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Artificial Intelligence Tool Closing Leads

February 14, 2012

BELLINGHAM, Wash.After reviewing data in January from eight randomly selected users of its Automated Virtual Assistant, AutoFerret.com found that its artificial intelligence technology averaged a closing rate of 28.7 percent.

The dealerships using AVA allowed AutoFerret.com to access their data for the purpose of analyzing ROI. AutoFerret.com also conducted a ReEngage Campaign with AVA over the course of the month, which resulted in an average 39.5 vehicles that were sold to old leads. The closing rates referred to are not AVA’s closing rate, as AVA does not sell cars, but instead helps the dealership’s sales staff sell more cars.

“We’ve always known AVA produced great results based on her lead engagement rates and the high retention rate from our dealers using AVA,” said Ben Brigham, president and CEO of AutoFerret.com. “This recent analysis confirms what we have long suspected, which is that AVA really does produce dramatic results for dealers.”

AVA is a military grade, artificial intelligence technology that carries on a conversation with leads over e-mail, engages them, validates their intent to purchase, sets up phone appointments for the sales staff and follows up, according to AutoFerret.com. Potential customers believe they are exchanging emails with a customer service representative and do not know that AVA is a virtual assistant.

The AVA ReEngage Campaign mines the dealership’s database for leads up to six months old. AVA then identifies the customers still in market, re-engages them and hands them off to the sales staff.

Leads contacted during the time period of the analysis were a random mix of new and old leads from more than 50 sources, including a dealer’s website, independent lead providers and manufacturers, according to AutoFerret.com. The eight dealerships that participated in the analysis were randomly chosen and of varying size, brand and market.

The analysis was divided into two parts, which included AVA working fresh leads in real-time and AVA working old leads from the past six months, according to AutoFerret.com. The average closing rate on fresh leads contacted by AVA was 27.8 percent, compared to an industry overall average closing rate of 6-12 percent. The lowest closing rate was 21.9 percent, while the highest rate was 35.1 percent.

The average number of vehicles sold during the month-long AVA ReEngage Campaign was 39.5 vehicles, according to the company. The store with the lowest count of vehicles sold to old leads showed 11 vehicles sold on 243 leads, while the store with the highest count of vehicles sold to customers sold 66 vehicles on 1,811 old leads.

“This is found money for the dealerships, as their Internet departments are often overwhelmed with today’s leads and more recent leads,” Brigham said. “It would be almost impossible and not very cost effective to have the sales staff reach out on a continual basis to every lead in the system up to six months old.”

AVA is available directly from AutoFerret.com or through its partner reseller, AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions. For more information, visit www.autoferret.com.

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