Every aspect of the auto industry has changed in the last decade. Inventory, sales, compliance, financing, and even service departments have been turned upside-down. Most importantly, the customer buying journey has changed. That means your toolbox needs to change, too.
Customer relationship management platforms, or CRMs, are absolutely essential in today’s highly competitive dealership industry. But not just any CRM will do. You need to use the right CRM for your dealership. That’s what this guide is all about.
Small and mid-size dealerships, in particular, often struggle with choosing the right CRM. That’s because they don’t think they need one. “I’m too small to use a CRM,” they say, “I can handle it myself.” Are you sure about that?
Here’s the problem: Customers don’t care whether you’re a national dealer group or a small independent. They expect an exceptional sales experience no matter what. And to deliver that experience consistently, you need a CRM.
How does a CRM help you provide a great customer experience? Check out these four essential benefits.
1. Customer Relationship Management Helps Dealerships Generate Leads and Increase Visibility
The marketing landscape is constantly shifting, but one thing’s constant: The more prospects you can reach, the more leads you’ll generate. That’s what CRM does. With a CRM in place, you can get your dealership’s name in front of potential customers more often.
With a modern CRM like DealerOn, you can boost your dealership’s presence anywhere. Built for a mobile-first world, DealerOn integrates seamlessly with your dealership’s website, and its social media and mobile apps are second to none. Customers will find you, and you won’t have to chase them down. This easy automation is a massive time-saver.
Who are those leads? They’re buyers who are in the market for a new car, and ideally a new car from your dealership. Your CRM will help you keep your dealership’s name front-and-center in their consideration set for months before they visit your dealership. That’s why you want this customer touchpoint.
2. Customer Relationship Management Helps Dealerships Remove Sales Brick Walls
Sales is complex. And although CRM software can automate many processes, it can’t remove all the challenges. For example, your CRM can’t ensure that your sales team will always meet your dealerships’ quota for closings. But it can help you get there.
That’s because adding a CRM to your sales process helps sales and service representatives prepare for sales the right way. For example, dealer CRM platforms include sales reports showing what’s working and what’s not. Together, sales, service, and management can review the data and tweak your sales strategy – faster.
If your dealership’s quota is 90 closings, the results from your CRM will help your sales professionals create a 90-closing plan to get there. And everyone will know and track their progress.
3. Customer Relationship Management Helps Dealerships Convert Visitors Into Leads and Buyers
Like it or not, most of your leads don’t convert to buyers. It’s a sign of an inefficient sales process. And CRM’s a big part of the solution.
Built-in lead scorecards in your CRM help you understand which leads are likely to convert, and which ones aren’t. Here’s what that looks like.
In this example, you see that Leads 6 and 7 are your best “go-to” leads, with High Close and High Activity scores. Leads 1 and 2, on the other hand, aren’t worth contacting. With a bit more data, you’d discover that these leads are already customers. They’re not in the market for a new car.
Knowing who to contact is half the battle, but that’s not all your CRM can do. It can put a sales team in front of the most likely people who will buy. Here’s an example of how that might take place:
At some point, leads convert to contacts. And contacts convert to appointments. And appointments convert to offers. And offers convert to sales (and yes, all that happens in your CRM).
CRM can help your dealership close more leads into sales.
4. Customer Relationship Management Helps Dealerships Create a WOW Experience
At the end of the day, the sales process isn’t about closing deals or increasing market share. It’s about creating a WOW experience for buyers. Customer relationship management helps you do this by automating and enhancing your sales process, and by improving your team’s ability to provide a great experience. The result is killer customer satisfaction scores.
With a system like DealerOn, you’ll be able to:
DealerOn brings together CRM, digital marketing, inventory management, and more – all in one complete package. You get the ultimate solution for your dealership’s marketing and sales process — and get to spend more time doing what you love. As you move across your dealership business, you’ll move smarter.
This DealerOn Dealership Marketing System Summary is a very good and concise explanation of today’s sales process using CRMs. If you have any questions, please contact me and I will answer any and all of you questions. I have been using CRMs for over 19 years.
What is the Best CRM for Dealerships?
There are many CRMs that work for dealerships, but few that meet all your needs. DealerOn is the industry’s most powerful CRM. We eliminate the fear of one more software program.
We help you convert visitor into leads. We help you enter offers faster. We help you close more leads into sales. DealerOn is better. We are the best CRM for dealerships. You’ll love using our Cloud-based platform. Here’s why:
1. You don’t have to buy it. You can use it without investing a dime. Try it free today: www.dealeron.com
2. It’s easy. Our platform is easy to set up and manage. Use it with your existing IT.
3. Superior technology. Our platform is modern, responsive, and works on any device. It has a world-class mobile app.
4. A complete solution. Our solution has features that are vital to running your dealership. In addition, we include the most important CRM features.
