A fully integrated solution reduces redundancies and human error, with an upside of improved process flow and expedited transactions

Six reasons why you need a seamless process at every stage of the sale.

Industry-leading CRMs have become the operational “dashboard” for the dealership—from lead management and equity mining to credit prescreening and service process follow-up. Modern CRMs seamlessly process, track and measure performance of every interaction with the customer, from the time the lead hits the system, through the delivery process to the subsequent vehicle and customer life cycle.

Think about how much information is entered into a software solution pertaining to any given customer—from the initial internet lead through the customer’s delivery. Reentering this data in multiple systems could result in lost communication and decreased productivity. Now consider how disconnected the process could be if a CRM, for instance, did not communicate efficiently with a given software system and vice versa. A fully integrated solution reduces redundancies and human error, with an upside of improved process flow and expedited transactions. Here’s how.

  1. Time is Money
    Ideally, data from all systems should flow freely in real time to achieve the greatest productivity. Dealerships rely on employees to quickly make the first contact and often find this practice to be unreliable; the majority of in-market customers are never contacted by dealers with whom they already have a relationship. Utilizing CRM products and implementing processes allows employees to stay ahead of the customer and outpace competitors. An advanced CRM will actually do the work for a user. It will not only prompt followup items that need to be accomplished but can also be programmed to send out quality automated emails, allowing a dealership to make contact immediately after a lead has been submitted.
  1. Keep Your Leads
    Integration of telephone and internet lead-management (ILM) software within a CRM leaves little room for error. Whether a customer dials into a store’s main line or submits a lead online, these systems guarantee that no information will be lost and allow for the customer to be contacted within seconds of submitting the lead. If ILM or telephone software were disconnected from a CRM, capturing 100 percent of lead prospects would be virtually impossible.
  1. Inventory Integration
    This allows a salesperson or BDC team to quickly identify options—whether it be different models or colors—to make the sales process seamless. Inclusion of vehicle images and option packages helps simplify email communication with customers.
  1. Simpler Trade Appraisals
    To obtain this information, the user could potentially have to access a different system and enter additional information. However, if equity and vehicle valuation software are integrated into a CRM, the process becomes continuous. By allowing a user to remain in one system, minutes or even hours could be shaved from the customer’s buying experience, thus increasing customer satisfaction and dealership productivity.
  1. Desk That Deal
    By eliminating the human element of data transfer by digitally pushing the information into a credit-application system (such as RouteOne or DealerTrack), the process flow becomes far smoother and leaves less room for error. At this point, the customer is probably anxious to take delivery of his or her new vehicle; prolonging the process any longer will only try the person’s patience. A well-integrated CRM system can push data—pricing, credit, vehicle information, etc.—into a menu software and create a perfectly customized financial-services menu. Once the menu is finalized and products are selected, the CRM should allow a user to push all that information into a DMS to print contracts and, ultimately, book the deal.
  1. Retention and Beyond
    Once customers drive off the lot in their new vehicle, the relationship building begins. They want to feel valued, so make sure they are. Retail customers should be followed up when they have equity in their vehicle. CRMs should alert sales/BDC associates when customers could potentially have equity in their vehicle, whether it be randomly or the customer is pulling into your service drive. Lease customers should be followed up when their lease is about to expire. CRMs should also alert sales/BDC associates when a conquest customer is in service and provide an instant valuation of the vehicle. They should have the option to perform a credit prescreen to instantly identify a possible lease ending or equity position the customer may have in the vehicle being serviced. The credit prescreen will verify whether or not the consumer meets the initial credit requirements established by the dealer for financial services. Once a customer has chosen to do business with your dealership, it is up to your staff to use the tools to keep him or her coming back.


From lead submission to delivery, it is imperative that all customers have the best possible experience at every contact point they have with the dealership. For maximum customer satisfaction, all dealership associates must demonstrate superior communication, precision and adaptiveness. Industry-leadig CRMs add tools to optimize those skills. An all-encompassing CRM solution facilitates best practices for the dealership.

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