One Voice Report: Lead attribution still a headache for car dealers

Posted by Sarah Pekala on February 26, 2020

For those retailers digitally managing leads and tracking attribution, there’s a broad spread of options being employed. Believe it or not, more than a quarter of used car dealers are still using paper-based systems to manage leads. Built around a survey of more than 700 independent and franchised used car dealers and our annual Dealer Council meeting, the second-annual CarGurus One Voice Report examines the lead management challenge and how dealers are coping.

chart of lead management systems usage rates

Even with lead management software in place, retailers are finding it difficult to attribute sales leads to a particular source or sources. Many used car dealers know customers view multiple websites before either contacting the dealer or buying the car. Asking customers which sites they used doesn’t work—most don’t remember all the sites they visited. In addition, if sales staff are asked to gather this information during the sales process, they tend to take the path of least resistance and tick the first box available.

Dealers recognise this issue: the vast majority of the 38.5% who said they’d upgrade their lead management systems in 2020 said they would be moving to a more digital system and moving responsibility away from sales executives. “If [the customer] is in the showroom, then we’re relying on the sales staff, but if it’s through [digital], then it’s trackable numbers. You can see where they came from and that gives our source of enquiry,” said Darren Ardon, Group MD at Perrys.

On balance, all-market lead volumes haven’t changed much in the past year. 32.8% of dealers said leads are up, 23.3% said no change, and 37.0% said leads are down. But what has changed in the past year is the quality of sales leads, with more dealers reporting a downturn than an improvement. Why? Digital technology may be blamed for the downturn, but it was also given as the reason for a rise in quality. Dealers said that the targeting of advertising is more accurate now and online tracking has improved too.

To learn more about the topics at the top of UK dealers’ minds, download the full CarGurus One Voice Report.

Topics: Attribution, digital marketing, industry insights, trends