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Friday, July 15, 2016

J.D. Power Automotive Recap

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Consumer Advisory: J.D. Power to Release
2016 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study Results on July 27

PowerSteering: 2017 Kia Sportage Review

The latest Sportage is absolutely worthy of consideration, and while fuel economy remains unimpressive, everything else about this Kia is improved for the better. Find out what else we learned about the all-new Sportage crossover SUV...

2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study

Large U.S. auto insurers drag industrywide customer satisfaction down due to price perception, according to the recently released J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.SM

Buyer's Guides and New Car Previews

Top-Rated Family Cars in the 2016 Initial Quality Study

In this 2016 Family Cars buyer's guide, we highlight the top-rated models in the 2016 U.S. IQS, those vehicles earning a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for initial quality during the first 90 days of ownership.
     

2017 Nissan Pathfinder Preview

For the 2017 model year, Nissan gives its 3-row, 7-passenger midsize SUV a freshening. As a result, the 2017 Pathfinder is more appealing than the model it replaces.

Car Articles, News, Tips and Advice

Non-Premium Brands, Led by Kia, Outperform in 2016 Initial Quality Study

Not only does new-vehicle initial quality improve by 6 percentage points this year, but for the first time in a decade, non-premium brands, led by Kia, outperform premium nameplates, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS).

Recall Roundup: Toyota Motor Recalls Prius, Lexus CT Hybrids over Air Bag Inflator Concerns

During the past week, several automakers issued recalls of light vehicles, including model years as far back as 2001. The largest recall comes from Toyota Motor Corp., involving 482,002 Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

IIHS Critical of Passenger-Side Crash Protection in Some Vehicles

Some vehicles that have received a "Good" overall rating in the tough small overlap front crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) may not provide the same level of safety for front-seat passengers as they do for drivers.

5 Fast Facts: 2016 Chevrolet Silverado HD

The heavy-duty version of the SilveradoChevrolet's full-size pickup truck, comes in 2500HD or 3500HD capacities. For 2016, Chevy has introduced technological upgrades to the integrated cruise control, powertrain grade braking, and diesel exhaust braking.

 

Volkswagen Submits Settlement for U.S. Diesel Owners; Sets Aside Clean Air Funds

Germany's Volkswagen AG recently presented settlement agreements in U.S. District Court in San Francisco that will fund buybacks and early lease terminations, apply approved fixes, and provide cash payments to owners of some 475,000 VWand Audi vehicles in the United States equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines.

June Auto Sales Led by a Boost in Demand for Trucks

New-car sales in the United States are showing signs of losing steam in the second half of 2016, according to J.D. Power and auto forecasting partner LMC Automotive.

Safety and MPG

Small SUV Headlights Fail to Impress in IIHS Test

Out of the 21 small SUVs tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), none earns a "Good" rating (the Institute's highest) in this year's headlight evaluations.

Auto-Related Fatalities Up, Says NHTSA

Preliminary data released recently by the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that motor traffic deaths rose by 7.7% in 2015, compared with 2014 (35,200 deaths vs. 32,675).

See All Safety and MPG Articles

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why Lead Pools Dominate Lead Assignment

Why Lead Pools Dominate Lead Assignment


Why Sales Lead Pools and Intelligent Routing Will Dominate Lead Assignment


Assigning leads, a core responsibility of a sales manager. Simply put however, it can be a hassle. Lead assignment requires a great deal of time and energy by knowing the who, what, where, why, and how, for every prospect that funnels into the dealership. This will always, because of human error, have mistakes that occur. A groundwork of rules must be set up to better govern the process, otherwise no dealership will handle them properly. But is this enough? In most cases, NO. So why then do we not look at Lead Pools rather than individual assignment as a means to success? Let's do just that.

  

First we need to look at the basic rules a sales manager uses in assigning leads.
They must allow only truly active salespeople to take the leads, have time limitations set in place, avoid overloading employees, and being "fair". However being "fair" is looking at the dealership by individuals, and not as a whole. The only success that matters is the entirety of the dealership. Then and only then will all individuals "fairly" be triumphant. There are many who have conquered these steps, but again as with anything, human error will have an adverse affect on any rules set in place. This is why the dealership's CRM is so very important. The CRM will help control the pool of leads that come in, and can have guidelines and restrictions for the sales manager to work with. But no matter how well a dealership believes it's CRM is helping in its lead assignment and management, most likely, it can do MUCH more.
A dealership CRM must perform a few strategic actions to succeed in controlling leads that enter into the dealership:
  • Perform the concept of a Lead Pool. Customer ownership allows leads to fall through the cracks, however, with lead pools it's on a first-come, first-serve basis. This type of function allows ALL incoming leads to become readily available for all sales personnel, creating an atmosphere where the LEAD is the center of attention and not the salesperson.
  • The ability to set Lead Response Reserve Times. When you think of lost leads, think lack of response time. Why endure the constant frustration of losing leads to minuscule issues? Setting a reserve time allows the salesperson a designated amount of time to work on the prospect, otherwise the lead will be placed back into the Lead Pool for other dealership personnel to have the chance to work on.
  • Settings that allow for a Minimum/Maximum limitation. Like it or not, salespeople will hog leads. Having the ability to set the number of leads salespeople must have, as well as the maximum number of leads he/she is allowed to have, will create that "fairness" that traditional lead assignment tries but fails to establish.
Having certain intelligent functions in place in a dealership's CRM will have direct results in lead to sale conversion.
CRM technology like CRMSuite's Lead Pool Module, allows the sales manager the ability to set in place the functions that work best for the specific dealership. From there the software takes care of the rest. With a plethora time saved for the sales manager, they are able to concentrate on the dealerships bottom line. Because let's face it, when the dealership succeeds, so do the salespeople that we strive to be "fair" to in lead assignment.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Online Ripoffs Lose Top Rank To Phone Scams

Phone Scams Overpower Online Ripoffs For Top Rank

Telephone Based Scams Have Grown Larger Than Online Ripoffs To Become America's #1 Property Crime

Five Rules to Avoid the Top Scam in the U.S.


