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Bill Phillips

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CRM Decisions and Disasters - Part 3

Now that we’ve covered the problems with CRMs, possible solutions, what to look for in a new one and how to prepare your team, this part will cover getting ready for your launch and making sure it’s properly structured. Let’s get started!


A properly structured launch will make, or break the outcome of how effective the tool is used, along with how much damage in dollar loss is incurred during the change. I will continue to trumpet the fact that no loss of down time or money is needed if it’s done right. Money invested in doing this correctly will result in quicker acceptance and use by the staff.


The following is my general over outlined launch agenda:


  • Maintain current CRM for minimum of 90 days if possible.


  • Data import of only critical working data on active client records (90 days max) (manual updating).


  • Prelaunch meeting with CRM Company for needs assessment and launch agenda formatting.


  • Process diagramming and flowchart development of process. Specific to this tool.


  • Report needs assessment and exclusion of all unneeded reports.


  • Launch with CRM trainers focused on store directed agenda of Data entry proficiency. (1wk in-store).


  • 90 day Minimum focus on proper client data entry into the new CRM (phone, E-com, walk-in) ONLY.


  • Accountability schedule established for assessment of data entry activity and report accuracy.


  • Pre-scrubbed data import of remaining client database from old CRM.


  • Addition of any add-on tools (one at a time) that is of interest to the dealer including; Desking, equity mining, service scheduling, appraisal tools, texting, mobile apps, etc. All should follow a similar format of time training and accountability ingestion to the staff.


As you can clearly see, this process could and will most likely take up to a year to properly install. Yet, CRM vendors will tell you differently. Their information is not reality. However, to be fair to them, ask yourself this question: How many of you would sign up for any CRM if you knew this about their tool? The CRM vendor cannot afford to train you in this way and remain profitable. Subcontract it, hire an internal champion, pay the CRM company, but follow this slow path and you will ensure success, along with a happy staff and vendor when you arrive. Best of all, you are likely to lose very little in sales. In the long run, it is likely you’ll come away with a better understanding of the tool than those that sold it to you.


For any of you who think this sounds like you’re just asking for brain damage. Well, you’re right! But, kidding yourself about it not being this will only cause more of it. The worst person you can lie to about it is yourself!

William Phillips
My thoughts on this Troy Thought you might want to know, I dont have a CRM. Im CRM agnostic. Use them all. The outbound data base marketing should be a bit generic. The car they bought could be mentioned but not the focus. We should be looking for our marketing trend and pieces we send to be about the cycle of purchases the consumer engages in, not the old school trickery of we want to buy your car. Know this is bit vague. Does it help?

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