When dealership numbers aren’t where they need to be and managers are trying to diagnose the cause of low car sales, the dealership CRM will often get blamed for the underperformance. And sometimes the CRM is to blame, but many times however, the real problem lies elsewhere.
Just like any tool, a CRM is only as effective as the user behind it. The root of sales problems is often with the way people are using (or not using) the tool. Luckily, there are several CRM utilization red flags that are easy to spot. Every dealership is different, but there are a couple of key indicators that can alert you that something may be amiss in your processes.
For starters, look at how many uncompleted or overdue tasks are in your CRM. Every uncompleted task is a missed opportunity to connect with a customer. Every overdue task could have been the sale your dealership needed to meet its goals.
Reviewing overdue tasks is also an important first step because these uncompleted tasks can be an indicator of flawed processes. A lot of overdue tasks often suggest that CRM processes are too complicated or difficult to complete, and reviewing those processes right off the bat could avoid other problems down the road.
Data Entry Rates
It is also important to take a look at how often customer data is actually being entered into the dealership CRM. Many dealerships adopt the mantra that if it is not in the CRM, it did not happen. Customer data entry is often particularly problematic with inbound calls. All too often, customers call in, perhaps ask a few questions, and the salesperson answers those questions and then hangs up the phone. He doesn’t collect contact information, and he doesn’t log the conversation into the CRM.
Without that critical info in the CRM, no one will ever follow up with that customer. And it costs money to get that customer to call the dealership! If you’re not entering every single customer interaction into the CRM, you are throwing marketing dollars out the window.
It is impossible for anyone to remember every customer interaction AND provide transparency to the rest of the dealership. If data and information are not entered into the CRM after every phone call – inbound and outbound – then the task is not being done correctly and your employees are creating holes in your system and processes.
Inspecting overdue tasks and customer data entry rates are critical to helping you diagnose problems in your sales process, but CRM flexibility is what will help you solve those problems. If you have a lot of overdue tasks or low rates of customer data entry, then it is time to make CRM process changes that fit your needs.
When evaluating why your car sales are low and how to fix it, take a look at how flexible your CRM processes are. Do you have to change to fit the CRM, or can the CRM change to fit you?
Automotive CRMs have varying degrees of flexibility. VinSolutions Connect CRM, for example, allows you to change your CRM processes for yourself – however you like and whenever you like. Other CRMs will allow you change your processes, but require you to submit a request to their team which can take several days to be fulfilled. Consider these variables when deciding if the CRM is causing your sales problems.
There are many best-in-class dealers who have seen incredible returns on their CRM investment and usage. These dealers consistently innovate and adjust how their systems are used, helping the system cater to their needs and goals. By learning to recognize these CRM utilization red flags and making tweaks accordingly, other dealers can see the same results and appreciate CRM as the effective tool that it is.
Wondering if it might be time for a new CRM? Download the How to Buy a Dealership CRM guide for key next steps and questions to ask your team.