We've all heard the numbers.
- 80% of all automotive shoppers start their research on-line.
- Dealers typically close 13% of their true internet leads
- Gross profit for these internet leads is at or above store average
Sure your Internet Manager makes sure the website is current, keeps current in social for the dealership to some extent and manages the Internet department. I mean after all, he is the Internet Manager right?
Lets take a step back and reevaluate what's really going on.
You hired your Internet Manager to improve the performance of the Internet Department. Managing leads, people and processes to make sure the department produces a positive ROI. Weeks go or months go by and you notice the wonderful progress they have made so you decide to thank them for their hard work and expertise by allowing them the opportunity to manage the website. Sounds logical, as you need to make sure its current because the factory is all over you. Maybe your Internet Manager is a real go getter and begins to tackle some more advanced techniques and seeks out some more efficient ways to SEO. Come on, it could not be THAT difficult now could it? So they go about this for a few weeks or months and you notice they are doing a great job. So you give them the wonderful opportunity to manage the company's online reputation because you've seen some bad reviews out there and you know that needs to go away – the factory told you.
Weeks or months go by and you notice the great job your Internet Manager is doing so you decide to reward them with the wonderful opportunity to manage a Facebook page for your store. Grow the brand you tell them.
While your Internet Manager is managing the "Internet", the process has fallen apart. See those reviews that you wanted to push down? Why do you think they have increased in recent months?
"Internet Managers" should not be liable for the Internet. They are the people you count on to handle the stores Automotive eBusiness. The consumers reaching out to you for information should be their focus, not the site they came from.
A good way to look at it would be that the Internet Manager is responsible for everything once the lead hits your CRM. How they got there, for the most part, should not be their focus. Most of them are paid to sell cars, not manager site content. How these people are paid is the subject for another post.
Most dealerships would benefit tremendously from an in house Alternative Marketing Manager. A person is responsible for getting high quality leads to the CRM. Managing the chosen eBusiness vendors and making sure they are doing what they promised. This person could focus on proper marketing without fear of not hiring a sales objective. Alternative marketing is not something you flip a switch on and it's working. Its takes dedication, time and most importantly a thorough understanding of how it all works together to generate that quality lead the Internet Manager can sell for the above store average gross profit.
Another way to look at it would be if you paid your office manager on the number of cars that they sold, your books would become secondary to them within days. You have a dedicated position for these important spots within your store.
Given the above statistics, it seems the Internet is driving more people to your store than any other medium yet very little manpower is given to it.
The answer to the question is YES.
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by Kevin Reifel