The Internet car salesman or commonly called the Internet Sales Manager is a bit different than the floor salesperson. Their job is to take Internet leads and e-mails from potential car buying customers via the Internet. They don't take Fresh Ups, they don't take walk-ins, their only customers come through the communication they have with customers through e-mail and the telephone. The end result in both cases is the same they sell cars.
The term Internet Sales Manager does not mean that the person manages the department, but in fact they manage themselves, their customers and their sales. Every dealership works the Internet a little differently but in the strictest sense of the term the Internet Sales Manager is a salesperson that gets their Ups through the Internet by contacting and communicating through e-mail or phone. Typically the person that manages the Internet Department is called the Internet Sales Director.
What the Internet Sales Manager Does
Internet Sales Manager has a computer at his or her disposal and they receive leads through any number of sources which could include the dealership website, manufacturer's website and any 3rd party lead source such as Cars.com and Autotrader.com if the dealer use their services to name a couple. The lead will typically be received through the dealership’s CRM. This lead ideally contains customer's name address phone number and e-mail address but all too often potential customers fail to provide the proper phone number. The ISM will try to contact the person that submitted the by phone because the phone has much better results than email. However if all they have provided is a good email address the ISM (Internet Sales Manager) will communicate with the potential customer through email in order to move the car sales process along from email to phone and ultimately to showing up for an appointment at the dealership.
Challenges of the Internet Sales Manager
There are many challenges when it comes to getting a car shopper to visit your dealership because their information is often sent to several dealerships and they are all trying to get them to come to their showroom. The Internet Sales Manager has become a vey important part of the automobile dealers sales staff because it has recently been reported that 90% of all car buyers use the Internet to do research before they ever visit a car dealer. It has also been said that 50% of the people that use the Internet will submit a lead through any number of available websites that collection information and forward it to dealers for a fee (except manufacturer’s sites that provide leads to the closest dealer as part of their franchise agreement).
All to often the potential car buyer will submit leads to several dealers to receive a price for the vehicle they intend to buy and pit one dealer against another in order to decide which dealership to visit. Only 10 years ago it was said that the average car buyer visited 3 to 4 dealers before they purchased a vehicle and 2 years ago that number went down to 1.8 dealers, but today that number is said to be close to 1.2 dealers. So if you were wondering what happened to all the “Fresh Ups” you know that they are at their home or office on the computer trying to decide where they will buy a car rather than what dealers they will visit to shop for a car. They are doing their shopping online and when they come to your dealership they are planning on buying. Cherry picking and low hanging fruit are in the past and each lead needs to be worked by the ISM until they visit your dealership or buy somewhere else.
No matter how your dealer runs the Internet Sales department or the BDC you can see that the role of the Internet Sales Manager is critical to the continued success of EVERY automobile dealership, it doesn’t matter if they are big or small, new or used the Internet is here to stay and selling cars for a living can still produce a six figure income, but it is done differently today.
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Later, Fresh Lead in the CRM