Call Management Fundamentals: How to Convert Calls into Appointments & Sales for Your Dealership
Your advertising and marketing efforts are likely to generate inbound phone calls for your business. In fact, if your campaigns are going well, you’re going to end up getting a lot of them.
Incoming phone calls present an outstanding opportunity for setting appointments with new and existing customers. While every caller offers a warm sales opportunity, not all dealerships are set up for a high call-to-appointment success ratio. Implement these call management tactics to increase your appointments and boost the bottom line.
Understand Where Calls Fall in Your Sales Cycle
Incoming calls can occur at many different points in the sales cycle. Every industry operates a bit differently in this area. If you’re in the HVAC industry, you’re probably receiving calls somewhere at the very end of the purchasing process, when consumers are in a time of need situation and are already prepared to convert. These callers are generally ready to book a service call or installation appointment.
If you’re selling power equipment or powersports products, you may receive calls from buyers who are still earlier in their respective buyers’ journeys. They’re still considering their options, but if you can sell the appointment, you’ll have an edge on selling your product when the customer arrives in the store.
Regardless of which industry you’re in, it’s imperative to understand your customers’ buying cycles and where the calls fall within them. Draft sales scripts that meet the buyer where he or she already is, and you’ll see your success rates soar.
Train Your Customer Service Reps
Make sure your customer service reps (CSRs) are well-trained in the essential steps for every incoming call. Make call management a priority. Don’t leave the phones to a lackluster team member; make sure you have a trained sales professional on the end of every phone call. Develop a clear call process that includes a script for opening the call, determining the caller’s needs, and closing the call successfully.
When creating an outcomes-oriented inbound call management program, focus on these four best practices:
- Structure: There needs to be a clear method for moving the conversation from the greeting, to selling the value of your services or product, to ultimately scheduling an appointment or consultation. It needs to flow this way regardless of how your leads are being routed.
- Measurability: To be successful, every aspect of your inbound call activity needs to be tracked and measured. Data sets like call length by CSR and call-to-appointment ratios should be closely monitored.
- Uniformity: Your CSR team needs to be treating calls as sales opportunities and not as passive phone conversations. They need to be actively pitching the value of your service or product every single time.
- Accountability: Listen to your calls! Even though you’re likely to get inundated with inbound phone calls, it’s well worth the time and resources required to do this. Call assignments also should be automated to ensure maximum accountability.
Setting up a clear lead conversion process will help ensure consistency for all your incoming calls. This will improve your success rates and give you valuable data for improving your call process in the future.
Track Your Success Rates & Tweak Your Tactics
Call management isn’t something you can set up once and abandon. You should measure your phone leads and relentlessly track results. Record the nature and outcome of every call. Track your success rates with various sales tactics. Every market is a bit different, and you may find that a more aggressive tactic works for your equally aggressive market, or that a particular product focus hits buyers more keenly in your area.
You should also track which team member handles each call so you can evaluate conversions on an individual basis. This will clue you into opportunities for coaching or training that will improve your employees’ success rates.
At the end of the day, though, you’ll need to revisit your sales scripts and call process regularly. Examine your lead-to-conversion rate and make adjustments as needed to stay in a healthy range. You should see an appointment ratio of 20 to 25 percent for incoming calls. If you’re falling short, it’s time to adjust your approach.
Dealership Marketing & Advertising Campaigns to Make Your Phone Ring
Potential customers get to know your business long before the phone rings. Internet marketing, traditional media, and direct mail campaigns offer that initial introduction that will cause your phone to ring.
At Mediagistic, our advertising and marketing programs are designed to generate qualified leads for your business that will get live prospects on the phone with your CSRs. Contact us today to get started planning a custom solution for your HVAC, powersports, or power equipment dealership.
Joe Vertullo is an Account Development Manager at Mediagistic. He specializes in new business development and major market expansion for HVAC, powersports, and power equipment dealerships. Connect with him on Linkedin.
Image via Thinkstock
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