Lead the Way: Handling In-Market Leads Like A Pro


In-market auto shoppers are unique; they have already spent 11 hours researching online before making their first contact; they know that they want a vehicle, and they might even know which one. While competition is fierce between dealers to earn that coveted sale, a surprising number of in-market leads are slipping through the cracks. Why? The service provided to email leads is often subpar or nonexistent.

Here are a couple of “hacks” to ensure that internet leads are handled correctly from the start.

Ramp up lead response time and quality
When an in-market shopper submits a lead on a dealer site, it can take up to 4 hours for them to hear back, and sometimes they merely get a generic auto-response.
The best lead response? A phone call. Pull the info on the cars they were looking for and other similar vehicles, and give them a call.

Use a CRM tool
Automotive-specific customer relationship management (CRM) tools can be valuable; they can tell you who and what is on your lot. In other words, who is in-market, buying, and has bought from you before, as well as what you have, what you don’t, and what you need.
These tools, when used correctly, can be extremely effective in managing and following up with the Internet and phone leads. A CRM tool is no silver-bullet. If you fail to integrate the CRM tool into your existing processes or have loose adherence standards, you will not get very much out of it.

Invest in a BDC
There are two reasons that a lead gets mishandled. One is that the salesperson fumbles it, in which case you might need to restructure the sales department and focus on adapting the way you train and motivate your team. The other is that your team is merely overworked and leads begin to get lost in the fray. If this is your dealership, then a business development center (BDC) would allow your sales team more time to close deals. It would also ultimately be an investment in your company and your employees.
A BDC can be a point of contention among dealers and GMs; some people are into it, and some people aren’t. You can learn more about establishing an in-house BDC here.

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