If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: The CRM only works as well as the people using it. And to get your people to use the CRM, you have to implement the right processes that will allow them to do their best work.
Let’s start by defining what I mean when I say “processes,” which can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different dealers. What I’m talking about is the specific series of tasks that fire to your salespeople when an opportunity is entered into a dealership CRM, such as Connect CRM. CRM processes play an enormous role in how cars are sold at your dealership. Yet, I think most dealers would agree they aren’t using their CRM to its full potential.
It’s easy to forget why we even need processes. The goal is simple, right? Sell more cars. But to achieve that goal, multiple people in the dealership have to complete multiple steps. From making the initial customer contact to desking the deal, a lot of specific actions must be taken to sell a car. Good processes provide an opportunity for quality control at every step, which in turn improves the customer experience and, ultimately, sells more cars.
Every dealership is different, so every process should be different, but there are a couple of common mistakes we often see dealers make that are worth keeping in mind as you develop your processes.
The first common process mistake is not having enough processes set up. For example, the process for following up with a walk-in customer probably won’t help you re-engage a customer who submitted a digital retailing lead and wants to buy a car completely online. Without a specific process for that specific scenario, salespeople are going to be given tasks that are not right, or worse, given no tasks at all. Think through all customer interaction scenarios, and set up CRM processes to accommodate all those scenarios – not just the most common. You’ll see improvements to efficiency in no time.
The second common mistake is setting up processes once and never touching them again. No process can, or should, last forever. The industry is constantly evolving, your dealership is constantly evolving, and your customers are constantly evolving. For your CRM to work for you, your processes should evolve too. If you sense something isn’t working quite right with one of your processes, tweak it right away; don’t wait until the situation becomes urgent. A good rule of thumb, though, is to review all of your processes – even those that seem to be working fine – at least once a year.
It may seem like a lot of work to spend so much time on your processes, but any successful CRM user will tell you that the effort is worth it. Implement good processes and you will see improvements in efficiency, CRM utilization, and, most importantly, profitability.
A version of this article originally appearedin AutoSuccess.
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