5. Secure and spam-free. Our platform is secure. Plus, your communications are safe.
6. Faster transactions. Our platform speeds up your sales procedures and reduces errors.
7. Natural language. Our platform is designed to help you get work done as fast as possible. It’s easy to learn and easy to use. It automatically fills in data for you. It remembers every conversation. It’s smart. It will make your salespeople more productive:
8. Sales force automation. Our platform is designed for sales. It automates your processes. It walks your agents through them. It sends you reports. It keeps track of everything.
9. Customer intelligence. Our platform helps you make smarter decisions about what to do next. It helps you deliver a great experience and build loyalty. It helps you make more money.
10. Connection to the world. Our platform connects your dealership with the world, so you can find customers and give them a great experience. It helps you be where your customers are.
11. Best customer experience. We’re happy to say that our CRM product has been selected by the automotive industry to be used by top dealerships, consultants, contract manufacturers, and more.
12. After sales service. We stand by our product. Our after sales service is second to none.
DealerOn is a complete sales force automation platform: CRM + digital marketing + inventory + more. It’s a complete solution that wraps every aspect of your business into one system. End the chaos. Spend more time doing what you love.
DealerOn is a complete solution that for active dealerships that are marketing through car manufacturer and third party digital channels. It’s an online marketing solution that includes; sales management, communications, digital marketing, advertising, inventory management and more.
For a complete measurement of your online marketing success, top dealerships and consultants trust DealerOn, the CRM for car dealers, to help drive more leads, convert leads into active clients, and grow their business. Try it free today: www.dealeron.com
28% of automotive leads on DealerOn are the highest value leads that result in sales. 7.2 months of sales are kept on DealerOn monthly that were not previously tracked.
With a growing company comes the risk of losing control of data and consent in the contact center. With ROI-maximizing data, digital advertising, marketing automation, and CRM features, DealerOn offers a responsive solution to auto dealership needs.
CLOUD-BASED CRM FOR AUTO DEALERS
CRM: Sales Management + Automation + Reporting + Contacts
CRM FOR CAR DEALERSHIPS + DIGITAL MARKETING + INTELLIGENCE
Sales: Management + Automation + Reporting + Contacts
Lead Management + Reporting + Digital Marketing + CRM
Auto: Sales + Online Marketing + Digital Advertising + AdTech
DIGITAL SALES FORUM – Frequently Asked Questions
What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a system for maintaining and analyzing data about the interactions a company has with current and potential customers. Customers use CRM systems to manage their information, track trends and recognize market opportunities.
Beyond the basics, CRM is a growing and developing field in the business world. This has led to the creation of three sub categories of CRM, each one with its own sub branches. Organisations typically use multiple types of CRM software:
Sales Force Automation (SFA) Software
SFA software is generally designed for salespeople. Sales reps use the system to enter, track and analyse all of their leads, emails and phone calls. Many Salesforce.com customers use the system as a lead generation tool, uploading their prospects and following up later with phone calls or email. The SFA software can also be used to track sales and commissions.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
CRM tools are designed for customer service reps. They help the customer service agent respond to customer emails, calls and requests. Companies use the software to track customer interactions and experiences with the brand. The system can be used to set up and monitor a customer satisfaction survey system. Companies will typically set up an email to alert customer service reps when there is an interaction with a customer.
Sales and Service Engagement
Sales and service engagement software is used to track both customers and employees. It is used for better customer experiences as well as staff development. This helps both staff and customers, by improving communication processes and informing employees of sales and customer data. It is commonly used to track sales processes, ensuring that they are sticking to the sales process.
What does CRM do?
CRM software is built to manage your customer relationships. You can use it to keep track of everyone your company comes into contact with, as well as details about the interaction. This data can be used to help your sales team and customer service team respond more effectively to your customers. CRM systems are a little different from the previous categories because almost every company implements them with only one goal in mind: to start generating more revenue.
Sales Sales reps can use the software to contact customers, follow up on leads, send quotes and place orders. The sales team can use the CRM software to better plan the day, so they are more aware of what sales processes they need to complete and when to contact their customers.
Customer Service The customer service team can use the CRM software to help them respond better to customer requests. The software can be used to set up email alerts, so customer service reps are notified when there is a response from a customer. Customer service teams can use the CRM to track all of its customer interactions.
How do you get started with CRM?
