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CONVERTING leads and inquiries into sales in an increasingly digital and competitive environment is a challenge.

Customers have often educated themselves online or made their purchase decision before engaging with a dealer, reducing the opportunities to influence decision making during the initial stages of the customer journey.

This means that when customers do finally make contact with a dealer, it’s even more crucial that the retail experience is a flawless one.

Dealers need to have a powerful Dealer Management System in place and make full use of its capabilities, to convert leads into sales. Many dealers still don’t make use of the tools available to them which is a missed opportunity.

Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood Technologies, said: “Dealers must focus on creating a positive customer experience, providing them with all the information they need in a simple and efficient manner.” 

With a growing number of car buyers preferring to browse vehicle information online rather than in-store, it’s vital to make sure website listings include lots of high quality photos, accurate vehicle specification and are up to date.

Dealers who provide more detailed and better quality website listings are more likely to gain leads.

Many dealers have the ability to update vehicle listings quickly from their DMS. Pinewood is focused on helping dealers achieve a customer-centric online experience, with system offering the ability to capture up to 40 vehicle images, which are immediately available to the dealers’ website.

This provides the ideal tool to showcase vehicle stock, enhancing the online search phase and resulting in more enquiries.      

Briggs said: “Our stock management app, Stock+, allows users to instantly enhance website listings with vehicle details and photos from their mobile device.”

Similarly, choosing a DMS with tools to improve a showroom management processes will positively impact on lead conversion. From managing new inquiries, to the first contact with a customer, to the vehicle handover.

The modern dealership is no longer an environment where a ‘quick and hard sell’ works – therefore converting leads relies upon the customer experience. This is an opportunity for dealers to impress.

Dealers must ensure follow-ups are dealt with effectively. Pinewood DMS can prompt sales users to schedule a future contact following every customer interaction – whether this is online, over the phone or in person.

It connects with Outlook, scheduling reminders for any future appointments or contacts, helping sales teams to never let a lead go cold. Every interaction is stored on the customer’s CRM record.

Dealers can boost inbound inquiries by having a DMS with manufacturer integrations for their represented brands. For the systems which offer these integrations, inquiries submitted to manufacturers websites can automatically be sent to the DMS and flagged as opportunities for the sales team to action. Pinewood have close working relationships with manufacturers to help facilitate this.



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