Read what the experts have to say about everything from CRM to auto retailing and more.

Automotive CRM Software

Leverage the Right Tools to Grow your Automotive Business

As the economy continues to fluctuate, competition is at an all-time high. You can’t afford to sit back and relax!

Your ability to get appointments and close deals quickly is crucial right now. It’s more important than ever to ensure you have the right software, training and support to take advantage of every business opportunity.

Below are some ways you can make sure your CRM system, dealership workflows and automotive retailing tools are helping you navigate business disruptions.

Train Your Employees

Turn any period of downtime into an opportunity to train. Enhance your knowledge of best practices, streamlined CRM utilization and tracking tools.  Your CRM partner should have self-paced resources as well as live webinar training courses. Certification programs give you not just the knowledge needed to use your system to the best of its ability but also gives you instant credibility.  

Manage Your Employees

Making sure you have your employees trained up is only part of the equation. After they’re trained, you need to manage them to make sure they are making the most of your tools and following your workflow. A few ways you can do this is by:

  • Status Updates: Identify employees in the CRM with active/inactive statuses and make sure they have the correct permissions access to complete job tasks remotely if needed.
  • Reassignments: Check prospects and leads and reassign to an active team member if needed.
  • Mobile Access: Train up your sales team on your CRM’s mobile app and all its capabilities.
  • Digital Retail: If your dealership uses an online retailing tool, make sure all active CRM users know how to identify these opportunities, and are trained on your preferred sales workflow.
  • Notifications: Make sure all your email and text notifications are set up properly, so employees receive updates on all devices, especially when working remotely.

Communication is Key

Your communication strategy will be crucial to making sure customers feel supported and stay loyal. Here are a few ways to make that happen.

Engagement: Customers continue to need vehicles and access to repair services. Make sure you can communicate while respecting social distancing. Use multiple channels, such as text, live chat, phone, photos/videos and email.

Contact Preferences:  Respect customer’s contact preferences and adjust your ‘why buy’ message to include services such as virtual test drives, at home drop-offs, no-contact vehicle pick up and e-contracting via a tablet.

During a time of disruption, every interaction is an opportunity, and responding quickly matters. With today’s technology driving increased call volume, plus easier online submissions with more data, building a sustainable follow-up strategy is crucial. Grow relationships by delighting customers with an exceptional experience they will remember.

Marketing Campaigns: Your CRM should have marketing tools to personalize every business opportunity. You should also be able to create targeted campaign audiences and refresh customer lists without having to create a new search.

Data Hygiene: Data accuracy is vital.  Update customer records and be sure to include information that can lead to future sales, such as notes, relationship data and status updates or creation.

Lead Management

Your internet lead nurturing program should deliver a consistent lift in showroom traffic and profit.  If it doesn’t, what’s the point?

Internet/Online Retailing: If your CRM is a cloud-based system, internet leads are processed as you would in the store, no matter where your employees are stationed. Be sure Internet Lead Assignment Rules reflect the person(s) managing these opportunities and that workflows are set up correctly for digital retailing. 

Phone: Make sure your phones are covered!  Whether you’re using an internal BDC or outsourcing to a virtual BDC, check your call routing settings to ensure you’ll have full coverage.

 Communicate on your website, social media, phone messages and email autoresponders. Let your customers know about store closings, adjustments to hours of operation, lease return options or digital retailing tools available for an online shopping experience.

Digital Retailing Best Practices

More and more consumers expect to be able to buy anything and everything online, including cars.  You need to give shoppers an online retail tool that integrates directly into the CRM system so there’s no need for double entry. With the right digital retailing tool, you can incorporate it into your current sales workflow seamlessly.

And bonus - online inquiries submitted using an online retailing tool are further down the sales funnel so they are typically faster and easier to convert.

Review the Details: Make sure your sales staff is trained up on lead sources so they can identify digital retail opportunities looking to take delivery more quickly.

Managers should always have internet leads activated on their desklog so they can monitor digital retailing activities and respond quickly when needed to help guide the shopper to complete as many steps as possible online, including credit applications and mobile desking. The details shoppers provide online are in their customer record inside CRM, be sure to review thoroughly for more productive conversations.

Sales Management

How you manage your sales process is make or break for your dealership. These tips will help you own that process and close more deals.

Remote Desking: Does your CRM mobile app allow you to negotiate and close a deal from anywhere? Be sure your rates and incentives are integrated for faster, more accurate quotes. Your remote desking solution should allow desk managers and salespeople to communicate through instant messaging to help expedite the close of a deal.

Managing for Success: Prioritize and manage activities that impact sales the most and set clear expectations to grow successful results. Fortunately, all the information you need to manage for success should be in your CRM. Most dealers set goals using year-over-year (YOY) reports. While useful for historical comparisons, if you want to set short-term goals, a 90-day rolling average might be a better option.

A recent Harvard Business study found that participants who stuck to a goal-oriented plan performed 30 percent better than those who didn’t.

Harvard Study on Goal-Oriented Planning

Create a customized five-minute manager plan with relevant reports such as Daily Managers, New Traffic Management and Internet Status.

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With the economic changes of this year, one thing is certain and that’s that nothing is certain! But following the above tips will help you utilize the tools you have to their fullest potential and take out one variable to your dealership’s success.

Are you happy with your current CRM? If not, let’s talk. Reach out to to schedule a conversation.