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prioritizing_your_crm_tasks

What’s the definition of multi-tasking? It’s doing a lot of things at once, and most often, that means doing them poorly. In fact, research proves that multi-tasking is largely a myth; our brains are not wired to focus on multiple things at once. Studies show that multi-tasking ruins productivity, causes mistakes and dampens creative thought.

Yet, many people keep trying, simply because they have too much to do and too little time to do it in. The solution is simple: get your priorities straight and accept the fact that you won’t be able to do everything, because everything can’t be a priority.

Prioritizing Your CRM Tasks

Whether you’re in sales or service at a dealership, your CRM can help you manage activities and complete tasks. But it can also overwhelm you if you’re not prioritizing correctly. If you log in every morning and see 100 tasks marked as “high priority,” you know you’ve got a problem.

On the other hand, if your to-do list isn’t long enough you’ve got a problem as well. Most people have a longer list than they can get through. If you can breeze through your daily tasks with time to spare, you don’t have enough to do.

To help prioritize what’s really important, take a step backward and focus on the big picture.

The Pareto principle states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your work. The hard part is determining which 20 percent produces the results you want.

Focusing on the Sale vs. Focusing on the Customer

Is your top priority to sell more cars, or is it to take care of customers’ needs? Taking care of your customers will always lead to more sales, but if you’re focusing on the sale you might not be taking care of the customer, giving them a poor experience with your business.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in; taking care of your customer is always your No. 1 priority, so they don’t give their business elsewhere.

Knowing this, create workflows and processes that focus on taking care of customers, and always flag these items in your CRM as your highest priority. When I have a list of phone calls to make, I always call customers back first.

Prioritizing Your Customers and Your Team

It might be more difficult to prioritize one customer over another. Are unsold showroom customers a higher priority than sold? Are customer-pay service customers a higher priority than warranty? What may seem obvious on the surface isn’t always; this is where you can use your CRM to run revenue reports that will shed light on who your current and potential VIP customers are.

Yes, ideally you would take care of all customers equally. But it’s more crucial to take care of your loyal and repeat customers, ensuring that they get the red-carpet treatment every visit.

For most people, the second priority is going to be their team. Your co-workers need information, approvals or advice in order to accomplish what they need to do. Almost every workflow in your store involves more than one person, which is why – after customers – your co-workers should be next on your list of tasks or callbacks.

After your customers and co-workers are taken care of, then you can focus on priorities that will create new customers, such as filling your pipeline. If you’re in sales, this may seem counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t you always be prospecting? The reality is, if you prioritize and take care of your current and sold customers, you’ll get more referrals and sales than you would by chasing random leads.

Keys to Managing Your To-Do List

Many productivity experts recommend having your priorities and task list for the next day all set before you go home at night. That way, first thing in the morning you can get to work instead of wasting time figuring out what to do first.

I always recommend “eating the big frog first,” that is, tackling the most difficult and most important priorities first. Get that 20 percent of work that produces 80 percent of results out of the way. For this reason, try to avoid scheduling meetings and phone calls in the morning (unless they are part of the 20 percent).

It’s important to establish priorities up front and verbalize them to staff, so everyone is working on the same page. Trying to prioritize tasks “on the fly” is not a good idea as it’s too easy to be swayed by outside influences. For example, when your boss says he or she needs a report on his desk ASAP, you might be tempted to immediately drop everything to do it, leaving a VIP customer’s need unmet.

Also, revisit your priorities on a regular basis; at least annually if not quarterly. This is because your store’s priorities might change. If you’re trying to increase sales gross, you might decide to focus on CPO; if you want to increase customer-pay ROs, you might concentrate on fine-tuning digital marketing strategies.

three people switching CRM

The decision to switch to a new CRM is not one to be taken lightly. On a daily basis, your sales team relies on your CRM for new leads and opportunities, to remind them what needs to be done, guide them through car deals and keep them on track to meet business goals.

Yet, just about every dealer has switched to a new CRM at one point, typically because of a change in management, but sometimes because they want to try the latest shiny new technology.

Whatever your reason for wanting to switch, here are a few tips to guide you through the vendor selection process and help you make a decision you won’t regret. Read More

Fine_Tune_Your_Dealership_CRM

Your CRM is an essential tool for most businesses, sure, but is your dealership using it to its full potential?  Many of today’s dealers we talk to say no. In the May 2018 issue of Dealer Marketing Magazine, ELEAD1ONE’s Bill Wittenmyer leads a discussion on the five ways dealers can fine tune your dealership CRM to maximize its ROI and personalize every customer interaction.

Dealerships who don’t make their CRM a priority often end up amassing a database that becomes an incomplete and irrelevant expenditure. A recent Experian Data Quality study found that inaccurate data results in a 12% average loss of revenue to companies each year.

Establishing a customer-centric culture based on the execution of streamlined CRM processes that align with your business goals ensures clear communications, tracking, and relationship nurturing that lead to the sale.

In addition to your list of best practices that help your sales team maximize this valuable investment, you’ll learn:

  • Brevity isn’t always the best bet – the importance of leaving concise, yet clear notes for follow-up;
  • How to prioritize activities the proactive activities that fill your sales and service team’s pipelines;
  • Effective email campaigns and audience segmenting to deliver the right message at the right time;
  • Why using mobile apps leads to more manageable logging of all opportunities, and
  • Understanding the benefits of sharing data across your dealership group.

