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How many Categories of Internet Leads should there really be?

Dan Sayer

Boss
Dec 4, 2009
173
161
Awards
1
First Name
Dan
I've mainly used DealerSocket, eLead, and VinSolutions and all seem to approach one issue a little differently. Managing sources by groups. At one point, because of NADA 20Group reporting/export each month, I grouped all Internet Lead sources into four categories (to match the NADA categories):

Dealer Website
3rd Party
OEM
Ungrouped

There are a number of problems with that, especially when comparing store-to-store. I've now expanded one store to this:

Dealer Website (our own managed sites, all conversions, even from plugins, on those sites)
FordDirect/DC (our OEM leads that are of known origin and from OEM sites)
FordDirect 3rd Party (our OEM leads that are of unknown origin; paid leads from 3rd parties)
3rd Party Classifieds (Cars, CG, Edmunds, CarFax, etc that convert on their sites)
TrueCar/Paid Partner (TrueCar, Costco, etc)
Database Mining (Automotive Mastermind leads come over as ADF once contacted but I actually keep out of Internet all-together)
Future Vehicle Order (Bronco pre-orders, holy cow)
Ungrouped (all other legacy or trash lead sources still within reporting)

I think this will allow a clearer picture if I compare one store at 15% Internet Close to another at 10%. The 10% store may have a hundred "Future Vehicle Orders" and another hundred FordDirect 3rd Party Paid Leads but they may be closing Dealer Website leads at a higher rate than the 15% store. This will allow us to inspect process a little better per source category.

Are you paying attention to leads like this or am I making it more work than it needs to be? Do you have categories set-up differently?
 

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
242
232
First Name
Christian
I sort my leads the same way - When I know I will have something like an event, or CarGurus phone calls coming in as ADF leads, I have them set up to generate opportunities as phone calls, rather than internet, so we can work to keep the sourcing more accurate.

The ungrouped category bugs me the most, just because I prefer having clean lead source buckets.
 
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todd.smith

Lot Lizard
Apr 11, 2009
48
13
First Name
Todd
@Dan Sayer how are you tracking Social leads from Facebook etc? Also, I didn't see SEM as a breakout is that grouped with your website? Also, how do you give credit to the source? I have seen leads come from multiple sources almost simultaneously which completely jacked up attribution in most CRMs. I ask because weighing lead sources is important to understand the funnel correctly. Some people may click on a Facebook Marketplace ad and attempt a chat that doesn't get responded to in time so they head to the website and start a chat or fill out a form. In simple terms, the website got the attribution but it was the Facebook listing that prompted the action. Have you seen anything to account for this in the market?
 
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[email protected]

Full Sticker
May 24, 2017
97
45
First Name
Jason
Since dealership website leads are normally the highest closing and most digital marketing spend is used to send traffic there, how do you use your CRM and Google Analytics to look at ROI?

We like to keep things consistent; all leads generated from a dealer's website is segmented as a Source and sent into the CRM and Google Analytics. This allows our dealers to efficiently look at what leads from their website are closing at the highest rate and then they are able to jump in GA to see where these leads came from. Always a believer in good data to help dealers make better decisions.

Here is an example from one of dealer's GA Goal Completion Views (30-day)
Screen Shot 2020-08-31 at 11.54.51 AM.png
 

Dan Sayer

Boss
Dec 4, 2009
173
161
Awards
1
First Name
Dan
@Dan Sayer how are you tracking Social leads from Facebook etc? Also, I didn't see SEM as a breakout is that grouped with your website? Also, how do you give credit to the source? I have seen leads come from multiple sources almost simultaneously which completely jacked up attribution in most CRMs. I ask because weighing lead sources is important to understand the funnel correctly. Some people may click on a Facebook Marketplace ad and attempt a chat that doesn't get responded to in time so they head to the website and start a chat or fill out a form. In simple terms, the website got the attribution but it was the Facebook listing that prompted the action. Have you seen anything to account for this in the market?
Don't get me started on attribution @todd.smith. This grouping is basically all Last Click because I lose the name of the shopper in most all SEM/SEO handoffs. Let's face it, our greatest visibility of all leads is their Last Click and I probably have the greatest shot at predicting a close rate with just the knowledge of their last step before they raise their hand. Yes, I know most of our website traffic probably started somewhere else but we give our sites an "attaboy" because I know if they raised their hand from those sites, my team should be selling 1 in 5. We can get into the weeds comparing specific lead source but I'm just wanting to set up a "15k mile view" using these first.
 
