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Last time, we went over issues with CRMs and why it might be time to change. This time we’ll be going over what to look for in a new one and how to prepare your team for those changes.
The solution is to break down your CRM into workable, solvable groups and then re-launch, re-train and refrain from changing tools again. Changing will fix nothing and it's not a solid business plan. Listed below are examples of areas you can break this down to. Keep in mind it’s not the only format, but only to serve as an example.
Process Control – Is your CRM merely a documentation center for what went right or wrong? Or is it telling you when a process is not followed and when what you want to happen is or isn’t happening? Your staff should be following the CRM process not creating their own and telling you what it is.
Client Data – Are your walk-ups, phone-ups and internet-ups coming in properly? Not duplicating but being organized in a manageable fashion? Is your staff keeping the records documented properly so that you can follow a trail inside any lead that you open? Can you have staff turnover or just life events happen and it not disrupt the selling process to your store, because no one knows anything except the staff having the issue?
Desking Activity – Is the CRM Desking tool exchanging information with your DMS and populating fields properly so that the sales management team doesn’t spend extra time double entering? Does marking it “sold” in your DMS make it sold and in the proper flow inside the CRM for proper follow-up? Does it tell you the amount your potential developed client is spending in other areas of your store? Does it help you understand what kind of client they are, no matter what part of your store they shop in or don’t? Or has your sales management staff simply gone from what they did in your DMS Desking tool to doing it in another spot? If they could tell you the truth about it, would you like what you hear?
Reports – Are the reports functioning properly and are your managers actually using it daily in some minimal form to manage with? Do you conduct accountability meetings using the CRM, as a basis for the stick or carrot you deliver? Or has your CRM vendor thrown 147 reports at you and that if you could find what you want, you couldn’t guarantee it was actually correct? Are there reports that contradict themselves in your CRM?
Inventory – Is your inventory populating correctly into the CRM, so when a deal is desked, or a salesperson is working, they know for sure what they have? Can the staff find the vehicle they want to sell, or a like unit? Are the costs associated with it? Can your staff see what the client sees when they are in the lead?
Equity Mining – Is your CRM correctly finding the lease and finance equity positions as well as the high dollar ROs and bringing it to the attention of the sales staff and management team? Are these opportunities being put into a process that reassigns orphans and creates outbound activity to capture this business, before it goes elsewhere?
I hope that at least some of the above is happening in your CRM, as well as a plan to move towards what isn’t happening and to make it happen. I would obviously suggest a consulting company, or a CRM champion with in your dealership group, or both! There should be a staged plan to utilize your CRM. There must also be someone who is accountable only to the highest level within your organization and untouchable by those using the CRM.
If you’re lucky enough to be considering a CRM change, but have not settled into one yet, or the date of the one you have selected will launch, you are at a critical time. I can’t say this loud enough: CRM companies launch in methods that are advantaged to their tool and time, not your dealership!
This will give you some things to think about. In Part 3 I’ll go over properly structuring launching your new CRM.