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5 Ways to Maximize Your CRM Opportunities

CRM (customer relationship management) software is your dealership’s most versatile tool. It handles everything from from marketing to lead nurturing and customer relationship building. It's also your best tool to track employee performance and maintain contact with vehicle buyers post-purchase or service. Used correctly, the data collected will reveal sales, repair and service opportunities, leads on acquiring pre-owned inventory and sales coaching insights that can lead to major increases in overall revenue.

Here are five great ways to make sure that you are getting the most out of your CRM program while minimizing the amount of missed opportunities that could be hiding in plain sight.

1. Leverage Reports and Dashboards as Coaching Tools for Sales and BDC

Your CRM likely has multiple reports and manager dashboards that can be hugely powerful drivers of efficiency, productivity, and profitability. It’s best to choose no more than five to look at every day and use to coach Sales and BDC staff on effective customer interactions.

In particular, performance reports are filled with issues, concerns and successes that will fuel effective coaching. You’ll find drill-down capabilities into each employee, allowing you to see number of leads, sales, open opportunities and closing ratio. You should also be able to listen to call recordings, review emails and read text messages.

During group morning and one-on-one meetings, make it a practice to listen to a call or review an email with an eye to acknowledging what’s working. Put a positive spin on coaching by applauding employees who are crushing it and use their wins as best practice examples. Research has shown that praise is an equal if not better motivator than financial incentives.

2. Use Reporting Tools to Evaluate Internal and Third-Party Marketing

Pay close attention to CRM-driven internal marketing and external campaigns with tracking metrics. This data will alert you to what's making money and what's not. Tracking lead sources is a basic reporting feature of a CRM allowing your employees to accurately log lead information.

In recruitment and hiring, best practice is making proper CRM use a job requirement. You can track compliance with weekly customer record spot-checks. Metrics that matter include lead source, if an appointment was set and the resulting sale and/or service.

On the internal campaign side, you’ll want to calculate the number of customers receiving an email blast (for example), the number of times the email was opened and the sales attributed to that communication. There are more metrics generated through internal marketing to review, but this kind of review is a good place to start.

3. Encourage Employees To Go Deeper

Most CRM software has required fields that need to be completed when creating a customer record. Well-schooled employees will try to enrich each entry beyond the basic name, contact phone number, address, and email. Whether much of the interaction begins online rather than in person, prospective buyers still want to be seen as more than just a sum of their credit scores and their purchase behavior.

Personalization in communications is the key to building strong customer relationships. Encourage or even incentivize employees to use note fields to record such information as: number of drivers in a family, upcoming household events (such as a baby on the way), and vehicle preferences. Your CRM should also allow them to attach a vehicle of interest and add trade-in details.

These personal notes will also come in handy if a lead is passed to a BDC agent or another salesperson. It allows the other person to get up to speed fast and nurture the relationship between your dealership and a real person who will appreciate being known.

4. Use Targeted Marketing Tools to Acquire Inventory

With new vehicle shortages, every dealer is motivated to acquire used inventory. You’ll want to avoid blasting your entire database with a generic email that most likely will not be opened and likely will irritate customers. Leveraging your CRM database to run customized, targeted marketing campaigns encouraging trade-ins can be extremely effective.

For example, you can identify vehicles that you know you can turn quickly for maximum profit and then create a list of customers from your CRM data who currently own those vehicles. Sending a simple email stating you want to purchase their vehicle at a premium price while moving them into a newer vehicle at a discounted price is a proven target marketing strategy.

Your Service lane is also a great way to target used inventory that you know is in good condition. Many Service customers may not be ready to buy or are waiting for inventory to stabilize and for prices to come down. But if you create an outreach program and keep those lines of communication open, those vehicle owners will think of you first when they’re ready to make the jump.

5. Create Guidelines for Employees Who Use Their Personal Devices

Some dealerships used to have rules prohibiting employees from using personal devices for dealership communications. With the near-complete adoption of mobile productivity, those kinds of restrictions could severely limit the ability of your team to work effectively.

It’s now much better to require employees log into your mobile CRM application from their devices and conduct all communications through that platform. Employees should also use click-to-call within the mobile app to make sure calls are tracked and recorded. This way all communications can be stored in the customer record that stays with the dealership if and when an employee stops working for you.

5 is Just a Number

Your CRM is a powerful tool with the ability to drive productivity and profitability. These are five great ways to start getting more out of your data, but be creative. Make the information work for you and the way you run your dealership. You, your customers and your bottom line will be glad you did.

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