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Dan Sayer

Boss
Dec 4, 2009
173
161
Awards
1
First Name
Dan
Since dealership website leads are normally the highest closing and most digital marketing spend is used to send traffic there, how do you use your CRM and Google Analytics to look at ROI?

We like to keep things consistent; all leads generated from a dealer's website is segmented as a Source and sent into the CRM and Google Analytics. This allows our dealers to efficiently look at what leads from their website are closing at the highest rate and then they are able to jump in GA to see where these leads came from. Always a believer in good data to help dealers make better decisions.

Here is an example from one of dealer's GA Goal Completion Views (30-day)
View attachment 5071
Yes, we track the crap out of all but I'm not going to get into the weeds with the managers on the site conversions per form. Myself and our website guy inspect those and make changes to increase conversion. We are tracking most all Events but keep Goals as clean as possible with Form Fill, etc. The Categories conversation for more for how everyone tracks using the ROI feature in their CRM.
 
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Zhendrix

Full Sticker
Apr 22, 2009
79
95
First Name
Zach
@Dan Sayer Great post. Categorization of lead types, let alone standardization is complex. For example, right now, in our Driven Data lead source database there are over 7k different lead types. All of the leads you've categorized have subsets that exponentially grow based on the CTA, site, etc. For example, a simple database search for the word "trader" showcases over 1400 lead types. Some challenges for all dealers to overcome are:
1. Standardization of lead types
2. Householding

On the hypothetical side and question for the group... Do you think that categorization based on a CTA could be more relevant? It seems like there are cases in automotive we should consider lead submissions as a failed conversion because we forced the consumer to go through a step they did not want to go through. Is the consumer submitting a lead because they weren't convinced enough by our marketing and merchandising to simply pick up the phone, text, or simply show up? Are they submitting because we forced them to submit to "unlock pricing"?

In terms of measurement, most dealers have the same challenges just at different times. When you compare your lead close rate to the store down the road or a store in your 20 group there's a lot to unpack. If website leads close at 20%, OEM leads at 15%, and third party at 5% knowing the lead mix is extremely relevant. If each store got 100 leads but their lead mix is different, their close rates fluctuate wildly even if two stores have the exact same process. I've learned with close rate and other % metrics that anything with a numerator and denominator can be [email protected]*ked with. Ideally, close rate should be a predetermined goal. If the goal is reached or beat, add marketing $ to get to a better point of diminishing return. If the close rate goal is not reached, focus on process.
 
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Dan Sayer

Boss
Dec 4, 2009
173
161
Awards
1
First Name
Dan
When I saw the preview to this post I thought @jon.berna had chimed in LOL

@Zhendrix I love that this post headed to "close rate" which, you're right, is a lot to unpack. Your last paragraph is preaching to the choir. The less exciting question was what categories should I set up in my CRM because I know NADA 20Group Composite categories are absolute crap (and so are their Internet composite pages). I really just was wanting a little more detail in some of the ROI reporting in VinSolutions. Quick reporting when comparing store to store in our group.

Your statement:
Is the consumer submitting a lead because they weren't convinced enough by our marketing and merchandising to simply pick up the phone, text, or simply show up?
Do you believe a form fill is a crap lead submitted by frustrated shoppers? I don't think a form fill is an indicator of the customer's frustration with our transparency. Heck, they're looking at our cars partially because our marketing and merchandising worked. I think a form fill is for customers who aren't ready to speak with us yet (phone, text, walk-in) and it's our job to engage their question and ask for next steps (not always "get 'em in"). I would agree a squeeze page-induced form fill is a different cat and we don't really use them for that reason.

If you had to wear my shoes for a day and were going to expand your Leads to more/better categories (than the 3 NADA is in love with), what would they be?
 
Jan 27, 2014
8
2
First Name
Thomas
I have always been a KISS fan and understand your frustrations. But with multiple rooftops and OEM's the need of a level playing field is a must.
 
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