CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
Read on for The Best CRM in the Business at a dealership near you!
Bob met new customers on the lot, and he brought them inside the comfort of the showroom and sat them down for a friendly discussion about the car they wanted. Reaching the right point in the conversation, Bob logged Mr. and Mrs. Smith into the dealership’s CRM, including their cell phones and email addresses.
Up in the tower, Bob’s manager Fred noted the showroom visit as it popped up in his CRM screen, and he periodically kept his eye on Bob’s progress there. Bob also came to the tower to tell Fred some information about the Smith’s vehicle needs, and Fred notated the progress towards the sale inside the dealership’s CRM, all while giving Bob some tips on how to proceed. Which Fred also noted inside the CRM.
At another desk, salesperson Sue is making calls to her prospects and unsold clients, prompted by the CRM on her computer screen. Sue notates each call result and appointment set, and also follows up with calls and cards for anniversaries and birthdays this month for her existing clients. As well, social media interactions with her potential clients and sold customers are logged by Sue and tracked inside the CRM to provide an opportunity path for even more sales. CSI for her clients is through the roof!
The Internet Department is a humming spot at the dealership, full of activity by salespeople, with inbound leads, inbound and outbound emails, outbound and inbound calls, all zipping through but being tracked in the CRM. And all according to follow-up schedules in place inside the CRM that strongly help gather Internet sales to the dealership in a coordinated fashion. Appointments, calls, leads, texts, social media, sales, and unsolds are all logged by the salespeople inside the CRM, moving Internet interactions towards more sales and better online reviews and CSI—and these also lead to more sales, all tracked inside the CRM.
Back on the showroom, Bob and the Smith’s have started their test drive right after Bob left the keys for the Smith’s current car with Fred so he could arrange a trade evaluation. Bob noted the test drive in the CRM, and Fred also follows through with noting the trade evaluation inside the CRM. Everything about the Smith’s progress towards a purchase is available inside the CRM to help sell a vehicle, and later on in the day they will happily buy on a deal penciled with help from the CRM.
Across the dealership, many other salespeople like Sue and Bob proceed through their day, as well, logging customer visits, interacting with customers via leads, emails, calls, text, and social media. All these events are logged by the salespeople and their management team (like Fred) inside the CRM.
Prospects visit the dealership, some buy, some don’t; inside the sales team, calls are made, leads are answered, and some of their prospects visit and some don’t; however, every prospect and sold customer has a follow-up schedule in the CRM, and the salespeople make every effort at contact and sale. All this effort is logged, monitored, and tracked by the staff inside the CRM.
This all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? What a great dealership! What a great CRM!
Before I reveal what that "something" is, think about this: Technology is a great thing. However, all “CRM” selling effort was once done with paper and pen, and much was lost and wasted, gained and won with that old system. Well, we also once ran an entire coast-to-coast nation with horses and buggies, but now we sell, rent, lease, and use motorized transportation.
For a dealership, if you missed it, this means cars and trucks.
So, we don’t have horses and buggies any more as common transportation, and we also don’t have the pen and paper “CRM” any more that is their technology equivalent. We have a computerized CRM to match the technology of our cars and trucks.
Then why do we treat the CRM like a “horse and buggy”? Why do we ignore and NOT USE our CRM? And, in fact, seem so all in favor of not using it that we instead use ineffective methods so old that they might not need paper but could instead belong on a cave wall??
To be fair, even today the Best CRM isn’t really defined by technology. The Best CRM also isn’t defined by “usability”, which has as many definitions these days as CRMs have users. And the Best CRM isn’t defined by training or education, either. And certainly not by changing to a new CRM every year because That Is Going to Save Your Business Don't You Just Know It.
No. The Best Automotive Retail CRM in the Business For You is simply defined by whether YOU USE THE CRM OR NOT.
That is the revelation you can see in the description of salespeople above. Nothing was said there about technology. Scanners. Built-in Texting. Social Media buttons. Phone system integration. Website tracking. None of that. Nothing was said, either, about usability or training. Education. Field personnel. Support lines. Nothing.
Why? All the technology and services that any CRM company provides for you will actually come together for your success in one way. And one way only.
Because The Best CRM in the Business for you, ever and always, no matter what is...
The CRM that you actually USE.
by Keith Shetterly, VP of AutoLoop Engage Call Center
former eComm Director and Internet Consultant
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! :)