Trilogy LLC has entered the used vehicle segment at a very interesting time. The US market is seeing more than 40 million used vehicle transactions happening per year. A few years ago, a dealership might have had one used car manager handling most of the sales transactions; lately that’s evolved into a team that includes internet sales and needs more resources and support. They might be expected to call a long list of leads provided by a third-party supplier, but it’s likely to not produce the number of sales they’d hoped for.
“They’re generating more leads with less value,” said Michael Richards, President of Trilogy Automotive. “It destroys a dealer’s ability to retain talent.” Dealers need to watch out for what Richards calls “artificially manufactured leads.”
On October 2, the company introduced its technology to the used vehicle market. Trilogy has been providing high quality third-party leads to new car dealers for more than two decades, and has been hearing a lot from its more than 1,500 dealer clients for assistance in improving used vehicle leads. Trilogy SmartLeads technology qualifies used vehicle leads with the same patented scoring engine used for new vehicle leads with what the company describes as additional inputs and data analysis unique to the used vehicle market.
While Trilogy has been serving automakers and franchised dealers for years, independent dealers will soon be added to the clientele. With subprime loans and Buy Here Pay Here growing in used vehicle sales, dealer employees need more support for converting leads into long-term loyal customers. There might more factors to look at with financially challenged used vehicle customers, but the process needs to be thorough for all prospects.
Trilogy clients are seeing an 8.3% close rate from their leads versus 2% to 4% from other third-party sources, Richards said. Dealers have to track availability and pricing for used vehicles a bit differently than with new vehicle inventory, but getting the most value from their leads matters as much in used as in new. “You need to evaluate whether the lead has genuine purchase intent,” he said, and Trilogy assists dealers in measuring and evaluating their leads.