| by David Metter, President of AutoHook powered by Urban Science
As part of Urban Science, it’s in our blood to question everything. Not only do we look outside the box to solve complex problems, but we then question each element that makes up the box, down to each individual line, 90-degree angle and the composition of positive and negative space that define the constraints of the box. Better yet, approaching a problem from a true scientific perspective means questioning why the box even exists in the first place. While the process can be painstaking, making observations through the unbiased lens of science can also lead to accidental discoveries.
Granted, for someone who started in the business as a car salesman and later managed dealerships, using scientific methods to make decisions in the showroom isn’t the first and most natural inclination for many of us. And when I say science, I mean actual science – not the junk out there that claims to be science (remember when everyone threw around the term “big data”), but the kind of science that has no skeptics, that sees trends within a data set that not only others don’t, but that no one’s even thought to look for before.
When we hear a number or statistic over and over again, especially one published by a known source, we believe it to be true because…why wouldn’t we? We all know not everything we read on the internet is true, but this example is perhaps the ideal case in point of one widely accepted “truth” the automotive industry has come to accept without any empirical evidence whatsoever.
Automotive leaders in search, analytics, digital advertising and consumer behavior have all published findings stating the number of dealerships customers visit before purchasing a vehicle is somewhere between 1.3 and 1.6 dealerships. This number has been kicked around at conferences for years. So naturally, we decided to challenge the claim that customers visit less than two dealerships before buying a car.
In May of 2018, AutoHook and Urban Science decided to conduct our own survey. We asked real consumers we know bought a car within the last year how many dealerships they visited prior to their purchase. Out of 2,748 responses, what we found is people are visiting more dealerships than we thought. According to the survey results, people on average visit at least 2.4 dealerships before buying a car.
Furthermore, 70% of customers surveyed visited two or more dealerships before purchasing. Almost half, 46% to be exact, said they visited three or more dealerships before purchasing, and 26% said they visited four or more dealerships. The unfortunate reality is that we’ve all been thoroughly brainwashed with the misconception that people only go to about one dealership before buying a car which we now know is not the case.
Regardless of whether customers visit two dealerships or five dealerships, the takeaway here is that everything we’ve been told about consumer buying behavior in the digital age is skewed. The truth is that today’s car shoppers go to at least 2 dealers before purchasing. What’s so significant about this finding is that it proves people have a choice and decisions are being made both on AND offline. The blindly accepted notion that the majority of car shoppers have already made up their mind on what to buy and where to buy before ever stepping foot in a dealership is completely false. In fact, in another study completed by AutoHook and Urban Science, 78% of over 66,000 respondents said they were still shopping multiple brands before visiting their first dealership.
The underlying message we’ve all come to believe is that customers are making buying decisions based largely if not solely on what they read online…which by the way conveniently plays to the ultimate gain of the big publishers, search and media companies. Maybe they are doing this so dealers and OEMs will continue to spend more and more money with said companies on their digital advertising, but we don’t have the science to back that up just yet.
Anyways, down here in the real world, cars are still bought and sold in physical showrooms and the process is still dependent upon a positive exchange between two living, breathing people. The only difference between today and 50 years ago is that customers walk in armed with information and salespeople need to provide a less painful buying experience. Other OEM-specific customer surveys AutoHook conducts on an ongoing basis show that when asked why they didn’t buy a car from a particular brand, the overwhelming majority of respondents selected “bad dealership experience” as their #1 reason for not purchasing.
So, if you think people are going to fewer dealers than they were ten years ago, it may be because the experience they expect to have when they’re at a dealership is a negative one. Not always – I know plenty of dealers who recognize the importance of their people and the in-store experience they provide, and I also know these dealers sell much more effectively as a result. This alone makes the argument that dealers need to focus more attention on hiring and retaining better salespeople who understand the value of relationships if they’re interested in repeat, loyal customers.
Another common misconception is that millennials are taking over the market and they buy everything online; therefore dealers need to move towards models where ~99% of their selling happens online, and their salespeople just need to walk the customer through the paperwork upon arrival. The first part of that statement is true in that Millennials are quickly overtaking the market as they now account for almost 30% of all new vehicles sold. By 2020, JD Power and Automotive News project they will account for 40% of all new vehicle sales.
What’s NOT true is the assumption that Millennials want to buy their cars online. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The test drive experience is more important to the Millennial generation than ever before, so much so that they want to extend the test drive experience to get a solid feel for how a vehicle will fit into their everyday lifestyle. Millennials also spend more time on the buying process and are less brand-loyal than previous generations. As a result, we see more and more extended test drive programs popping up like Toyota’s Try Before You Buy program which allows customers to take home a vehicle of interest from anywhere between 24 hours to a full week.
Again, whether the total number of dealerships visited before a purchase is 2.4 or 3.4, the more important point is that people have choices and if they go to a dealer ready to buy and have a negative in-store experience I can confidently say based on data (and common sense) that they’re going to leave and buy from someone else.
I’m not saying everything we know about digital is dead, and I’m in no way trying to tell dealers to kill or even cut their digital ad spending. But what I am saying is we as an industry need to seriously reevaluate the amount of time, energy, and most importantly, money we spend on what we know is vital to selling cars and the ongoing growth and success of a dealership…good salespeople.
| by David Metter, President of AutoHook powered by Urban Science
There is this perpetual echo of the word “disruption” in the car industry. What will be the next big disruption? What do we need to prepare for that will change everything we know about selling cars? The reality is disruption is largely incumbent upon technological advancements and the rate of societal adoption to these new, uncharted territories dominated by things like artificial intelligence and machine learning. These future “disruptors,” such as the rise of alternative online retail formats, subscription services or the transition from gas-powered vehicles to autonomous, connected cars are impossible for any one dealer or OEM to predict, let alone control.
Therefore, I’d like to propose a new approach. What if instead of the next big disruption we focused a little more on what we can control – the constants – the parts of the equation that aren’t powered by data or machines. What I mean by the constants is the people, or more specifically, the relationships that form when a customer goes to look at a car and has a positive interaction with a salesperson while doing so. The value of relationships when it comes to selling cars has been vastly undermined by the shiny new innovations of the digital age.
I think we’ve become so infatuated by the latest technology and the newest cutting-edge solutions to selling cars that we forgot about the fact that technology becomes useless without the people behind it who make it work. Relationships in the digital age still take precedence over technology and despite the advancements we have yet to see, technology in all its glory can’t replace social skills. All this talk about connectivity and connected devices yet I think we’re failing to connect the dots when it comes to knowing what will ultimately yield the highest ROI for dealerships, both in today’s world and in the future – knowing who your best salespeople are and how to keep them.
We as an industry need to stop using technology as a crutch. We’ve become so focused on the next big disruption in digital marketing that we’ve started to rely on the help of digital tools entirely, forgetting that cars are still bought and sold by actual people at actual dealerships. Deloitte’s 2018 Global Automotive Consumer Study reported car shoppers still rate physical interactions with a vehicle as critical to their buying decision – with over 8 out of 10 needing to see the vehicle in person before making a purchase decision. So, if this is the case, why are we spending the majority of our time and money on the minority of the buying public?
