A CRM can be the most complex and instrumental part in the success of the dealership, but too many are either using the WRONG CRM and/or simply not utilizing it properly. Using a CRM properly can benefit the dealership in more ways than many could imagine. A CRM can streamline tasks that are all located in one area, it can improve organization which in turn can boost opportunities/sales, and it also provides a central focus around the customer service side of the dealership. But, whether it be not having the knowledge, laziness, or just using the wrong CRM for that dealership, too many dealers and their staff are losing ground on the competition. Taking a look at how the dealership may be using their CRM incorrectly or incorporating the wrong CRM in general is the first task in improving the dealerships bottom line. Here are 7 functions required for a CRM.
- Integrating, Training, and Support. A Dealership staff that does not know the process to set up in the CRM, will fall flat before they can begin. Certain CRM’s, if used correctly, will have processes set up and built in to better use the CRM to its full potential, and help sales personnel from the very start. The beginning stages of a CRM integration are key in building that solid foundation. If this is set up incorrectly, chances are you have the wrong setup or the wrong CRM entirely. In addition, some CRM companies stop at the sale, per say, and become lackadaisical in supporting the foundation. Finding a CRM company that supports the dealership from beginning integration, training consistently, and constant support available, are the keys to success.
- Advanced Software & Technology. 2016 technology is not the same as 2015, 2014, or 2013 technology. To believe this is ludicrous. CRM software that is outdated not only increases the chances of mistakes occurring, it also limits the dealership from accessing the opportunities that come with updated technology. For instance, does every dealership have the opportunity to access their CRM in app form? No. Not even close. Sitting at the desk and on a desktop should NEVER be the only point of access for a CRM. If the dealership has no app form for its CRM, it’s imperative to make a switch; your staff will thank you.
- Separate Users For Individuals & Managers. A dealership that has one admin level or one type of access account setup, is greatly hindering the success of its sales personnel. Having the ability to have separate sales user accounts provides each sales rep the opportunity to work both individually but also in tandem with the managers. By having it set up independently it also provides management to oversee which salesperson is succeeding vs. those who are struggling. Also, having the management level access is key for the dealerships bottom line. Imagine having an all-seeing view of every facet of the dealership sales and its staff. No matter how many rooftops, having management level access provides the high-level personnel with the ability to manage better, and create a more successful team of representatives to sell more cars.
- Advanced Desking Tool Built In. Having the correct Desking Tool for the dealership, built into your CRM, is paramount. Because when penciling deals, speed does matter. Going back to the technology aspect, CRM’s must have current technology that provides up to date Rates & Residuals information. Having this ability speeds up the negotiation process, improves CSI, and helps the dealership hold gross.
- Contact Methods, Social Media, and “Best” Customers. A CRM MUST provide these three advantages to the dealership personnel. Having a system set up that properly uses technology & algorithms for best contact methods, including the best time of day, day of week, etc., to make contact, is crucial in creating a sustainable relationship with the consumer. The use of social media, which is becoming the new norm in selling methods, must be integrated into the CRM and not as a side thought. More & more people are communicating through social media, especially millennials, and these changes must be met like for like to help sales personnel engage more intelligently with the customer. Not to be forgotten, is the ability to have a focus on the “best” customer. A CRM is intelligent software, one that can use Artificial Intelligence, at least if done properly it is meant to be, and it must have the ability to engage which consumers are better to call than others. Wasting time on one customer, when in fact you should be contacting a separate customer, saves time, it saves money, and it saves heartaches.
- Equity Mining. One of the most important opportunities with a modern CRM is the ability to mine equity. This shouldn’t be a difficult process, nor should it be limited. Equity mining through the CRM can create opportunities otherwise sidelined. Using a system that relies on account orders, geographical location, number of accidents, number of owners, and others can create an actual cash value. Also one where the customer’s payment should truly be at. This done right should be done through the software and not specifically through a third party vendor. When using an outside source, the numbers can be skewed, and that gap in knowledge creates a void that will affect the future sale.
- Sales & Service Working Together. Many sales departments do not engage in efforts to communicate with service customers. This is a terrific opportunity to interact with a customer, and if using the CRM correctly it can be beneficial for future sales. If the dealership CRM doesn’t have the capability to interact with both service and sales departments, a huge percentage of service opportunities are walking into a dealership with no engagement. However, with the right CRM, sales and service can live side by side and in doing so, can be utilized to always continue the relationship with the customer. With that relationship continued, future car purchases are more likely for that specific dealership.
Long story short, if you can’t check all of these boxes, it may be time to go shopping.
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.