How to Climb Out of a Dealership Sales Slump
It seems to come up a lot lately among automotive dealerships – sales are slow. You’ve hired more sales consultants, you have a sales strategy in place, and you’ve increased your marketing budget. That means new car sales should be increasing, right?
Not necessarily. We’ve found many dealerships are not closing the Leads they are bringing in the door. So while we can’t control industry demand, there are things we can do to increase closing rates across the opportunities within our grasp.
Don’t Increase Marketing Spend, Optimise Your Budget
This is not the time to increase marketing spend. An increase in marketing budget only means that you spend more money, not necessarily that you increase your units sold. To increase new car sales, you must get more sales out of the Leads you’re already bringing in. This means constantly tweaking and optimising your current campaigns to bring in ‘ready to buy’ opportunities – simultaneously lowering cost per click and decreasing cost per acquisition.
With an advanced Sales & CRM software like aureso, you’re able to improve marketing ROI by an average 39%* through a combination of factors.
The basics include:
- Setting departmental Lead Targets to ensure your sales team have enough Leads in the pipeline to make targets based on average conversion ratios
- Tracking all campaign Leads by source through to final Sales – to know which campaigns are truly successful and which ones aren’t
- Combining all lead sources into one centralised database for immediate assignment to sales consultants and dramatic increase in response time
Don’t Hire More People, Coach the Ones You Have
To increase sales, you need more sales consultants, right? Wrong. More sales consultants won’t help fix a leaky sales funnel. In fact, it can hinder progress as your sales manager & team will spend time training new consultants rather than closing sales.
Rather, spend time coaching the sales consultants you have. Implement one-on-one sales consultant meetings to go over each consultant’s dashboard in detail. Every sales consultant should have their own sales funnel, with KPI targets trackable in real-time. Discuss key conversion ratios – such as test drive booking ratios, Lead to Prospect ratios – as well as key Hot Prospects, next actions for follow ups, and analyse Lost Leads to see where the consultant needs help closing.
By conducting a Lost Lead Analysis (or using the automated feature within aureso), you will learn whether your sales consultants need a brush up on vehicle information, more information on competitor cars, access to up-to-date pricing features, or simply need to follow up on opportunities quicker. You will be shocked to learn how many of your Lost Leads are lost due to reasons within your sales consultants’ control. (Read our recent case study)
Don’t Focus on Sales, Focus on Conversions
Many times, dealerships focus on the wrong data. To increase output at the end of the month (i.e. units sold), you must focus on input (i.e. Leads, Prospects, Test Drives etc.). This means you must be able to track KPIs & conversion ratios in real-time. If you’re waiting for reports to come at the the end of the month – it will be too late.
Real-time conversion tracking can help steer sales strategy throughout the month. What do Lead to Prospect ratios look like? How many Prospects have taken Test Drives this month? How quickly are Sales Consultants responding to Lead enquiries? These are all input factors that affect your end of month sales.
Additionally, an up-to-date, real-time lead management system can help your sales consultants focus on the opportunities that matter now. Lead enquiries should be assigned as soon as they come in, improving response rates & capitalising on ‘ready to buy’ enquiries. No more pursuing 90 day old leads in the CRM – of consumers no longer in the market. Rather, view each Hot Prospect in real-time and focus on opportunities that are ready to close now.
Data is everywhere but how we use it is the difference. Sales teams need to be smart about which opportunities they focus their attention towards.