Tag Archives: CRM Deployment

Automotive Sales: 4 Means to a More Efficient CRM

It’s a new year, and the automotive marketplace is now more data-centric than ever before. Customer Relationship Management is one of the most essential tools you and your dealership can use to organize, track and store this data and ultimately close more deals. Regardless of the size of your store, or how many rooftops there are in your group, the implementation of a CRM has been shown to increase productivity by as much as 30% when used efficiently.

The only way to ensure effective CRM use and increased productivity is to insist on standardization, accuracy and consistency. You must gain your entire team’s “buy in” first. Once you have established these attributes amongst your team, you may utilize the four points below to streamline your efficiency in its use. In turn, this will increase your closings, and improve your rate on return, specifically as it pertains to your investment in the CRM.

1.  Using CRMSuite ActivityFocus or a Lead Scoring System:

For More About ActivityFocus

For More About ActivityFocus

CRMSuite takes the guess work out of creating an effective algorithm, which will determine which leads are the “hottest”, within your CRM’s database. How often are your salespeople interacting with an individual? How frequently is that prospect engaging with your store? What time of day do they appear to engage with you more often? What medium (email, phone, text) do they respond to best? These are just some of the factors which the system takes into consideration when scoring leads.

A lead score is nothing but a score which is assigned to every lead entered in your CRM database. The higher the score, which is based on a proprietary algorithm that defines your ideal customer, the “hotter” the lead. By utilizing this feature of the CRM, the leads which are most likely to convert, are bubbled to the top, in real-time, for your sales people to contact. Giving sales people the deals which they will most likely be able to close, right now.

No need to fumble through hundreds of leads and make ill received calls. Most sales professionals spend nearly a quarter of their time simply searching for information. With a lead scoring system in place, they are able to target those leads, which are most likely conversions, with little to no effort. In turn you will see your number of closed deals increase each month. You’re not just closing more deals in less time. You are engaging those leads at the time that they are most likely to be willing to hear your message.

2.  Current Lead Social Data:

Social Data in Real Time

Social Media is here to stay. Now more than ever, people are sharing every aspect of their lives online. Though 45% of your customers interact with brands on social platforms; this isn’t as much about having a presence for your brand on social media, as it is about collecting your prospects social data for your own purposes.

CRMSuite “scrapes” all of the publicly available social data from your prospects profiles to aid your sales team in their efforts to close potential customers. Social Media data is an excellent source of up to the minute information… and it’s free of cost to you. This includes profile pictures and most recent updates which help you to better understand, and ultimately pitch prospects.

CRMSuite is “thee” most Social CRM on the market today. It collects everything from the leads most recent tweet to their alternate phone numbers as they have provided them to various social platforms throughout the years. It not only pulls all social data on your customer when the lead is created, but also automatically refreshes this information to keep the lead social data current. This means never missing the latest Updates and Profiles images on your customer. The proper implementation of a Social CRM system, such as this, has been shown to increase sales productivity by as much as 12% over time.

3.  Updating Lead Data in One Place: 

Desk the deal from anywhere

The background systems in CRMSuite can refresh social data automatically, sure, but interactions, contacts made, meeting notes and preferred phone numbers and addresses etc. are all manually input by your sales people. Inputting this data in a timely fashion, keeping it accurate and all in one place, is vital to the system and it’s ability to score leads. As well as being essential to your staff, for their future appointments and contact with this lead.

Most CRMs today are wonderfully equipped to allow all the relevant information to be input into the system, no matter what device you use to input it. CRMSuite is not to be out done with a user interface which lend itself incredibly well to Mobile devices as well as Mobile applications designed specifically to allow Sales People the freedom to conduct deals and engage with prospects anywhere. While keeping their data as up-to-date in the system as possible.

You can type the meeting notes, appointments, or other vital information in your tablet or mobile phone, and your CRM system will sync it across all devices instantly. This means no repetitive data entry, and tons of time saved, which can then be used to make that next contact due and schedule future appointments.

