Hello Joe –
I’m a BDC agent for a domestic dealer group handling inbound sales leads and calls. I had a question about new Internet sales leads that have been sold by one of our salespeople before. While the dealership wants me to start handling those leads myself because they don’t believe the salespeople will do it properly, I didn’t know if you feel that would be stepping on anyone’s toes. What is best for the customer?
Thanks for the question, Alison. Maybe it is only because I came from the sales floor before overseeing a BDC that I feel the salesperson who sold them their last vehicle has the right to handle that lead. However, suppose any lead is going to go directly to a salesperson, regardless whether they’ve previously sold the customer. In that case, the shopper still deserves a similar email, phone, text and video response that answers any questions they have, provides a quote or pricing scenarios, and details available inventory. If your salespeople can’t do that, I understand the dealership’s desire to have you get the conversation with the past customer started on the right foot.
There are 4 ways inbound sales leads from previously sold customers can be distributed (provided the original salesperson is still there).
- Lead goes directly to them and they follow up with the correct responses initially, while reminding the customer of their previous relationship
- Lead goes to a BDC agent to handle the first initial responses, thanking them for coming back to the dealership for another vehicle, and directing it immediately to the original salesperson to re-introduce themselves and handle all ongoing follow-up
- Lead goes to a BDC agent to handle all follow-up, thanking them for coming back to the dealership for another vehicle, waiting until a time when the customer engages in a conversation, at which time it is passed along to the original selling agent
- Lead goes to a BDC agent to handle all follow-up, thanking them for coming back to the dealership for another vehicle, until there is an appointment, and then offering to the prospect if they’d like to work with the original salesperson again when they arrive, or if they’d prefer someone else.
A word track for sales leads via email, phone, text, or video
“I see you worked with [SALES AGENT] when you bought you last [VEHICLE MAKE]. Would you prefer I answer all of your questions in advance of your visit and then work with him/her in store during your purchase, or would you like me to hand you over to them right away so they can assist you throughout? And as always, Mr/Mrs [CUSTOMER LAST NAME], if you prefer to work with your original product specialist or someone different entirely when you arrive, let me know and we can accommodate you.”
The best thing you can do is find out what the customer wants. We can’t always assume they had a phenomenal experience with their previous salesperson. That may be why they submitted a lead rather than checked the website’s Meet the Staff page and called the previous sales agent directly. Nonetheless, I believe if that sales agent has performed their recommended post-sale follow-up as the CRM dictates, they deserve the chance to rekindle the relationship.
In the end, this is a dealership’s decision. There is likely a rhyme or reason to the policy they have in place. Just know it is a feather in the cap to you that the ownership and management trust their loyal past customers’ sales leads with you.
Hope that helps.