ELEAD1ONE BLOG

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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.

Tablet_vs_using_a_Smartphone

When you see someone using their smartphone, what is your first impression? Do you assume that person is engaged in personal business or professional business? Logically there’s no way to know because people use their smartphones for both reasons.

On a personal level, smartphones are used to text family and friends, check social media and play games. On a professional level, smartphones are used primarily for phone calls and replying to emails.

Recently, however, vendors in the retail automotive industry (and other industries) are releasing mobile versions of applications that can be used on either smartphones or tablets. If you ask your employees what their personal preference is, many of them will choose the smartphone versions of these apps.

I believe this is a mistake. Based on feedback from our dealership clients, I now believe that mobile tablets are the better choice for mobile apps in the workplace. Read More