Implementing CRM is not a single-step process. Creating a comprehensive system that gives your team the support they need can take time and a lot of planning. One of the first steps to take when starting the implementation process is to create a business case. This should detail what value the CRM will bring to your company in terms of revenue generation as well as giving your employees the support they need to do their jobs better. The next step is to develop a strategy on how to implement the CRM.
When to implement CRM
While you can start using CRM at any time, there is also no reason you can’t wait until you are ready to launch your CRM system. The most common time to have a launch party is when you are planning on expanding into new markets or to integrate existing systems into the new system.
What do you get with CRM?
It all comes down to the features and functionality that a CRM system is designed to provide. Some CRM software may offer more features than are necessary for your business. Some may not offer the specific functionality that you seek out. The best way to find the right software for your business is to create a list of the features you need. Then you can compare software offerings and find the right CRM for your business.
Functions of a CRM system
Some common functions that CRM features offer are:
Leads: Most CRM systems will allow you to set up a lead list, where you can track your new prospects as leads. This keeps you from mixing customer data with lead data. It also helps you keep track of the people who have expressed an interest in your products or services.
Call routing: Learn how to Route Phone Calls is the one of the earliest functions that led to the creation of CRM software. Your business is unique and has its own ways of operating behind the scenes. Your system will help you streamline those behind-the-scenes processes, such as when, where and how to route a call.
Salesforce.com is best known for its online sales software, but the company also offers several CRM solutions for different needs. Features and price range of cloud products vary.
The Sales Cloud Sales management keeps track of daily activity, such as emails, phone calls, meetings and much more. The team can monitor the progress of leads, tasks and accounts to ensure that all actions are being taken accordingly.
Sales Cloud Community This is a lead generation system that you can use to attract potential customers to your website. It allows you to create an online community, so you can attract and build relationships with potential customers and partners. You can also use this system to create a lead list made up of your registered users.
Sales Cloud Professional Edition Sales teams can use this edition of Salesforce.com’s product. It comes with many useful tools for tracking and managing your sales efforts, including keeping track of sales targets, proposals and leads.
As a general rule of thumb to help decide how many goes into an account:
<$25,000 $25,000 – $100,000 $100,000+
1 Person 2-3 People 4-5 People
Companies that have taken the time and effort to set up reliable, intuitive and useful software have likely spent more than time in setting up and installing it.
Small and local businesses often start with a simple, rudimentary CRM to help manage their core business needs more easily. But many, large and international corporations have found success with a much more tailored, complex CRM platform.
How do you choose the right CRM?
There are all kinds of software solutions out there that offer varying degrees of features. The one you choose for your business will depend on the needs of your business, which will also impact what the business expects to get from it.
The first step to choosing the perfect CRM solution for your business is getting a clear picture of what you’re currently doing. If you haven’t been using a CRM or using the one you have as effectively as you can, then you’ve already started down the methodical path toward setting up a new system.
Research & Process Analysis
Before, you can get down to the nitty gritty of choosing a CRM that suits your business needs, you need to identify the key metrics of what you want to accomplish. This should involve a process analysis, which will give you a better understanding of what your business currently does and how your current systems work.
Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis
After conducting a process analysis you want to look at the quantitative and qualitative data you have gathered. Quantitative data is useful in giving you a sense of size, scope, scale and activity. Qualitative data gives you much deeper insights into the inner workings of your business.
To do this you will want to use qualitative data to define your CRM requirements and quantitative data to assess which CRM meets those requirements.
Once you have this data, your next step is to turn it into a requirement specifications document (RFP). A good RFP can be used to not only save you time and money, but also to help you narrow down your list of CRM options to a list of the most viable candidates.
Goals – Be clear as to what your business goals are. What do you want your CRM to do for you?
Who – Getting an idea of what your workforce is will help you determine what your CRM should offer. Are you going to have a mobile workforce? Do you want to set up a CRM that can be accessed from anywhere at anytime? Are you looking for something feature-rich or something simpler?
Where – Where do you need to have your CRM installed? Where and how do you want it monitored?
What for – What are you looking for in a CRM? Do you need it to interface with your accounting software? Does it need to be in-house only or do you need a solution that is web-based? What level of support and service does your corporation need?
With these things in mind, you can create a RFP and have it sent out to your potential CRM providers.
How do you choose the right CRM?
The right CRM for your business is one that gets out in front of your customers, keeps them loyal and keeps you at the top of their mind. That way, when they are ready to buy, they will think of you and when they need a new product or service, they will think of you. You can do this by providing an exceptional experience.
Don’t underestimate the power of your communication with and between your customers. You need to start with your web design, the language you use, the services you offer and the technologies you use. Once you get this right, you can move on to your marketing strategies.
What is the best CRM for your business?
