How to Bring More Qualified Leads from the Internet into the Showroom

When potential customers walk onto the showroom floor, you’re ready to qualify and engage them with direct eye contact and firm handshake. But hundreds of leads are also entering your “virtual showroom” daily through your website and third-party lead providers. Qualifying, engaging, and nurturing them is a huge challenge simply because there isn’t enough time to personally contact and qualify every lead. You end up playing an endless game of phone and email tag with unresponsive leads when your time would be better spent focusing on leads with intent to buy.

Fortunately, there is a smarter, more efficient way to qualify, engage, and determine intent so that a greater percentage of Internet leads convert to actual sales on the showroom floor. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is now increasingly being used in marketing, sales and customer service applications. Think BMW’s I Genius application, which is driven by AI, or Ask Anna, the helpful avatar used by Ikea.

Convert Internet leads with a personal touch.

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools or marketing automation systems can only automate the first stages of the sales cycle and are solving only a part of the problem. Autoresponder email systems, for example, while effective for one-way customer communication, fall short, because they are not designed for prospects to respond. In addition, emails sent by autoresponder systems are notorious for being perceived as spam, never opened and never read. AI, as part of a sales conversion management application, provides a much more effective alternative.

All internet leads can be funneled directly into the platform where the AI component automatically takes over. Personalized emails are sent to each lead in the form of a human persona—Customer Service Representative “Jenny”, “Robert”, “Kim”, or whatever name the dealership chooses. The email messages have a friendly, conversational style and the system has “learned” to send the most appropriate messages back so a two-way dialog is established. For example, the system may capture a phone number in the initial email and then use it in future messaging to specifically ask, “Is 555-555-5555 the best number to reach you?” The lead responds back with information the system can use to continue the two-way conversation. The AI component works leads 24/7 and doesn’t give up until the lead either shows intent or opts out of future emails.

As soon as the application interprets interest has changed to intent to make an appointment or purchase, an alert is sent to the sales team so they can contact the lead. The result—no dropped leads, more showroom traffic, and increased sales opportunities. We all use and enjoy the latest technology on the vehicles we sell, so why not use new advances to help us sell them more efficiently?

Conversica is the leading provider of sales conversion management software for marketing, inside sales and sales organizations. A complimentary copy of Conversica’s new white paper, Automotive: Overcoming the Limitations of Autoresponder-Based Systems can be downloaded for a limited time.

Michael Donner is the Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer for Conversica. He has more than 20 years of marketing, inside sales and demand generation experience with high-tech companies. Prior to joining Conversica in 2014, he was senior vice president, CMO, at cybersecurity firm Prolexic until it was acquired by Akamai Technologies. Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, management and international business from Babson College.

Michael Donner


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