After nearly a year of studying the inner workings of successful automotive dealerships’ Internet sales efforts, David Kain from Kain Automotive and Steve Stauning from pladoogle.com have released their groundbreaking study showing the activities and actions that truly drive Internet sales success for today’s automotive dealers. Their conclusions are expected to shape the structure and content of automotive dealership sales efforts for years to come.
Kain and Stauning, industry veterans in the automotive digital marketing space, spent countless hours evaluating successful Internet sales operations and reviewing the data from nearly 4.3 million sales leads to uncover the fifteen most impactful activities car dealers can undertake to ensure they are successful with their Internet sales efforts.
“With so much being written about the relative impacts of social media, David I felt like it was time to take a deep dive into what was truly driving sales for successful dealers,” shared Stauning. “In fact, the automotive blogs were so gaga over social that it seemed no traditional online marketing source had any value.”
To the contrary, reveals the study (which began with case studies involving third-party leads and evolved into a deeper study into what drives Internet sales success for today’s dealers). Both Kain and Stauning felt that their consulting clients were benefiting from a robust lead mix (including third-party leads), but they had no way to disprove the theories being bandied about by the most vocal on the industry blogs. The boisterous few on most automotive marketing websites were shouting that dealers should abandon these tried and true leads in favor of focusing 100% on first-party leads and social media.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” piped Kain. “Our study results are clear: Dealers who want to be truly successful with their Internet sales efforts need to cast a wide net… and that net includes traditional third-party leads.”
Among the most impactful activities that separate successful Internet dealers from their middling competitors are the obvious factors like quality of lead response and the adherence to a written process; though the study revealed a higher level of importance for some not so obvious factors like middle management support and level of accountability.
“We were a bit surprised that sales, desk and F&I mangers had such an impact on a store’s Internet sales success,” added Kain, “we knew there were dealerships where these managers can be roadblocks to Internet growth, we just didn’t realize the extent to which their honest support and buy-in would catapult a store’s Internet sales.”
The study, available at KainAutomotive.com and on the Kain Automotive Idea Exchange, provides dealers and their managers a compelling and comprehensive overview of the model Internet dealership by providing real world examples of successful dealerships. Moreover, Kain and Stauning weave their own industry knowledge into the study where appropriate to help dealers learn how they can leverage all fifteen of the factors/activities identified.