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The problem with most software in the automotive industry is the lack of integration between products. Products that if used together, could do very intelligent things.
Dealers purchase what I call “singular” solutions from vendors that only do one thing and doesn't integrate with anything else.
I hear it from managers and salespeople all the time. “We have all these different passwords to get into different systems just so we can sell a car. Don’t get me wrong, we need all of these systems, we just wish it could be easier. We login to the CRM to add a customer, than login to our trade appraisal system, then login to another system to desk a deal, then another to pull credit, it just doesn’t stop.”
Think about your website and CRM for a second. Every dealer wants the pictures of their salespeople and managers on their website. Well, most dealers put those pictures in their CRM to email in the signature of their emails.
Wouldn't it be nice to add salespeople to your CRM and have them instantly show up on your website? What is one of the first things you do when you hire a new salesperson? Give them a login to the CRM so they can start adding customers. Wouldn’t it be nice if they would then show up on the website as soon as you did that? And what is one of the first things you do when a salesperson leaves? Transfer the customer and take them out of the CRM. Wouldn’t it be great if once you did that, they didn’t show up on your website?
Now you could hire and fire people and your website is always up to date. I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen dealer websites with names and phone numbers on them of people who don't work there anymore...
Are you using a separate ILM and CRM system?
What happens when your showroom lead goes home and submits an Internet lead? What happens when your Internet lead decides to drive up to the lot without scheduling an appointment? Are your salespeople always fighting over skating? If you were using one good system, the Internet and showroom salespeople could be guarded from skating each other.
Don't even get me started on how much harder it is to do proper reporting and management across separate ILM/CRM systems.
Let's think about your inventory integration
Do you have all the pictures, vehicle options, and comments for your vehicles in your CRM? Sure would make it easier to sell and email vehicle details to your customers.
If your inventory management system was integrated with your CRM and website, you could know how many leads and website hits you've received on every vehicle in inventory.
OK, so maybe you’re not getting a lot of interest on a specific vehicle?
Well, if the same system had an integrated market pricing tool, you could quickly see how your price compares to vehicles exactly like yours available for sale in your area. You could also book out your vehicle with NADA, KBB, or Black book. You could quickly fix the pricing problem.
Think about that for a second... Instantly you could jump from seeing the vehicle isn't getting any interest to fixing the problem in the same program.
Here are some questions to think about
1. What other unique functionality could you gain by having more integrated solutions?
2. How much easier would your life be if you had fewer vendors to deal with?
3. How much money could you save by having fewer vendors to deal with?
Chief Technical Officer