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4 CRM Customizations to Boost Sales Results

Get the most out of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system by customizing marketing, employee and buyer processes.

Kyle Brooks, Dr.B.A., is the manager of customer success for Elead.

How well do your CRM processes match your established store processes? When the two don’t align, problems can occur; the most common issue is that the CRM will be underutilized, which makes it difficult to measure your team’s effectiveness and improve results. Poor utilization also makes it difficult for leadership to have visibility into what’s happening in their stores.

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The way to fix these problems is with CRM customization. The good news is that many CRMs are customizable. When a CRM is first installed, dealers typically opt for the stock options and say they’ll figure out the customizations later. Unfortunately, many don’t get around to it. If this sounds like your store, you may want to reach out to your vendor’s account manager and schedule some time to customize your CRM.

Here are a few examples of how customized processes can impact your store’s results.

Lead Assignment Rules

This customization allows you to determine where leads from different sources are assigned to. Do you want all internet leads to go to the BDC or to the sales floor? Maybe it’s the sales floor during the day but the BDC after hours. Perhaps you want all leads from Kelley Blue Book to go straight to your used car manager for an appraisal. This customization creates opportunities to home in on leads before the competition does.

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Leads can also be assigned to the marketing team so they can build customized marketing lists. For example, do you have leads coming in for high-demand vehicles and don’t have any inventory right now? Assign them to your marketing team and create a drip campaign that explains the shortage and keeps potential buyers updated on the situation. When inventory is replenished, you’ll have a list of customers ready to buy. 

Lead Follow-Up

Some dealers have a one-size-fits-all approach when responding to leads. When a customer comes into the showroom, they’re likely more than 80% through the buying funnel, so a different approach is needed than with a brand-new internet lead. And ideally, a lead from a third-party is treated differently than a lead that comes in through your website. 

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Dealerships located in major metro areas have more competition, so a higher priority should be placed on lead response times. Our data shows that the faster the response time, the faster the close and the higher the gross. The more you can tailor a follow-up cadence in your CRM to each lead source, the better your closing ratios will be. 

Marketing Campaigns

Targeted communications are key to keeping customers engaged. The ability to leverage CRM data in marketing campaigns can make a big difference in ROI.

For example, dealers are currently struggling with inventory. Identify customers with desirable units based on their service and/or purchasing history, and create a marketing campaign focused on acquisition opportunities. Create a service campaign that targets every customer who has been in your service department in the last year; or use the decline service tool to create a list of customers for a specific type of service. The possibilities for customized marketing campaigns are endless.

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CRM Permissions

This customization allows employees and consultants to access different parts of the CRM, and to do different things in the system. Depending on your CRM, you may have as many as 200 boxes that you can check or uncheck for an individual, or based upon a title.

For example, maybe you want your receptionist to be able to create a marketing list but not to create a campaign from that list. Some dealers allow salespeople to manually log showroom customers but not to manually log internet leads, to ensure that the right source gets credit for each lead.

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If your CRM isn’t being utilized to its fullest potential, sales and marketing results will inevitably suffer. Customizing CRM processes to your established store processes is critical if you want your team to embrace usage, which leads to higher productivity and sales.

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