Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers and their Managers
I've had the fortunate opportunity to run dealerships, work face-to-face with hundreds of dealerships nationwide, as well as with numerous dealership suppliers, be they CRM/ILM companies, advertising/marketing agencies, lead gen companies, etc. And while I am often impressed with some really great ideas and technologies they create, at the end of the day, are we just making some very simple processes overly complex?
For example, when I help dealers maximize internet lead management performance (or just lead performance in general, be it walk-in, phone, or electronic), it's easy for someone to dazzle (or more likely overwhelm) a dealer with fancy metrics, data, research, tools, dashboards, etc. to show them how poorly they are doing "something," and how they SHOULD be doing that "something" instead. The reality is that a rank beginner/amateur can do this as I've seen it happen hundreds of times. But at the end of the day, while the metrics were "impressive," it provides minimal value-add to a dealer because it is either a) not directly actionable (that "50,000-foot view" analysis), b) too difficult to self-implement, and/or c) not sustainable for a variety of reasons.
Case in point...there are literally hundreds and hundreds of things a CRM system can do for you. And they're all pretty nice things to have too. But...what percentage of dealer principals/managers/sales consultants honestly have the aptitude, time, attention span, and/or skill to use that system COMPLETELY and PROPERLY? The answer is VERY FEW. There are rather simple reasons for this, but I won't bore you with that now.
I always encourage all dealers to crawl before they walk, and walk before they run...in other words, master the basics first, then build on that foundation instead of shortcutting (like we normally do!). There are many great CRM systems out there. But regardless of what you get, start with and master these very basic things:
Focus on these CRM basics, do them REALLY well, and I am confident you will outperform any of your competitors trying to do 50 different CRM things at once, but likely doing them poorly or mediocre at best. Once you master these, then we can move on to mastering more advanced tactics and processes to help propel you even further ahead of the competition!