When a lead arrives, a prospect is born. As the lead ages in the CRM systems of our homes, it must be cared for. Every lead has specific needs and it is the responsibility of the guardians of that lead to nurture it. Rules must be set for the lead to follow and certain requirements are to be enforced. One person should not be the sole guardian of each lead. It takes a village.
To ensure a lead reaches its full potential (sale = adulthood), multiple people within your dealership have to get involved. At different points of every lead’s existence there comes a time where different influences must help it along its way to sale.
Simply put, it cannot just be the Internet Sales Manager’s sole responsibility to manage every lead. This is why a Business Development Center is of such importance to so many dealerships. It gives dealers the ability to have multiple hands on each individual lead. If you do not have the benefit of a BDC, you must bring your management team into the mix. However, with a BDC team in place, you are creating both a front line of defense for your dealership as well as a backstop.
If the initial correspondence with an e-lead is handled by the Internet Sales Manager, then I believe you should have a second stage of communication where a representative from the BDC/management team reach out to the customer under the guise of Customer Relations Manager. If a consumer feels as if they are valued and have the attention of multiple people in the store, they may feel better taken care of. At the same time, the second stage calls made from the BDC/management team will alert you to shortcomings the prospect may have felt they had with the original ISM. Much like a BDC call to an unsold walk-in on behalf of the sales floor, a second ear open to a customer’s needs usually yields eye-opening results.
In another instance, when an appointment is set by an Internet Sales Manager, it is only good business to have an additional person reach out and confirm the appointment. Let’s face it…. Doctors are not the ones calling you back to confirm your appointment, it’s the nurse receptionists.
That is the power of the BDC. More than one person making multiple touches to maximize results. It is a team environment. We must make back-up calls for the sales team to unsold customers, to all sold customers, to all set appointments, to all missed appointments, to all potential customers, to all active leads, to all impending lost customers, and to all lease return customers.
And it isn’t just calls that should be made to these consumers, but emails too. Fit yourself with a strong CRM that allows several people to be prompted/triggered to contact each customer (via phone and email) without the lead changing hands. That is a very important trait to have in any good CRM.
A lead cannot and should not be handled by one. It must be handled by multiple. Don’t let the youthful leads of our generation slip through the cracks of our dealership society by letting them fall by the wayside. Guide the leads using different role models at different times through their life to help them blossom into the sale they deserve the chance to be. To raise a customer from lead to sale, it takes a village.