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2016 State of Automotive Marketing Report: Leads and Sales

SAM 2016

This post is the third in a series of articles exploring our 2016 State of Automotive Marketing report. To catch up, read the first and second posts before delving into this one.

To create this report, our team at 9 Clouds surveyed more than 100 dealers throughout the U.S. This comprehensive 2016 automotive marketing report takes a close look at the ideas, trends, and strategies embraced by dealerships throughout the U.S.

Rather read the entire report in one sitting? No problem. Click the link below!  

>> DOWNLOAD THE 2016 STATE OF AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING <<

Marketing? Sales? Integrate!

In this survey, we wanted to explore not only the marketing side of the automotive industry, but also how these marketing efforts work with the sales side of the industry.

The most striking trend in this sales/marketing relationship is that marketing is almost always removed from the actual sales process.

DOES YOUR MARKETING TEAM ALSO SELL CARS DIRECTLY TO CUSTOMERS?

direct to consumer car sales

 


 

However, the priorities of salespeople are very similar to those of marketers. Much like the answers from automotive marketing teams about improving conversion, automotive sales teams are concerned about improving the efficiency of the sales funnel.

WHAT ARE YOUR STORE’S TOP SALES PRIORITIES?

sales priorities

 


 

Because marketing and sales teams have very similar goals, marketing tools are an important consideration for the sales process. We asked auto dealers what tools their sales teams actively use, and we found that phone calls and manual emails are the dominant tools used by salespeople.

WHAT TOOLS DOES YOUR SALES TEAM ACTIVELY USE?

Tools for auto sales

 

Challenges in the Automotive Marketing World

Auto dealers noted that their biggest challenges are prospecting, following up quickly, and qualifying leads. But traditional phone calls and manual emails may not be the best ways to improve in these three areas.

That's where marketing automation comes in. Marketing automation may be an important consideration for sales teams because it can help with all three of these challenges.

WHAT PART OF THE SALES PROCESS IS THE MOST CHALLENGING FOR YOUR TEAM?

Sales process difficulties

 


 

Salespeople also have little knowledge about a lead besides their contact information. You can see that less than 70% of auto dealers know what vehicle a lead is interested in.

When you're selling vehicles, interested vehicle information in is a very important piece of the marketing and sales puzzles. A more comprehensive and holistic view of a lead could greatly help with conversions — and marketing automation can help with that by taking the grunt work out of conquesting leads. It saves you time and money by automating processes and greatly increasing efficiency.

HOW MUCH INFORMATION DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE ABOUT A LEAD BEFORE A SALESPERSON REACHES OUT?

info on leads

 


 

Customer relationship management systems (CRMs) are another integral part of the marketing/sales process. Although most salespeople understand the importance of a CRM, challenges remain — especially around tracking the sales funnel and getting salespeople to actually use the CRM.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CRM CHALLENGE?

CRM CHALLENGES

You've Got The Lead — Now What?

Our 2016 automotive marketing survey also found that digital leads are most often handled by a specific digital salesperson or a business development center (BDC). But, because many marketing departments are removed from the sales process, you are missing out on a lot of potential.

Here again, a comprehensive and holistic view of a lead could greatly help with conversions.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE LEADS FROM DIGITAL SOURCES?

handling leads from digital sources

 


 

Sales teams are also growing across all sizes of dealerships (based on sales volume). Because sales teams are expanding, the need for a strategic and integrated marketing/sales process is more important than ever — and we can help with that!

DID YOUR SALES STAFF GROW, SHRINK, OR STAY THE SAME SIZE IN 2015?

auto sales growth

If you want to learn what is working online for your dealership and what can be cut, request a free Internet marketing assessment from 9 Clouds.

To learn more about 2016 automotive marketing trends, stayed tuned for our next post, which will explore ROI and analytics. This post is a must-read if you'd like to sell cars with better margins.

Keep the Auto Marketing Goodness Rolling!

Want to devour the entire 2016 State of Automotive Marketing report in one sitting?

No problem! Download the full report now by filling out our short form below.

 

Download the Full Report