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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development Manager

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Top Reasons to Rethink the Way You Use Your CRM Reporting

There is such a thing as analysis paralysis. The idea that we become numb when reviewing the various reports our CRM’s have to offer, and when we do review the reports - they do not always tell us everything we need to know. Here are some of the top things to consider when reviewing CRM reports, and how to use them when managing your teams effectively! 

Not All Reports Are Created Equal. How to Choose Reports for Your Dealership. 

More often than not, CRM’s have preset reporting which may or may not provide you what you are looking for. For example, let's say you want to review the total number of quotes out for the month, but you also want to see if the customer also came into the showroom and or had an appointment; this is often not something that can be reviewed in one report — making it that much more challenging to review the data. The other issue with a lot of CRM reports is that it does not enable you to drill down on the data provided in the report, which means that you have to do a lot of copying and pasting to review the data.

How Valuable Are Report Subscriptions? 

Each morning you get the same report emailed to you, maybe it is 8 AM? The issue with using reports in this manner is that in the morning - by the time you have reviewed the report - the data could have already been updated. So by bringing the managers into the room and banging them up on the reports might not be the best idea, and you still have to review the items on the CRM. 

Instead of this approach, it is perhaps best to review the key metrics that you are tracking, for example, instead of running a quote report subscription. Take the time on Mondays (or whatever day you have your meeting), and print out the current quote statistics. This way it gives your managers the time to go in and update the CRM from the weekend. As there might be missing quotes, etc. 

What Should You Report On? 

This is a question in which you will get a different answer from every dealership. Everything to text reports, call reports, email reports, campaign reports, quote reports, etc. All of which can be helpful; however, to make the most out of the meetings it is also just as important to not get to detailed into the day-to-day, but instead, look at the bigger picture. That is first reviewing how many sales you have for the month to date vs. the quotes that are still pending. In doing so, you have a better sense of what your current sales rate is vs. looking at calls, emails, and texts. 

The other reports such as email, call, text and campaign reports are best suited for your sales managers to review as they are managing their respective teams. Besides, merely looking at a call report does not and will not indicate the sole reason your sales are not where they need to be. There are far more indicators to review. One example is your marketing efforts. The idea that if your GM has cut the marketing budget because s/he wants to save money can have a negative impact on your sales numbers. You cannot hold your sales managers accountable for slower sales if you are not marketing to prospective customers, but that is another topic to discuss. 

When reviewing the marketing reports, however - it is important to note how many phone calls you have received for the month. In doing so, you can see what the potential opportunties are; however when reviewing the inbound phone call reports it is important to take into consideration that the numbers might not be accurate. For example, in my last auto group, if the customer called in multiple times - it counted as a new call each time according to the GM - which meant that the closing rate was much lower than what it actually should have been. This also means that more time was wasted reviewing the call logs than trying to increase sales. 
Bottom Line: reviewing reports is essential, but not all reports are created equal. Rather, it is more important to look at the bigger picture; that is everything from how many quotes are out vs. sold, phone calls, and appointments set. By spending time on the total sales, it enables your management team to focus on what is important - having reviewed all facets with regards to the sale - versus several reports that do not offer the full picture. 

How do you handle reporting for your store? Do you have weekly meetings on a few reports or do you focus on the bigger picture? 

Mark Rask

i fall in to this trap so often 

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