It’s all about striking a perfect balance between technology, the right data and the right people. It takes all three to get the job done. Technology is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to enhance or continue existing relationships, but it can’t create them in the first place. When it comes to the right data, we are extremely fortunate because our solutions are powered by the Urban Science® DataHub™, which allows us to be the first to know when a customer buys a car, what car they bought, where they bought and if they didn’t buy from you. And we get that sales data and the equally important defection data within days – not months.
In the same way that technology lacks value without good people, the right data can uncover things about your salespeople you otherwise never would have known. For example, you consistently see all these closed sales opportunities by let’s say, “John,” so naturally you think John is one of your best salespeople. But how many opportunities is John losing every month to one of your competitors? You’d never know without the right data. So it all goes hand-in-hand. The person selling the most cars may be losing more opportunities than he or she is closing, so your “best” salesperson can quickly become your worst salesperson when you can compare what they’re winning to what they’re losing at the same time.
Having that ability to layer sales and defection data on top of your CRM data is critical if you want to operate more efficiently. Without it would be like making decisions for your dealership based on a cost-benefit analysis but forgetting to include the cost part of the equation. It’s the only way to add enough dimension to your CRM data to make it truly actionable – instead of looking like Flat Stanley.
Having the right data combined with great technology can help your operations in a multitude of ways. It can suppress the leads in your CRM that have already purchased so your people can stop wasting time following up with them. It can pinpoint the ideal time and channel to re-engage your lapsed or dormant leads. Technology can help dealerships interrupt a customer while they’re shopping online and grab their attention just long enough to influence their decision-making process. It can also help ensure a customer chooses to visit your showroom instead of your competitors with things like test drive incentives.
The reality is technology will never be able to stop a customer from walking out of your dealership after a negative experience with one of your salespeople. Furthermore, when it comes to closing lead opportunities, your salespeople may already be at a disadvantage. A recent Automotive News dealer training webinar reported that as many as 98% of qualified leads fail to result in closed business. So instead of pouring all your focus into staying ahead of the next big disruption promising more and better leads, maybe we need to shift our focus back to the one thing capable of converting those leads into sales once they hit your showroom – your people.
Great employees are what gives meaning to the capabilities that stem from great technology. Your salespeople are the foundation needed to ensure data-powered solutions work in favor of your dealership. In a word, the future state of our industry’s digital landscape is unpredictable. But there are two things we do know. Change is constant and retaining great salespeople is still paramount. There’s not a lot we can do to control the rate of change, but fortunately for dealers, there’s a lot we can do to help our salespeople and to make sure we're holding on to the good ones.
Stay tuned for Lies the Digital Age Told You About Selling Cars, Chapter 3: Power to the [Sales] People to learn more about the importance of retaining your best salespeople and how to provide a better in-store experience.
| by David Metter, President of AutoHook powered by Urban Science
I’d like to begin with a subtle reminder of the harsh reality of how car shoppers in today’s technology-first world really feel about the car buying process. Below are a few highlights to help paint the picture…
52% of car shoppers feel anxious or uncomfortable at dealerships and millennials are leading the pack in their dislike, with 56% saying they’d rather clean their homes than negotiate with a car dealer. (The Harris Poll Insights & Analytics)
“Stressed,” “overwhelmed,” “taken advantage” and “panic” were among the top 10 words used by female car shoppers when reviewing their in-dealership experience. (CDK Global)
Studies suggest that some Americans would rather get a root canal than take their car to a dealership. (Automotive News)
I could go on for days with stats like this, but we have more important things to discuss - such as how to change the current perception. The upside to all the negativity around car buying is that we have A LOT of room for improvement. And dealers aren’t necessarily to blame either. The problem is, what we’re told about consumer behavior in the digital age compared to what car buyers themselves actually do in the digital age are often two very different things.
We live in a constantly connected, convenience-based universe inundated with unsanctioned opinion and as a result, we’ve become conditioned to rely on technology to solve problems. We know the in-store experience is important, but we’re too fast to look to the latest technology to solve the problem rather than focusing on what we can actually control. Not just something dealers have the power to influence, but also something that may ultimately yield the highest ROI out of any available technology in the market…which is your salespeople. How did I come to that conclusion? Funny you should ask.
In the article, “What’s the REAL Cost of a Bad Salesperson?” I dissected the monetary difference between what good salespeople can contribute to your dealership over time versus what just one bad salesperson could cost you. A salesperson selling 15 cars a month yields about $270,000 a year in gross profit. Then when you factor in the lifecycle of the vehicle and any potential service revenue associated, you’re looking at a minimum value of $325,000 a year in pure gross profit for any one good salesperson. Read the blog if you don’t believe the numbers.
Now consider the reverse. One salesperson that loses 15 sales a month to one of your competitors is costing your dealership $325,000 a year in gross profit. Multiply that by just four people and you’re looking at $1.3 million in lost gross profit a year. But here’s the kicker. Without the right data processed through the right technology, you would have no way of knowing how many customers your salespeople interacted with that left and bought a car from someone else. Perhaps due to a negative experience?
A recent study from Cox Automotive suggests that initial experience may be more important today than ever before. The rate of car buyers returning to dealerships where they have previously purchased or leased from is increasing. 40% of new vehicle buyers in 2018 are repeat dealer customers compared to 31% in 2016. This is great news, but it puts even more pressure on getting it right for that first-time buying experience and, in most cases, your sales team is directly responsible for it. Customer loyalty and the chance of them coming back to buy a second or third car depends on the experience your dealership provides them with upon arrival. So your people better be armed and ready.
Jeremy Beaver, COO of Del Grande Dealer Group, told Automotive News, “Retention is the Holy Grail, and the experience is what drives retention. You have to shift away from a ‘visit’ mentality and think about a ‘lifetime value’ mentality.” I could not possibly have said it better myself. This is an example of a dealer that just GETS IT – both on the sales side and on the service side. Their Fixed Operations Director, Trully Williams said, “The technology enhances the experience, but you start with the fundamentals of people and process. You get those right and then add the technology.”
There is a seriously infinite amount of opportunity for improving your dealership’s operational process, and it starts with your people. Dealers don’t have time to guess who their good and bad salespeople are – that’s where the technology comes in. You can’t retain good salespeople if you don’t have the technology to know who they are. The right technology can tell you who is letting the most opportunities walk out the door. It can tell you which leads your people are struggling with and the exact time frame during the month they struggle with the most. There’s a lot technology can do to help your people and to enhance the car buying experience, but it can’t drive the car buying experience entirely. At least not before flying cars become a thing.
So before your brain explodes from all the numbers and reporting being thrown at you during any given moment, or from all the external pressure you’re getting to improve 50 different KPIs at the same time, remember that your people are what gives meaning to the metrics. Retention, should be your absolute number one focus and priority in the digital age – and that applies to both your salespeople AND your customers. Running a successful dealership ultimately translates to retaining good salespeople, but you need the help of good technology to be able to do that. Ironic, I know.
