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Responding to Leads in Contact Management

Article Highlights:

  • Utilize Contact Management to get the most from your team.
  • Three tips for ensuring leads are followed up with quickly.

In the first of this three-part series on utilizing Contact Management, I discussed distribution rules and options to ensure all leads are going to the right place. But once a lead is entered, how can you ensure it’s being followed up on quickly?

Keep reading below for three helpful tips on responding to leads.

New Lead Notification Types: Once a lead has been assigned, there are two ways users are notified: a New Prospect alert or an email notification.

For New Prospect alerts, click the Settings icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the customer application.


Then, scroll down to ‘New Prospect Alert’ and select the type of notification you would like to receive.


Employees can receive a pop-up message, audio tone, flash notification, or an email for the lead. If you have DigiSales™, Contact Management’s mobile app, a push notification can be sent to the employee’s phone. No matter which alert you select, it will go out as soon as a lead is assigned. Through distribution rules, internet leads are received, matched, and distributed automatically.

The alert will appear to employees like this:


Email notifications for internet leads can be sent to an employee’s external email address. This is a helpful feature because people check their personal email more than work email. To configure, an administrator can go to: Administration > Security > User > User Profile > Customer Tab > Forward Internet Leads To.

The email notification provides detailed information on the lead and allows users to respond to the prospect quickly. However, keep in mind the notification will not go out to the employee until ownership of the prospect has been assigned.

The email notification appears like this:


To respond, employees select ‘Click to respond to the Prospect’ to pull up Contact Management and reply.

Note: When replying, employees should be sure to select the correct prospect in the ‘Related To’ field. This ensures the activity completion is accounted for and potentially stops the clock for OEM leads.


Response Time Report: This monitors the amount of time employees take to respond to new leads. Remember prospective buyer Brooke from our first article? If she submitted a lead and no one called her for two days, do you think she’d still be waiting? No. Odds are she’s buying a car from your competitor who called her back as soon as possible. This report is a way for you and your managers to verify prospects are followed up with quickly. To access the report, select ‘Response Time Report’ on the Reports tab.

Use the report to review:

  • Average response time by salesperson or BDC employee, business unit, store, source, or source group.
  • Number and percentage of leads that received responses within 24 hours.
  • Number and percentage of leads that received responses within the time ranges defined for the report.

Response time is calculated from the date and time the lead is received to the time an activity is completed. In addition to the response time information, detailed client and prospect information displays for each lead on the report.


Note: Any activity completed for the lead qualifies as a response to the lead. This includes Email Message, Phone Call, Direct Mail, Appointment, and To-Do. A system-generated response does not count as a response to the lead, including auto-response email messages, appointment confirmations, or text messages.

On the report, response time can be divided into five time ranges to identify the number of leads that received responses within a certain amount of time. For example, you could enter ‘1’ in the Response Time Frame 1 From field and ‘6’ in the Response Time Frame 1 To field. Then, you can request the report to view the number of leads that received responses between one and six hours after a prospect was created for that lead. Entries are automatically made in the Response Time Frame fields, but can be changed.


Note: For leads received during defined business hours, the response time starts running immediately. For leads received outside of business hours, the time starts when the next day’s business hours begin. Business hours are defined in the Business Unit Profile – Basic tab in the Administration application. Automatic responses are not included in response time calculation.

To view the report, enter report criteria and select ‘View.’ The Report Request Criteria section is hidden and the report details display at the bottom of the screen.

Internet Response Time Module: From the Dashboard, you can view the rate of responses for leads received from the internet. The module displays the total number of leads received, the number of leads that received a response within 12 hours, and the average response time.

To access the Internet Response Time module, first make sure the module has been added to the Dashboard with the Add Dashboard Module window. The module will display the most recent results matching the entered criteria.


The criterion that displays is customizable. To do this, select ‘Configure’ to display the Customization – Internet Response Time window. For example, this window could be used to limit prospect categories to display only results for sales prospects. This window could also be used to remove the module from the Dashboard.

Check back for my final article in this series: Sending (and Delivering!) Emails with Contact Management.

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Vice President, Customer Support

Dave Bates is Vice President of Customer Support at Reynolds and Reynolds. In his over 30 year tenure he has held roles at the company in marketing and customer support. Dave and his wife Carolyn enjoy golf, hockey, and spending time with their three children.

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