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3 Ways Your Choice of CRM Dealer Can Affect Your Dealership’s Success

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Car Research

Today there are dozens, if not hundreds, of companies offering automotive CRM packages that promise to increase your dealership’s sales and profits, improve customer relationships, streamline marketing efforts, and automate tedious processes.

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With so many automotive dealerships in the United States, the competition for clients is fierce, and so is the competition between rival CRM packages. Choosing the wrong dealer CRM dealer  for your establishment could be devastating, leading to a loss of sales, damaged customer relationships, and plenty of time wasted with the CRM dealer’s support department.

Here are a few of the ways that your choice of CRM dealer could impact the success of your dealership:


#1 Software Useability

Dealer CRM software can only be beneficial to your dealership if your sales team, service team and other employees actually use it faithfully on a day to day basis, entering all relevant customer information, following the sales leads it generates, using its inventory management features, employing its marketing solutions and using its customer communication tools effectively.

If the software is not easy to use and intuitive, it will act as a roadblock to widespread CRM adoption among your employees, wasting the time, effort and money that went into acquiring the software and training your staff to use it.

By carefully selecting the CRM dealer that you do business with, you can ensure that you receive dealer CRM software that is both easy to use and effective at increasing sales, maintaining positive customer relationships and managing your marketing and retention efforts. With the help of your CRM dealer, you can make sure that your employees know everything there is to know about the software, and how to use it effectively to drive sales and profits to new levels.


#2 Software Features

Not all dealer CRM packages have the same features available, and in order to choose the correct CRM dealer for your company, you must make sure that it offers all the functions you need for your dealership at the current time, as well as the features you may need in the future as your business expands. Depending on the chosen CRM package, many of the features may be built into the basic software package, or they may be available as optional modules that can be added to your CRM package as needed.

Here are some of the most popular features offered by dealer CRM packages:


  • Easily-Accessible Complete Customer Histories : The customer history database should place all available customer information into an easily-accessible and easily-digestible format. This information should include vehicle ownership, sales history, service history, financing information, credit information, customer preferences and all contact information, including home phone, mobile phone, work phone, physical address, email addresses and social media account details. Having all this information in one place allows your employees to easily reference the data, and allows it to be used for analytical and marketing purposes.
  • Internet Lead Management : An internet lead management tool collects customer sales leads from your dealership’s website, email and social media pages, organizes them and forwards them to the appropriate personnel for follow-ups and conversions. Some packages also feature online scheduling options.
  • Inventory Management : The inventory management features help to keep track of the current vehicles in your inventory, including features, trims, inventory numbers and pricing information, and they help to list the vehicles on your website and on other Internet services with full information about each vehicle.
  • BDC and Call Center Operations : The addition of BDC or call center operations can allow specially-trained customer service representatives to respond to internet and phone leads, follow up on sales and service transactions, and handle all other customer communications, freeing up your sales staff for in-person sales.
  • Service Department Management : Service department management tools often include online service scheduling, repair order tracking, service notifications for customers, loaner car management, staff management, and marketing and promotional tools.
  • Marketing Tools: This feature uses demographics, analytical data and customer information to help you build successful marketing programs, including direct mail, email, phone, website and social media-based campaigns.
  • Promotional Tools : This includes management of customizable vehicle brochures, direct mail offers, email programs, loyalty programs, coupons, discounts and other services.

Each of these features adds significant value to your dealer CRM package, and even if you do not need them now, it is good to make sure that they are available in the future.


#3 Support And Training

While the quality of the software and the variety of features that it offers are obviously critical to your business’s success, so is the support and training that is offered by your CRM dealer. Even the best automotive CRM package requires some training for your staff to become familiar with its features and to learn how to them to their greatest advantage. And, if something goes wrong with the software, you need to know that you have the full support of the company behind it to handle any problems as they come up.

Without a comprehensive training and support program, it is unlikely that your staff will integrate the software fully with their daily operations, and the investment of time and money allocated to the CRM package will be wasted, along with any potential the software may offer for increasing your business’s sales and profit margins.

A quality CRM dealer will offer a combination of in-person initial training, periodic on-site recurring training, and an array of online training tools, including webinars, videos and self-guided materials. In addition to comprehensive training, they will also offer full software support, including telephone, email and internet-based services. To be sure you get the most out of your CRM software, make sure that your CRM dealer offers the best support possible.

If you carefully consider these three factors when selecting a CRM dealer, you can find the best CRM dealer and software package for your dealership’s needs. By carefully following the training programs and advice offered by your CRM dealer, you can improve your relationships with existing customers, draw in new customers, improve your dealership’s daily operations, and increase your sales and profits to new levels.