30%:

A lot of internet sales people give up on leads after 7 days. Your CRM should automatically create activities every day for 7 days. The sales person should use every possible method to reach the shopper in that time period. A successful method is to send leads personalized emails creating an opportunity for them to ask questions. Send them personalized emails and ask them if they have any other questions. Setting the expectations for the shopper can take down their guard and remove hesitancy creates a better lead response. Persistent follow up can be reflected in the sales person’s appointment to lead ratio. If the sales people are following up persistently, then they should be setting more appointments off of their leads.

These best practices will help you elevate and optimize every opportunity you get.

- See more at: http://www.digigo.com/blog/june-2014/leads#sthash.PO6S3akU.dpuf

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