Hi Dealer Knows:
Question about Internet sales. What would you define as an “authentic internet lead”? For example, if a customer walks in off the showroom and says they saw our used car online – is this considered an internet lead?
Joe Webb replies:
Thanks for reaching out. You ask some good questions. When you ask what an authentic internet lead is, I would have to give two different answers and solutions. Much depends on your lead-handling process and department structure.
Typically, Internet Professionals are paid based on what they bring into the store and sell. In this instance, a dealer will consider an authentic Internet lead as any email that originates online and enters into the CRM OR any phone call that is brought in from a dedicated, online resource (preferably handled by someone who is in the Internet department or BDC and sources correctly).
If someone is an eCommerce Manager/Internet Director like yourself, for instance, then pay is predicated upon all of the appts/sales brought in by the online advertising of the store. This includes those calls, emails, AND walk-ins that are sourced properly as an online customer. In the example you mentioned, provided the customer states (and it is put into the CRM) that their primary motivation for purchase and what brought them in was based on what they say online, then THAT is an Internet sale (while not an Internet lead).
It is a dichotomy that drives many in our industry crazy. It needs to be defined based on the department structure in place as well as the lead handling process you are following.
Here is an article I wrote for DrivingSales a little while back on the subject of what isn’t and isn’t an Internet Sale – Overthinking It!
I hope I was able to answer your questions. If you’d like to chat sometime, I’d be happy to accommodate you. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.