Once you decide to own dealership growth, you’ll realize quickly that you can’t do it all yourself. You need others at the dealership that you can partner closely with — and they may not necessarily be interested in partnering closely with you. But it must be done to be successful.
Our demand funnel partner over this past year was Sirius Decisions, and their “demand waterfall” is pictured below.
The primary focus is mapping all your activities and data that’s involved in your marketing to the phases or the stages of the waterfall. Second is making sure that marketing is leading the alignment. This diagram also shows telesales (or inside sales) and sales, and then we should add the OEM. Most of us are getting some sort of lead generation feed from our OEM partners.
From the top down, Target Demand is who you think may buy your products or services; who you aspire to ultimately engage and sell but have no idea if that will happen or not. Active Demand is when there’s some indication, maybe they showed up on the Fastline website, or maybe they attended an event. You expect that they must be in the market now.
Engaged Demand takes it a step further. With the belief that they’re “in the market,” you have reached them with an inbound technique (social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, etc.) — and they’ve responded. They read the email, they filled out the form or showed some activity that indicates that they’ve become engaged.
Next comes Prioritized Demand. The computers and robots are getting better and you can automate some of this through lead scoring. Based on a set of activities where the customer is interacting with emails and websites and events and so forth, you can come up with a weighted prioritization of where that customer is in their buying journey and what is ready to go further into the funnel.
“The primary focus is mapping all your activities and data that’s involved in your marketing to the phases or the stages of the waterfall…”
Next is Qualified Demand. At Titan, Don Aberle leads an inside sales team that will reach out to determine if that prospect is ready. Anyone that passes the test continues down the pipeline. In our case, field sales will likely handle that next stage or Don’s team may continue with the customer if they’re not assigned. So, the appropriate sales team takes it all the way through to the end and then we measure “closed won,” or “closed lost.” As you can see, it’s a team sport and we’ve got to tie it all together from top to bottom.
What we’ve been doing is stitching pieces together. We didn’t just get together and have a demand waterfall meeting. We’ve been working through the pieces and parts of it and mapping our marketing tactics to the stages. To own dealership growth, you first need to know who your growth partners will be and second, how you will work together to get a customer from cold to closed in a demand funnel like this.
Maybe this wasn't in the job description, but you must take this on if you’re going to lead growth at your dealership.