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Franchise relationship tension blamed for lack of clarity with digital sales leads

There is still resistance at some levels to following up and reporting of digital sales leads due to “an inherent, competitive tension” between dealer and manufacturer, according to

The view comes from the online sales lead website following its recent research that shows that less than 50% of digital sales leads are being followed up.

Terry Hogan, managing director of, said: “A good way to illustrate the tension between manufacturers and dealers is to consider the fact that if a salesperson makes more profit on a nearly new car, he/she will sell that car, especially if it sat in stock in front of them.

“Often, the dealer will not report this sale back to the manufacturer, as they now have 'full' ownership of that consumer and hopefully a long and profitable relationship.

“This is at the heart of the issue. Part of the problem is the ability to report back to the manufacturer on the outcome of an enquiry. The other part of the problem is willingness to report.”

Hogan said that because there is more margin available in used cars in comparison to new cars and “full” ownership of consumer data, typical dealer groups will look at used cars and aftersales, rather than the new car retail arm.

He said: “The new car franchise is often seen by some groups as an enabler, a rubber stamp of quality that drives consumers to a particular product or location.

“On most occasions it is the salesperson on the shop floor that dictates the final outcome of any lead. As we have previously reported, less than 50% of leads are being followed up so the lost opportunity is huge.”’s latest research of over 1,000 consumers shows that up to 33% of consumers who are contacted within 48 hours buy a car from that franchise, be it new or used.

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