Stay tuned for the upcoming fourth and final chapter of Lies the Digital Age Told You About Selling Cars: The Executive Edition. Dealer Managers will learn real-life examples of how to apply new technologies to directly support the success of your salespeople instead of relying on technology to do the selling for them. The more you can do to help your employees be successful at your dealership, the more likely you are to retain them, which ultimately leads to everyone’s mutual benefit – not to mention the benefit of your bottom line.
| by David Metter, President of AutoHook powered by Urban Science
In Part I of Lies the Digital Age Told You About Selling Cars, we overturned one of the most blindly accepted industry-wide standards about the current state of consumer car buying behavior. For far too long, the assumption has been vehicle shoppers have everything they need to make a purchase decision online, and they already know what they’re buying before ever stepping foot in a showroom. The common misconception has been that the average consumer in the digital age only visits one dealership before purchasing a vehicle.
What we found after surveying 2,748 U.S. consumers that have purchased a car in the last year is that the above statement couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, not only does the average customer visit at least 2.4 dealerships before making a buying decision, but almost half – 46% – said they visited three or more dealers before purchasing. Over a quarter of our sample size, 26%, said they visited four or more dealerships before buying. All of this data was collected by AutoHook and Urban Science in May of 2018 from people who purchased or leased a vehicle within the last year – not from a published study conducted five years ago.
As a former general manager of a dealership, CMO of a privately-held dealer group and as a marketer in general, I found the fact that roughly 1 in 4 people (26%) in the year 2018 visit four or more dealerships before buying a car to be personally absurd. Though surprising, this statistic solidified a new truth about the state of our industry. Contrary to what dealers have been told, the in-store experience is arguably more important in the digital age than ever before in the history of the car business – and for several reasons.
The most prominent reason being if a customer has a bad experience with one of your salespeople when they come in for a test drive, they will leave and buy from someone else. If they go to two dealerships and have a bad experience at both, they will go to a third and even a fourth dealer to buy from the one that provides them with the experience they expect and deserve.
Just like everything else that has surfaced from the digital age, car shoppers have a LOT of choices when it comes to what they’re going to buy and who they’re going to buy from. Purchase decisions are still made at physical dealerships, most likely following a test drive – NOT exclusively online. Shoppers in-market for a new vehicle don’t have their minds made up about what they’re going to buy by the time they visit their first dealership. Outsell says 6 out of 10 car shoppers enter the market unsure of what they want to buy. Our own research and survey data consistently shows 78% of people are still considering multiple brands by the time they visit their first dealership.
So we as an industry, we HAVE to get this right. Instead of operating based on pure, often biased assumption, dealers need to seriously reconsider their order of priorities in terms of how they run their business and where they spend their money. The digital age has armed us with so much intellectual power, yet at the same time, it’s made us a little lazy. It’s cast a shadow over what’s really important – defining value and personal worth by likes, clicks and follows rather than interpersonal relationship skills.
Part II of Lies the Digital Age Told You About Selling Cars verified the auto industry has become too quick to rely on technology as a crutch to do the work for us, rather than picking up the phone and having a conversation - or dare I suggest having the inventory knowledge and social skills to not only sell a car, but to foster ongoing relationships that lead to repeat, loyal customers. It is officially time for a new dialogue to emerge. The question we as an industry need to be asking is not how can we leverage new technologies to help us sell cars, but how can we leverage new technologies to help our salespeople sell cars?
Rather than answering the above question based on my expertise and years of experience in this business, I’ll share the real-life success stories of how two actual dealerships in the digital age are using great data processed through great technology to help their people sell more cars and lose fewer opportunities.
One of our dealer clients needed an accurate way to measure the true effectiveness of their follow-up process by knowing what was and wasn’t working within their current lead mix as well as how many opportunities their salespeople sold compared to how many they lost to competitors. Using their individual salesperson data, we analyzed each person’s sales and defections and identified who had the most potential to improve. We then pinpointed the time frame during their follow-up process when their people struggled the most, which for this particular store was during days 0-4 after a lead hit their CRM. Lastly, we exposed their highest defecting lead source.
Armed with a roadmap highlighting their greatest areas of opportunity, the owner of this dealership shared this data with his sales staff and reviewed each person’s sales and defection trends with them one-on-one every month. He created an environment of transparency and friendly competition by making this defection analysis technology available to all his salespeople, thus holding them personally accountable for every sale they lost in addition to what they closed.
The dealer then helped his staff implement a more aggressive follow-up strategy for working leads 0-4 days old. He provided additional training on how to better work leads that came from their highest defecting source (especially during this time frame). He took the time to listen to feedback from all his salespeople and found opportunities for peer coaching to help further reduce their collective number of defections. He also implemented a system to reward the people who showed improvement each month.
With a refined follow-up strategy fueled by better prepared, more empowered salespeople, they saw the following results in just 90 days:
Their overall defections decreased by 89%, with a 44% decrease in defections specifically during days 0-4 post-lead.
They increased their number of closed sales tied to their highest defecting lead source by an astounding 242%.
Most importantly, when it came to the salesperson identified as having the highest defection rate, that individual successfully increased their closed sales by 78% and went from being the worst performer on the team to one of their top performers.
This store needed a way to identify any potential problems with their lead mix to see which sources were underperforming and why. Using the same defection analysis technology as Dealer #1, they were able to determine the issues they were having with their highest defecting lead source were due to external factors outside of their control – rather than a lack of effective internal follow-up. They then confidently decided to cancel this lead provider and put those marketing dollars back towards their bottom line.
Ninety days later, they saw a 61% average increase in salesperson performance after removing that lead source – not to mention they were able to free up a total of 40 man-hours per week that were previously devoted to working those high-defecting leads. The best result of all? Four of their salespeople went from being average or below average performers to their TOP FOUR salespeople.
And they didn’t stop there. This dealer applied the same technology to define which model(s) in their inventory represented the most defections specific to their salespeople so they could go after leads tied to underperforming models more aggressively. Model A represented the most opportunity for improvement, and again within 90 days, they increased closed sales specific to Model A by 51% and reduced defections by 30%.
What we can conclude from the examples listed above, is that technology can help your people in a multitude of ways. Technology can help your salespeople close more deals and reduce their defection rates. Technology can help your people free up wasted time chasing leads from a faulty source. Technology can identify which models your people struggle with the most in order to boost specific model performance. Technology can even tell you if your customers are leaving your store to buy the same model somewhere else, or if they’re defecting to another brand entirely.
But the most important thing to take away is that technology in the digital age still doesn’t sell cars. It can do a lot to light up the right track for your people to do just that, but at the end of the day your salespeople need to know your inventory like the back of their hand – what makes it better than competing brands or models, and what makes doing business with you a better option than anywhere else.
The truth in a current landscape littered with lies is that there’s no way for any one dealer to know everything they need to know about their overall market, which models represent the most opportunity for their store, and if their salespeople are doing their jobs and following up with leads appropriately. That’s where the technology and data come into play. With a complete view of who is struggling and exactly what they’re struggling with during the initial contact and follow-up process, dealers can take immediate action to help their salespeople reduce defections and improve their performance across all facets of their sales operations – so they can be one of the 2.4 dealerships (at least) with a shot of winning the sale.