Management also greatly benefits from these features. Updating this information in the CRM provides visibility of work from each member of your team and management. Imagine never having to ask your rep the date of their next appointment, or how many calls they have made today. Imagine never having to deal with the nightmare of transferring leads and accounts with incomplete information to a new rep.

The ability to access and update data anywhere, anytime means reps are more likely to do it… which saves everyone time in the end.

4.  Smart Dashboards and Analysis:

Reporting and Analytics possibilities are limitless with CRMSuite

Limitless Analytics

Most CRMs come with a package of predefined reports. The way your store works and the way you measure your successes may not be the same as the dealership across the street. With truly customizable reporting, on a dashboard which is updated in real time, CRMSuite gives you all the tools you need to track and measure the metrics which matter to you most.

A top performer’s report can be a sales driver across the dealer group. A daily appointment report can be a productivity tool for management. A sales rep’s performance report can be a motivator. Custom reports can be a powerful tools to motivate and push sales people to close more deals. They provide the individual reps with a way to measure their own goals and for management to measure daily, weekly and monthly sales goals without pestering or micro-managing subordinates. At the executive level reporting can be more broad and provide the big picture store-by-store for the group, and month over month while assessing annual sales numbers.

The MyDay page has the ability to create multiple pages, with various customizable Apps, which can be tailored to suit any individual in the store. Smart reporting and real time analysis of the numbers, gives the entire team the power to model behaviors after what works. The better you define what is working at your store, or for a certain rep, the more efficient they (and you) ultimately become.

In Conclusion

It’s estimated that with proper CRM implementation throughout an organization there is the potential to gain as much as $6 in revenue for every $1 spent on CRM.

Are you utilizing your Customer Relationship Management tools to their fullest potential within your dealer group? What CRM efficiency tips do you implement within your team?

Sales Representative Best Practices for Automotive CRM

Final CRM

The benefits of deploying and engaging your team with a customizable and intuitive CRM are numerous. We could bore you with the stats and go on about how wonderful our CRM system is, and it is truly wonderful, but we understand you only care about one thing. How to sell more cars, move the metal off the lot and the money into your pocket. How do we know this? Because we have been there my friend. We have stood in your shoes early on a saturday morning fixing our ties and straightening our hair ready to take on the world… and make some deals. But I digress, what we want to do is help you use your CRM to it’s fullest potential.

Let the CRM take the Names, while you Kick Ass

We don’t care if all you have right now is a name and number. It’s a start. Add every single customer you come into contact with to the CRM system. Make it your personal rule of thumb to add 100% of the people you speak or engage with, 100% of the time, without fail. Customer relationship management software is only as good as the data it is given and the team who use it. Get as much data from your potential customer as possible… without sounding like a stalker. Then let the CRM take over.

If you commit to a task… Do it.

four-figures

Your MyDay in DealerCRM says you are scheduled to make X number of calls and some other tasks today. You told a customer you would touch back with them “tomorrow” because you understand that the Actions Plan in your CRM, which your dealership custom designed for your store, will fire a follow up for the next day. Well, it’s tomorrow and that call is chilling on your MyDay screen. Bottomline? Clear it. Make that call.

Following through with commitments is Business 101. If you don’t call the customer on the day they’re scheduled, then you appear unprofessional. Especially if they’re expecting a call from you. Your store also appears disorganized and flakey which is exactly the opposite of the impression you want to give people who could potentially build a lasting buying and service relationship with you and your dealership.

Time is the killer of deals and by not contacting them, they could decide to purchase elsewhere. By completing your daily tasks you’re ensuring that every customer that you’re supposed to contact actually gets contacted. Thus every opportunity is maximized and nothing falls through the cracks.

Get it Right

Vehicle information, stock numbers, car color, is the car a surprise? (ask Vitale about this one), deal structure, customer nickname, and how your customer prefers to be addressed (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. etc.) make sure you enter it all correctly into the system the first time. Or at the very least correct any errors post haste.

