Dealers use a variety of software applications as part of their sales process. Using too many software applications requires a lot of duplicate data entry and jumping through different tools. This can create errors and slow down the process.
Here is a scenario of how customer information flows through a typical deal:
- Customers submits a lead on the internet
- Lead transfers to Internet lead management tool which is used to set an appointment
- Customer comes to showroom and is entered manually in the CRM
- Customer is manually entered in to software for trade appraisal
- Customer is also manually entered in to desking software to create a proposal
- Customer is manually entered in to credit app and submitted to banks
- Sales documents must be printed via software or filled out by hand
- Customer is manually entered in DMS to do finance contract
There can be a lot of inefficiencies in this process. Dealers need to leverage technology that combines or integrates as many of these steps as possible to streamline the sales process.
Suggestions for improving the process:
- Never use more than one CRM system. For example, do not use a separate system for internet and showroom leads.
- Make sure all leads from all internet and phone lead sources get put in to your CRM electronically so they aren't manually entered
- Use a trade appraisal tool that is integrated with your CRM. Some CRMs have these functions built in or integrate with vAuto, AAX, Firstlook,etc.
- Use the desking module built in to your CRM since it is preloaded with all the customer and lead information
- Transfer from your CRM or desking system directly to DealerTrack or Route One, and/or pull credit reports via your CRM
- Use your CRM or desking tool to print sales documents like buyers orders, we owes, etc.
- Transfer the deal electronically from your desking tool directly to your DMS so F&I can finalize the deal
Automotive CRM applications can provide the functionality to complete most of these steps. Review your current processes and check with your CRM provider to see if there are ways to streamline your process.
Chief Technology Officer