Not too long ago vehicle dealers considered implementing a CRM in their sales structures to be an unnecessary expense and an expendable tool. Today that trend has completely changed and in this digital age having a CRM is a must if you want to work efficiently, multiply sales and differentiate yourself from the competition.
These are 5 top features of a CRM designed specifically for auto and equipment dealers.
1. Segmentation and campaigns
What is segmentation? It means that all the contacts in your database (customers and leads) can belong to different groups according to characteristics, traits and data that you define. You can thus segment customers who, for example, are ‘travelers’, or whose favorite brand is ‘Buster’, or who bought their vehicle in ‘2017’. For each segment, you can then carry out a different marketing campaign.
How are segments created? With labels. By assigning labels, you can categorize leads in the database in order to segment them and carry out marketing campaigns.
For years it has been a trend to focus commercial strategies on geolocation. This feature of modern CRMs allows you to build routes to take maximize each salesperson’s time. In a few clicks a supervisor can can efficiently organize customer groups by zones and detect who is the right salesperson for each route.
3. Stages of the sale for each business unit
This feature is very important in order to improve management of each business unit within the dealership. The process of selling vehicles, and that for parts or services, clearly are not the same. Each one has its specific stages, timing and closing probabilities. In many CRMs, only one pipeline is available for all products which is not only confusing but also waste time.
It is important for each business unit to define its own pipeline. For example, in the sale of parts or services, a test drive or an advanced negotiation will not be necessary.
The best run dealerships base their success on sound sales processes and do not depend solely on the professional and interpersonal skills of each salesperson.
4. Units available
This feature is designed so that salespeople have information on available units that are consistent with what the customer wants. After entering a model in the contact opportunity, the CRM will detect which units of that model are available to offer.
In the Available Vehicles panel you can check availability of units using search filters (new or used, in a certain showroom or warehouse, by brand, etc.)
5. Reports, sales funnel and marketing funnel
We constantly mention Peter Drucker’s phrase: “What gets measured gets managed.” Successful decisions at the dealership depend on a correct analysis of the current situation. There may be random decisions that fortuitously give positive results, but they are not the result of the most professional decision. For this reason it is important to have analysis tools in both your DMS and CRM.
One of the most popular reports in a CRM is the Sales Funnel. This report indicates the number of potential customers who went from one stage of the sales process to the next, allowing you to see how many opportunities are lost in each stage. In this way we can learn valuable information:
- Stages where a sale is more likely to fall apart
- Salespeople who close fewer sales than their peers, and at what stage do they lose them
- Highly effective stages that can be used to enhance the least effective ones
- Do we generate enough leads? Or are more leads generated than can be effectively managed?
With this information, decisions can be made to refine the sales process and train each salesperson.
However, modern CRMs must also provide tools to analyze the performance of marketing channels. In other words, being able to analyze the stage prior to the sales process, which is the generation of prospects. With this information we can see if:
- Each marketing effort is aimed at the right audience
- Opportunities are being generated with profiles appropriate to what the dealership offers
- How many people do we need to contact to achieve our prospecting objective
- Do we need to change marketing channels to generate more opportunities
- Are sales and marketing teams aligned
The advantages of a CRM are measurable and make a strong case to prove that a CRM is not a cost but an investment. A CRM lets you have an organized, professional sales team that has the tools to take advantage of every sales opportunity and increase the success rate in each contact.