Every experienced salesperson knows that while generating and engaging leads aren’t easy, it isn’t hard to lose leads. But what are the odds that all leads marked as “lost” or “dead” at your auto dealership are actually lost? Consider the opportunities you could close if those not-so-lost leads came to light.

Too often, leads slip through the cracks when it could’ve been avoided in the first place. Even if a lead hasn’t stepped into your showroom again, answered your phone calls, or replied to your emails, it’s very possible that he or she is still exhibiting active buying behavior. If you mark that lead as ‘lost’ in the CRM or decide to stop following up, you’re cutting out part of your sales funnel that represents a lot of potential opportunity.

So how can you avoid writing off leads as lost when they actually aren’t?

To maximize the return on your pool of prospects, here are three avoidable ways your dealership could be losing leads. These three ways simply scratch the surface of the findings in our study on the hidden opportunities of ‘lost’ leads in automotive dealerships.

#1: Your Lead's Active Buying Activities Aren't Tracked Properly (Or At All)

When 22% of ‘lost’ leads are still active on auto dealership websites, how can you accurately assess if your 'lost' leads are truly lost?

If your lead doesn’t respond to your outreach, don’t assume that he or she isn’t ready to buy a vehicle. It’s very possible that he or she is still actively shopping on your website. In fact, with Foureyes®, our proprietary sales technology, we can see that 22% of ‘lost’ leads are still active on auto dealership websites and 11% of all calls are missed by dealerships.

Note that this research focused solely on leads expressing ready-to-buy activities, such as browsing inventory in your virtual showroom and trying to reach your sales team. We left out unqualified prospects who were booking service appointments or applying for jobs. And if you don’t have visibility into those specific ready-to-buy activities, you need to start ASAP.  

#2: Your Lead Isn’t Logged Properly (Or At All)

On average, we see through Foureyes that 17% of leads never make it into the dealership’s CRM, and typically one of these three things are to blame:

  • Parts of your website are broken
  • Leads are mis-qualified by a salesperson
  • Leads don’t get logged in the CRM by a salesperson

You can’t fix something unless you know it’s broken, which is where routine training and website testing become vital. Managers should review how to qualify prospects with anyone who communicates with potential leads, from reception to sales, and hold sales accountable to your dealership’s best practices on logging leads and sales activity in a timely manner. Marketing should routinely test all points of conversion on your website as well.

#3. Your Leads Are Considered ‘Lost’ Too Early

If you lose hope on your leads too early, you lose opportunity. How much exactly? In our research, we’ve found that:

  • 1 out of every 5 ‘lost’ leads is found shopping your website after 7 days without any CRM sales activity or outreach
  • 1 out of every 6 ‘lost’ leads is found shopping your website after 14 days without any CRM sales activity or outreach
  • 1 out of every 7 ‘lost’ leads is found shopping your website after 21 days without any CRM sales activity or outreach

Clearly, not all ‘lost’ leads are dead. In fact, working those leads could significantly improve sales performance. Consider your team’s sales process: How long do you usually wait before considering a lead ‘lost,’ and what opportunity could that cut-off time represent?

Don’t lose leads because you lost sight of your lead’s progress through the buyer’s journey.

You are shooting yourself in the foot if leads are getting lost because of errors in your lead tracking, CRM entries or sales process. At Adpearance, we developed Foureyes to empower sales teams and recover those ‘lost’ leads. Foureyes identifies and resolves holes in the sales process so your sales team can maximize the return on your entire pool of prospects.




To learn more about identifying not-so-lost leads, read the full findings of our research in the 2018 Lost Leads Study. Just fill out the form below to access the study.

In the study, we analyze:

  • Conversion timeline benchmarks in the auto industry for when leads should really be marked as 'lost'
  • If automatic responses and sales communication impact response rates
  • How to gain more visibility into buyer behavior so you don't mark leads as 'lost' when they aren't