Correspondence which is sent on your behalf, from the system, reflects on YOU and the dealership. If an email, postcard or letter are generated with inaccurate information then everybody looks bad. Let’s face it, we’ve all heard stories about botched info on personal invitations and junk mail from other industries. What do the addressees remember? Well, I guarantee it wasn’t the killer Labor Day Weekend special.

Having all your ducks in a row also ensures that if something comes up and you are unavailable the show can go on, because the show MUST go on! Life happens, days off happen, illness happens, stuff happens… A sales manager needs to be able to jump into any deal efficiently and seamlessly, without having to make a client wait, while they contact you on your day off. This makes your store look like everyone is on the same page, you all function as a team, and the entire staff are professional and on the ball. If there is fumbling and pointed fingers and customers forced to wait while calls are made that’s all that will stand out in the mind of those customers down the road.

Record all of your interactions in real time

By successfully resulting the outcome of your client contacts and interactions, you ensure the software schedules the next contact due. It’s important to log information as close to real time as possible in order to allow the action plan to trigger follow up actions properly. How effective will a “3-Day Follow up call” be if you log the action which would trigger it 2 days later than it occurred?

There’s also nothing worse than a manager following up with a client to ask why they missed their appointment when the customer called you to reschedule. Or worse… they made the appointment and you didn’t log the results of that interaction in the system. The goal is NOT to look foolish but to portray a unified front whereby everybody is on the same page. When a customer has confidence that you and your team are on top of your profession they also feel more comfortable parting with their money and making a purchase.

Reply to customer emails, texts, calls and Internet leads IMMEDIATELY

Especially now in the internet age of instant gratification, time kills deals! The majority of people today are communicating via mobile device. The customer has an even higher expectation of a nearly immediate response. The sales person who responds first and fastest has a much greater chance of winning that lead. Which is sort of the idea behind our LeadBlast lead handling system.

group-of-figures

Response Time Statistics:

  • For Internet leads, the first dealership to engage the customer is 5 times more likely to sell that customer a vehicle. How is that for a 5 times rule for you?
  • 35-50% of sales go to the Dealer/Sales Rep who responds first.
  • Call within 5 minutes, and the chances of reaching a lead is 100 times higher than calling 30 minutes after the lead comes in.
  • When you’re not talking to leads right away, you waste about 92% of your time and budget.
  • The odds of qualifying a lead, if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes, drop 21 times.
  • A study by M.I.T reveals that the average company takes 1 day, 18 hours & 15 minutes to respond to an email lead by phone. Now that’s Terribleness…

Maximize your Reach

Follow up is key, if you want your be-backs to have a better closing ratio you need to have multiple avenues with which to communicate with your customers. Once you have a foot in the door so to speak, make certain you ask for Two Phone Numbers and an Email Address with EVERY customer.

According to NADA, 7 out of 10 customers will provide their email address if they are simply asked for it. Mobile numbers are even more critical today. People are much more likely to be near their mobile phone than a landline.

Most people are more likely to read a text message than take a phone call from a number they don’t recognize. For that reason the ask for text message opt-in is a word track you must master. Be sure to place phone numbers in the appropriate, corresponding fields within the system. Mobile numbers in the mobile field, home landline numbers in the home landline field, work numbers in the work number field and so forth. You can’t text a landline and calling the customer’s office at 10am on a Sunday probably isn’t the best use of your time.

Consistency is Key

You’ll have much better success with your CRM if you follow the best practices mentioned above… but the key is to do each of these things consistently through every opportunity, every day, always. It’s sort of like flossing… it only works if you do it every day. And fibbing to your dentist about skipping the task isn’t going to help anyone.

Do you “floss” everyday? Tell us about your Best CRM Tips in the comments or take us to task on the tips above.

