Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development Manager

Exclusive Blog Posts

VOI vs ROI

VOI vs ROI

We all seek growth, personally and professionally. What I’ve come to understand is that growth in a business isn’t measured by ROI alone. …

Develop Your Next-Gen Leadership from Service Employees

Develop Your Next-Gen Leadership from Service Employees

Service employees work hard, really hard. The service department is a baptism-by-fire style of teaching, especially in busy domestic dealers where there is…

4 Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing

4 Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing

Marketing is becoming increasingly complex, with the proliferation of ‘Big Data,” predictive analytics and new mobile and digital channels. To …

Digital Finance SOS – Is Digital Retailing the Answer? (Part 4)

Digital Finance SOS – Is Digital Retailing the Answer? (Part 4)

Part Four: Summary - Digital Retailing, Done Right, is the Answer! The automotive reality in today’s era of ecommerce is that Digital Retailing ha…

Why New Doesn't Always Mean Better for Auto Industry Marketers

Why New Doesn't Always Mean Better for Auto Industry Marketers

Global advertising spend is expected to exceed half a trillion dollars for the fourth year in a row, and American brands are once again fueling t…

Top Things to Consider When Implementing A New CRM

The idea of implementing a new CRM on the dealer level can seem intimidating, and rightfully so! There is an incredible amount of work involved when implementing a CRM everything from user experience to whether or not your DMS works with the CRM. Not to mention, there are endless other tasks to consider; workflows, marketing, employee profiles, DMS connection, lead integrations, and lastly vendor integrations. The list goes on, which means it can make one's head spin. To avoid confusion, chaos, and disappointment, there are a few key guidelines to consider when making a CRM switch!

Why are you wanting to switch CRM’s? Not Making A Move Because it Seems to Complicated or There is too Much Involved is Not the Right Answer.

Knowing all of what is involved in switching CRM’s it is essential first to ask yourself “why am I switching CRM’s? Is it reporting, workflow management, campaigns, customizations, etc.? As you are asking yourself those questions, it is also important to review the current CRM with your account manager. It is no secret that the average dealer uses less than thirty percent of its CRM’s features. That said, before making a switch take the time to sit down with your current account manager and review your concerns or anything you would like to do within the CRM. In doing so, you could potentially still use the CRM versus spending thousands of dollars to switch CRM’s and take the risk that the new CRM might not be everything that you had hoped for when making a move!

Have a Project Manager! Avoid Having too Many People Managing the Project Which Can Lead to Confusion!

While it might sound like a great idea to have everyone involved in implementing the CRM, it might not be best. Having too many people managing the CRM implementation can easily cause confusion, which can lead to delays as there could be a breakdown in communication between the CRM and the dealership. To avoid this potential issue it is best to have a primary point of contact. The point of contact on the dealer level will be sure to update everyone as to the status of the CRM. As for ensuring everyone has a chance to share or discuss their ideas regarding the implementation, you can easily schedule weekly meetings to discuss updates, concerns or suggestions. In doing so, it helps to remove the chances of there being a breakdown in communication which can lead to unnecessary delays.

Vendor Integration. Check and Verify If Your Current Vendors Can Integrate With the CRM

Integrating vendors in the CRM is not an easy task; it can be easy to overlook one or two integrations such as third-party leads or the trade-in tool. Where in many cases, the vendor's tools might not always work 100% with the new CRM. Making it that much harder to manage the data with each tool as it is housed with each vendor individually. That said, before deciding to switch CRM's take the time to make sure that all of your vendors will work with the new CRM. It is also important to list out each one of the vendors you use, and what the current status is of its integration. This way you can keep track of the vendor making sure that nothing is overlooked. The other thing you ought to consider when reviewing the vendor integration is whether or not you need all of the vendors. If you have one or more services that have the same core functions you might not need all of the services. In reviewing the vendors, you can easily save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month!


End Goal. Have a Clear Vision with Realistic Expectations. Launching the CRM at the Time of Their Visit Does Not Always Work. Have A Soft Launch Ahead of Time!

In a perfect world, we would have launched the CRM yesterday. But the truth is there is a lot involved when it comes to implementing a new CRM. So before you implement a new CRM take the time to set a realistic timeline. That is reviewing the time it will take to implement the CRM, and how long it will take to ensure that all of the vendors are integrated correctly. As there is nothing worse than using a CRM that does not work the way it was intended. Not to mention, if the CRM is not set up correctly then it can take that much more work to ensure that all of the users use the CRM.

One of the best ways to avoid this issue is by working with the CRM company to soft launch the CRM with specific people. In doing so, your BDC Manager and Sales Managers can take the time to review the CRM that is everything from how to add customers, customer profiles, workflows, templates, marketing, click to call (for those with that feature), quoting, etc. If your BDC Manager and Sales Manager are learning the CRM at the same time as your sales consultants, it can create a lot of frustration and confusion as the sales consultants will be looking to them for assistance when using the CRM.

Bottom Line: a CRM is as only good as the data entered into it! However, for those that do have good data in the CRM, it can be incredibly useful. That is organizing the data in a way that translates and makes sense for the end user. Not to mention, there are CRM’s on today's market that have multiple tools built into their platform whether that is chat, phone call tracking, etc. Having all of the features under one rooftop can not only save money, but make the data more useful knowing that when your managers have to use multiple platforms to review and analyze data the less likely they are going to use the tool. Lastly, before making a switch in CRM’s take the time to review your current platform. Ask yourself the tough questions: does the CRM have the reporting, vendor integration, and technology needed to sell more cars? If you do have these questions for your current CRM take the time to speak with your account manager; most dealers do not use more than 30% of their CRM’s features! By taking the time to review your current CRM’s features it can save you thousands of dollars and the headache of switching CRM’s however if your CRM is not able to do the things you need then do not wait. Make the move as a new more powerful CRM can and will make a big difference!

How often do you have the CRM conversation? Have you taken the time to speak and work with your CRM account manager?

 

Bart Wilson

Derrick,

Love love love the idea of a project manager!  In your experience, who at the dealership is the best person to own that role?

Derrick Woolfson

From my experience, it is most often the BDC Manager. I say that because having been in that role, we used it the most. The BDC Manager is also the one who mostly deals with the vendors having already built a relationship with their respective account manager. I have found that when others take on the role they still came back to the BDC Manager (me, ha-ha) to get the job done. 

Bart Wilson

That be more because you'd do it and less because of the job role.

How did you keep track of all of the activities that needed to be completed - on both sides?

R. J. James

Derrick... Fine job on outlining why and how a dealership might change their CRM.

Derrick Woolfson

@Bart, very true. We used Google GSuite, and created a 'global' process chart. It allowed me to assigned 'tasks' to anyone who had access to the sheet. Once they replied I got an alert and was able to update the process chart. It was extremely helpful to have it in real-time vs. having to use an excel doc, which is not live nor is more than one user able to edit the doc at the same time. The other neat feature is that you're able to view who is currently in the document as well as a full log as to what changes were made. GSuite is a game changer for sure! 

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now