Contrary to popular belief, vehicle purchase decisions are still being made at physical dealerships, most likely following a test drive – NOT exclusively online. By using targeted test drive offers on your website, third-party sites and across channels, Dealers can positively disrupt a customer shopping online just long enough to influence them by giving them a reason to visit your showroom instead of your competitors’. Test drive incentives are one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics, consistently delivering buyers into Dealer showrooms and in the drivers’ seat of a vehicle. Below are the top five benefits of using test drive incentives at your dealership.
1. Drive High Intent to Buy Showroom Traffic
Convert your highest intent-to-buy website traffic and third-party site traffic into showroom visits with highly targeted, private test drive incentive offers, redeemable only by test driving a vehicle at your dealership. By presenting customers browsing your inventory online with a $25-$75 incentive to test drive one of your vehicles, you’re giving them a reason to visit your store over the competition. We know shoppers viewing specific inventory pages online are lower down in the purchase funnel, therefore using incentives only further increases your likelihood of converting online traffic into showroom traffic.
2. Execute Custom Incentive Campaigns Based on Your Greatest Areas of Opportunity
With science on your side, you can see whether the leads in your CRM ended up purchasing from you or someone else. Being able to see where, how and why you’re losing sales makes it easy for Dealers to make smarter decisions about how to spend finite, often unvalidated marketing dollars. Test drive incentive campaigns can be executed across all digital channels and customized in-flight to support each Dealer’s unique initiatives. Target underperforming models, ZIP codes or lead sources with higher value incentive offers to reduce your defection rates. In addition to your website visitors, send email incentive campaigns to re-engage all your third party leads and further combat defections and drive customers into your showroom.
3. Increase Incremental Sales
New vehicle sales may start online, but they end at the dealership. The best digital marketing tools attribute all sales and showroom visits back to a single offer or campaign, so your ROI is never in question. Use trackable test drive incentives across channels as one of the most effective, cost-efficient ways to get customers in your showroom and behind the wheel, while properly attributing incremental sales directly back to an offer. Leads generated from these private offers consistently close at both a high rate and a low cost-per-sale.
4. Increase New-to-Brand, Repeat Buyers
Car buyers today might be less brand loyal than ever before. CarMax says only 19.4% of their customers in 2017 purchased the same brand as their trade-in, while the remaining 80.6% bought a different brand. Our own studies show that across all OEMs, an average of 78% of buyers that submit an AutoHook test drive lead are new to the brand, meaning these are not repeat customers that would have come in anyways. If you’re able to provide your customers with a great initial buying experience when they come in to redeem their free gift card, the chance of them returning for a second or third purchase increases, thus improving your likelihood of gaining repeat, loyal buyers.
5. Increase Lead Conversion
This one might be a given, but it had to go on the list. We know Dealers have the best chance of converting a lead to a closed sale when they can get the customer physically in front of them. Getting customers offline and into the showroom is the entire purpose of using test drive incentive offers.
At AutoHook, we believe the value of our solutions is most powerfully defined by the dealers that use them. We’ve been fortunate enough to have an arsenal of dealer testimonials we’ve collected across all brands over the last few years. Out of our current customer client base, we have a total of 150 real dealer testimonials.
Five common trends remain consistent after analyzing all the feedback we’ve received. So, we figured we’d share these top five trends and allow our dealers to do the talking for us when it comes to what AutoHook does for their stores…
1. AUTOHOOK LEADS CONVERT.
“I have been an AutoHook client since 2015 and I utilize their Web2Show and Lead2Show solutions at both my Kia and Buick GMC stores. Our AutoHook leads are by far my best lead source and practically close themselves, averaging around 25-35%. The biggest difficulty in the industry is getting someone to walk through your door – this is where AutoHook excels. With AutoHook’s solutions that are enhanced by Urban Science’s industry data, I am able to pull in customers from competitors’ backyards and gain market share where I otherwise would not be able to do so with ease. I look forward to continued results in the future and continuing my great relationship with my dedicated Client Services Specialist.”
- John Speights | Digital Marketing Manager, Gay Family Auto Group
“We love AutoHook here at Gettel Nissan of Sarasota. Not only does it work well with the default settings, but we incorporate specific targeted offers to markets we see as high opportunity and bring those customers past our competition to come and see us. We also use Issue Rewards as a closing tool to help seal the deal. For 2018 thus far, we’ve seen a show rate of 55%. AutoHook continues to be a great way to convert people from our website into the showroom!”
- Ashley Palasz | Internet Manger, Gettel Nissan of Sarasota
“Since beginning with AutoHook, our third-party lead conversion rate has increased dramatically. Our website conversions have also increased using their web overlay incentives. We’ve been very happy with the level of support we get from the team, and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship and seeing more great enhancements come down the pipeline.”
- Andrew DiFeo | Chairman, Hyundai National Dealer Council and General Manager, Hyundai of St. Augustine
2. AUTOHOOK INCREASES SHOWROOM VISITS.
“AutoHook has proven to convert our new inventory leads directly into showroom visits at a rate of 53.88%. The redemption process is seamless, and the interactive reporting allows for instant proactive follow-up. We’ve been able to attribute multiple sales to the AutoHook Lansing LMA Campaign and look forward to future results.”
- Dan Dowker | Internet Business Manager, Shaheen Chevrolet
“I utilized AutoHook’s Web2Show at my previous dealership and liked it so much that I signed my Ford store up when I moved locations. There are many dealerships in our area, so the competition is always going to be high. We know the biggest struggle in the industry is getting a customer to visit your showroom, but this is where AutoHook far exceeds anyone else – we have the data to prove that a customer visited us because of Web2Show’s test drive incentive. We are excited to see what the future holds for David Stanley Ford and AutoHook!”
- Kenneth Starlin | Digital Marketing Director, David Stanley Ford of Midwest City
“Oxmoor Chrysler had a huge first quarter of 2018 and AutoHook played a pivotal role in our success by bringing customers into our showroom. Using Web2Show for our website traffic and Lead2Show for our 3rd party leads has proven to be a combo that really works well together. Things are going great and we look forward to continued success with AutoHook in the future.”
- Shawna Johnson | Internet Sales Director, Oxmoor Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
“We recently started AutoHook’s Web2Show solution to target specific models on our website. We had a customer come in this past weekend, take a test drive, and then purchased a new 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC. We have been successful in using the solution for service promotions as well, promoting $25 for our Happy Hour service campaign from 3-5pm daily. We look forward to utilizing their geo-targeting and other customization options in the future.”
- Amy Rothenberger | Director of Marketing and E-Commerce, Dream Automotive Group
“Fuccillo Chevrolet of Nelliston recently participated in the Albany LMA AutoHook Test Drive Campaign and after seeing the results, we decided to become a subscription-based client of AutoHook after the campaign concluded. Being able to attribute showroom visitors directly from AutoHook allows us to adjust our internal processes and handle the Web2Show leads accordingly. I'm excited to continue this and close more sales!”
