How to align inventory management and CRM lead engagement for used cars

Welcome to this week’s episode of Used Cars Weekly, the original CBT News show dedicated to bringing car dealers best practices and tips for the used car department, in-depth dealer interviews, hands-on dealership strategies, and vendor analysis. Today, host Jasen Rice, founder of Lotpop, discusses the relationship between inventory management and lead management in the used car department.

CRMs and inventory management tools typically don’t communicate with each other well. Often, the CRM follow-up process is based on the lead’s age and not the vehicle’s position, in this case, a used vehicle. On average, 62%+ of a dealer’s current and active leads in the last 60 days are on cars that have already sold. 

Here’s the problem.

CRMs are structured, so the lead managers follow up on leads based on age. When a lead is 30-60 days old, many CRMs will start sending automated follow-ups, and the human-to-human interaction is lost. According to a study by, 60% of consumers are delaying car purchases for a month or longer. There are better odds of catching a customer in their buying cycle after the first 30 days, says Rice. However, CRMs will prompt lead managers to reach out once or every other week. 

Say you have a 60-day age policy and a 55-day old car that is already priced aggressively. Will you continue to drop the price? Will you wholesale the vehicle?

Well, what if you had five active leads on that used car? Most likely, you would want to engage with those active leads daily. Although, if the leads are 30-60 days old, the CRM might not prompt the lead managers to follow up immediately. So, the car’s positioning should dictate how often to communicate with the leads, explains Rice.

Rice recommends creating an aged vehicle follow-up process. Put any car that is over 45 days old down into the funnel with increased intensity of calls and emails. 

Inventory management is lead management, and the vehicle’s positioning should determine the level of communication. Don’t forget about your leads on already sold cars. Position those leads onto ‘switch’ vehicles and present them with other vehicles near the original price point.

As the used market gradually pulls back, now is the time to maximize the leads you have and recycle leads that are for sold vehicles. 

Need more used car management strategies? Check out the upcoming Used Carpalooza, a free, one-day-only workshop on June 16 in Chicago, Illinois. Claim your spot here!

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