Get the full article 5 Techniques to Fine Tune Your Dealership’s CRM to read and share with your dealership team.

vehicle_exchange_specialist

ELEAD1ONE’s innovative data mining technology Xchange Trade Up is featured in the June/July issue of Fixed Ops Journal’s profile on using a vehicle exchange specialist.  Mark Queen, fixed operations expert and Partner at ELEAD1ONE, shared his insights on using a dedicated vehicle exchange specialist in your service department to identify sales opportunities.

More than 2000 dealerships use the ELEAD1ONE’s Xchange Trade Up equity mining solution to create new sales opportunities from their existing customer base. “A service department writing 50+ repair orders a day needs a dedicated vehicle exchange specialist.”

While having an equity mining solution that integrates seamlessly with your sales CRM and service drive technology is critical, dealerships that successfully sell vehicles utilizing data-mining technology have systems in place to identify conquest opportunities before the customer arrives in the service lane.

To see how successful dealers are encouraging vehicle sales among their service customers the Fixed Ops Journal article Dealership Service Lanes Can Be A Great Place to Talk Vehicle Trade-Ins. 

Your_Certified_Pre-Owned_CPO_Program

Are the headaches associated with bringing vehicles up to certified pre-owned (CPO) program standards worth it? For dealers, there’s certainly more work, money and time involved with finding, reconditioning and certifying vehicles for CPO programs.

On the surface, it may seem like the higher margins don’t really justify the higher cost of reconditioning and manufacturer fees involved.

But the financial equation isn’t that simple. The fact is, CPO programs attract a certain type of customer that is willing to pay a bit more for a used vehicle in good condition, along with a warranty, roadside service and other perks. This is exactly the type of customer you want in your database, and you have to look at the long-term value of that customer. Read More

Boost_Sales_&_Service_Revenue_with_a_Hybrid_BDC

Many dealers prefer using internal BDCs so they can keep control of leads and processes. Other dealerships use an external BDC for cost, management and efficiency reasons. Just about every dealer believes it’s a choice: you either set up an internal BDC or outsource to a third-party virtual BDC. Yet, some of the best efficiencies and results actually happen with a hybrid BDC solution.

Hybrid BDC Benefits

In a hybrid set up, an external BDC does most of the “heavy lifting” related to chasing down sales leads, then hands the hottest leads over to your internal BDC. On the service side, the external BDC handles most of your inbound calls, which many dealership service departments struggle to manage effectively.

A hybrid BDC solution is ideal for dealerships with size constraints on their internal BDC due to staffing, management and/or budget issues. Let’s say your dealership is an average store selling 100 to 150 cars per month. To handle 400 to 1,000 phone calls per week, you need four full-time people and one manager to oversee them.

Bottom line? It’s difficult to set up an internal BDC for less than $10,000 per month, and that’s on the shy side.

Of course, you could be one of those dealers that believe your salespeople should be able to make all the prospecting and campaign calls, and your service advisors should be able to handle all the inbound service inquiries. The reality is, most salespeople don’t have the personality, patience or phone skills necessary to make the requisite calls, and your service advisors should be spending their time with the customers in front of them, not on the phone setting appointments.

Internal BDC vs. Hybrid BDC Solutions

Now, let’s say you want to use a hybrid BDC solution. For about 25 to 30 percent of the cost of an internal BDC, you can outsource most of the heavy lifting type calls that include:

  • Inbound service calls
  • Outbound sales and service campaigns
  • Sales and service appointment setting and confirmations
  • Internet leads follow up
  • Unsold showroom traffic follow up
  • Declined service repairs follow up

Whenever an external BDC agent has a hot sales lead or sets a service appointment, they transfer the customer over to one of your internal BDC agents to finish the call. Your internal BDC agents deal with fewer calls and spend more time on the phone with your customers, delivering a better experience.

With this setup, the average dealership mentioned above could probably get by with two highly-skilled internal BDC agents, versus the four agents plus a manager. The cost may be the same or even slightly less, but your ROI will be significantly higher.

The nice thing about a hybrid BDC solution is that you can decide which tasks you want your internal BDC to perform based on your staff’s skill sets. For example, maybe your internal BDC takes and makes all inbound and outbound calls, while the external BDC follows up with Internet leads and unsold showroom traffic.

Maximizing Sales and Service ROI

The key to maximizing your ROI is taking the time to identify the strengths and weaknesses inherent in your current phone processes. Then, outsource to an external BDC to cover areas of weakness, while freeing up your internal BDC to focus more time on areas of strength.

After switching to a hybrid BDC solution, it’s not unusual for a dealership to see immediate increases in service and sales appointments, as well as RO count and corresponding revenue.

Typical results include:

  • 25% of outbound service calls are eliminated when an external BDC schedules and confirms service appointments
  • 72% of inbound service calls are converted into appointments
  • 97% of calls result in additional information gathering on customer
  • 84% customer contact rate with two valid phone numbers

External BDC agents are trained to stick to scripts, and therefore tend to be more effective at collecting valuable customer data such as emails, phone numbers and current addresses. This data contributes to higher marketing campaign response rates.

But the primary reason why a hybrid BDC solution is so effective is that it allows your staff to focus their attention on the customers in front of them. You still get to keep control over your branding, messaging, lead-handling and other processes. Yet, instead of having to sort through 100 leads to find the hand-raisers, your external BDC does that for you, then hands over the 20 people who responded and are actively seeking assistance.

The next time your internal BDC is experiencing overwhelm, you may want to try a hybrid BDC solution to ease your load, improve customer experience and boost sales and service revenue.