- Heidi Schmidt | BDC Manager, Fuccillo Chevrolet
"We have discovered that not only is the AutoHook technology an important part of our website strategy but is also very effective in our Event Marketing Campaigns, Microsite Campaigns and Permission Based Marketing. We use it to attract clients to our showrooms and to anchor appointments… perhaps, one of the best things we have done in a long line of eBusiness strategies over the past few years!"
- Shawn kNIFFin | Marketing and Technology Director, Germain Motor Company
3. AUTOHOOK ATTRIBUTES THEIR SOLUTIONS DIRECTLY TO SALES.
“During a slow month, we decided to aggressively target specific models of opportunity on our website using AutoHook. Since then, we have seen considerable amounts of traffic from those custom offers and can attribute sales directly to those customers visiting us to test drive one of those specific models of opportunity. The best part about AutoHook is being able to tailor it to best suit my dealership’s needs on a real-time basis.”
- Antoine Thomas | General Sales Manager, Gettel Toyota
“Here at Gettel Acura, AutoHook’s Web2Show solution is a tool we truly trust. Our team diligently follows up with these leads and we set appointments at a very high rate. Over the last four months, our show rate for these customers is roughly 60%. Not only do these leads generate traffic on our showroom floor, they are in-market shoppers looking to purchase a vehicle with us. We are able to attribute a consistent volume of sales to these leads on a monthly basis.”
- Ray Kahn | Business Development Manager, Gettel Acura
4. AUTOHOOK PROVIDES US WITH ACTIONABLE DATA.
“I went over my first presentation of AutoHook’s Traffic Conversion Analysis (TCA) today and to say that I am extremely excited and impressed would be an understatement. The breadth of data that is available via the Urban Science® DataHub™ is truly remarkable; TCA takes it to an entirely different level – especially considering this is my CRM data. From TCA, I was able to identify new areas of opportunities for our stores and I learned that a same-brand dealership located 35 minutes away was our top source of defections; without TCA, I would have never known this. I look forward to putting the extensive, invaluable data to great use moving forward and having a successful 2018.”
- Michael Strasburger | Marketing Manager, Planet Automotive Group
“We are utilizing AutoHook's Web2Show, Lead2Show and Traffic Conversion Analysis (TCA). We are just scratching the surface with TCA by deep diving into our lost opportunities. Once we have identified the lost opportunities in our own CRM data by model, zip code, lead source and individual salesperson, we can create targeted offers to drive customers into the showroom and gain back market share. There is no other suite of solutions available that can identify these problems and provide the resolution so seamlessly.”
- Patrick Kyes | General Manager, Morrie’s Automotive Group
"We entered into our first meeting with AutoHook searching for answers. After reviewing our initial Traffic Conversion Analysis (TCA), we left our meeting with a detailed game plan. From the moment we hung up the phone, we got to work implementing new strategies in areas we were able to determine specific weaknesses. We are extremely confident these changes will undoubtedly grow sales in 2018. We look forward to reviewing our analysis on a monthly basis in order to consistently stay ahead of the competition."
- Joshua Clinton | General Manager, Gunther Kia of Fort Lauderdale
5. AUTOHOOK IMPROVES DEALERSHIP SALES OPERATIONS.
“The insights that AutoHook’s Traffic Conversion Analysis (TCA) provides allows me to determine which lead sources are the most successful as well as validates my decisions to cut ties with underperforming lead sources. I can see areas of opportunity for individual models all the way down to a specific trim level. I can continue to evaluate my salespeople by looking at their individual performance and use that as a very effective training tool. TCA is a groundbreaking solution that I look forward to continuing to aid in the success of my dealerships.”
- Jim Henne | General Manager, Performance Toyota Volvo
“After seeing our first run of AutoHook’s Traffic Conversion Analysis (TCA), I am engaged and excited for more. This has allowed me to evaluate the performance of my third-party lead sources, identify the salespeople with the greatest opportunity to improve, as well as use the model performance to determine appropriate inventory levels. To top that off, I can use AutoHook incentive solutions to target specific areas of opportunity by lead source, model and geography to win back market share.”
- Stephen Markham | General Manager, North Park Subaru at Dominion
Want to share your dealership’s success story? Email our dealer support team at DealerSupport@UrbanScience.com. For a limited time, dealers that submit a written testimonial will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or a $50 Amazon gift card for a video testimonial!
by David Metter
In baseball, one slight alteration in the way a hitter approaches the ball can be the difference between strike one and a home run. If a batter’s swing is off by only a few millimeters, or even just a fraction of a millimeter, this makes all the difference in how powerfully they hit the ball, foul it off, or if they strike out entirely.
I believe it's time to take a step back and rethink, rewire, reverse, and reevaluate the way we sell cars today. In order to solve the problems dealerships face when it comes to their operations and overall sales performance, we have to change how we approach the ball. Once again, it's time to disrupt the game and attack from a new angle.
Vendors, dealers, agencies, digital advertisers, partners, and OEMs all have the same end goal - to sell more cars and gain more customers. The dealerships and the experiences customers have at those dealerships determine whether or not people buy cars - so dealer support is what it's all about.
The car business is in desperate need of a complete paradigm shift. Revolution starts with forgetting everything you think you know and making decisions based on facts and a scientific approach.
Thomas Kuhn is an American physicist and philosopher regarded by Stanford as one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, if not the single most influential. The University of California, Berkeley, credits Kuhn for the defining paradigm shifts and the idea of scientific revolution as one in the same.
“Kuhn famously distinguished between normal science, where scientists solve puzzles within a particular framework or paradigm, and revolutionary science, when the paradigm gets overturned.”
During times of scientific revolution, anomalies disproving old theories are broken down, and new ones form to take their place in what’s known as a “paradigm shift.” So how does this relate to selling cars? Science’s definition of a paradigm shift is really just a fancy way of saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know…until you know.” Or in other words, you’ll never be able to know what you’re winning until you know what you’re losing.
The fact is, science is the only paradigm to live by in the information age. Undoing everything we think we know is not an easy task, especially for an industry overpopulated with often unjustified ego. There is this mindset that dealers only need to measure themselves against themselves. But when you think about it, that’s a myopic way of looking at your business.
So if you sell 200 cars this month and you only sold 170 last month, that means you're improving, right? Not necessarily. To be able to see what’s really happening in your market, we need to look at the entire landscape of the opportunities you’re working. Selling 200 cars is great, but 240 is better – and having the ability to see all these existing opportunities without spending an additional dollar on your marketing, that’s revolutionary.
Another common misconception is that if you don’t sell a car within the first week or two of the lead hitting your CRM, that customer is not going buy. Seems logical, right? Wrong – and here’s a perfect example…
One of our dealerships was seeing a jump in sales between day 8 and day 14 post-lead in their CRM. They did a great job picking it back up and getting more sales during this time frame. However, in actuality during this same time, more than TWICE as many customers purchased from one of their competitors. The data shows that during days 8-14 when this dealership thought they were killing it with 60 sales, there were 150 customers, marked opportunities in their CRM, that they touched, that went on to buy a car somewhere else. That’s a problem.
