Today, Work Your Best Down-Funnel Sales Leads

A down-funnel sales lead describes the shopper farthest along their shopping journey to your showroom. Digital, mobile, social, and traditional marketing have help to move the shopper along, from indecision to your website, where they hopefully submit a sales lead to your dealership.

However, they are not your hottest leads, because I’m going to describe an even better and more affordable lead for you to convert into a new buyer.

Getting “good” leads for your dealership drives tomorrow’s sales, no doubt. Successful dealers consistently try to measure how their lead-generation investments are performing and its big business. NADA reports that dealers on average spend $616 per vehicle in advertising. This strategy will convert sales, but often at a very poor ROI.

The fact too often missed when marketing agencies and their dealership clients discuss lead-generation opportunities is that any dealership’s best leads are its existing customers.

Marketing doesn’t stop once deals start closing. Top-performing companies continue to market to their customer base well after the initial acquisition of a customer. Not only does this increase the chances that a customer will continue to be loyal to your business, but it also increases the likelihood that your customers will continue to refer new business and move to new models or service levels.

When making goals to increase your customer retention rates, consider the following questions:

  • Are you actively cultivating relationships with your existing customer base, and not just with potential buyers?
  • Are you running up sell campaigns to encourage your current customers to try different vehicles or services that you offer?
  • Do you have ways to reward loyal customers?

Keeping these questions in mind throughout the next year can help ensure that you’re optimizing every stage of the sales funnel, from lead origination to customer and beyond.

The best way to identify and market to these most-down funnel leads is by using data mining software. These opportunities won’t even be in market, at least not as consumers traditionally think about buying their next vehicle.



Our experience as the pioneers and leading provider of data mining sales opportunity software convinces us that customers would be ready now if the financing for buying a new vehicle could be sufficiently attractive.

In fact, many dealers using this software find that existing customers who bought even nine months ago are often mentally in the market today. These buyers would exchange their current vehicle if they could get into a new and/or different vehicle for about the same monthly payment as they’re currently paying.

It’s no secret today’s buyers are payment shoppers, so these individuals are likely to be good candidates. Data mining software is a great tool for isolating all the previous customers in your database and identifying the kind of potential buyers we’re discussing here.

Dealers using this down-funnel strategy usually increase monthly sales from 5 to 40 per more, depending on the customer base and at a most favorable ROI.

Boyd Warner is CEO of AutoAlert®, Inc. (www.autoalert.com), the most advanced lead generation solution available on the market today. Contact him at bwarner@dealermark.com.

Boyd Warner

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