6 questions to consider before renewing a lead provider

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on May 31, 2019

Pricing is often one of the first things that come to mind for dealers when they think about renewing a contract with a lead provider. There’s good reason for this—the price might dictate how much you can invest in other providers—but it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider.

When it comes to renewing your contract, there are a number of questions you can ask yourself to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Here are six to consider the next time your contract is up for renewal:

1. Are you satisfied with your performance?

When was the last time you dove into your account to evaluate your performance? Now is the time to do just that. It might sound obvious, but it’s crucial that you understand exactly what kind of results you’ve seen. Talk to others at your dealership who use the service, and identify major successes and failures you’ve had. If you have questions, ask your rep for your account’s analytics—a good lead provider will be able to provide this type of information.

Be honest with yourself as you evaluate your lead provider’s performance. Were any roadblocks you faced a result of your own team? Or was the vendor to blame? If you’re on the fence about renewing, consider whether there are any small adjustments you can make to your contract without having to overhaul or cancel your service.

2. Is the audience of consumers you’re reaching growing over time?

Every dealer wants to reach a large audience of car buyers—but a large audience doesn’t always mean a better audience. If your lead provider is showing your stock to the same shoppers over and over again, that’s not that helpful. Make sure that your lead provider is working to continuously grow its audience and that those consumers are engaged.

3. Are you diversifying your stock’s exposure enough?

If you’re using only a couple, or worse, only a single lead provider to generate business for your dealership, then you’re not reaching as many shoppers as you could be. With 74% of car shoppers visiting three or more websites during their research and shopping process, according to a CarGurus survey, you need the right marketing mix to get your cars in front of a larger audience.

Whether you operate a small independent dealership or a large franchise, diversifying your lead providers will allow you to avoid being reliant on a single source of leads and to test new platforms. Feel like your budget is stretched thin? Consider whether it makes sense to decrease the amount of stock you advertise on one site and then use your savings to invest in another site.

4. Does your rep get back to you quickly when you have a question about your account or your service?

When it’s time for your renewal, consider the customer service you get from your lead provider. You shouldn’t have to wait days or even weeks for an answer to a question you asked your rep. Make sure you’re working with a partner that prioritises customer service and provides support whenever issues come up.

One thing you can do to test this is to ask your rep to provide a breakdown of all the details in your contract. If they don’t get back to you right away, then it might be worth shopping around a bit. This will help you as you negotiate your renewal and will make you feel more confident about your decision.

5. Are you taking advantage of all of the functionalities and benefits that come with your service?

Ask your rep for a full report of your account’s performance and usage and identify areas for improvement. Before deciding if the service was a failure or a success, make sure you understand what gaps exist and if there were any features you under-utilised. You share some of the responsibility to maintain and engage with your service to ensure you see success. If you’re not convinced you’ve done enough, ask your rep for help—they should be able to provide training and tips on how to get the most out of your service.

6. Is your partner growing and continuing to add features and technology that help your dealership succeed?

Choosing whether or not to renew a lead provider is a big decision, and it’s okay to be picky. Don’t settle for a partner that’s been doing the same thing for years and shows no signs of changing. Instead, think about whether or not your vendor has introduced any new products recently. Did they roll out a feature that addresses a growing industry trend? Or has it been years since they came out with an update that solved a problem for you? Invest in a partner that is innovative and willing to adapt to changes in the industry.

Have questions about your CarGurus account? Get in touch with your rep today.