For many years, a lot of conversation in automotive retail has focused on connecting the online shopping experience to the in-store one. But as the events of 2020 have accelerated the adoption of digital retailing by both consumers and dealerships, the conversation has shifted.
Today, progressive dealers are thinking less about building a bridge between two separate processes and more about transforming their approach to car sales to meet the individual needs of customers—regardless of their physical location. And with that shift in approach comes a need to build customer confidence in the car-buying process, whether it is a fully digital, fully traditional, or hybrid experience.
Dealers and consumers alike are ready to shift to a more flexible sales model. 62% of shoppers want to do more of the purchase online compared to the last time they purchased a vehicle, according to the 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer Impact Study. According to the same study, 85% of franchise dealers are conducting business beyond their physical location, a percentage that has remained steady since March. But to make the shift to digital and hybrid sales processes, dealerships must have the right tools for the job—both for their sales staff and their customers.
Now more than ever, a streamlined workflow is key to building customer confidence in the car buying process, and integrations between your dealership CRM and digital retailing solutions are critical. Here are three ways these integrated tools can enhance your sales processes, improve the customer experience, and boost results.
Understand Customers’ Activity and Info
88% of shoppers want to do at least some of the purchase process online, according to the 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer Impact Study. And customers expect for salespeople to know what they’ve done and acknowledge their work. Without a strong integration between your CRM and your automotive digital retailing tool, however, it can be difficult for salespeople to figure out where a customer left off in their digital buying journey.
VinSolutions Connect CRM’s integration with Dealer.com Digital Retailing solves this problem by delivering a full report of each customer’s purchase activity directly in the CRM customer record. With one quick click, salespeople get a full readout of all the data a customer has shared—in the same view that the customer sees—ensuring salespeople and customers are on the same page from the start.
Eliminate Duplicate, Out-of-Date Leads
One of the most common complications of implementing a digital retailing solution is the sudden abundance of duplicate leads in the CRM. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If your current CRM creates a new, duplicate lead when deal terms are changed, instead of updating the existing lead, consider implementing a tool with stronger CRM integration.
With Connect CRM, salespeople are alerted every time a deal structure change is made using Dealer.com Digital Retailing. With all the lead activity store in one common customer record, you always have the most current information you need to respond to shoppers.
Reduce Data Reentry
65% of sales reps’ time, on average, is spent on non-revenue-generating activities, according to a study by ClickFunnels. For dealership sales staff, a significant portion of that time is often spent on data reentry into desking tools. Dealership staff manually reentering data into their desking solution not only takes up valuable time, it also introduces opportunity for error at a phase in the buying process where accuracy matters most.
That opportunity for error is greatly reduced when your desking software integrates with your digital retailing tool, as VinSolutions Connect Desking does with Dealer.com Digital Retailing. The integration between these two tools boosts customer confidence by ensuring that the deal terms that they saw online are the ones that show up in your desking tool.
Keep Customer Communications Consistent
Ultimately, what a streamlined workflow and better access to customer data means is more consistent and more accurate communication with customers, which leads to an improved buying experience. Instead of spending time repeating themselves or going back and forth correcting information, customers can instead spend their time getting expert advice from your sales team on the right car and the right deal for them. That’s a win-win for everyone.