Karl Davis of Coachworks Consulting
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UNDER performing retailers are failing to turn leads into sales opportunities by not having suitable processes in place to accurately capture and manage customer data.

According to Karl Davis, managing director of Coachworks Consulting, some dealers
are losing vehicle sales and aftersales work by not fully utilising the IT systems they
already have in their facilities.

He said: “Digital utilisation in the dealer sector requires a major shake-up if an acceptable
return on the digital investment is ever going to be achieved.

“In a tight market some dealers are unnecessarily losing sales because they do not
have simple processes to capture sufficient customer data in the first place or keep it
updated and this is hitting their profitability.”

Davis added: “Time and again we are finding that under-performing dealers do not have accurate showroom logs of customer enquiries whether they’re online, telephone or physical.

“It’s outrageous that dealers are investing large sums in sophisticated dealer
management systems (DMS) and software, which have significant ongoing costs,
but are failing to use these tools to generate sales.

“Keeping accurate customer records up to date requires no skill whatsoever but it
does require management discipline and processes.”

Recent research by THREE60 CRM demonstrated that an 80% conversion rate is being achieved by dealers where their propensity modelling, based on drive time, vehicle age and whether a service plan is in place, scored opportunities at over 90 out of 100 – compared with just 20% for those who had a score of less than 70.

Davis said: “We are seeing too much reliance on guesswork in the sales process, often because staff have not been properly trained to use digital tools and remain ignorant of how they can help them in their work. Managers should be leading by example by
promoting best practices.

“When it comes to digital utilisation there is a polarity between the best and worst
performing dealers. Upper quartile retailers know exactly how much their ongoing IT
costs are and the return on investment. They also have robust processes in place to
ensure data is accurately captured, maintained and mined for both vehicle sales and
aftersales.

“While under-performing dealers continue to invest in the tools but do not have the
processes to fully utilise them and struggle to trade profitably.”

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