EMBRACE IT INDEPENDENT DEALERS: CRM IS HERE TO STAY
CRM has been a stable within the automotive industry for many years. When CRM technology was first introduced to automotive dealerships it gave a dealership a huge advantage over their competitors. The days of filing cabinets, notecards and sticky notes were gone and the stores with CRMs were now sending out automated emails to their customers, both prospect and sold, creating automated reminders for their sales team. This ensured nothing slipped through the cracks and gave managers outstanding reporting and tools to manage their teams. Sales shot through the roof!! Fast forward to 2016 and there is not a franchise dealership that does not use CRM technology! While having a CRM over 10 years ago gave you an advantage, not having one today could put you out of business. As a former DealerSocket CRM Consultant and manager of Consultants- I have absolutely no idea how a dealership could manage a profitable business without a CRM tool! When I hear of successful stores that do not use CRMs it blows me away. Think of what they could do with the power of CRM!
After some time working as a Consultant in the franchise world I started to work with Independent dealers and was promoted into Management at DealerSocket. This was a foreign world to me. While almost all dealers had CRMs in the franchise world, Independent dealers were hesitant, suspicious and in many cases wanted nothing to do with a CRM. Statistically, 63% of Independent dealers are NOT using a CRM. To someone that sees so many successful businesses depending on CRM for their structure, organization and communication that is a hard statistic to believe. It seemed the Independent market was following the Franchise market and that the 37% of dealers that had a CRM had struck gold, whereas those that did not were missing out! Need proof in the pudding that the folks with CRMs are killing it? Those 37% of the dealers using CRM make an average of $45,645 in revenue per month! Additionally, dealers using CRM average $120 per car less in floor costs! Do these statistics help show the value of CRM? What if I told you that a dealer transitioning from no CRM to using a CRM solution increased cars sold by 14 per month. And that ROI shoots up over 600% when using a CRM due to the ability to track marketing in a much more strategic way. Ladies and gentlemen, I could go on and on. The fact of the matter is that the statistics do not lie. So let’s go back to the question of why a strong majority of Independent dealers are not using CRM. I believe it comes down 3 main train of thoughts:
1) INDEPENDENT DEALERS BELIEVE THAT THE CRMS ON THE MARKET ARE MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE FRANCHISE DEALER.
2) INDEPENDENT DEALERS THINK THAT THEY CANNOT AFFORD A CRM SOLUTION.
3) INDEPENDENT DEALERS DO NOT BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE RESOURCES TO FULLY UTILIZE A CRM.
The 3 statements above are the most prominent feelings when it comes down to why only 37% of Independent dealers are using CRM. It is my mission to educate our readers so they understand that those 3 items are not good reasons for not utilizing CRM. Let’s rebute those statements one at a time.
1) It may have been true that the original CRM solutions were made for the franchise dealer. That is not the case anymore. Large CRM companies, including the giant DealerSocket, have since customized and made their CRM friendlier for an Independent BHPH or Retail dealer. Furthermore, CRMs can be customized even beyond what comes with it in the out-of-the-box package. Advanced CRM Solutions, for example, has thousands of pages of best practices on how to fully, optimize, utilize and run a CRM in the most efficient way.
2) Looking at the above stats, can you afford to NOT have a CRM? Most CRM companies have affordable packages specifically for the Independent dealer. A CRM may cost $500 to $1000 a month, but if you are averaging roughly 14 more cars a month sold more how is this going to get in the way?
3) I want to make two very clear points here with item no. 3. First off, it is absolutely possible for a smaller dealership to KILL it with a CRM. 87% of Independent dealers sell under 50 cars a month and many of these dealers are using CRM, increasing their sold dealers per month by 14 and having massive success growing their business. They do this by having a “Power User” on their staff- who is someone that OWNS the CRM operation at their dealership.
Second, it is also true and it would be unfair to not bring up that the average Independent dealer has less staff and overall resources then the average Franchise dealer. This is where many Independent dealers throw in the towel, but it is also where the most popular service that Advanced CRM Solutions offers comes into play. Remember when I said all successful companies that kill it with CRMs have a Power-User? Advanced CRM Solutions can act as your Power-User on a month to month basis. We can be a part-time member of your staff, dialed in to your mission and your needs, guiding you to full CRM utilization- giving you the same expertise that the largest dealers get. My friends, this is HUGE! You pay us a fraction of the dollars that it would cost to pay a full-time employee OR that the time you put into becoming an expert would cost.
This is a WIN/WIN for dealers and we have had tremendous success with this service. We want to be a partner with you as a part time employee, participating in weekly sales meetings, providing proactive consulting and training and taking care of the CRM monthly maintenance items that you sometimes forget to take care of.
You may ask, “Well, I can barely afford a CRM, how can I afford you?” The reality is that our pay will be pennies on the dollar for the revenues we will drive. Our expertise, processes and monthly actions will help drive you to those 14 extra cars per month- once again driving up your revenues to new heights.
Lastly, you may say, “What if you are not providing value? What if I do not need you after you help right the ship?” Do you continue to pay employees that do not come to work? No you fire them. We do not sign contracts and you can let us go as soon as we are not providing value. Though, I will be upfront with everyone. We have not been fired yet.
So there you have it. There is no excuse to not take the plunge. Why not take advantage of technology embraced by millions to drive up sales and increase revenue? To our friends that have deep resources. We are still cheaper. You don’t pay us benefits and I can promise our yearly fee will be less than that of an employee. And to our friends without deep pockets. Let’s help you even the playing field and give you an expertise many take for granted.
You worry about Selling Cars.
Let Advanced CRM Solutions worry about your CRM.