Largest type of scam in the U.S. remains the classic phone scam. (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Repost of article written by Kim Komando, Special for USA TODAY

If I asked you what the number one scam in America is right now, you might say phishing email scams, Facebook scams, Nigerian 419 scams, sweetheart scams or any number of other scam types.

However, you're probably thinking a little too digital.

The largest type of scam actually uses an older technology that you have in your home right now. Yes, it's the humble phone scam.

Phone security company Pindrop Security does an annual "State of Phone Fraud" report and it found some disturbing things. For example, there are more than 86 million scam calls every month, and that's just in the U.S.
  
To put it another way, one in every 2,200 phone calls is a scam call. That's up 30% from 2013, which means it's only going to get worse. If you haven't gotten a scam call yet, it's almost certain you will.

Part of the problem with detecting phone scams is that there are so many. It could be an automated robocall telling you that you won a prize and need to call a number and give them personal information to claim it. Or it could be the "IRS" saying there was a problem with your taxes and you need to pay right away to avoid going to jail.
    
Another common one is the phone tech support scam. This is where someone calls you pretending to be from Microsoft, or even "Windows," and claims you have viruses on your computer. However, if you let them on to "clean" it, they'll really install viruses and charge you a bunch of money. Learn exactly how one of my savvy listeners dealt with this type of scam and what it can teach you.
   
Still, if you aren't paying attention, it's easy to get tricked, and scammers are really good at sounding genuine. One way to find them out is to throw the incoming number into a site like 800 Notes and see if it's a reported scam number.
  
However, scammers can also "spoof" phone numbers to make it appear that they're calling from legitimate places. For example, they might call you pretending to be the police and their number will be similar or the same as the one for your local police.
    
Fortunately, there are some rules you can follow to avoid being tricked in a phone scam. If you have older family members or friends, be sure to share this article with them.

1. Take Your Time

Scams work the best when the victim doesn't have time to think things through. If you panic and act without thinking, the scammer has you.
Never let yourself be rushed into anything, especially if the person is taking great pains to rush you. Take a few deep breaths and approach the situation calmly. Most scams will unravel with a little scrutiny.
Remember: There is no crisis so big that waiting few extra minutes, or even a few hours, is going to make a difference.

   

2. Ask Questions

Don't be afraid to ask questions. You might feel like a bad person for questioning a "relative's" story about how they wound up in a Mexican jail and need you to send them money. If you aren't all that tech savvy, you might feel hesitant to argue with a knowledgeable tech support person.
Scammers know people feel this way and count on it to keep their victims from digging too deep. So start asking questions, "Why didn't you call your parents instead?" "Do you know what version of Windows I have?" "How can I win a prize if I didn't sign up for anything?"
The scammer might have answers prepared for some of these, but keep asking and eventually their story will unravel. Or they'll decide you're too much trouble and leave the conversation.
   

3. Verify the Answers

Don't just take the word of the person on the phone. If it's a relative calling from overseas, get a number you can call them back on.
Then call the regular number you have for that person, or their parents, or spouse, or any other relatives who might know their travel plans. Check their Facebook page and see if they've mentioned traveling (most people do, even though it's not a good idea).
If the person is claiming to be from a company, get their name and department. Then go look up the company's number on the Internet and call that. Ask for the person and see if they work there.
Just telling a scammer you're going to do this is often enough to throw them off. Even if they're OK with it, take the time they're off the phone to call up a tech-savvy or finance-savvy relative and see if the story checks out.
     

4. Don't Pay

There is no situation where you should give your payment information or Social Security number to an unsolicited caller. Some companies will take payment information over the phone, but you're usually calling them. Similarly, most companies that deal with a Social Security number will already have it and ask you only for the last four digits.
Another red flag is the caller asking for a wire money transfer. Wire transfers are a favorite tool of scammers because once you send the money it's gone forever. If you hear the words "wire transfer," "Western Union," "moneygram" or the name of another wire transfer service, assume it's a scam.
   

5. Don't Engage

If you figure out that the person calling you is a scammer, the best thing to do is hang up. You might be tempted to string them along, like this security expert, but that can get scary. One "victim" was playing with a scammer and it turned ugly when the scammer said, "I'm thinking to kill you now." Listen to the chilling conversation.
  • Your best bet is to share your story with your friends and family so they aren't fooled. You can also add the numbers the scammer gave you to 800 Notes to help other people avoid a similar scam.
  • If you're getting scam calls on your smartphone, grab an app like TrueCaller that will help identify and block them before you pick up.

About The Author

On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Email her at techcomments@usatoday.com.