In the early ‘90s an acquaintance received a new job assignment. He was to set up an outbound telemarketing department to sell off millions of dollars of off-lease computer equipment.
He assembled a team of “telemarketers” – accountants and administrative assistants from within the company. He sourced and obtained a prospect database. A sales and call management system – a CRM -- was evaluated and installed. In the meantime, caller phone-skills training got underway while he developed daily call goals and quarterly revenue quotas.
In the second year of its operation, this in-house effort generated $20 million for the company.
Do you see an application here to your business?
What’s your CRM doing for you?
Your CRM should be a money machine. A detailed plan for its use, operation, reporting and management is vital. Hold accountable every user in sales, service and F&I accountable for capturing customer data into it. Be sure these individuals use the CRM to stay in contact with their customers.
It should go without elaboration that daily CRM use for customer communication is important. However, to create a money machine from it put it in the hands of individuals capable of riding it hard.
Start your engines
The following steps are a guide to CRM profitability:
- Train internally or hire an individual to be your CRM specialist who likes speaking by phone. Their personality should project well to the listener.
- Establish specific calling goals and make them aggressive. Define specific calling objectives: mining customer data for equity-play customers; customers soon to come off lease; or, older vehicles you’d like returning to your service department.
- Ask your marketing person or agency to draft phone scripts. Scripts should detail key benefits and selling points for each call type. Train your specialist to use them to guide conversations.
- Include in these scripts a variation of the Road to the Sale. Craft the script so your specialist’s conversation brands your dealership.
- Determine your calling specifics. These include calling hours, call-out quotas and revenue expectations. Here’s a model: The number of dial-ups per day required to achieve X number of live calls X number of these calls that convert to X number of fruitful discussions = X number of sales opportunities. Decide to whom you will assign resulting live opportunities. This is the individual who will meet-and-greet the shopper when they come into the store.
- As management, track this activity to hold your specialist accountable for making the calls as required. Use these reports to monitor performance.
- Compensate based on the caller’s adherence to and meeting of the quotas and objectives. Add a spiff for every call resulting in an appointment set. Layer another spiff when the appointment shows (incentivizes proper appointment reinforcement efforts), and consider adding a percentage or flat commission when the appointment converts to sale.
These seven points provide a framework for turning your CRM into a true profit center. Truly, CRM application like this is a “numbers game,” which the right structure, the right objectives and the right specialist can turn into more “solds” on your lot and more ROs in your service department.