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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development

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Are You Logging All of Your Customers in the CRM?

In a perfect world on the dealer level, each customer that visits the dealership would be logged into the CRM. However, we know that this is not the case,  and there are certain instances in which the managers and sales consultants deliberately do not log the customer into the showroom. As for why they choose not to log the customer in the showroom could be for a myriad of reasons. Everything to their excuse of “they were just looking” - “bad credit” - “wanted to pay $9,750 for a $12,000 car” to name a few. That said, here are some of the top things to consider when keeping tracking of your dealerships daily showroom log in the CRM.

Not Every Customer is Logged Into the Showroom. Where is the Sales Manager? The Customer is Not Just Visiting the Dealership for the Sake of it.

It is common practice on the dealer level to have the manager “TO” (turn over) the customer before they leave the store; in many cases, it is mandatory for the manager to do so. However, we all know that not all managers will turn over the customer or in some cases the dealerships do not log the customer in the CRM at all. This is a problem. A problem that has to be looked into. Otherwise, you are letting what could be a sale walk right out the door. This is especially true for those sales consultants who are new to the industry.

For example, a new sales consultant speaking with their sales manager might say:

Sales Consultant:  “The customer said they were just looking, and then left”

Sales Manager:  “Did you get their contact information?”

Sales Consultant:  “No, they did not want to provide that.”

Sales Manager:  “Okay, don’t add them to the CRM”

If you think that does not happen, think again. It happens far more than you would want to admit. When is the last time you noticed a sales consultant not logging a customer into the CRM? What if anything did you do about it? This issue can be avoided for the most part if there is a strong manager presence on the floor along with proper, quality training. That is the sales consultant being comfortable with gathering the information needed to assist the customer. Knowing that the better their needs analysis is, the better chance they have of closing the sale! However, that cannot happen if the customer leaves the dealership, and we do not have their contact information.

If Your Managers Allow this and Participate the More Important Question is WHY?

I once worked with a sales manager who was always so proud of his closing rates on the desklog. But no sooner than he’d spit out his numbers, he admitted he did not log in the two customers from yesterday. As for why he did not log them into the system the excuses were (as mentioned above) “they were just looking. They came in thirty minutes before close.” - “they have no credit and cannot purchase” - this could very well be the case. But regardless of why it is they are visiting there is no excuse not to log them into the CRM. This scenario is like the BDC Manager saying “well we cannot get ahold of John Doe. So we are not going to count that against our closing rate,” which means the closing rate magically increased by 2-3% - it does not add up, no? This all can be avoided however if the culture shifts. That is understanding that not all customers will purchase a vehicle. In fact, dealers usually close only half of the customers they work with, which could be even lower if they logged all of their customers in the CRM!

This is also  a multifaceted issue. Wherein, sure your sales consultant can easily add both a first and last name into the CRM. But if they fail to get their phone number or email the customer profile is useless. The first step is your sales manager spending time with the sales consultant inquiring into why they did not gather the information? The more practice your sales consultant has in gathering the information, the stronger their sales will be! The second thing to review is your policy with your management team. Making sure that your managers are not playing games with the numbers by not logging them into the CRM. Lastly, if you are paying a bonus for the managers on their closing rate percentage - this too could cause for them to “forget” to log that customer into the CRM. Where it completely takes away the purpose of the competition in the first place.

Bottom Line: Logging your customers into the CRM is crucial. The dealer has spent thousands of dollars to inquire the customer. And while you will not sell every customer that walks through the door, you will have enough data to review possible break-points. Is it their demo? Is it the way they present numbers? Is it their sale process? to name a few examples. By being more involved and making sure the customer is loaded into the CRM you will see an increase in sales.

What policy or training do you have in place to make sure this does not occur? Is this an issue you face on the dealer level?


Chris K Leslie

Seems like everyone easily forgets that we don’t have a database if we don’t have people in there to talk to. 

Derrick Woolfson

Agreed! That and the amount of incorrect information that is the CRM. This was a huge issue in my last group; they used the CRM for deal packets, but because the sales consultants did not put the correct information in the CRM it led to a few instances of doing paperwork on the wrong unit, or the wrong mileage as the CRM was not updated. 

Marie Nies

Wow Derrick, that's unbelievable. I always wondered how that happens, mystery solved. 

R. J. James

Way back in 2004, I worked with a Dealer who "REALLY Got It!!!"  After spending thousands of dollars on a new CRM, he insisted that EVERY Customer that comes on the Lot ry Friday Sales Meeting he would REINFORCE the "Log Them Policy" with this statement... "If they come on this lot, breath, and can fog-up a mirror they better be in the CRM or YOUR ass will be leaving the lot with them!!!" 

At one Friday Sales Meeting, he fired a New Car Sales Manager and a Sales Consultant to prove his point.  The rest of the Team got the message!

Derrick Woolfson

@Marie, for sure - that is why I am always skeptical of what the actual closing rate averages are for walk-in traffic. That and there is still the issue of sales consultants and sales managers not checking the appointment into the showroom. 

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