When we approach this same data set from a scientific perspective, we see something entirely different that our industry has never thought to focus on before – the loss. If we can see all the opportunities you let slide through the cracks, along with the people or sources tied to those defections, we can then see a new side of an often-skewed story. We can’t just look at the wins, as there is a lot we can learn from knowing the number of customers our dealership encountered that left to purchase somewhere else.
Because the dealership in the example mentioned above had never been able to compare closed sales versus defections in this capacity, they really had no idea what was going on both in their own store and in their market overall. During a time frame where they thought they were winning, they lost 100 sales to same make competitors and another 50 to competing brands in their market.
So we start to see these ailments, or weakness that start bubbling up to the surface. It’s also so important to keep in mind that each and every dealership is unique – and that’s fact, not opinion. If you attack the way you sell cars with a science-based approach, you start to see sales and defection data differently than you’ve ever seen it before and the facts become crystal clear.
Never underestimate the power of knowing what you’re losing. Think about it this way; it’s a lot like choosing to watch a movie in black and white when you have the option to watch it in 3D HD, multidimensional color. Which would you choose when it comes to the way you view your CRM data?
HYUNDAI DEALER CASE STUDY
After recognizing success with the national Hyundai Test Drive Program, Route 46 Hyundai was looking for additional ways to drive even more showroom traffic and incremental sales.
- AutoHook+: In addition to the incentives offered on Hyundaiusa.com and their website, Route 46 Hyundai added the AutoHook+ solution, giving them the ability to incentivize existing, unsold leads in their CRM. They leveraged the Triggered Links function within AutoHook+ to deliver incentive offers via email and attribute showroom visits and sales back to this initiative.
- Post-Lead Solution: Route 46 Hyundai used AutoHook’s Post-Lead Solution to maximize their incoming leads from their other sources. The Post-Lead Solution automatically scored their existing leads to identify and target the highest intent-to-buy customers with a test drive incentive via email.
Click below to see all the results and how we made it happen!
by David Metter
Every New Year is accompanied by a revitalized, fresh new wave of energy. It’s exciting to hit that reset with button with a renewed sense of faith as we reassess our goals and make changes to be better. I believe 2018 in particular will be a year of overflowing opportunity, unlike any other. I say this because when it comes to both digital marketing and dealership operations, we’re starting off the year with a very powerful weapon that will eliminate instances of both assumption and uncertainty.
A calm quiet will take over the imperious noise of opinion. It will shatter the fear of the unknown and replace it with the confidence of proven science. Instead of basing decisions on what you think, you will improve your business by what you know.
Data is what is known. Data is rooted in science and in proof. Data is truth. And let me be clear, there is no escaping the truth that your dealership’s sales data will bring to the surface once it’s seen from all angles. Believe it or not, the value of the data that lives within your CRM and DMS has infinite potential to improve the way you operate. It’s all about looking at that data through the right lens in order to get a new, better, multidimensional view.
At Urban Science, we’re incredibly fortunate that we can take the data that resides in your dealership and break it down into 4 simple buckets that you can actually wrap your heads around, so that you and your vendor-partners can take real action.
- Lead Source
Because of the sales data we get every single day, we can infuse both sales and defection trends on top of every lead that hits your CRM in near real time. Not only do we look at the sales within any given dealership, but we also look at the sales that happened outside of that dealership. Then we use that data to evaluate trends, triumphs, and defeats within their processes, related to the four buckets listed above. That last one (salesperson performance) is especially exciting. Never in my career has there been a way to look at the true effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a dealership’s salespeople.
All of a sudden when you can see your data from this utopian, comprehensive perspective, you start to also see what you’re losing within the opportunities that you PAID for, driven by the traffic hitting your CRM. When you can see trends of effectiveness or ineffectiveness (success and failure), you then have the power to make changes that will make you better in all four of those buckets. Whether you’re working with a training organization, adapting to new advertising initiatives, or even changing pricing within your inventory, you can start making decisions based on factual truth, which will ultimately benefit all parties involved.
So instead of running your business hindered by fear of the unknown, the right data will give you the power to flourish in the light of certainty. Until now, dealers have been lost in the dark when it comes to the trends or holes in their processes simply because of a lack in the quality of sales and defection data at their disposal.
I’d also like to make it very clear that CRM and DMS companies are NOT at fault because they do what they do really well. It’s just a matter of infusing the right information into your system, much like what you see with data and analytics companies that integrate into Salesforce, the largest CRM company in the world.
As you set new goals and make changes for 2018, remember that data doesn’t lie and not even your #1 salesperson can hide from it. Data has proven time and time again that all those leads in your CRM who are marked as “did not buy” actually did purchase, and in addition, we know what they bought, when they bought, and where they bought. That information becomes super powerful – sometimes more powerful than we can even understand. I look forward to spending 2018 spreading that power across this industry so that we can all reap the benefits of the bigger, better picture.
by David Metter
I recently had the honor of co-moderating a dealer panel discussion at the DrivingSales Executive Summit. Together with fellow attribution frontrunner, Steve White, CEO & Founder of Clarivoy, and our dealer experts, Shaun Kniffin, Marketing & Technology Director of Germain Automotive Group and Ben Robertaccio, Marketing Director of the quickly-rising Morrie’s Automotive Group, we we’re fortunate to have a jam-packed room on the last day of the conference. I guess the panel title (or the speaker lineup) evoked some attention…
For anyone that missed it, I’ve compiled a list below of the top ten takeaways from THE DATA DOESN’T LIE: Shocking Discoveries in Automotive Attribution.
1. Sales Attribution > Traffic Attribution
As an industry, we need to entirely shift away from traffic attribution models and really zero-in on sales attribution – that’s where the good stuff is. Traffic attribution only gives you one slice of the pizza. It looks at the traffic that comes to your website and builds marketing strategies based on that alone. Roughly 75% of people that buy cars from you visit your website – so what are you doing to account for the other 25%? Traffic attribution doesn’t tie a sale to that site traffic, where sales attribution directly ties a car sold to the path that led to the sale. Furthermore, we have to factor in the reality that 71% of online users remain anonymous.
Ben Robertaccio, Marketing Director for Morrie’s Automotive Group says, “70% of people come into your dealership without first contacting you. Less than 10% contact you or convert through your website. If we don’t have data on the mass of our customer base, then we need to find better ways to understand them.”
2. There are WAY too many KPIs to realistically keep track of.
Shaun Kniffin, Marketing & Technology Director for Germain Automotive Group shared their recent initiative to define the most important KPIs that exist within all the profit centers of a dealership. “Together we identified 127 KPIs as the key ones to follow. In digital marketing alone, we identified 27 critical KPIs. Our GMs all agree that between 4-16 of those 27 digital KPIs should be looked at on a daily basis.” But how many of them actually do it? Dealers are reported to death. They’re inundated with data and it’s often impossible to know where to start without enlisting the right help.
