[Posted on 30 October 2013 by Car Research]
If you have not purchased a car for some time, you may be behind the curve when it comes to how car buying is done these days. Today, more business than ever is done over the web and Internet sales are one of the fastest-growing segments of the automobile industry. This means that competition for sales is fiercer than ever. Dealerships that utilize a CRM dealer or customer relationship management software may be better able to handle leads from all types of sources and ultimately increase sales in a very competitive market.
How Do CRMs Help Dealerships Manage Leads?
In the past, leads came from only a few sources: word-of-mouth, newspaper advertising and perhaps billboards as well as returning or equity customers. Today, however, leads can come from anywhere and some customers may be contacting a dealership from halfway across the country as a result of Internet marketing. This means that a smart dealership owner must be able to manage leads that can overwhelm the sales team from many directions. A CRM dealer can help a dealership manage leads through many channels, such as:
One of the primary ways to generate leads is to send out cold calls. However, without a reliable way to manage the leads generated from cold calling, this can be a fruitless and time-consuming activity. CRMs allow dealers to utilize a call center to manage not only the calling campaign but also the leads that are generated from it, funneling customers directly to the sales team based on whatever demographic data the dealership chooses to use.
Another favorite lead-generator of auto dealership is the mass mailing. In the past, this mailing has been done by direct mail methods such as postcards, but some dealerships are moving away from this technique and toward email instead. However mass mailings are accomplished, they often generate dozens or hundreds of leads that must be categorized and follow up on, and CRMs can help to do this efficiently by assigning leads to certain sales team members or creating instant follow-up reports to share with the entire staff.
By keeping up with service records, CRMs can help dealers generate equity leads. Those who regularly bring their vehicles in for service are a rich source of lead material for new sales, and by making this information available to the sales staff, CRMs can help dealerships identify and tap potential sales targets.
Within any dealership there must be a seamless communication process between departments and individuals. CRMs prevent communication problems by allowing all departments and all employees to see necessary information instantly. CRMs can provide for email to all staff, texts or voice messages for instant communication and virtual “bulletin boards” to remind staff of important events or goals.
With the help of a CRM, dealerships can solve communication problems and manage leads so that all staff can work together to raise the overall revenue. The use of a CRM can help the staff do their jobs more effectively and can make the entire dealership successful.