Friday, May 23, 2014

BIA/Kelsey Report: Phone Calls Are the New Click

BIA/Kelsey recently published a report that explains how awesome phone calls are for generating and converting leads, and we're going on record to say we totally agree! The report has some great research, so we're going to give you the lowdown and give you some tips on how to stay ahead of the game with your leads.

They're Coming Fast

Nearly 55 percent of purchase-related conversions happen within one hour of initial mobile search, which means this is the prime time to contact them. To make that happen, you have to be prepared for leads every second of every day. Well that might be an exaggeration, but you do need to respond to them within this one-hour window.

Excited businessman on the phoneThe best way to do this is with a feature that will notify you as soon as a lead fills out a contact form on your website. You can call them immediately, maybe even before they're off your website! This will nudge them closer to doing business with you and will show them that you value their business.

They Love Calling

Over 66 percent of businesses rate their phone leads as "good" or "excellent," so be sure your staff's call handling skills are also "good" or "excellent!" There are a few ways you can do this, depending on how much time you have and how closely you want to monitor phone calls.

If you have a little more time on your hands and like to personally evaluate phone calls, call recording is perfect for you. You can record all inbound and outbound phone calls and review them in real-time or after the fact to make sure your staff is handling calls up to your standards.

If you're too busy to even eat lunch, then you need call scanning. Voice-recognition technology will scan your calls automatically to make sure your staff members are remembering to schedule appointments, say "thank you" and ask for a callback number. There's nothing better than letting robots do all the work, right?

If you agree with BIA/Kelsey and us, check out some of our other products to see how they can help you manage your phone leads.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

[INFOGRAPHIC] Automotive Industry Spotlight

When it comes to new car searches, gone are the days of dealership-hopping. Now, 34 percent of car shoppers do their research online before visiting a dealership. Check out this infographic by Kenshoo for some more auto marketing stats.

Automotive Industry Spotlight Infographic

If you're planning to keep up with your web-surfing prospects, you'll need a lead management tool to help. Use an online lead tracking solution that'll inform you as soon as a lead fills out a contact form on your website — that way you can call them immediately to make sure you get their business.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

[INFOGRAPHIC] Offline vs. Online Leads

When you think about the different ways lead can convert, it all boils down to two channels: offline (e.g., phone calls and walk-ins) and online (e.g., website and email). So what are the differences between these two channels when it comes to cost, efficiency and response rates? Check out this infographic from SalesForce to get the lowdown on online and offline lead conversion.

The Differences Between Online, Offline Leads and How Each Impacts Lead Conversions
The Differences Between Online, Offline Leads and How Each Impacts Lead Conversions via SalesForce

Undoubtedly, you'll have leads from both channels, so you have to be prepared to manage them. An inbound lead tracker can help you manage your offline leads, while a product such as Lead Chaser can help you respond immediately to online leads (sometimes even before they've even finished browsing your site!).

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Driving Customers to Your Dealership the Right Way

A example of a branded courtesy shuttle.
Courtesy of Beach House Graphics
So you're thinking about having a contest to bring more traffic into your dealership. This is a rather common tactic, but if it's not executed properly, contests can make car shoppers more likely to run for the hills than through your dealership's doors.

Besides driving customers away, a poorly handled contest could also cost your dealership a substantial amount of cash. A Wisconsin Ford dealership had to pay a fine of over $75,000 for misleading customers about the prizes they were offering during a promotion. Since we don't want that to happen to you, here are some promotional ideas that you can use to draw customers to your dealership.


Sponsor a local sports team. Provide the team with uniforms, banners, etc. (all with your dealership's name on them, of course) so that at each game, hundreds of people will see your dealership's name. Include unique phone numbers on each form of advertisement so you'll be able to easily measure what's most effective.

Ask the Car Dealer

Partner with a local radio or TV station and do a weekly segment called "Ask the Car Dealer." On the radio or TV station's website, the audience can send in questions for the car dealer with no obligation to purchase. The stations can advertise on commercial breaks for your dealership and send people to their website for your insight.

Give Back

Collaborate with a charity to host an awareness day, and sell items containing your dealership's name and logo along with the charity's name and logo. Advertise that a portion sales from that day will be donated to the charity.

VIP Event

Send invitations to interested prospects in your city. Host a party with music and food open only to those who provide an invitation. After the event, send a thank-you note with an exclusive offer to those who attended.

Once you test out our tactics, try a few of these suggestions from CarStory.