How to Identify the Best Sales Opportunities from Your Data


There’s no shortage of data available to dealerships today. Customers are spending more time browsing online and completing more of the buying process digitally than ever. As they do, they leave behind valuable data points about their interest and intents at every step.  

Most dealership software platforms capture this customer data in some way, but the sheer volume of data available can be overwhelming for a lot of dealers. Few dealerships staffs have the time, resources, or expertise to manually sift through all that data to identify the best sales opportunity.  

With the right tools, though, you don’t have to analyze any data yourself to spot good opportunities. With a few key tools and processes, you can find the best sales opportunities, without any manual data analysis.  

CRM Reports and Alerts  

Your dealership CRM can be more than a lead management tool; it can also be a treasure trove of new sales opportunity—if you know where to look. Several key reports can point to hot leads that deserve your attention, including:  

  • Unanswered texts and emails  
  • Active leads without follow up  
  • Lease prospects 


Another key alert to set up in your CRM is “customer back on website.” When your CRM integrates with your car dealer website you can be alerted when a customer who has shopped with you before returns to your site—a very valuable piece of information for your sales team.   

“One of the biggest areas of opportunity for dealerships are leads marked lost. They get marked lost for any number of reasons, many of them good ones, but that doesn’t mean that person is never going to buy a car,” said Chase Abbott, Vice President of Sales for VinSolutions,, and Cox Automotive Digital Retailing. “The ‘customer back on website’ alert is a really powerful tool in helping you prioritize and find opportunity that might have otherwise been overlooked.  If a customer purchases a vehicle from you and they tell you they are going to keep it for three years, but in a year and half they are back on the website shopping, wouldn’t you like to know that?  Wouldn’t you like to know to know that before they submit the next lead?” 

Artificial Intelligence  

To identify better leads sooner, a CRM artificial intelligence solution can give you even more of an upper hand over your competition. AI tools, particularly when integrated with other key dealership software platforms, can help you harness customer data to its full potential in an instant.  

“When your customers visit your website and third parties like Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, they are leaving all kinds of clues about what they are looking for. But with the sheer volume of data available to you today, it is impossible to parse through all of that info manually to get to anything useful,” Abbott said. “Artificial intelligence, however, can do it instantly. It can use customer data to generate buying signals that estimate where customers are in the buying process and what make and model they are most likely to buy.” 

Insights from customer data have proven to be reliable indicators of intent. In fact, consumers classified as “ready to buy” by VinSolutions artificial intelligence tool Connect Automotive Intelligence were nearly 10.8 times more likely to make a purchase within 30 days than consumers with inconclusive Buying Signals.  

“Connect Automotive Intelligence has really helped us identify in market shoppers within our Connect CRM database, oftentimes prior to the customer raising their hand,” said Kevin Patterson, Vice President of Nourse Chillicothe Automall. “This has allowed us to engage the customer earlier in the buying cycle, helping us prevent them being lost to another dealership.” 

For more strategies for dealership success, download our playbook, Reimagining the Road to Sale: 2nd Edition.