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.