How to Build the Best Internet Sales Dealership Processes

Written By Carol Marshall

When selling cars online, it’s imperative to ensure your automotive internet sales processes are up-to-date, impactful, and streamlined. Car dealerships are no longer purely physical places. Automotive retail has changed, and for the better (in our opinion).

The car dealership website is now just as much of a showroom as your in-store showroom is, and is now built on top of the foundation of the traditional dealership model!

To put it simply, the best car 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.

Where Does The Customer Fit in The Modern Car Buying Process?

Gone are the days of playing phone tag with potential car buyers 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, a car salesperson managing internet leads would typically take the approach of calling non-responsive prospects for sixty days – roughly two months. Back then, car 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 car shoppers 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 for the Sales Process

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 and certain customer expectations, 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 vehicle sales. 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. Not great for customer loyalty or customer satisfaction.

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.

prime your team for the best internet sales dealership processes.

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. Fast response times are a part of the customer experience, after all.

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.

    The internet has made several aspects of our lives easier. Automotive retailing can and should be made easier, as more modern customers value convenience and ease of use.

  2. Keep it short and sweet.

    Remove roadblocks and friction points in your processes, and nabbing and retaining customers will be a breeze.

  3. Quickly create a connection with the prospect.

    Whether it's via chat or SMS/text, make communication instant and real. The digital age arrived long ago, and more customers than ever want to communicate with companies as naturally as they do with other people.

ActivEngage Helps Car Dealerships Get Higher Customer Satisfaction

ActivEngage is the perfect ally for your sales team, sparking inspiring conversations that turn into leads that prep them for a smooth sale. Your internet sales process will soar like never before!

We're experts at meeting customers where they are on their customer experience journey and priming your sales team with robust, informational leads that set them up for success.

Start having better conversations today and meet your shoppers wherever they are in their customer journey with our messaging solutions. Choose from:


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