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The Importance of Conversational Sales Enablement for Auto Dealerships

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Kinsey Wolf

 In the highly competitive world of automotive sales, one tactic can help you outpace competitors: Sales Enablement.

In this blog article, you'll learn about Conversational Sales and how that relates to rapid lead response via phone call and text

Research consistently shows that prospects buy from companies that they like and trust. Much of this human connection is built during the sales process. Every good sales manager knows that the efficacy of your sales team is directly related to their ability to connect with and serve your leads.

The challenge is that consumer expectations change; the strategies and tactics you use to create that connection need to evolve, too.

That's where Conversational Sales Enablement comes into play.

Conversational Sales Enablement is all about making it easy for your sales team to connect with and convert customers.

In this blog, you'll learn all about this new strategy and how it can fuel your sales growth.

The Problem: Dealerships Spend Millions to Attract Leads

How are dealerships generating new leads? Primarily through a mix of advertising, social media, SEO, and referrals.

North American dealerships spend more than $10B on online advertising per year, with more than 55% - or $5.5B - being spent on digital advertising. This includes pay-per-click advertising, social media ads, and other digital channels.

Prospective customers are looking at more than just ads. They’re frequently checking online reviews, social media, and review sites, too. In fact, more than 60% of consumers said they switched dealerships as a result of online reviews.

However, despite this significant spend, many dealerships fail to respond to leads quickly and convert them to sales. This results in thousands of dollars in wasted marketing and advertising spend.

If you are investing in generating leads, you need to invest in closing them too.

Sales enablement is all about empowering your sales team to be successful. Conversational Sales Enablement takes that a step  further with a conversation-first sales strategy that allows you to reduce that wastage, consistently improve performance, and create a better experience for your potential customers.

What is Conversational Sales Enablement?

Conversational Sales GraphicConversational Sales Enablement is a strategy designed by Calldrip that blends tried-and-true relationship-building techniques with technology to streamline the sale. It’s all about striking up the perfect conversation at the right moment, with qualified buyers, to navigate questions and doubts with ease.

The graphic to the right shows how a range of tactics come together in a Conversational Sales Strategy.

As you'll notice, each of these tactics delivers great customer service and helps build an authentic, convenient relationship with leads and prospects.

A strong Conversational Sales Enablement strategy creates a repeatable process that lets your sales team connect with and convert leads to customers at the right moment, at scale, building trust every step of the way.

Keep in mind that every effort in a Conversational Sales Enablement strategy exists to enhance your greatest sales asset: your sales team. You'll never replace the salesperson - after all, people buy from people!

4 Pillars of Conversational Sales Enablement

The essential pillars of Conversational Sales Enablement are:

  1. Prioritize speed of response. The best time to communicate with a prospect is at their peak moment of interest: when they engage with you.
  2. Meet your prospects where they are, on multiple channels. Put your leads first, and be available on the channels that are convenient for them.
  3. Embrace the human element. Prioritize building strong, honest human connections with prospects, at scale. Because people buy from people.
  4. Empower your sales team. Ensure that your team has the resources, coaching, and processes they need to perform at their best.

As you can see here, Rapid Lead Response is a key tactic required for success when implementing this strategy. More on this next.

How Rapid Lead Response Fits In

Rapid lead response is the practice of contacting leads as quickly as possible after they’re created. It's a critical tactic in your Conversational Sales Enablement strategy, because it allows you to build a trust-based human connection quickly and efficiently.

Rapid lead response is proven to positively impact your sales. The odds of qualifying a lead are 21 times higher if you call within 5 minutes of the lead’s inquiry, versus 30. After one hour, the odds of qualifying a lead are negligible.

However, studies also show that the average dealership responds to leads between 3-5 hours after creation.

Plus, data shows that the average prospect submits an inquiry to three different dealerships, so reaching them before your competitors is crucial.

Rapid lead response is good for customers, too. This approach helps your prospects get answers when they’re actively shopping, at the peak moment of interest.

Meet Your Prospects Where They Are

The second pillar of Conversational Sales Enablement your dealership needs to embrace is the idea of making communication convenient.

Conversational Sales Enablement isn’t just phone calls - though those are important - but also about business text messaging, live chat, automated lead follow-up, and more.

Questions like, "Is it better to call or text prospects?" miss the point. The answer is "both." Doing both is the best way to figure out which method your customer prefers. What matters is that you connect quickly and demonstrate that their business is important to you. After all, technologies change; the value of human connection doesn’t.

We recommend that dealerships connect with leads via phone within five minutes of their inquiry. We also recommend sending a text before you dial to let your prospect know you'll be calling them. We've found that this dramatically improves conversion rates.

Sellers that embrace promotional SMS programs often see a 23%+ conversion rate.

