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Digitization is a pervasive force that is transforming every industry. Even in the automotive industry, where in-person interactions are still crucial, the buying experience is becoming increasingly digital.

It’s no overstatement to say the pandemic changed the face of commerce. As businesses got creative, customers tried purchase methods that were entirely new to them. Now, many are accustomed to a wide array of these commerce innovations.

Source: State of the Connected Customer, Fifth Edition, Salesforce

Car dealerships already use lead management systems to track their customers’ activities. How does this apply to the automotive customer journey? Let’s take a closer look.

The stages of the customer journey and how does LMS respond to them


The process begins with a spark: a realization that a customer needs a new vehicle. This could be the result of an online advertisement, a conversation with a friend, or even a car event where a refined presentation leaves one daydreaming about cruising the highway in style.

These early moments, where awareness is sparked, are crucial. They’re the first steps in the automotive adventure. But how can brands ensure they catch these moments? 

  • By tracking ad impressions and clicks, brands get insights into what catches the eye of potential customers. 
  • Search volumes are another goldmine for brands. LMS allows them to understand what models or features people are searching for, giving them a competitive edge to tailor their offerings to meet these demands. Imagine knowing exactly what your customers want before they even set foot in a showroom!
  • LMS excels at social engagement. It listens to the chatter across social platforms, capturing brand mentions and conversations about cars. This real-time feedback loop empowers brands to engage with potential customers authentically, addressing their questions and fueling their excitement.


The consideration stage is where you can really shine, nurturing leads into loyal customers. It’s time to showcase your inventory and expertise!

Think of LMS as your digital compass, guiding you through the vast landscape of data to make smart, strategic moves. With LMS, you can measure the pulse of your online presence:

  • Keep tabs on overall website and mobile app traffic to gauge interest and engagement. 
  • Dive into channel-specific traffic to pinpoint where your audience is spending their time online.
  • Identify new vs. returning visitors to tailor your marketing efforts.
  • Attract fresh prospects while keeping your existing customers engaged. 
  • Keep a close watch on market share to stay ahead of the competition and adapt your strategies as needed.

There is more. LMS lets you monitor key metrics like email open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs. These insights will empower you to refine your approaches, ensuring you’re making the most of every opportunity.


The exciting purchase stage is here, where dreams become reality and keys are handed over to eager new owners. At this pivotal moment, all the magic happens, and it’s crucial to make the buying process as smooth and enjoyable as possible for your customers.

  • Customized car configuration is where it all begins. LMS allows customers to tailor their dream ride with ease, exploring different features and options to create a car that truly reflects their style and needs.
  • Optimized financing makes it easier for customers to find a payment plan that fits their budget. LMS offers insights and tools to present financing options clearly and transparently.
  • Integrated insurance adds convenience to the purchase process. With LMS, you can seamlessly integrate insurance offerings, allowing customers to explore and select coverage options that suit their needs.
  • Safe contract signing builds trust and ensures a secure transaction. LMS facilitates digital contract preparation and signing, offering a hassle-free experience that respects both time and safety protocols.
  • Digitalization of the contracts eliminates paperwork and accelerates the process. LMS streamlines document handling, allowing customers to review and sign contracts digitally, whether in-person or remotely.


The advocacy stage is where your hard work pays off in the form of delighted customers singing your praises. Your customers become your brand ambassadors, sharing their positive experiences and influencing others to join the automotive journey with you.

You can encourage and harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing with insights and tools from the LMS:

  • Keep an eye on how often customers share your content across social media platforms. Whether it’s showcasing their new ride or praising your exceptional service, these shares are gold nuggets of endorsement.
  • Track a Net Promoter Score. A high NPS indicates strong advocacy, with customers likely to recommend your brand to friends and family. LMS helps you measure this sentiment and refine your strategies to boost advocacy even further.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to refer friends and family by offering incentives or referral programs. Positive customer reviews can also be leveraged in marketing campaigns to build trust and credibility.
  • Partner with influencers who align with your brand values to create buzz and inspire their followers to check out your offer.

LMS will help you build a community of brand advocates who will help you reach new heights.

Creating Customer Experiences with LMS Capabilities

Think of the customer journey in the automotive world like a road trip with different stops along the way. First, there’s the awareness stage where people realize they need a new car. Then comes the consideration stage, where they start exploring different brands and models. Next up is the purchase stage where they decide on the perfect vehicle. Finally, there’s the advocacy stage where happy car owners become ambassadors for their chosen brand.

Now, where does LMS fit into this automotive journey? It provides helpful info about car features and maintenance right when people need it, helps them compare different models, makes the buying process smooth, and keeps customers engaged with tips and updates. 

With LMS, automotive businesses can navigate the customer journey with ease, ensuring a smooth ride from start to finish.

Case Study

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Marketing automation
at the University

Read the case study