The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

DP's Office

Dealerships Losing 84% of Phone-Ups, IHS Automotive Reports

August 18, 2015

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Over eighty percent (84%) of a dealership’s inbound sales calls are not converted to a sale, according to recent IHS Automotive analysis commissioned by CallSource.

The analysis of 540 dealerships nationwide over a one-year period revealed that, when managed properly, dealers are able to improve incoming call-to-sale ratios by more than 33%. And, with calls currently outpacing email leads four to one, improving incoming call-to-sales ratios could add hundreds of thousands of dollars to a dealership’s bottom line.

“Many dealers think they have a call handling process in place, yet without phone skills training and missed opportunity alerts, they lose countless sales opportunities every month,” said David Greene, vice president of CallSource Auto Division. “If call handlers could set just four more appointments each day and convert one of those to a sale, they would add an average of $2,200 in profit to the bottom line each day, or $66,000 per month!”

While not every incoming call can result in an appointment (e.g. caller not yet ready to buy, dealer lacking appropriate inventory), this analysis indicates that dealers have a significant opportunity to improve call handlers’ performance and convert more inbound calls into appointments.

According to CallSource, there are many reasons that all handlers fail to convert inbound prospect calls to appointments. Most commonly, those call handlers are rude or unprofessional, lack inventory knowledge, fail to ask for an appointment or ask the prospect to call back. Also, prospects become dissuaded when the salesperson is unavailable or no needs analysis is conducted, meaning no alternative vehicle is offered.


  1. 1. David Ruggles [ August 29, 2015 @ 08:22AM ]

    Yes, poor telephone handling is the elephant in the room. It begins when the dealer installs an IVR system. You know who you are. In my own informal surveying I can tell you that 90% of consumers HATE those things. Maybe we should start there?

  2. 2. donna Mylott [ September 06, 2015 @ 07:59AM ]

    In my position as an RSM for CallSource I spend most of my time in our dealerships. The one element that is missing in most dealerships is accountability. Training is awesome whether it be in store or online but to turn that training into performance you have to have daily ongoing coaching and I have dealerships in my portfolio that have increased their call to appointment ratio by 50+ percent.
    Thanks guys for a great article!

  3. 3. Lisa Westall [ September 06, 2015 @ 09:04AM ]

    Great article. I also consult with dealers and have recommended several phone skills training resources and while that's all and good, most don't implement a consistent process and it falls off the radar after a few weeks. That is why the "accountability" factor has to start at the top.

  4. 4. DAVID [ September 21, 2015 @ 08:02AM ]



Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  



Ohio AG Sues Used-Car Dealer for Title Violations

AMG Auto Connection and its owner are accused of violating Ohio’s Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act after the dealership failed to deliver a car title in the time frame required by law.