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Answer all the questions

With sales process integration, there are so many considerations and questions. How will we effectively integrate the chosen tool into the sales process? The first thing you have to do is define its use. Determine if this will be a new tool or a new way forward. 

You also need to develop the process with your key stakeholders. With the Accounting department, you will certainly need to figure out how to handle deposits, refunds, and paperwork. 

For the sales team, try to answer the following questions. How will we handle the showroom experience compared to the digital experience? How are we going to handle customer expectations? What will we do to overcome objections? Think about how you buy online and your expectations. How are we going to handle price, trade delivery, and our return policy? How are we going to package these considerations and changes in a way so our sales team can understand it all?

Once you’ve got the car over the curb ready for delivery, think about how the finance office fits into this new picture, and how you will prep the vehicle and handle the trade. Once again, customer expectations are vital. The customer might want a showroom delivery, an at-home delivery, or an at-home delivery with us transporting the vehicle to them.

Remember. Digital retail is retail. There is no difference for the customer. Only the approach in handling the customer.

Measuring success

What does success look like when you’re integrating a digital retailing engine into your dealership? You should see a 5-15 percent increase in lead generation. This can also depend on the tool you’ve chosen and your expectations. If the tool in question has an exceptionally long process and you’re seeking high-quality leads—and you’re trying to sell cars front to back online—then you will naturally have a lower number of leads. However, those incoming leads will be of higher quality, so the trade-off may be worth it for you. Conversely, if you’ve chosen a digital-retailing engine that’s more focused on lead generation, expect a much higher number of leads, but the quality will be a little lower. 

When we examine what success is for a closing deal, the traditional lead closes at 1-5 percent online. If you’re closing at the 10-20 percent, you’re doing a good job. We work with some stores that are above 50 percent, and the secret to their success is having an exceptional, integrated business process. Aim to close as many incoming leads as possible. 

Digital retailing is also about improving customer trust. If you’re trying to get a customer to trust the process with your dealership, then you’ll definitely see an increase in their satisfaction if you make things as seamless as possible and require only one visit to the dealership. 

When you’re measuring success, you should also check for improvements in your lead-to-close efficiency. A traditional walk-in transaction, front to back, can take anywhere between 30-45 days. With online deals, you will probably close much more quickly and halve the process to 15 days.

Look at how well you’re doing in these factors when you’re measuring the success of your digital retailing solution: lead generation quality and quantity, an increased and more efficient close rate, and improved customer trust. 

That wraps up our Integrating Digital Retailing series. We certainly hope this information has been insightful for your dealership. Please drop us a line if you have questions. We’d love to hear your feedback.


Read previous posts in the Integrating Digital Retailing series:

Part 1: Selling, Lead Generation, and Trades – Laying the Groundwork

Part 2: Get a handle on deposits and lead duplication

Part 3: Take care of existing customers and the legal red ink

Part 4: Deliver the goods and protect yourself from fraud

Part 5: Allocate staff and adapt your showroom process