How-to Maximize Lead Return on Investment for Automotive Dealerships through Return on Employee Model

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if you are an automotive dealership that is purchasing qualified leads, yet not quite seeing the results you were hoping for, this can be very frustrating. After all, this is your hard-earned money that is being thrown into the incinerator and is the reason why so many businesses have given up on marketing altogether.

It is possible that the issue may not be the quality of the leads, but may lie in the company’s ability to properly assess where management’s attention should be by analyzing when and how to tackle the sale to keep ready to buy customer from becoming a cold lead.

This article will discuss the importance of any business to invest more in providing a hungry sales team with the tools to succeed when working with leads by implementing some of the lead management best practices and guidelines outlined in this post. Following these tips will greatly increase the return on investment (ROI) of each lead to selling to more customers.  

Return on Employee Model

Experts at Sage believe that “employees are the most important component in the quest to improve business results”.[1] Before considering location, tools, inventory, expenses, the most valuable resource that a dealership has is a high skilled sales team.

“Return on employee investment comes in the form of productivity and profitability. Hiring the wrong people, however, comes at cost”. A infographic by Sage North America suggests that business that take a strategic approach to talent management see a 40 percent lower turnover rate, double the amount of revenue per employee and 38 percent higher engagement”.[2]

Thus it is clear that hiring strong team members who can perform at a high efficiency is crucial to the long-term growth of a company. Business owners will even go as far as to pay extra for experienced & reputable employees, however, neglect creating the best working environment for their employees to succeed.[3]

The Return on Employee model suggests that a business that invests in the performance of their employees can be more profitable where the workforce is provided with the tools and resources needed to increase productivity & efficiency, boost motivation & moral, to work harder yet smarter to increase sales.

According to Allan Schweyer[4] in “The Economics of Engagement,” engaged employees:

  • Work more effectively, instead of just working more.
  • Find ways to improve.
  • Share information with colleagues.
  • Develop creative solutions.
  • Provide suggestions.
  • Speak up for the organization.
  • Try harder to meet customers’ needs, leading to repeat business

Then the real question becomes, how do we engage our employees to maximize their potential in sales so that the chances a lead becoming a sale (ROI) can potentially grow from 10 % to 15 %?

Lead Management Best Practices & Guidelines

When a potential customer submits their information in an application to be contacted by representative to solve their problems they are essentially begging for your business.

The applicant has decided that your company among all the competition is the one they want to give their business too. “Without creating a process and fostering urgency and persistence within the sales team to follow up with these leads, top and middle of the funnel marketing efforts become fruitless.”[5]

Don’t believe me? Checkout this study done by the Harvard Business Review below…

In summary:

·      Best days to contact a lead? Wednesday & Thursdays

·      Best times to get in contact? 4-5PM

·      How soon should a lead be contacted? Immediately or within 5 minutes

·      How many times should you call a lead to make contact? Always make at least 6 attempts

This review clarifies the fact that salespeople are not doing enough to contact the lead. As automobile sales is a highly competitive market, this could be the reason why applicants may originally want to work with you, yet choose another company to give their business too. The early bird gets the worm.

Thus, if you are throwing a lead away on the notion that it is a “bad lead” because they didn’t get in contact with you, try following these guidelines and they should be able to increase contact rates. Meaning less leads wasted and more potential sales.

Howard J. Sewell, President of Spear Marketing Group expects a sales rep to do their best effort to re-engage an interested customer, but he believes a marketing system catered towards nurturing a lead can go a long way in making this process simpler.[6]


Nurturing the Deal

To keep employees engaged in the sales process and effectively utilize their highly-leveraged time, integrating a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can track and organize a leads progress, set reminders & tasks, follow up with customers and track employee performance with analytics.

This blog post identifies an automotive dealership’s most valuable asset and explains the many benefits that having a CRM can have on an automotive dealership to boost lead ROI.


A qualified lead is only as valuable as the person working on it.

By analyzing employee performance schemes and reviewing proven lead management practices we can see a direct correlation from the results an employee is able to produce when they are given the right tools and resources to succeed.




[4] (Allan Schweyer, “The Economics of Engagement,” Human Capital Institute and Enterprise Engagement Alliance, June 2009, p.5)



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