Web opportunities: Double your sales conversion rate with a Business Development Centre (BDC)

As we all know, the automotive industry is a data-driven world — Everything is measurable (sales percentage, page-return rate, service department retention, average sales profit, average F&I profit, etc.).

While Consultant Auto has clients whose digital sales represent as much as 20 to 30 percent of their total sales volume, we often still work with clients who come to us without knowing the precise conversion rate of their online leads. Some don’t even know what percentage of their total sales figures come from digital sales. How can we explain to these clients the digital reality of 2016? To do so, we’ll have to turn to priority management.

When we talk about priority management, there are two main components that need to be tackled: The priority management of sales directors and that of the salespeople themselves.

We’ll start with sales directors.

For the most part, sales directors have at least recognized the importance of leveraging internet sales in order to meet their sales objectives. However, there are still sales directors who see the internet as gravy – just a pleasant topping to the meat-and-potatoes of their conventional sales. These kinds of sales directors tend to place great importance on walk-ins and are always sure to follow up with their sales-people. When it comes to following up on web leads, however, they suddenly don’t have the same attention to details and best practices. To them, web sales aren’t on the same priority level as actual sales and because they treat web-generated sales as an afterthought, their results often suffer.

When it comes to salespeople

we all know that they’re passionate about direct interaction with customers, face-to-face. For them, making sales over the phone or online is far from ideal. In the eyes of the sales staff, walk-in sales will always be a priority over sales that might arise from web-based leads. Web sale figures often stay mediocre at best because of this view.


We can increase the percentage of appointments by increasing the quality and quantity of monitoring.


Now that we better understand the changing reality of auto sales in an increasingly online marketplace, here are the actual figures to back up our claims: The North American average conversion rate on online leads is between 6 and 8 percent. Between 15 to 20 percent of online leads result in scheduled appointments and between 40 and 45 percent of these appointments end up resulting in a sale. We’ve noticed that this 40-45 percent figure is very close to the sales conversion rate on walk-in customers. Then where are we lacking? In the percentage amount of appointments. And we can increase the percentage of appointments by increasing the quality and quantity of monitoring.

Now we begin to see the reasons to have a Business Development Centre (BDC).

By employing specialists who are passionate about customer service, we can put in place effective monitoring schedules that allow us to maximize the sales brought in by web leads. What’s more, by using Consultant Auto 360’s CRMPRO and Phonetrack360 software, we can measure 100% of their actions. With this measurement we provide continual feedback and coaching that will assist you in constantly improving your customer communications.

CA360 has the expertise to bring you industry-wide best practices through the coaching and management of your BDC. We also have the capability to curate the customer experience offered by your dealership’s website as well the appointment-booking process, including advance preparation and follow-up after delivery.

By using all of the industry’s best practices, you should reasonably be able to expect a conversion rate of at least 17.5% on sales derived from web-based leads. How do we do it? We can turn between 38 and 45 percent of web-based leads into scheduled appointments.

Imagine the extra revenue if you were to double your sales conversion rate! Take, for example, a group of 4 dealerships that generated, on average, 300 web-based leads per month, with an average profit of $2,000 per unit. With a 7% conversion rate, the group sold on average 21 vehicles per month, for an average profit of $42,000. Imagine, now, how much of a difference a 15% conversion rate – a realistic goal, using our methods and best practices — would make to their BDC.

The same 300 leads would generate 45 sales per month, with a profit of $90,000! To properly manage and take advantage of these 300 leads, you would need 2 specialists in your BDC (on average, one specialist can manage up to 150 new leads per month).

If you include the total operations cost (salary, benefits, workplace, computer, phone costs, CRMPRO, Phonetrack360, including all necessary tools), as well as your team’s continued support by one of our CA360 consultant (1 day per week throughout the year), the cost averages about $150,000 per year.

With a BDC, your annual on-line sales profits will increase from $456,000 to $1,080,000. When you subtract the $150,000 annual operating costs, you’ll finish the year with an extra $474,000 in profits.

Get in touch with us today at Consultant Auto – we’d love to meet with you to analyse your current situation and work with you to propose a plan that will allow you to take full advantage of the sales opportunities offered by the web to meet your sales goals!