A talented auto dealership sales team can close leads. But you need more than a talented sales team to win customers consistently.

To create a strong pipeline of leads all year-round, dealers need to understand their sources of leads, nurture them, and close them. In recent weeks on this blog, we’ve discussed the challenges and opportunities for effectively identifying, nurturing, and closing leads, based on our recently published Cars.com Guide to Converting Leads to Sales in the Digital Era. One of our main contentions is that managing leads requires understanding how to respond to each type of lead differently, ranging from phone to internet to walk-in. Consumers possess many ways to interact with dealers via multiple devices and channels – and those devices and channels continue to change.

So how do you stay on top of the evolving consumer journey knowing that consumers are going to be contacting your dealership via channels that are not even on your radar screen right now? The keys are:

  • Use the right tools. You cannot identify all lead types with Google Analytics off the shelf. And your CRM alone won’t identify leads effectively. Leads come from myriad sources online and offline, and dealers’ off-the-shelf solutions are failing to attribute those leads properly. You’ll need to enhance Google Analytics with tools such as Clarivoy’s Multi-Touch Attribution model, which helps Google Analytics measure how multiple media touchpoints influence a sale.
  • Assign the right resource. It’s essential that you identify someone on your team – perhaps that someone is you – to take the time to manage leads from start to finish, including investing in the right tools (see above), following up on each lead properly, and reporting on results.
  • Train your sales team. Lead management requires ongoing training of your sales team. Just staying on top of all the ways that customers learn about your dealership requires ongoing training, and of course as we’ve blogged earlier, salespeople need to understand how to nurture leads depending on their source and type.

For more insight into how to get started managing leads like the precious assets they are, download our Cars.com Guide to Converting Leads to Sales in the Digital Era. In addition, we’ll host a webinar at 12:00 p.m. CDT on August 23 to dive into more detail about identifying, nurturing, and closing leads. We’re hosting the webinar with Jennifer Suzuki, founder and president of e-Dealer Solutions. Register here and join us August 23!