The saying, “Everything old is new again,” applies to your leads. Old leads can become new sales when you use the data in your CRM to re-start sales conversations with customers who are still in the market, or in the market again.


This strategy is especially helpful if you’re not getting the volume of high-quality new leads that you’d like from your website and marketing efforts.


Equity mining is the most well-known tactic for finding new opportunities from sales and service customers. However, there’s more than one way to mine your CRM.


You know that the average closing rate for internet leads is 15 percent. That rate jumps to 25-30 percent for both showroom leads and phone-ups. That means anywhere from 85 to 70 percent of all the leads in your CRM are unclosed. That’s a huge pool of potential customers – if you take the time to go back and revisit them.


Your CRM software should make it easy for you to create targeted marketing and sales lists based on customer profiles. The following are examples of lists you can create that are not as “obvious” as current sales and service customers in a position of equity. The payoff is more sales, without additional lead acquisition costs.


  • Unable to obtain financing. Our economy is rebounding from the massive slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent in August. Now is a good time to revisit leads who previously were unable to secure financing. Perhaps they’ve recently been hired or received a raise. Or they’ve married and a partner can be a co-signer. We’re also seeing historically low interest rates and aggressive manufacturer incentives. Any of these factors could help turn a previously denied customer into a closed sale.
  • Be-Back appointments. Be-back appointments close at a much higher rate than first appointments. The problem is that many salespeople don’t like this follow-up process and give up after a few attempts. A BDC armed with a be-back list can handle the heavy lifting that salespeople don’t have the time or inclination to do. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a BDC, or you’re trying to do more with fewer employees, double-down on a stringent follow-up process that includes seven phone calls and fives emails in a 30-day period. Pull customer touch reports from your CRM every day to ensure sales associates are following best practices.
  • Unsold leads. Don’t write-off unsold leads. Just because they bought from a competitor, or stopped looking, doesn’t mean they’re not open to communicating again. Use your CRM checkbox functionality that allows you to follow the road to a sale to easily create a list of customers who submitted a lead than dropped out of communication. Reach out to ask if they purchased somewhere else. If they did, offer a coupon or special to win their service business. If they did not purchase a new vehicle, re-engage them in a sales conversation. Again, a BDC can handle the heavy-lifting of these long-term follow-up campaigns.
  • Friends and family. The friends and family of sold customers are a fertile field for new sales. Create a list of all customers who purchased a vehicle in the last two years with the purpose of asking them if a friend or family member is thinking about purchasing a vehicle. Write a script for salespeople and/or BDC employees to follow with a conversation path for both affirmative and negative replies. Most CRM platforms have the ability to track relationships. Take advantage of that capability to link customers so that your follow-up is more personal and relevant.
  • Pre-owned vehicle customers. People who purchase a pre-owned vehicle are likely to go the pre-owned route for their next vehicle too. Pull a list of customers who purchased pre-owned within the past three to five years. Create a cross-channel marketing campaign featuring the most desirable pre-owned vehicles on your lot and send it to that list. Follow-up with a phone call and then work with a BDC to continue long-term follow-up.


Everything old is new again if you take the time to revisit the lead data already in your CRM. Pull targeted sales and marketing lists, create a follow-up process for each type of lead, and be creative about segmenting your customer profiles. The payoff can be new sales without additional lead acquisition costs.  


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