CRM software has come a long way in the past few decades, branching out from generic customer relationship management solutions to include industry-specific tools that better address the specific needs of various industries and business models. For the automotive sales industry, dealership software packages have evolved to go far beyond the typical automotive CRM solution, adding tools like Internet lead managers, business development tools, inventory management, call centers, telephone solutions and even independent service department CRMs.
Here are a few of the reasons you should choose a CRM dealer that specializes in automotive dealership solutions instead of generic CRM packages:
1) Improved Data Management
Automotive dealerships must collect, store and process a much larger range of data than a standard CRM package allows. This includes generic CRM data, such as customer contact information and sales history, as well as industry-specific data, such as service history, appointment data, credit history, loan status, financial data and more.
By choosing a CRM dealer that specializes in automotive dealership software, your dealership will have all the tools necessary to collect customer data from multiple sources, including showroom visits, service department visits, telephone calls, direct mail responses, internet advertisements, dealership websites and social media platforms. It will make storing and processing that data easy and efficient, with single-click access to all of your customer data, from contact information to financial reports, and simple data analysis tools that allow you to monitor sales statistics, spot trends and develop marketing tactics.
2) More Control Over the Sales Process
The automotive sales process differs significantly from other industries, and it requires tools and procedures that are simply not available in standard CRM packages. By choosing a CRM dealer that specializes in the automotive sales industry, you will receive software and tools that are customized for automotive sales, with access to customer financial information and credit history, DMS integration, streamlined desking processes, customized electronic deal worksheets, multiple deal functions, side-by-side deal comparisons, manufacturer incentive support and simple payment calculations.
Specialized software can help to make the sales process quick and efficient for both your dealership and your customers, enabling easy collection of customer information through optical scanning and intuitive data entry systems, customizable deal forms and worksheets, and reduced paperwork and data re-entry. By simplifying the sales process, you can encourage your customers to complete the sale and avoid missed opportunities.
3) Improved Marketing
Buying a vehicle is far more complicated than buying any other product, and it is often completed over a matter of weeks or months, rather than minutes. It involves plenty of research, hundreds of individual decisions and a large investment in both time and money.
To be successful, your dealership must be able to reach out to your customers across multiple marketing channels, and keep their attention from the initial interest and research phases to the final completion of the sale. Afterward, you must remain engaged with your customers to keep them returning for service, premium parts and accessories and further possible sales.
A CRM dealer that specializes in automotive dealership software can go far beyond the standard CRM packages to help you with the unique challenges of automotive sales. Its dealership software can help you to develop effective marketing plans that incorporate local print and television advertisements, direct mail, phone, email, Internet, mobile and social media marketing.
Tools like an Internet lead manager can reach out to your customers and provide valuable information during the research phase, then capture their interest when they are ready to buy and forward the leads to your sales team. Promotional tools like loyalty programs, coupons and discounts can keep your customers engaged and encourage them to return to your dealership often. Business development tools can help you to develop, implement and follow through on each of your marketing ideas.
4) Better Inventory Management
In the automotive sales industry, inventory management is far more complex than simply tracking the number and types of products that are currently available. Nearly every vehicle sold is unique, even within the same model line. There are multiple makes and models, multiple trim levels and dozens of options per model.
With an inventory solution from a CRM dealer specializing in dealership software, you can track every vehicle that is on your lot, including the details and specifications for each model. That information can be integrated into your website for easy browsing by customers, sent via email or made into electronic brochures for marketing purposes. The inventory tool can also track vehicle sales, including which models are the most popular or the most profitable, and help you to determine which vehicles you should prioritize for increased sales.
5) Improved Control of the Service Department
The service department at your dealership has its own unique sales, service and marketing requirements. With a Service Department CRM from an automotive CRM dealer, you can have better control over the sales and service processes within your service department. It can streamline the processing of repair orders, tracking them from their creation through completion, while keeping customers informed about the status of their vehicles through email and text messaging.
It can track customer sales and service histories, and suggest premium parts and services that may interest your customers, increasing sales and profits. It can also streamline the process of arranging loaner vehicles, track promise times, improve scheduling through online tools and ensure that each customer receives follow-up communications after the visit to gauge satisfaction and encourage further visits to your dealership.
By choosing a software package from a CRM dealer that is well-versed in the challenges and specific requirements of the automotive sales industry, you will receive a set of tools that will improve the overall performance of your dealership, streamline the sales process, improve customer satisfaction and increase both your sales and your profits. Many dealership software packages from an automotive CRM dealer can be customized to meet the specific requirements of your business, with a variety of available tools and options to meet your current or future needs.
Insights | January 19, 2021