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Need Help. Internet Department process that works best

I have started and Internet Department for a Honda store about 4 months ago.  I am very wise to systems, websites, vendors, etc.  I have set up a pretty reasonable system in the past with other dealers but I have a tough road ahead of me now.

Here is the situation:

When I took over, the dealership was doing about 7-8 cars a month via 3rd party lead sources out of the "Internet Department" that consisted of 1 man who just responded to leads and also took lot ups.  (not very effective).  In one month of me taking over, we grew to 14 cars and then 18 cars and are continuing to grow.  My idea at the time was for me to "weed" out the leads and then assign them to a sales person when they come in.  Several problems have occured with that process.  Either a secondary deal that certain sales people either are not skilled with, or do not want to mess with.  Salespeople having the lead assigned and then they are off when the customer comes in.  Following up isnt a strong point at this store currently as we don't have a CRM in place currently (January of 2011).

I have since added another lead provider (to make sure I capture everyone in my market area, most are duplicated), upgraded the website (now overwhelming me with extra leads), setup processes to continue to assist our internet marketing with growth via 3rd parties, social media, etc.  This front of the marketing side is looking GREAT for us.

 

Now to the problem:

With the overwhelming lead volume growing from about 150 to over 280 in just a few months (mostly due to new website, increased visiability, correcting issues that had been neglected in the past, etc.) I CAN NOT HANDLE THEM ALL BY MYSELF.

We had this setup with a small salary and then a percentage (1/3 of the commision) plus some bonus.  If I add someone else, I am curious on how to make them money as well but not lose any myself.   My thought was to add someone to help me continue what I am doing but they would only assist in the follow up and initial contact.  I could only make 1 phone call a day to a customer where someone soley dedicated could make several to the same customer insuring that we are doing everthing we can to get the custoemr engaged.  Once engaged, I would take over and take it to the next step, either going over figures, setting and appointment, getting them approved, and the other stuff that keeps me from continually following up with EVERY customer consistantly. 

The other thought was to have it set up with a salesperson that would basically split the leads and assist me and we would both carry the whole "deal" from start to finish.  My fear of that is that I would lose track of other customers, marketing, website issues, and the things that can basically make the dealership more profitable.  I am definately torn and need some ideas.  I also want to make sure that we both don't go broke in the process.  Maybe I just need to back up and punt.  I am open to any ideas but I want to continue to have control as that is where the problem was before I got here.

Views: 137

Tags: BDC, Department, ISM, Internet, pay, plans, process

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Comment by John Compston on March 16, 2012 at 10:09am

I am  in sort of the same situation that you are Daniel, and would like to gather some feedback as well.  I came here 2 years ago, and the department was doing 3 -4 deals a month.  The department was being ran by the owners son, and he had no clue of what he was doing.  They hired me, someone that had never sold a car before in my life, to come in to one learn to sell cars and two to run this department.  It has been great so far and we are selling on average 17 cars per month from our Internet Department with on average 80 leads a month.  The owner now wants to grow the department and add a second person and be able to reah 40 - 50 sales per month.  I am struggling with how to take the department from a one man show to a two man show.  We work our leads cradle to grave here, and I am not sure what the best way to grow the department is.  Is the best way to go about it just double the leads, and split them?  Should it be structured differently?  Any advice would be much appreciated.


Influencer
Comment by Rob Fontano on December 16, 2010 at 11:16am
They are a mix of some with dealership experience and some without. I prefer no actual sales people. They get an hourly rate, say $9 plus $10 for appt. show and $20 for appt. sold. We also throw monthly goals and bonuses out there as well. The best part is that they take ownership of the lead and are accountable for following up, where a sales person is not. The coordinator can't say "I didn't call them because I was busy......" Sales people also tend to pre-judge leads or drop the lead if the initial contact didn't result in something positive.
Comment by Daniel Able on December 16, 2010 at 11:00am

@Rob I hope to have it come to that in the future.  that is definately the idea.  How does the pay structure work if you don't mind me asking?  Are the hourly folks just trained non car business type of folks?


Influencer
Comment by Rob Fontano on December 16, 2010 at 10:56am

I am a huge proponent of the coordinator system. We use trained hourly employees in our bdc to handle all incoming calls and leads. There is an internet manager in the room who manages and trains the team as well as T.O.'s calls real time and works figures. We do not hand out leads to sales people due to the lack of consistent follow up they would receive.

 

If you are getting 10 leads per day then at five days you have fifty calls to make, then you have day six, seven, and so on. If you are trying to follow up for 30 days on the phone, there is no sales person that I know who could handle that work load while delivering vehicles. The other advantage is that leads don't get a smoke break, or a day off. All leads are touched each day by a coordinator.

 

Once contact is made we work towards the appointment which would be set with a sales manager, who would then turn it to a sales person. If they do not buy on that visit, the coordinator is still responsible for follow up. If numbers need to be worked via the phone or email the BDC manager will handle that.

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