Leads are what fuel your business. 

As I was contemplating ideas for my next blog post against the backdrop of my playlist, Motley Crue came on with “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and wouldn’t you know it, an idea just popped into my head. “Leads, Leads, Leads.”

Leads are what fuel your business.  Aren’t you in business to make money?  Don’t you make the most money from selling units?  Let’s chat about how to turn this fuel into profit more efficiently.

Part One: What is a lead?

A lead can be many things; it’s not just someone who drives to your dealership and walks through the doors (even though that’s a great lead.)  Someone, either on your website or one of your brand’s websites, who decides to fill out a form and hits submit instantly becomes a lead.   The phone call checking to see if you have that one side-by-side or motorcycle that you haven’t had in two years is also lead.  Any walk in, website lead, or phone call, all mean a potential deal. Now the question is: what are you doing with them in your dealership?

Part Two: How to track those leads.

There are lots of terms or tools out there for you to track leads: CRM, CEM, & LMS.  I really don’t care which one you ultimately pick or use, BUT USE SOMETHING!  I find it concerning – the sheer number of dealerships that are basically running blind on what is happening with sales leads.  You leverage technology to check in on your kids when they go out with friends, or you track a package that you purchased online. Yet, you lack insight into the daily activities of your sales team in managing potential customers who have shown interest in becoming buyers for your dealership.

Let’s at least start at the most basic part of the lead and let’s start tracking depositions.  Dispo what?  Dispositions are the stage of the lead or the individual outcome.   It could be something as easy as Greet, Test Drive, Quote, Pending Deal, Finalized/Sold.   But the great part is you would have been able to track this.  Below are twelve dispositions you could start with for stages to track.  But again, this is a starting point.   I have seen dealers with up to fifty stages as they dig super deep into the sales process, or you could start with a handful of the below and grow from there.

Possible example stages for your sales process:

  1. New Lead – Not Contacted
  2. New Lead – Contacted
  3. New Lead – Appointment Set
  4. New Lead – Not Interested
  5. Quoted
  6. Pending Deal
  7. Pre-Sold
  8. Deposit/Finance
  9. Finalized Deal/Sale
  10. Lost – Turned Down By Finance
  11. Lost – Bought Elsewhere
  12. Lost – Decided Not To Buy

So, let’s recap, I don’t care where, when, or how you got an email, phone call, or customer to come to your dealership looking to buy a unit from you. (Good job marketing to get them there.)  But what I do care about is that you are tracking that lead from start to finish.  I would never try and drive from Duluth, Minnesota to Disney World in Florida without a map or my smartphone giving me navigation.  Sure, I could probably still find my way there, but I would end up adding extra miles and possible stays, adding to the bottom line of the trip.  This same scenario applies to your dealership when it comes to managing and tracking leads. You should have the ability to forecast by day – based on where each lead originated from.  This detailed information also lets you see how each of your salespeople is performing as well as the impact it has on your dealership’s profitability, but I will leave that for a future blog post.

In conclusion, just as Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” set the tone for a memorable playlist moment, let your dealership’s lead management, orchestrated with precision and dedication, create a harmonious success story that resonates with every potential buyer, turning them into satisfied customers.

Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson

Senior Manager, OEM and Business Development

I'm a seasoned veteran in the powersport, marine, and RV industries with over 24 years of experience. I've spent a significant amount of that time in the digital and website space, and I absolutely love it. I recently celebrated my two-year anniversary at Lightspeed, where I get to work with OEMs and dealers and help them succeed in the digital world. When I'm not at work, I enjoy traveling with my family, watching my kids' sporting events, and exploring the beautiful outdoors of Northern Minnesota through hunting and fishing. I'm incredibly passionate about what I do, and I love sharing that passion with others. Whether it's working with my team at Lightspeed or spending time with my family, I'm always up for an adventure.

Lightspeed is the #1 Dealer Management Solution used within the Recreation industry for a good reason. We provide a completely integrated solution for dealers, OEMs and their customers. Our goal is to help you operate your business more efficiently and profitably so you can spend more time doing what you love.

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