How should I pitch a CRM to the bosses?

Steve M
posting from Canada! I posted once here before asking for something particular and a lot of the responses were : your CRM should be doing that in the first place. I've come to see that I don't believe we have a dedicated CRM and I think we use our DMS for that sort of thing. Unless I am getting the definition of DMS confused? Its used to enter the clients information and keep adding notes and track of them, to close out deals, for parts and service, for accounting and payroll and I'm sure goes farther than that. As for client relations, the DMS can remind us when we sit at the computer that we should do our 3 day follow up, etc, and this is what BDC uses as well. Our DMS will not send any automated messages or anything of that nature. It does not incorporate with our emails at all. The only thing automated as far as clients go, is the set 3 or 5 or 7 day follow up reminder when you open your schedule. I've been looking into CRM's recently like DriveCentric among others and they seem to have great functionality like mobile applications and even customer behaviour tracking, etc. I am the Head of the Internet sales at our store and its a long time running family business store. My question is, how do I pitch just the idea alone to the upper management here to incorporate a CRM? What should I say are the uses and benefits? How it will incorporate with our DMS? How should I get them interested in having me look into a few CRMs to have them demo'd to see what they'll like? How much worth do they have over the DMS alone?
Clint Jones
What I would do is contact your DMS provider, and see if you already have a CRM that nobody knows about or nobody has taken the time to implement. The number one problem with CRM systems is getting everyone to buy into the idea and to use the system. If your dealer is anything like I am, the first thing he/she is going to say is "who is going to be held accountable for making sure this system is utilized"? If you find out that you already have a CRM (even if it is antiquated) and can implement a system in which it gets used, it will be easy for you to get a higher powered system.
Dealer Apex
Without a CRM you are definitely losing customers. How are you tracking customers whether by Internet leads or walk-ins. I started with a customer years back that had no CRM and using there own personal mail. The time they spent using their own email was outrageous. They had gotten a CRM and increased sales by 28%. Where are you leads going when submitted from your web site. They are getting lost. CRM tool gives you many functions, follow up, tracking responses, sending emails, email blasts etc. What happens if you talk to a customer and send them out pricing on a vehicle and you are off the next day and the customer comes in. With a CRM tool a co worker can simply go in and look at what was said to the customer. Also, many customers once they contact you could be 30-60 days out from purchasing a car, how are they being followed up on? What happens when you have a customer on a specific car not buying yet and new special incentives come out, you can be alerted. Without a CRM you are losing 25-30% of business because the customers are not tracked. If Managers ask who should be accountable for following up on a customer tell them the look in the mirror. They are called Managers for a reason, they are responsible for sales. There needs to be a process put in the dealer for internet and as well as floor traffic and all sales staff needs to be accountable. One more thought is a salesperson is working with a customer and is close to a deal, What happens if that sales person gets fired or leaves What happens with the customer? Everything should be tracked so that upper Management can see what's working and what's not. My suggestion would be to set appointments with CRM companies and let them sit it on, if that don't open their eyes then they don't cars about increasing sales. Whichever CRM tool you are looking at makes sure it works with your DMS Good Luck
Steve M
@DealerApex I am in charge of the leads and I am tracking all the sources, responses, etc. As for customers, like I mentioned our DMS has a couple of CRM functionality such as entering customers and sales people adding notes to them and scheduling to be reminded in X number days to call them back. Then when a second salesperson looks up that customer the next day, they will see the previous notes on them. Im not sure if I didnt fully explain our DMS but like I said it is able to have customers with notes from sales people and that sort of thing. When I am looking at actual CRM clients online, It seems that everyone's functionality is much higher than the DMS/CRM that we're using.
Dealer Apex
Most DMS system are for accounting purposes. CRM systems are made for Customer tracking and organizing prospects, sending emails, automatic email generation, etc. Sounds like the upper management is trying to incorporate DMS and CRM to save $$$. You could be much more efficient with a tool that is designed for your specific job duties. You might be able to go online for a free source CRM tool although would not work as well as popular CRMs. Probably would not hook up with your DMS as well. Good Luck!!
Steve M
See, our "crm" does not send emails or have any automatic email generation. What are some other features that are important for CRM to have? And when you mention "tracking customers" what do you mean by that?

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