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How long do you follow up with your Internet leads? What about your inbound phone calls that you haven’t set appointments for? You might answer these questions with numbers from 90 to 120. 15 to 30. 60 days. Forever. You answer this way because that is the process you built in your CRM. Allow me to tell you that this isn’t happening.
There is one thing a CRM cannot do and that is stop your sales team from taking the easy way out. (That takes management). My team actively mystery shops dealers all year long and the one guarantee we can make is that the majority of leads are flipped to a CRM status that automatically cancels your ongoing follow-up process.
You might have a 90-day process in place, but I promise you that, without management looking, a good majority of your leads are being flipped to “Lost” or “Bad Lead” or “Out of Market” because it is simply too easy for your salespeople to end the cycle. Even if alerts are set up in the system that catch leads switched to “Lost”, it takes someone diligently holding feet to the fire and ensuring leads aren’t trashed for no reason. The path of least resistance is taken with your leads far more often than the lead management process is allowed to do its job.
You must train your people as to why the processes should run. Allow the automated emails (going out with their name on it after all) to fire. Maybe something in a latter email won’t offend, but entice. Maybe the topic of a 75-day email reaches them at the right time and engages rather than annoys. Your salespeople don’t always know their buying trends so they shouldn’t be allowed to cease the processes you put in place.
Over the last year, we at DealerKnows had over 400 mystery shops performed – and that doesn’t include the CRM email correspondence policing we do for our own dealers. We also create and customize templates and long-term follow-up processes for our dealers. Even with this, we’ve seen that the average number of days before all communication from dealership to prospect ends is roughly 8. Eight days is the number of days the average dealership follows up with an Internet lead. Now I know that your processes are built out longer than that, so I urge you to train your sales team to let it go. Training and management will be the only way to stop them from dropping leads early.
Let the ongoing emails do their job. Let the scheduled outgoing phone calls be made. Let the automated alerts reach the customers. Nowadays, it takes more communication to sell vehicles, not less. Let your scheduled follow-up rain down on the consumers until they say no more. Otherwise you are wasting well spent money that could still be converted into a sale. So for that reason, I ask you to… let it rain.