The best CRM for you is the one that helps you talk to your customers the way your customers want to be talked to. It is also the one that helps you communicate with your customers in real-time, using the tools and technologies that they already use.
So, if you’re looking to create a solution for your business, you might want to look for a CRM that is:
- Cloud-based – The big factor in what makes a CRM best-suited for your business is the interface. You want to choose a CRM that is Cloud-based, so you have the freedom of mobility and the flexibility to work seamlessly with your team, wherever they are.
- Analytics-based – You need to track your data. In order to do this, you want a CRM that uses analytic techniques.
- Multichannel – You want a CRM that works across various channels, from mobile to web to call center based, as well as your trade shows and public events.
- Integrated – You want a CRM that seamlessly integrates with your accounting software, technologies, databases and other systems.
- Scalable – You don’t want a CRM that is going to become obsolete in a year or two. You want a CRM that is scalable and will support your growth, wherever in the world you choose to expand.
- Supportive – You want a CRM that offers responsive support. Your support doesn’t have to be run by robots. It can be via social media or through direct channels, but it needs to be immediate.
- E-mail, chat or social media – What’s your preferred method of communication? Do you prefer to use e-mail? Do you want information by chatting through your favorite social media outlet? Or do you prefer a combination of both?
- Technological – Your CRM should be technologically advanced. It should work well with your existing technologies and be quick and easy to use.
- Fun – It should be fun. You should want to use it. You should want to communicate with your customers using it.
Do you remember the days when cold calling was a staple of a sales team?
It used to be that you could never get anywhere unless you knew someone on the other end of the line. Today, it’s all about social media. Social media is the hottest new tool in business and it’s changing the game.
Products are in a competition to sell themselves and they are doing it via social media. You can now work with your business partners to promote your products. You have access to all your employees through social media and you can send them information on products and services.
Social media is one of the two driving forces of technology generally and business specifically. It is changing the way marketing takes place and it is making it easier for companies of all sizes to move forward. Social media is here to stay and in order for your business to succeed, you need to understand how it is being used.
Social media is how your business interacts with your customers. Social media is also a tool that you can use to generate leads.
Services such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram all serve as methods you can route your business through. The key to using social media to your benefit is stick to a strategy. You don’t just jump in and start posting whenever you want.
Use social media to both streamline the selling process and to make it as fun as possible.
However, always remember, you must first create a targeted and compelling message. You need to create a message that is geared toward the communities you have chosen to engage with.
You can then use the rules of content marketing to help you spread the message and steer the conversation. You want to create an experience that helps your company stay top-of-mind in the online world.The way to do this is make your social media communications fun and engaging. You do that by using social media posts that don’t give away too much information. You want to get your customers curious. In order to make this happen, you need to ask questions and create posts that run users through a dialogue.
You want to invite your audience to interact with you and with each other. You want to create a community that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful of all participants. You also want to use these tools to do your research. You want to post questions, comments and other information that will give you user-generated data such as interests and preferences.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Put yourself in your customer’s mindset. This is essential if you are going to communicate properly.
Know what your customers want and meet their wants. Lead with a subject that is of interest to them.
Once you have caught their attention, you need to stick with them and provide information that is easy to digest and informative.
Don’t forget to tell your customers how they can find you online, such as through links to your website. If you provide them with this type of information, they will follow through and visit your site, because they want to find out more about you.
Use social media the way you use a conversation with a friend. Use it as an opportunity to tell your customers how much you appreciate them. If you include them in your social media interactions, they are going to be more receptive when the time comes to purchase a product or service.
The spirit of the Internet is to give more people more time to do more things.
If you’re not taking advantage of social media, then you’re doing yourself and your business a disservice. The Internet allows people to move faster and do things more efficiently. If you want your business to keep up with the trends and to stay ahead of the curve, then you need to use social media.
Social media allows you to align your business goals with the strategies you come up with. It allows you to improve your communications with customers and it allows you to create brand awareness, which results in more sales and repeat business. Social media has the ability to increase your business’s value and profit margins.
Think of your social media strategy as an invitation to wherever your customers hang out. Never forget that you are inviting your customers to dinner. Make them feel at home and create the kind of environment they would want to go to. Make the menu enticing.
Create a balanced menu that is delicious and nutritious. You want to mix and match the menu so it is interesting and exciting. You want to provide customers with a variety of food that they can easily digest.
Your menu should include the main course (what product or service you are selling), side dishes and the appetizers (what else you are offering, such as complimentary information or benefits).
You want to make the presentation of the food appealing and distinct. You want to make your social media menus look appealing and easily navigable. And never forget about the dessert course.
Create contests and incorporate fun into your social media strategy. Never forget to not only include contests. Also make it fun,