Why does your auto dealership need a sales platform? The answer is simple: We’re living in the age of data – and it’s become clear that businesses who don’t adapt to that reality can’t compete for long with those that do.
Much of the standard business models of the dealership remained unchanged for most of the automotive industry’s first century: Mass marketing and advertising to get customers in the door, have your sales staff get to know them and put together the right deal, then try to keep your customers loyal and profitable through service and relationship marketing.
However, in today’s marketplace, waiting to identify, learn about and engage your potential car buyers until they reach out to you isn’t effective. Too many dealerships mistake simply having and using data to improve the traditional marketing and sales model for the kind of reinvention that’s possible – and necessary – in the modern automotive marketplace. If you want your dealership to be ready for the future instead of being stuck in the past, it’s time to modernize your automotive marketing and sales strategy around a data-driven sales platform.
In this blog, Mastermind provides details on how dealership sales platforms can help you:
- Generate new insights about your customers and potential car buyers
- Be more proactive and less reactive in your sales and marketing strategies
- Make your car dealership sales process more efficient
- Improve your dealership customer experience
- Grow long-term customer loyalty
1. Generate Actionable Customer Insights
No auto dealer today is waking up to discover for the first time that data is important to their business. What many are realizing is that they may have too much data, or the wrong data, or the wrong tools to fully utilize the data they have.
Mastermind’s founders went through that very process in their own dealership careers, which is why our auto dealer solutions are designed to deliver actionable insights about your prospects and customers, not just data about them.
It also means our Market EyeQ sales platform doesn’t rely only on what your customers tell you about themselves, but it supplements the information you have in your DMS with high-quality data from our partners, including IHS Markit, TransUnion and CARFAX. Integrating the information received from your customers against datasets from our partner companies not only makes you less dependent on the information your sales staff has collected, but also generates new context-driven insights that can uncover top prospects – or problematic ones – you wouldn’t have identified until too late.
2. Implement a Proactive Marketing and Sales Strategy
In the traditional model of the “next up” salesperson reacting to customers who call or walk in – or these days, engage online – the customer identifies the dealer or dealers they’re interested in , and the dealer reacts. A dealer who doesn’t make the customer’s list will never have the chance to react. regardless of how good a prospect that customer may have been for them.
Market EyeQ flips that model by letting dealers get out in front of the customer’s car buying cycle, using customer data analytics to predict which consumers in a dealer’s market are most likely to be ready for a new vehicle and identifying which are the best prospects for a dealer’s available products and offers.
This is another way in which Mastermind’s roots in the dealership show up in how Market EyeQ improves and simplifies the car sales process for both the seller and the buyer. While there’s plenty of complexity behind the scenes as a broad range of public and proprietary data is analyzed, your marketing and sales teams get a simple and useful number – our proprietary Behavior Prediction Score® – that gives them a 0-100 “ready to buy” ranking of every prospect in your market. Then, for the best prospects, Market EyeQ generates actionable insights to power predictive marketing and sales tools that engage your best prospects in the way that’s most likely to close the sale.
3. Reduce Your Marketing Spend
It’s easy to get caught up in the power of analytics-driven predictive engagement to move your best prospects quickly through the sales process, but as with any marketing initiative, the real driver of efficiency isn’t how much you spend on selling to the right prospects. Rather, it’s how much you waste on trying to sell the wrong ones.
When you can target your marketing spend only on the high quality leads and minimize your spending on the ones who aren’t right for you (or at least aren’t ready for you), you unlock huge efficiencies in what’s traditionally been a dealer’s biggest budgetary pain point.
Market EyeQ’s predictive marketing campaigns deliver personalized and consistent messaging to the best prospects in your market. Using data-driven insights about your potential customers, they get the right message, in the right channel, to the right prospect at the right time – and minimize your cost per sale.
While this is a major reinvention of the traditional dealership marketing model, the proof is in the results: The average spend-per-car-sale with Mastermind is $115, versus $624 for the auto industry as a whole.
The efficiency doesn’t end once the marketing’s done its job and gotten the customer in the door. The same insights and messaging that drove the marketing touchpoints are now in the hands of the sales and F&I staff, increasing efficiency in those processes while making the customer’s experience with your dealership as consistent and seamless as possible.
Finally, in today’s flattening marketplace, dealers know their year-over-year sales growth is dependent on conquest sales and their service drives can’t rely solely on loyalty business to thrive. Market EyeQ helps you know and understand your competitors’ customers as well – or better – than they do. In fact, its Market Conquest feature can drive up to 15 new conquest sales a month. When it comes to Market EyeQ’s Service Conquest capabilities, dealers report activating an average 55 percent of their service drive into in-market customers during a time of steady service and parts revenue growth.
4. Keep Customers With Great Dealership Experiences
The challenge for dealers is that buyers don’t just want a great deal – they want a great dealership experience. The opportunity is today’s customers reward great experiences with loyalty that shows up in your dealership’s bottom line.
How much of a difference can great customer experience – or “CX” – make? According to research from PwC, consumers will pay as much as a 16 percent price premium to feel valued and like they’ve had a personalized experience.
In the dealer environment, great CX starts with convenience. This is another place where Market EyeQ’s data and insights can inform dealer processes and procedures, reducing wasted time and minimizing friction in the sales, F&I and service departments. No matter where in the dealership a connection may happen, Market EyeQ allows dealers to ensure every touchpoint with the consumer is informed by those insights, making them feel valued as individuals.
Of course, the most personalized customer experience is when you’re able to identify and meet a customer’s needs before they even know they exist. Today’s consumers have come to expect everyone from their grocer to their drugstore to their television service to their online retailer will suggest relevant products or services to them, and they view this kind of predictive marketing as a value-add rather than an imposition. Market EyeQ’s predictive capabilities allow dealers to offer this level of personalized service to their existing and prospective customers, cementing relationships that can drive long-term profitability for years to come.
5. Ensure Long Term Dealership Loyalty
After Market EyeQ has identified your best prospects, helped you efficiently and effectively get them in the showroom door, given your staff the insights they need to close the deal and ensured your new customer has had a wonderful experience throughout the entire process, you have a real opportunity to make a big difference in your dealership’s bottom line.
As dealers have long known, it’s far cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to conquest a new one. Up to five times cheaper, in fact.
This is why Market EyeQ has powerful CRM and relationship marketing capabilities, integrating with your DMS and other systems to reinforce your investment in your customer relationships. Using what you’ve learned about the customer throughout their buying journey, you can now begin identifying the most appropriate time and manner to restart the sales process for their next new vehicle to maintain valuable relationships with customers year-over-year.
Are your dealership’s marketing and sales strategies ready for the next decade in automotive retail? Contact us today for a free consultation on how your dealership can get ready for the future with a modern sales platform. Read more about how to improve your dealership’s car sales.