3. In a perfect world, EVERYONE’S data would reside in CRM.
It would be in the best interest of CRM companies to take into consideration what has made Salesforce so successful and apply that same business model to automotive. For just a minute, take yourself out of our industry. Put yourself in ANY other industry and ALL of the data resides within Salesforce. There are plugins within Salesforce that collectively make it better, more powerful, and virtually indispensable. Salesforce grew exponentially when they opened up those opportunities to make corporations that use Salesforce better. We don’t see that in automotive and that’s a very frustrating thing, and it should be more frustrating to you as a dealer because you are required to live and breathe within CRM every single day.
AutoHook’s data, Clarivoy’s data, everyone’s data should reside in CRM. If we know the behavioral traits specific to the customers in our CRM, our salespeople can simply look at their screen (just like you would in Salesforce) and immediately see every digital destination that customer has passed through. That’s what our salespeople need in order to have much more meaningful, efficient conversations with their customers.
In a perfect world, there would be an independent 3rd party overseeing the validity of everyone’s data, as we know vendor reporting has the potential to be self-serving. But if we know we have clean, accurate data, then we as marketers can easily figure out how to help GMs make much better decisions with their budget.
4. Google Analytics is a great tool…IF it’s set up correctly.
Google Analytics has the potential to be a phenomenal tool, but it can also be complicated, involved and difficult to derive any real actionable insights from. How many GMs go into their GA dashboard every day? Not many. So how can we expect our managers to actually obtain any real value or insights from of GA alone?
Ben Robertaccio advises dealers to have their key goals and conversions set up properly in order to measure what’s actually happening - and that includes SRPs, VDPs, leads, chats, calls, texts, map views, etc. The best reports out there take GA data and feed in multiple other data sources to deliver a clear path towards correcting the flaws in your business.
A great tool is one that’s able to synthesize all the data and turn it into something dealers can actually use. Ben recommends AutoHook’s Traffic Conversion Analysis (TCA) powered by Urban Science data. “TCA feeds in CRM data, new vehicle registration data, our sales data, and what our competitors are selling, and it’s able to show me data like I’ve never seen it before. If we didn’t have TCA, we would have continued to spend, spend, spend, when it reality it was our process that was broken, and TCA was able to make that clear.”
5. There needs to be massive consolidation of analytics tools in the market space.
Because of the intertype competition amongst tiers and players within the automotive vertical, we need to get to the point where dealers can know (or at least have a solid benchmark) of how many cars each vendor will help them sell per month.
Shaun Kniffin reminds us of the ugly truth that, “This industry has more snake oil than any other industry,” and he’s right! Additionally, there aren’t any real standards or benchmarks to let dealers know how they are doing at any given point because of the fact that every dealer and every market is so different. We need to push for more open data sharing, partnerships, and standardization amongst vendors and at all industry levels.
Ben Robertaccio makes another great point when he says, “I see this operational divide across industries: operations vs. marketing. We see it in every industry. But what we need to do is foster an environment where I show you results, you show me results and we work together.”
6. 3rd party listing sites like Cars.com & Autotrader are NOT lead generators.
Leads aren’t everything. Clarivoy Founder & CEO, Steve White says, “Don’t ignore the cumulative effect of the journey that took place to produce that lead.” People don’t just go to Cars.com and submit their information – it’s not that simple. Autotrader, Cars.com, CarGurus all those sites are not lead sources. Their responsibility is to expose your inventory on a grand scale.
Shaun Kniffin happened to be the very first Cars.com customer in Columbus, OH back in 2001. He says, “I’ve never looked at Cars.com as a lead source. A lot of GMs don’t understand how many VDP views these sites generate for their stores each month - it’s more activity than your Search Engine Marketing could produce in an entire year. It’s our job as educators to bring them to the forefront and say let’s put this into perspective – how do you replace all these VDPs? And that’s all part of multitouch attribution. Exposing that inventory is the #1 job of Trader, Cars, Gurus, etc.”
7. Using Last Click Attribution is a lot like…
Clarivoy CEO & Founder, Steve White, made the incredible analogy of comparing attribution to a hangover. “It’s a lot like blaming a hangover on that last beer you had. But in reality, it wasn’t just that last beer, it was the cumulative effect of the 10 other drinks you had before that. So that’s what you have to think about from an attribution perspective. There is a cumulative effect to all of your different marketing touchpoints.” Making really big decisions based on last click is just not the smart thing to do.
8. Dealers suffer from A.D.D.
Which of course stands for, “Another Damn Dashboard.” Every vendor has their own dashboard. The last possible thing today’s dealers want is another report or system to log into. These dashboards have become nothing more than complex conundrums of numbers and statistics that lack meaning and more than anything, lack the ability to execute.
Kniffin says when it comes to their vendors, “I just want to know if you’re involved in the sale. I just want to know are you part of my math, are you part of my chemistry? Are you going to help me attribute more sales? As marketers all we want to know is how can we make these numbers better? How are you who manages my paid search going to make your numbers better and help us optimize our spend?”
9. Hold Your Vendors to a Higher Standard
Ben Robertaccio emphasizes, “We all need to hold our vendors and our partners to a higher standard to make sure they are feeding into our analytics appropriately and ensuring the data they provide us with is pure and valid. In a utopian world, all our vendors would work together openly and all agree on how to measure things.”
10. Don’t rely on your customers (or your CRM) to help with attribution.
If dealers were to ask their customers what their click path consisted of before coming in for a test drive, most people wouldn’t have a clue. The digital journey that takes place leading up to a sale is just that – a journey. It’s something that happens organically, over time, across devices, both at home and on the go.
Kniffin adds, “Single source attribution in CRM – THAT’S frustrating! We’ve challenged every one of the CRM companies out there, and it’s a crowded space, but the truth is, single source attribution does not help us develop a strong marketing strategy, period. And how much of that is really subjective data?”
Ben Robertaccio shares Kniffin’s frustration and follows it up with a good point, "Pretty regularly I don’t remember what I had for dinner the night before so how am I going to remember what traffic source influenced my purchase?”
Thanks to our friends at DealerRefresh, you can check out this panel discussion live from #DSES2017. Click here to watch The Data Doesn’t Lie: Shocking Discoveries in Automotive Attribution on Facebook Live.
by David Metter
Could it be possible that the secret to selling cars in today’s multi-touch, exponentially data-driven society is exactly the same as it was prior to World War II? I know what you’re thinking. This is either a huge stretch or some sort of joke. However, recently uncovered sales training documents dating back to 1939 tell a very unexpected story that directly parallels the fundamental methods dealers need to sell more cars today.
This handbook published by General Motors in 1939 on how to manage new car sales was recently passed along to me, and as I read through it, I was completely blown away. I think anyone who has been in the car business for a while will appreciate this…
It states, “The sales manager must have a keen desire to check such things as the number of people buying competitive cars with whom his own organization has been in contact, the reasons why such deals were lost, the reasons why any particular competitor is making headway locally, and similar vital facts to which the average dealer pays little or no attention.”
