Automotive CRMs: Your key to the Digital Dealership System shift

May 22, 2017| Zach Klempf

New technologies have the potential to strengthen your business. They also tend to increase industry competition. The digitization of the car-buying experience shows the used vehicle business is no exception to this. 

Hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital have been invested in online sales platforms like Carvana and Vroom. General Motors is now selling vehicles direct to the public through its GM Factory Collection. And car-buying consumers now spend 60% of their time shopping for a vehicle online.

The car-buying public has changed, which means today’s dealerships need to adopt a digital dealership model to remain competitive. This goes beyond simply doing decent business through your website and third-party sites like CarGurus though. 

Focusing on your digital presence provides today’s customers with the service experience they’ve come to expect. But this can be difficult even for smaller independent and BHPH dealerships. That’s where a CRM (customer relationship management) tool comes in.


Why CRMs are Critical for Digital Dealership Systems

Catering to today’s tech-savvy customer requires lightning-quick communication to secure sales. Fortunately, CRMs help handle the electronic heavy lifting for you.

Today’s CRMs include a wide range of online and offline features. These help streamline digital tasks that can be tough for your team to stay on top of, making them a critical component of you digital dealership system.


What to look for in a CRM

CRM software has become as important to independent and BHPH dealerships as a DMS. But how do you know if a CRM is right for your dealership?

Independents and BHPH dealers need to be nimble and quick. They need a CRM system that fits their needs without slowing them down. Here’s a simple checklist to help make sure your dealership is using the CRM that best fits your needs:


Internet lead management 

Your dealership is being bombarded with 20 or more leads per day from the likes of Autotrader, CarGurus,, etc. You need to be able to manage and address these quickly.

Make sure your dealership has an integrated CRM solution that allows the sales manager to distribute and track leads. Your sales team should then be able to follow up immediately from their smartphones via text or email.


Develop sales teamwork plans 

How do your sales reps know when they need to follow up with a customer? How do you quickly onboard new hires?

Increase productivity with a CRM system that allows your team to schedule reminders for follow-up emails, texts or calls. Stay connected to previous customers with annual birthday greetings.


Mobile and social CRM 

Dealers who use a mobile CRM typically increase fresh ups by 20-25%. Mobile sales tools allow your team to run deals from their phones no matter where they are. Make sure your mobile CRM offers social media integration for sites like Facebook or Pinterest. This ensures your sales team is never out of touch with prospects.

Your CRM should also include mobile features that accelerate the momentum of the deal with seamless data entry. These key features can include an in-app driver’s license scanner to add contacts, or a VIN scanner to appraise trade-in vehicles.


Record and manage all opportunities 

How many “lost” customers made the trek to the lot but were never seen again because your sales rep didn’t follow up? Think about the thousands of dollars left on the table each month simply because a sales rep didn’t capture a fresh up’s contact information correctly.

What will it take to move one more opportunity to a closed deal by the end of the month? Take control of your opportunities and manage your sales cycle with a streamlined manager dashboard in your CRM. This lets you focus on the immediate actions needed to close deals.


Embrace the Digital Shift with Help from a CRM

To stay competitive in today’s used car market, you need tools that complement your store’s sales process. That includes a simple, mobile, intuitive CRM that allows you to easily connect with prospects.

Embrace the technological shift and make your dealership’s digital transition painless with help from a comprehensive CRM.

Tags: dms used car dealer carvana cargurus crm bhph truecar autotrader

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