• Automotive Internet Sales What to Track

    Posted on October 11, 2012 by in ebusiness

    Automotive Internet Sales What to Track


    Every partner we speak with wants to improve his or her Internet Department efficiency. Really, who wouldn’t? The problem is, most really have no idea how efficient they currently are in this area, they just know they “aren’t where they need to be”. And yes, there is a difference between “selling more online” and “becoming more efficient”. A BIG difference.


    It is absolutely critical to establish a baseline of efficiency (or even an ROI) to measure future improvement efforts.


    Forgetting the lead source analysis aspect of becoming efficient, lets focus on the process side of the equation for this article. Most dealers will track the usual appointments, shows, and solds and base their improvements off of those three main buckets. While good in theory, there is a huge piece of the puzzle they are missing.




    We need to be very clear on the definition of “Contact” as it pertains to the Internet Department.


    Contact – Two-way communication. A response from the prospect from your follow-up due to their initial lead.


    Contact may take 5 minutes or 5 months to happen but with out Contact, you cannot set an appointment, ensure the customer shows up for that appointment or sell a vehicle to that consumer. Contact is the most difficult part of an Internet Associates job. To make ANYTHING happen in this department, Contact must happen.


    We cannot stress enough just how important it is to track this information.  Which creates another concern, HOW do we track Contact?


    Most CRMs / ILMs are able to quickly produce a report that will show appointments, shows, and solds (if you are using your software fully) however; very few will allow you to easily track Contact.


    We imagine the more progressive CRM providers will begin to allow you to effectively track Contact in future release but in the meantime, this data point is to critical to ignore or wait until you can easily track it.


    The good news is you have a few options on how to track Contact:


    1. Custom Field within CRM – are you able to create a custom field within your CRM? Many CRM providers allows this (Highergear for one). So create a Contact field as a “Y/N” field and only flip it to “Y” when Contact is made.
    2. Unused field within CRM – is there a common field within your CRM that you are not currently using? If so, use that.
    3. Manual Tracking – the good old stand by. Yellow sticky note on the side of your monitor. Every time a Contact is made, BAM – check mark that thing. Add them up weekly and cross reference to your other reports.


    The idea here is to just start tracking it. You HAVE to. If you have any plans of truly improving your Internet Department efficiency, you need to establish the baseline. Even if that baseline is poor, its critical you know what it is. As you begin to put plans in place, either from internal sources or with a vendor, you will be able to track those changes and see how it improves your department. You will frequently establish new baselines as things improve.


    Any plan you put in place should push the needle in the positive direction. If you’re your plan doesn’t show positive growth, go back to what was working, your baseline, and try again.


    Process improvement tracking all starts with Contact. Once Contacts are being tracked, you can move forward with the rest of the process improvement tracking metrics.


    If you would like to discuss this in more depth, contact S2R Solutions directly info@s2rsolutions.com or 866.492.9710