What is the lifespan of an automotive digital lead?

Automotive leader: the virtues of immediacy

In this age of immediacy offered by the Internet, car leads have a new requirement for dealerships: responsiveness. As the life span of a prospect tends to gradually shorten, automotive dealership networks have no choice but to evolve their customer relationship management. What’s at stake? They need to be able to respond to leads when they are most likely to be converted.

Lead management, a need for increased reactivity

The conversion of a lead – i.e. a potential customer – into an actual customer is at the heart of the dealers’ business. Why? Quite simply because buying a vehicle is an engaging process and the opportunities for dealerships are limited. The problem is that lead management is becoming more and more complex, for two main reasons:

– large dealership groups are developing, thus modifying the strategy and commercial objectives of the dealers joining the network;

– the automotive buying journey is becoming increasingly digital, changing the expectations and behaviour of prospects.

Consequences? Dealerships are being forced to be increasingly reactive, to ensure multi-channel lead management (e-mail, Facebook, telephone, etc.) and to provide a personalised response to each prospect. A task that not only requires human availability, but also requires optimizing data management, in particular by ensuring the deduplication of the dealership database

12 hours: is the lifespan of a digital automotive lead.

A survey relayed by the Auto Actu website has just demonstrated the demand for immediacy that dealers are now faced with (1). Conducted over a period of one year, it focused on 150,000 requests for quotes from Internet leads to dealers. Several valuable insights have emerged from this survey.

– The rate of negotiations drops as time goes on: if the dealership responds to the request for a quote within 10 minutes, a negotiation concerning the vehicle is started in 3 out of 10 cases. This rate drops to only 21.8% after a 30-minute wait and to 7.45% after a 12-hour wait.

– The chances of a successful negotiation are greatest during the first hour: Following the request for a quote, the dealer has a one in four chance of converting the negotiation into a sale if it replies within one hour. This even increases to 28.7% if he starts trading within 10 minutes. Conversely, only 7.14% of negotiations will result in a sale if the answer comes after 12 hours.

– The lifetime of an automotive lead is 12 hours: if the dealer does not respond to the request for a quote within 12 hours, the dealer can consider that the lead is lost. As proof: only 2 requests for quotes out of 1000 will lead to a sale. That’s 44 times less than if the answer comes in just 10 minutes.

The evolution of the dealership, essential for a better management of digital leads

The results of this survey show that responsiveness is the key to converting automotive prospects captured on the web. Nevertheless, this search for immediacy cannot be improvised and requires a certain number of changes on the part of the automotive dealership network.

Propose the right tools: accustomed to digital media for all their purchases, Internet users also have high expectations of dealerships. Not only do digital dealerships need to ensure a good-quality user experience, they must also provide useful and engaging tools. These include online appointment scheduling, financing and price-quote modules. Virtual test drives and other innovative technologies are also beginning to gain ground.

– Knowing how to make yourself available: As contacts are often made in the evening or at weekends, it can be difficult for the dealership to respond immediately to requests for quotes, appointments or information. It is therefore necessary to set up a shift work team or an external service provider for managing requests.

– Don’t neglect training: the sales teams of dealership networks do not yet have an optimal knowledge of the various existing digital contact tools. It is therefore important to devote time to training so that employees can take advantage of these new points of contact.

– Have an optimal customer relationship management: given that the average value of a car customer is €41,000, a lost lead can thus be seen as a heavy loss of result for the dealership.  Beyond an immediate response, dealership networks must take care of their customer relationship management, in particular through the use of versatile CRM tools. A tool, essential for qualifying a lead, that can help convert a lost lead today into a customer tomorrow.

(1) The lifetime of an Internet contact is less than 12 hours – Auto Actu – 2019.

Accelerate lead processing with IMAWEB
En tant que premier éditeur français de logiciels pour les réseaux de distribution automobile, IMAWEB en est convaincu : le traitement rapide d’un lead digital est la clé de sa transformation. Raison pour laquelle nous avons développé des outils et services en vue d’atteindre cet objectif d’immédiateté.

As France’s leading provider of software for automotive dealership networks, IMAWEB  is convinced that: the rapid processing of a digital lead is the key to converting that lead. This is why we have developed tools and services to achieve this goal of immediacy.

– CRM 360: Built around a unique customer database, this software provides dealerships with a 360° view of their customers, making it easier to convert prospects.

– DataCar Digital: This service allows you to benefit from a website specifically designed for dealerships. Thanks to dedicated tools (360° videos of the vehicles, automatic stock management, financing simulation, etc.), a digital dealership sees an average 30% increase in the conversion rate.

– Essential web modules: In addition to CTAs that make it easier to establish a contact (request a quote, reserve a test drive, etc.), the digital dealership has modules that improve the customer experience. This is particularly the case for the trade-in appraisal module, the financing module and the online payment module.

Latests news