I learned a long time ago that hiring staff and letting them loose on your customers without training and most of all, tracking, is a good way to burn through customers. Having processes in place and holding people accountable for hitting measured goals is the way to go. Incredibly there are still a few dealerships who have no idea how many ups, sales calls or e-mail leads they receive. I believe those days are over.
Now, most dealerships have at least three separate departments for handling the common ways the customer chooses to contact the dealer; walk-ins, internet and phone. As it is today some customers just drive to the dealership, some choose to handle everything online and some choose to use the phone or in some cases they combine these actions in order to make the most informed decision possible. Over time many dealers have realized that the floor salesperson may not be the best at handling the e-mail leads or the inbound /outbound sales call. So most dealers have addressed these issues in different ways including separate Internet departments, floor sales and Business Development Centers which take and make phone calls. Currently this seems to be the best way to maximize sold to lead ratio on lot-ups, e-mail leads and sales calls.
I look forward to what the future holds for this business of ours.