DMT Development Systems Group has seen rapid growth in the dealer market with its RAPID! Response lead management tool. To help its dealer customers further enhance their lead management process, DMT has been forging new partnerships and rolling out further enhancements. In the first of a series of interviews, Canadian Auto Dealer sat down with DMT’s President and CEO Glen Demetrioff to find out more:
HE: You’ve seen major growth in the adoption of RAPID! Response among dealers in Canada, what do you think has driven that?
GD: When we started with RAPID! Response, it was about addressing a need in the marketplace. We found that dealers wanted an effective response solution to leads but were struggling with a process in how to do it. Some could respond quickly but had no idea of how their salespeople were operating while others couldn’t get responses to all of their leads because the mechanism of their existing tools didn’t enable it. By developing RAPID! Response we were able to bring those two elements together, providing an effective solution that doesn’t require dealers to change how they do business.
HE: Can you tell us a little more about that?
GD: RAPID! Response is designed to mimic and support the processes a dealership has in place, so for example, if a store has one salesperson that handles leads at the dealership it will enable that, or three people, or even if leads are channeled through reception staff and then distributed. The mechanism we have ensures a 100 per cent response rate and I think that is why dealers have adopted it the way they have — there’s accountability in every lead response.
HE: You’ve also developed a tool within RAPID Response that’s designed to handle warm leads, not just those that are hot. Can you tell us a little about that?
GD: Within RAPID! Response we have developed a Warm Lead Module. There are types of leads where an immediate response isn’t required, such as auto show leads, financing leads and maturity leads — what we call “warm” leads. These still have a pulse behind them but don’t necessarily need a response within 30 minutes. Our Warm Lead Module was developed to handle the mass distribution of these leads, so if I have 100 leads from an auto show requesting information I can respond to them with a general marketing message, like a mini E-Blast, instead of one-on-one communication like RAPID! Response.
HE: Given a choice between following up a lead or facing a potential upsell in the showroom, do you think a salesperson is always going to be drawn to the latter?
GD: In general, some dealers still have pre-conceived thoughts about leads. Simply put, they feel if a consumer is truly interested, they will just show up in their showroom — and that thinking still exists today, but leads need to be engaged in order to convert to a showroom visit, which means dealers need to respond to leads in order to get showroom ups. Our research shows that when a dealer responds to a lead, 44 per cent of those responses are opened by customers within 30 minutes of being received, within 10 minutes it’s 22 per cent, so a fifth of all leads are being open within 10 minutes. If you can wow the customer with a quick response to their lead they are more likely to do business with you. The longer it takes to respond, the more likely the consumer will become disengaged because they feel you don’t value or aren’t interested in their business. Next week, we’ll look at some of the partnerships DMT has developed as well as ways in which the lead management process is evolving and how stores need to effectively respond to consumers
DMT announcing new developments, new partnerships — Part 2: Time and value
September 10, 2014
In the second part of our interview with Glen Demetrioff, President and CEO, DMT Development Systems Group, we discuss the importance of quick response times, why different ways of communication are important when it comes to leads and how integration and partnerships are bringing added value for dealers.
HE: Last time, we talked about customers opening up dealer response messages within 30 minutes. That in itself is really important for a number of reasons isn’t it?
GD: It’s a very important statistic, especially when you think that most of us — and I include myself here — won’t be able to open up every message that’s sent to them within 30 minutes, it’s just not possible. We have to prioritize from a long and cluttered inbox. I think the important thing is once we are able to show dealers that information, that these lead responses are being selected by customers and opened quickly, then we can show that the showroom traffic is better in terms of a higher number of quality leads. I don’t doubt for a minute that if I was still a salesperson working on the floor and I had a choice between a lead and a showroom up, I’d pick the latter every time. But because of what RAPID! Response does and because salespeople can get busy, there’s that opportunity to wow the customer and put a positive spin on the process, whether it’s the initial follow up, scheduling an appointment or the actual purchase.
HE: Can you tell us about some of the new developments you’ve been working on and what’s driven that?
GD: We are always looking at ways in how we can improve communication in real time. Some people prefer email, some prefer more instant forms of communication. The question is, how do you leverage that customer who wants instant gratification? We’ve been in the Canadian market for 18 years and while there are established tools and processes that continue to work really well, they fall short of the mark. We need to adapt to what is happening now with technology and communication tools that apply across many age groups.
For those consumers who are 40 years old, how do you communicate with them? How about 25 years old? Does a 25 year old use email? No, they use Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Kik, and Text tools that provide instant gratification. But you can’t consolidate these age demographics with a one-size-fits- all system approach. It requires thinking completely outside the box. At DMT we’ve always been about not doing the norm, by breaking down boundaries and understanding at the core level why some things work and others don’t. It’s why we’re adding more functionality to RAPID! Response and why we continue to grow our partnerships within the industry.
HE: Can you tell us a little more about those partnerships?
GD: Because RAPID! Response isn’t a CRM tool, we’ve partnered with most of the leading CRM providers in Canada and those partnerships have continued to grow. We’ve also expanded into the DMS space and have been developing tight integration systems with companies like PBS and Quorum. Because of that integration we’re able to push leads into their system and if a lead is converted into a sale, we know what the gross was on that transaction and the information goes back into the RAPID! Response console. This provides dealers with business intelligence in terms of which leads are providing the greatest ROI and which are the most beneficial for their staff.
HE: Although there’s been significant growth in demand for RAPID! Response, you continue to look for ways to make the product stand out in the marketplace. Can you talk a little about that?
GD: Marketing RAPID! Response is probably one of the most difficult tasks we have. And the reason it’s difficult to market is because it’s designed for only one purpose, to manage leads. RAPID! Response consolidates leads and allows you to respond to them in a timely fashion, but when you see that on a marketing message, it could be a product from any number of CRM or e-Management providers, so it’s often hard to convey that our product is different. It’s only when both our dealers and consumers are able to use the product do they really notice how different it is.
HE: One thing you can definitely say though is that RAPID! Response does actually have a 100 per cent response rate, correct?
GD: If you read a lot of marketing material about the various tools out there, a lot of them will claim they have a high response rate. At DMT we’ve done our own mystery shopping at 14,000 dealerships and know firsthand which tools work and which ones don’t because we see the response from dealers. If anybody was to mystery shop they will see that we don’t need to rely on marketing statements, we do have a 100 per cent response rate and leads don’t get missed. Our philosophy has always been to figure the ins and outs of a process, to take something that works and re-engineer it to make it better.
Posted by Huw Evans