Would You Sell to Matt? Using Predictive Analytics to Recognize Sales Opportunities

Service-to-sale approaches can result in dealership-wide profits.

Once Upon a Time...

Car buying used to be an event. It was entire weekends spent by shoppers at multiple dealerships, test driving and haggling. There were abundant in-person opportunities for dealers to win (or lose) the sale.

Not anymore.

Today’s consumers dislike being ‘sold to,’ and often dread walking into a dealership showroom. Generalized marketing outreach doesn’t work either—consumers expect relevancy and personalization.

Generating automotive leads is getting harder and harder. Equity mining tools have become the go-to for using existing customer data and creating sales opportunities where customers least expect them: service.

However, for that method to work, you need to know more than equity and sales history. Failing to consider everything that affects a buyer’s choices means dealerships continue operating with the same low sales retention, aging inventory, few high-value trade-ins, and decreasing sales leads.

With predictive marketing analytics, it’s possible to identify highly likely buyers within your own dealership database. You can then communicate directly with these buyers via email campaigns and approach them during service visits.

Let's Talk About Matt

Matt was a sales and service customer in Tropical Ford’s database. Needing an oil change, Matt arrived with his Ford F-150 as a service walk-in.

As soon as his RO was created, Matt was identified by XtreamService, Naked Lime’s lead generation and equity mining service, as a sales lead.

XtreamService doesn’t limit its search to customers in positive equity, and it can suggest either same-model upgrades or different models of interest to accommodate their current lifestyle: location, employment, familial
status, and more. Whatever model the dealership has in inventory to best suit the needs of the customer is proposed via the XtreamService lead, customized with current and proposed vehicle deal information.

Many salespeople would say proposing a new vehicle to Matt wasn’t likely to result in a sale. His F-150 was only three years old, and with over $5,000 in negative equity, Matt wouldn’t usually stand out as a promising lead.

However, the Naked Lime predictive analytics engine disagreed. On a 1–5 scale where 5 is highly likely to buy and 0 is not likely, Matt ranked a 4.

Potential reasons Matt would agree to an upgrade:

  • Matt moved into a nicer neighborhood and felt pressure to keep up with the Joneses.
  • The F-150 front end had been refreshed since Matt last purchased—his truck was no longer the newest design.
  • Optional features from a higher trim level in 2016 are now standard in every 2019 trim level.
  • Matt passed 34,000 miles right before this service visit, meaning he was nearing the end of his 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage. He bought a service warranty package with his last vehicle, indicating he does not want to have to deal with vehicle repairs.

XtreamService combed through variations of leads based on information about Matt and pushed the deal structure most likely to get Matt to buy. This sent a special notification to the sales manager urging him to approach Matt with this proposal. While Matt waited for his truck’s oil change, the manager used the upgrade proposal to talk to him.

The salesperson received a notification when Matt arrived saying he was a sales lead.

When the manager approached Matt about moving into a 2019 F-150, the suggested deal included the value of his current vehicle and the new financing terms. Matt agreed to the upgrade, deciding to also purchase the extended service package, a maintenance plan, GAP insurance, and more than $600 in aftermarkets.

Happily Ever After

The sale wasn’t the only win the dealership had that day. After he left the dealership, Matt left a 5-star review of his experience on Google:

“Went in to get an oil change and came out with a brand new ‘19’ F-150! Was surprised at what I was able to get for only 30 dollars more a month. Steve [omitted] was able to address all of my needs in a very polite and friendly manner. I was not pressured in any way and he made it a very pleasurable experience. Thanks Steve!!!!”
— Matt
[omitted]

Matt left a five-star review after he bought the suggested truck.

Naked Lime’s predictive database prepared Tropical Ford for a sales conversation in the service lane they may not have pursued otherwise. Matt’s truck was only three years old and he had nearly $5,000 in negative equity at the time of trade-in. Without digging into customer history and current needs, most dealerships let customers like Matt drive out of service only paying for an oil change.

XtreamService disrupts the sales and service cycle before customers start looking for a new vehicle themselves. As a result, Tropical Ford:

  • Retained a satisfied sales customer.
  • Generated profit in their Sales, F&I, and Parts and Service departments.
  • Gained an unsolicited positive review of their dealership.
  • Added a desirable used truck with a known service history to their inventory.

Learn more about predictive analytics and XtreamService.

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