Even in today's digital-first world, it is important to have that phone call. Research shows that, with complex purchases, consumers want to have a conversation.

The best auto dealerships will successfully respond to inquiries at the right time, in the right way, across multiple channels of communication.

"Calldrip has helped us to drop our internet lead response time from well over one hour to less than 20 minutes. Since Calldrip was setup here our lead to close went from under 5% to 12.9%."

Art W. 

The Importance of the Right Technology

Your sales team has a lot of responsibility, and it's not always possible for them to be at their desk in the exact moment a lead submits an inquiry. To provide convenient communication in today's world, your sales team needs to be able to be responsive on-the-go.

Calldrip's Conversational Sales Enablement solution is unique, because we provide a hassle-free, all in-one-approach. Plus, with our mobile app, your sales representatives can be successful with a tool they're already using constantly: the phone in their pocket.

How Car Dealers Can Implement Conversational Sales Enablement

Conversational Sales Enablement is a powerful strategy that has the potential to transform your sales. However, it does leverage a variety of elements, such as rapid lead response, performance-focused sales coaching, and conversation analytics.

Implementing this strategy requires a few things to be successful:

  • A culture of customer satisfaction at your dealership.
  • A clearly defined sales process - or the willingness to create one - for internet leads.
  • The desire to convert more sales.
  • A commitment to constant improvement, particularly in terms of sales performance.

Without this ethos, your sales team may struggle to understand why it matters, and how serving the customer better actually boosts sales

Depending on your sales process, you have a few options when it comes to responding to leads quickly. You could:

  • Hire an Internet Sales Representative to respond to website inquiries, chats, and emails. However, this person can’t work 24/7. When leads come in after-hours or while this person is away, they typically wait in an inbox for hours or days. In that time, you could lose deals to your competitors.
  • Use your CRM to automate reminders to your sales teams when leads come in. This popular method is a great way to make sure your team knows about new leads. Unfortunately, it doesn’t empower the sales representatives to take rapid action, provide visibility into lead source, or encourage accountability. It’s easy for salespeople to wait to respond until a time that’s convenient for them, which is often hours later. Generic automated emails, while a helpful backstop, simply aren't opened enough to build a meaningful connection at scale.
  • Leverage software to help. There are a variety of tools to support lead management and call tracking. For example, Calldrip is the only solution on the market that automatically routes a call to connect a member of your sales team with the lead immediately after the inquiry is submitted. Customers love that they get to talk to someone from your organization at their peak moment of interest - typically within two minutes of their submitting an inquiry. Rarely, sales representatives may struggle with the visibility Calldrip provides to their managers.

Before using Calldrip, many of our auto dealer customers struggled to know which lead sources perform best. They may not be certain that all leads are getting called. After a quick setup process, dealership sales leaders know that every lead gets a quick follow-up call and as an added benefit, gain visibility into lead source performance and coaching opportunities. So how does it work?

"With the Calldrip System, we’re getting back to our customers within about 10 seconds. This has made a huge difference in terms of number of sales!"

Jeff G. 

How Calldrip Works

Calldrip is a software solution that integrates with your CRM and existing lead sources to automatically call your prospects. It works by capturing contact details when your lead submits a digital or phone inquiry, and automatically connecting a sales team member with that lead by call or text.

Here’s a sample use case:You Have A New Lead (1)

  • Imagine a dealership that has a simple inquiry form on their website, as well as a web chat widget. They advertise on Facebook and Google, and purchase leads from a third party. They have a reputation for high-quality used trucks, and some leads also call in directly.
  • When a lead comes in from any of these sources, Calldrip records the lead and shares that information with your CRM via an integration.
  • Immediately after the lead is created, Calldrip sends an automated yet personalized text message to the lead, letting them know to expect a call from a member of the team shortly.
  • Just a few seconds later, Calldrip dials the appropriate sales person on your team, based on your existing process.
  • When your sales person picks up, they hear a short, whispered message with information about the lead, including their name and what car they’re interested in (if applicable). If the salesperson isn’t available, you can set Calldrip up to re-route the call to another member of your team. Or, you can use our VIP service and send the call to one of our sales agents.
  • After the message, the call connects to the lead. If they answer, you’ll probably hear something like, “Wow, that was fast!”

Setup is quick and easy, facilitated by a customer success professional who is dedicated to your account. If you ever have challenges or questions, they’re available to help.

When compared to manual processes, such as creating tasks for a salesperson inside your CRM, Calldrip is significantly faster: about 10 seconds versus a national average of 42 hours. Just as importantly, Calldrip ensures you don’t waste money by missing any leads!

On average, businesses in the US take 42 hours to respond to their leads. This results in millions of dollars wasted on marketing and advertising.

Compare that to Calldrip customers, who are responding to leads within about 10 seconds!

Book a quick demo to see for yourself

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