Within the automotive marketplace, the data-centric importance of a dealership has come to the forefront. One of the most essential tools in driving this type of dealership, is its utilization of a CRM. The CRM is a tool meant to organize, track, and store all dealership data to increase the overall dealerships efficiency. No matter the size of the store, nor its number of stores in a group, implementing a properly data-centric CRM can increase productivity monumentally, when used efficiently. To ensure the effectiveness of the CRM, however, a dealership must first maintain the strategy of implementing a CRM which provides a consistent, accurate, and focused module for its users.
The largest hurdle in many dealerships gaining the efficiency needed in a data-centric CRM, is the dealership itself. All personnel must adhere to a different methodology when focusing on the data portions of customer management. When done correctly, the entire dealership will benefit dramatically. There are four specific means to a more efficient CRM; reviewing these mechanisms will help dealers improve the current CRM, or begin the process of finding one which provides these necessary benefits.
Utilizing a Lead Scoring System. When using a CRM, one focused area to look for is a Lead Scoring System. This function is essential in the successful communication between sales personnel and the customer. Scoring leads as they progress through the system, and using data algorithms to do so, allows the best leads to rise to the top of the queue. A lead score will provide the representative the opportunity to view how frequently the consumer has engaged. As well as the time of day and type of contact method should be used for a more successful communication. When leads are placed in a scoring system, sales personnel spend less time with an aimlessly directed route, which in the end will provide a greater fluidity to lead conversion.
Providing Lead Social Data. Social media is a Goliath of information on the consumer, yet many dealerships do not, or cannot, utilize the information that is laid forth. More than 50% of consumers interact with brands through a social media platform. While a strong social media strategy is an enormous importance for ALL dealerships, in this specific facet, it is the gathering of information on social media which takes precedence. The dealership’s CRM needs to encompass the ability to pull this information from the consumer, from beginning to end of the deal. Because, when a CRM keeps an updated social profile on the consumer, a consumer relationship is forged, and through the CRM, it is handed off to the salesperson.
One Location For Updating Lead Data. Within the dealership’s CRM, one function that is often overlooked, is that of a centrally located updating system. When sales personnel update system information such as notes, preferred phone numbers, etc., it should not matter what device or platform it is done on. When shopping for a CRM, having the ability to have information sync across all platforms is a must-have. This ideology seems straightforward, however, too many still don’t operate with this mentality. Causing personnel to have mixed notations throughout multiple access points to their CRM.
Using Intelligent Dashboards & Smart Analysis. In many CRM’s and other dealership tools, personnel are provided with predefined reports and analytics. There may have been a time where this was suitable, but in such a data-driven dealership marketplace, it cannot exist. A CRM must encompass a truly customizable dashboard, with a smart and intelligently designed reporting system. When individual sales representatives have individually customized tools, each representative can utilize the portions that work best for each; one size does not fit all. In addition, this type of advanced tool is not just for the sales side of the dealership, but in fact a management tool as well. With customizable reporting, management can utilize this not just as a motivational tool, but also to find the less successful employees, easier.
Between scoring leads, using social media, centrally located systems, with intelligence and AI, there are specific functions a CRM should perform and encompass. When a dealership utilizes this format and type of advanced system, if used correctly, the benefits can be exponentially profitable.
Author: Aubrey Hankins
Aubrey Hankins serves as Social Media Marketing Director for CRMSuite, a software company providing dealerships with industry leading, technologically advanced CRM Software. With almost 10 years of marketing and social media experience, he brings a wealth of informative automotive discussion and debate, all in order to help dealers sell more cars.