How to Build the Best Automotive Internet Sales Process for your Dealership

When selling cars online, it’s imperative to ensure your automotive internet sales processes are up to date, impactful, and streamlined. To put it simply, the best sales processes and CRMs are the ones that your team will actually utilize and that genuinely help you sell more cars. The most effective CRM and automotive internet sales processes make sense, are customized by the type of lead, and are customer-oriented.

What About Today’s Customer?

Gone are the days of playing phone tag with a potential lead until they either give in or give up. Most of today’s prospects begin their journey ready to buy and don’t necessarily require the same plan of attack. If you handle these “low funnel” customers correctly, you should be able to sell to them quickly. Fifteen years ago, salespeople managing internet leads would typically take the approach of calling non-responsive prospects for sixty days – roughly two months. Back then, dealers would have to follow up with the customers as they decided whether or not to buy. The internet leads of yesterday were ultimately more of an information request than a wish to begin the car buying process. Today, since most customers are already ready to buy, the internet sales process is going to have to be short and sweet. Utilizing email is a quick, effective point of contact with a customer. When you use verbiage such as “Please give me a phone call at your earliest convenience,” you put the ball in the customer’s court, making them more likely to reach out to you in their free time. This guarantees that your internet leads can lead to genuine sales without wasting more of your sales team’s time.

Spam and Other Considerations

Today, most of your dealership’s customers will be “low funnel” and already prepared to buy right from the jump. Because of customers’ readiness to purchase, your dealership might likely be labeled as a spammer if you follow the old “follow up until they die or buy” approach. In the modern era, customers do not require that approach. When it comes to phone calls, the old recommendation was to continue to call a non-responsive prospect for roughly two months. Not only is this annoying for the customer, but it’s also unlikely that your sales team is going to continue to utilize such an abrasive, aggravating tactic. It’s better to make no more than nine calls- this prevents your dealership from being associated with spam, wasting time on unwarranted leads, and removes fruitless tasks from your sales team’s workload. After nine phone calls to a non-responsive prospect, it’s often best to make the switch over to automated emails in order to keep a line of communication open without wasting your team’s energy and resources.

The Best Process Doesn’t Care About “Stopping the Clock”

An often overlooked feature built into the average dealer’s CRM is an email that basically “stops the clock.” This typically happens when your internet sales manager needs to get your dealership’s higher-ups off their case and quit calling them out for slow response times. Rather than phoning the prospect immediately after the lead is received, they’ve directed their internet sales team to deliver an email that will meet the artificial response time requirements imposed from up the chain.

The number one goal for your dealership’s internet sales process should be to be the first to cultivate a genuine connection with the prospect. Artificially “stopping the clock” to make a higher up happy should never be part of the equation. According to a study from CraftJack, customers were 238% more likely to buy from the dealer that first connected with them versus the one who connected second. It literally pays to be first.

If your goal is to create the best internet sales process possible for your automotive dealership, remember these key points:

  1. It has to help you actually sell cars.
  2. Keep it short and sweet.
  3. Quickly create a connection with the prospect.