In one sentence from a 219-page book from 78 years ago, we can derive three secrets to selling cars that remain true today. Not only are these tactics relevant to the way dealers currently operate, but they are also the difference between a dealership that’s running successfully and efficiently and a dealership on the verge of failure.
Below are the three operational insights that have endured in this industry throughout generations, wars, and the age of the Internet that changed everything as we know it… or did it? These takeaways will continue to be the foundation of how to sell cars in 2017 and into the future.
Dealers need complete visibility into:
- The number of people buying competitive cars that your own dealership has been in contact with.
- The reasons or sources responsible for these lost opportunities.
- The reasons why a local competitor may own more market share than you do.
This is so interesting to me because these are things GM recognized back in 1939 and STILL today we struggle with being able to put our finger on the number of opportunities we lose each month and the sources (or people) responsible for these losses. A sales manager that concerns themselves with not just their own dealership’s performance but also the performance of their top competitors and defection rates to other dealers or brands is a sales manager with A LOT of common sense!
If a customer is walking into your store, interacting with your staff, and leaving to purchase a vehicle from somewhere else, there’s always a story to uncover as to why. The problem in the digital world we live in is that dealers lack visibility into all the different sources, touchpoints, and online or in-person interactions that may have played a roll in a lost sale.
A lot of these operational inefficiencies are due to the fact that we can only see data from a one-dimensional perspective. What I mean by that is dealers don’t have a comprehensive, multifaceted view of all their different deposits of data – specifically, your CRM & DMS for the following reasons:
- You can only see the leads that come into your dealership.
- You only see the opportunities you’re working.
- Ultimately when leads get to your DMS you can see sales, but what you don’t see is the customers that defected and who they bought from.
- You don’t see the dealership next door and what is in their CRM and you CERTAINLY can’t see what’s in their DMS, and that’s a HUGE blind spot.
Because of the fact that no two dealers are the same and no two markets are the same, there will always be a different sickness, prescription, and remedy for each and every dealership. If you have a clear view into the ailments in your processes associated with each lost sale, you can then derive the information you need to make beneficial changes to reduce your rate of defection both to other brands or other same make dealers in your market.
Identifying the number of lost sales opportunities in your CRM is just the first step. The second is integrating technology that exposes where the problems are in your sales processes. Maybe it’s a third party lead provider with a high close rate and a high defection rate - meaning you need to go after leads from that particular source more aggressively or put more marketing dollars towards those leads to reduce the defection rate.
Or maybe you have a salesperson with a high close rate and a low defection rate that should be handling more opportunities. Maybe you have high defection rates tied to a particular model in your inventory, so you then know it would be a good idea to increase incentive offers around that vehicle.
Most vendors and digital advertisers only provide a one-sided perspective of your data, which is why big data has been so limiting at the dealership level. Dealers know they’re losing sales, but they don’t know where, to who, or why. If you can see the full picture, you can then start to put together the pieces of the puzzle around whether or not you had the right inventory, or did you have the right selling strategy against your competitors, and who are you truly competing with? The obscure, blurry picture of your market’s sales trends starts coming into focus. So in summary, what we need to do is start incorporating that 1939 mentality back into the way we operate.
THE DATA DOESN’T LIE:
SHOCKING DISCOVERIES IN AUTOMOTIVE ATTRIBUTION
Co-Authored by David Metter of AutoHook powered by Urban Science, & Steve White of Clarivoy
An unprecedented occurrence has taken place as the automotive industry prepares for the upcoming DrivingSales Executive Summit, October 22nd - 24th, at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Two vendors, two of the industry’s most recognized names in proving sales attribution, have combined forces with marketing leaders from the nation’s top dealer groups to deliver the most unbiased, action-packed panel discussion in auto conference history.
Before we reveal why this atypical panel lineup is worth attending, we first want to inform you of what this session is NOT going to be. This is NOT a reiteration of the importance of attribution when it comes to eliminating marketing waste. This is NOT a theoretical account of big data’s potential impact on improving your daily sales operations. This is a collaborative, all boots on the ground ATTACK on the two topics that have been plaguing dealerships for far too long: big data and attribution.
AutoHook Co-Founder & President, David Metter, and Clarivoy CEO & Founder, Steve White, will be co-moderating a dealer panel that will leave attendees with a multi-dimensional, crystal clear picture of how successful dealers are already using big data and advanced attribution models to do the only thing that matters to them: sell more cars.
Attendees will get a first-hand account from Marketing Directors at the nation’s leading dealer groups about how they are taking action and selling cars using data they already have available combined with technology that they’ve already implemented.
Both AutoHook and Clarivoy have differentiated themselves in the industry for their unrivaled ability to define the path that resulted in a vehicle sale. However, these two companies go about solving attribution problems from two different angles and perspectives. But, what they both always agree on is that the dealer’s perspective is the one that matters most. Dealers are not, nor should they ever be expected to be data analysts or mathematicians. It should never be a dealership’s responsibility to scrutinize the 20 different vendor reports they receive in a typical month and find trends that point to success or failure in their marketing and sales operations. It should never be the dealer’s job to assign fractionalized credit to the multiple touchpoints that led to a sale.
Too often, dealerships are debilitated by the excessive amount of one-sided vendor reports that flood their inbox every month. What good is all this data if it doesn’t include an instruction manual that pinpoints exactly what’s working and what’s not?
If you use outdated attribution models, you’re essentially making marketing decisions based on 10% of what is actually happening. That is a HUGE marketing blind spot that can lead to tens of thousands of dollars wasted on sources that don’t convert.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if you could get a clear view of your sales and defection trends all in one place? Or quickly identify deficiencies in both your internal and external processes so that you can more efficiently assign responsibilities to your staff and get more ROI out of your third-party lead or traffic drivers?
What dealers have been lacking is a complete, 360° view of their sales operations, as well as the sales they lost to their biggest competitors. How can you improve the way you sell cars if you’re unaware of the leads in your CRM that have already purchased somewhere else? There is a reason for every lost sale, and that reason is exactly what you should use to take action and reclaim lost opportunities.
Attend this session and you will take away a lot more than the inspiration and motivation you need to take action. You will walk away with a game plan that you know has already proven to help individual dealers and dealer groups sell more cars and increase their market share. The topics of big data and attribution will transform from headaches, confusion, and irrelevant, obscure numbers into actionable steps to improve the way you operate today.
WHAT YOU’LL TAKE AWAY:
- Learn the fastest methods of uncovering actionable sales and defection trends hidden within your data.
- Define the sources responsible for your greatest opportunities and losses down to an individual salesperson, lead or traffic source, competing brand or dealer, and more.
- Eliminate “Marketing Blind Spots” and grow your market share using the automotive industry’s latest and most accurate attribution models.
Do yourself a favor. DO NOT leave Las Vegas deprived of this vital and enlightening knowledge. DO NOT return to your dealership in the dark. Join AutoHook, Clarivoy, and their panel of top dealers, to finally get a clear and complete view of your market and how to outshine the competition.
THE ACTION STARTS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24TH AT 9:50 AM SHARP AT THE BELLAGIO IN MONET ROOMS 3 & 4!