How Better Lead Response Times Can DRIVE Your Close Rates up to 3X

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Detroit, MI - Detroit Trading BDC Services

Dealerships throughout the US spend millions of dollars every month buying leads from OEM’s, third party marketplaces, and other lead generators. The key thing to generating real sales from the leads is response time to the lead. How do you minimize your lead response time and maximize your close rate on internet leads? That’s the exact question we’ll explore in this article.

Lead Response Times and the Effects on Close Rates

Less than 5% of dealerships respond to new leads within 5 minutes.

Lead response times can sway close rates immensely. The difference in close rate between a 1 minute response rate and a 20 minute response rate is 25%You’ll lose ~1.2% close rate (opportunity…) every minute you wait! Similarly, connection rate (ability to talk to the prospect) is close to 50% one minute after a lead was submitted, versus a 10% chance at 20 minutes. Here, you’ll lose 1.8% opportunity for engagement every minute you wait! If you stay disciplined with this simple graphic you’re team will increase current close rates substantially.

Accountability, Lead Response Times, & Your Team

The concept of “Response Time” is a simple one to understand, yet so many dealerships have issues when it comes to it. There are several rules to put in place if you’re to continuously achieve solid response times to leads.

1.) Know your team’s current response time average. If you don’t know, take 1 week and learn your kpi (key performance indicator).

2.) Set a new lead response time goal, be realistic and don’t set lower than (-30%) of what response time is today

3.) Ensure 8am-9pm all-day coverage, 2 agents per shift, minimum.

4.) Put in place an overnight response mechanism; Better Car People is a great option for highly enhanced email responses and stop the clock functionality.

Don’t make your CRM the enemy

CRM’s are a part of nearly every franchise dealership across America. The only issue is that there’s a huge variance on the utility CRM’s provide. So much so that Dealer’s switch their CRM’s every 3 years because of dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction usually results from a lack of process, and a lack of discipline in following the process. Ensure you have one agent available to answer all fresh (new leads, inbound calls, texts, emails), and also ensure one of your agents is emptying the follow up bucket — necessary follow up to keep cadenced contact with existing leads being “worked.” If a second inbound comes in it’s of utmost importance to respond to that inbound with the second person. Don’t let the first person drown in inbounds. Your lead response time will greatly improve if you let the overfill go onto the second, third, fourth person…

It’s also important to have assignments in the CRM. Keep your new leads going to your strongest BDR’s, while inbounds (written like text and email) and follow up work can be with your other bdr’s.

Latency in CRM’s is a known spectrum. Understand how long it takes for a lead to get into your CRM from the original source. Sometimes there is latency with certain sources, or maybe the CRM in general, in which case it’s good to know that, but more importantly might be time to switch CRM’s if you’re having drastic lag in receiving new leads.

Lead Response Times So Quick It’ll Impress

If you follow our guidelines you should be able to bring down lead response times immensely, and actually impress some of your prospective buyers.

We've seen avg. response time as low as 42 seconds for our dealers. We’ve responded to fresh leads in less than 10 seconds and have from time to time actually caught the prospect still on the vehicle detail page (vdp) for the dealership. It’s fun to impress the prospects with a quick call. They say “man I just submitted that form…” Getting a prospect right at the vpn is the sweet spot because they're still at your dealership online. It becomes easy and natural to continue a conversation from there, and usually all the resources they’d need to move forward, towards transaction, are there.

We’ve conducted our own Response Time study and found that the bulk of dealerships respond back between 24-36 hrs after a lead is received.

Responding in less than 5 minutes to new leads will put you in the top 5% of dealerships in America.

Using these techniques will put you in the top 1% for lead response time.

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