“How are other dealers best handling Internet leads?”
Every dealership is different. Some use a BDC, some use an Internet manager and some still disperse the leads to sales people on the floor.
There is no right or wrong way to do it. Some stores are too small to devote enough manpower to build and maintain a true BDC. Others have a stud Internet manager that only needs a little help from an assistant or two to process the deals and stay on top of the activity. Other stores need to pass them out to people on the floor who can work them in person.
Some Internet gurus may disagree, but this falls under my “different needs for different speeds” saying. There is no uniform way that will work for every dealership in America.
I will tell you what is absolutely critical to making your lead handling process successful. It is simple and only one word: ACCOUNTABILITY.
Regardless of what system you have, if nobody is assigned to follow-up on every lead, customer call and appointment, then you are not handling your leads properly.
There must be a set of eyes. Not necessarily one that is in this department, but one who watches and checks on every single inquiry sent to a dealership.
That is how the best dealers are handling Internet leads.