08 Oct 2013

Tips for Increasing Internet Sales

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According to a recent study by J.D. Power &- Associates, on average 59 percent of used vehicle buyers used the Internet during the buying process, and shoppers under the age of 35 were four times more likely to shop online for a vehicle than use a newspapers classified section. It is definitely the age of the Internet! Whether you’re the sole proprietor of a single dealership, or part of a multi-location dealer group, the writing is on the wall. The Internet is here to stay and you need to use it for vehicle leads and sales if you want your dealership to achieve optimal success. Arguably, the Internet sales cycle can be difficult and time-consuming. To help you streamline your Internet management process while increasing closing rates, we spoke with two dealerships, one a large dealer group, and the other an independent showroom, along with various lead management consultants and vendors, to bring you the best tips and techniques for Internet success. Read on to learn what works, what doesn’t, and how to ensure your Web results are something to brag about. Pat Hayes, Internet manager for Hudiburg Auto Group, a group of dealerships with over 300 employees in Oklahoma, stresses integration in every area of the dealership. To manage his Internet department he relies on his Reynolds &- Reynolds CRM system, which manages and tracks every Internet lead, every phone call, and every interaction on the showroom floor. The most important thing for handling Internet leads is a reliable CRM system, Hayes says. We have five employees in our Internet department and use a round-robin system to respond to Internet leads. There is a work process for each Internet customer that our CRM system manages, and it alerts me if something isn’t done correctly. The Hudiburg dealer-wide fully-integrated CRM tool also ensures that customers cant shop the showroom floor in tandem with the dealership Website in search of price discrepancies. Our CRM system helps us to retain credibility, says Hayes. Credibility with customers is everything- if you ruin it, the chances for redeeming yourself are very slimed Braunbeck, vice president and general manager of AVV, a subsidiary of Autobytel that specializes in Internet sales management, agrees that integration is crucial and offers suggestions for dealers looking to buy a lead management system: As well as making sure a system will integrate with your CRM and DMS, look for one that is well supported by the vendor. Also, check with other dealers in your area to see what lead management system they are using and if they are getting a good return on their investment. Do your research before committing to any system, and you may avoid headaches and hassles in the long-term.

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