You can always reach out to us via Social Media as well 🙂

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The Use and Support of CRM in the Automotive Dealership

I have run into the same conundrum a few times over the last couple of months.  Who is responsible for the understanding of Customer Relationship Management Software in the dealership?  I have heard a couple of different philosophies and I’m not quite sure which is correct however I have my own opinions.

When a dealership takes on a new CRM company, responsibility falls on many individuals.  It is up to the previous CRM company to provide the customer data to the new CRM company.  It is up to the dealership personnel to verify that this data is showing properly in the new CRM system.  It is the responsibility of the new CRM company to train the staff around proper use of the new tool. Finally, it is up to the dealership management to enforce and regulate the use of the tool within their store.

Every store that I have worked in has had a CRM in place. It was always up to me to figure out how it worked on my own.  I am not technically savvy, by any means. But I always figured out how to do what I needed to do, to get my customer in that tool and sell them a car.  If there was an issue with logging calls, I figured out how to get around it.  If there was an abundance of auto emails, I worked out a way to stop them.  Maybe I am the exception to the rule but I used that CRM to the best of my ability.  After all, it held all of my customer information.  It was the only place I knew where to find the best way to communicate with them to sell them a car.  This is also where I looked if an issue came up with that sale or if I wanted to approach them for another sale.

Of course, I also ran into those select few people that complained about the system:

“It doesn’t send emails correctly!”

“I don’t receive any of my follow up emails!”

“Where in the world do I find my sold customers?”

Sound Familiar? What I found with these people was that they blamed the system for doing things they did not understand how to change or make work to their advantage.

Whose responsibility is it to train these sales people and maintain their knowledge of the tools they are given?  Their managers? The CRM Software provider? Themselves?

At iMagicLab, I am a trainer.  I work with a great team to make sure I have all of the tools I need, to provide my clients with the information they need, to make a living.  However, we can only do so much to help.  We offer some fantastic resources to Dealers and their employees in order to give them the tools to use their CRM system to it’s full potential.  With so much turnover in staff in this lovely world we call the car business, is it logical to assume someone will be there every week, month, or year to continuously train people that may move on to another career in a month?  This is why iMagicLab offers iML University, a collection of training videos and tutorials right in DealerCRM. It’s available 24/7 at no additional cost to assist Dealers in training and educating their staff during the ramp up to their debut on the Sales Floor. It’s also useful to more experienced members of the team as changes and updates occur within the CRM tool.

It is up to  the dealership management to verify their staff understands the use of the CRM System and that they complete training.  iML University also offers tracking so that management can see their teams progress through the university courses.  It is up to them to maintain their knowledge by holding them accountable in the use of said tool.  Management expects you to know the product you are selling, shouldn’t it be fair that you know the tools you use to sell the product?

For those who don’t have the patience to view videos looking for answers we have a searchable database of Frequently Asked Questions in our DealerCRM Support Center.  This knowledge base is added to daily and offers answers for most of the common questions regarding the functions and use of DealerCRM and soon CRMSuite.  We do understand that sometimes a video or general FAQ article aren’t going to answer your specific question however.  And for that reason we’ve launched something really exciting within the last two weeks.  LIVE CHAT!

Have you used our Live Chat button on your MyDay Page yet?  If not, give it a click and let us know what you think. You can chat live Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm with actual iMagicLab, DealerCRM experts. It’s not a computer and it’s not a call center who are going to reply to you. These are genuine iMagicLab trainers and support team members who work in the tool daily, such as myself. We are here to get you straight to the information you need to continue on with your day and to be as productive as possible.

Give it a whirl and let us know what you think!

Simply Hit the Live Chat Button/Help Button on your MyDay Page or visit the DealerCRM Support Center

DealerCRM Support Center

iMagicLab DealerCRM Support Center Website

“At iML, as part of this new rebuild of our company, we’ve also changed the training model.”
– Richard Keith Latman, Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder of iMagicLab

In Sunday’s blog from Richard Keith Latman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of iMagicLab, he discusses iMagicLab’s redesigned training philosophy.

Read the whole Article on Richard Keith Latman’s blog