How do you hold your CRM Accountable?

February 17, 2014

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have come a long way.

I was one of the first in the automotive industry to offer DEALERSHIP-ACCOUNTABILITY-resized-600CRM systems to dealerships. When I began selling, the question to prospects was always, “Do you have a CRM system?” Over time, the question soon became, “Which CRM system are you using?”

The CRM in our industry has evolved to the point where it’s no longer a question of whether your store needs a CRM solution. It’s now more a question of which one your dealership uses.

I’m not here to debate the different merits of each company that sells CRM systems. No matter which system you choose, the main element to success will always depend on two things. The user and whether the system is being leveraged to its fullest capacity. 

Do you have a process in place to utilize the CRM as intended?  It is only successful if  your sales staff logs customers into it.

How do you accomplish these goals?

First, create a process to give sales staff confidence that they are not missing fresh opportunities while working the CRM. In addition, come up with a way to determine exactly how many customers each sales representativehas seen on the floor. You can compare that to how many they log into your CRM. If the numbers are different, you’re losing out on potential leads.

According to Nextup Data, only 54% of lot customers on average are making it into CRM system.  If this is true at your dealership, all of your reporting and statics are wrong. Think of how much of your advertising budget is being wasted based on those numbers.

A good way to find out how many leads your CRM is missing is by a simple calculation.

If you feel your store closes at the national average of 20%, then take the number of retail sales and multiply the number by five.  That’s the number of guests that should be in your CRM. The numbers will instantly show you how far off your reporting really is. At this point, rather than berating your CRM and the lack of data, stop and ask yourself: WHO HOLDS YOUR CRM ACCOUNTABLE?

How much time are your sales reps spending with guests?

According to our data, the average time reps are spending with guests comes to an average of 1 to 2 hours per day. Now, think about how much time your staff is spending when they are not with guests. The dealerships that are ahead of the game have processes in place to ensure that open time is being used within the CRM to get guests back in the dealerships’ doors.

It’s proven that a fresh guest closes between 15% and 20% maximum, while an appointment closes at between 45%-50%.  Therefore, a sales rep’s time is better spent working the phones and getting previous guests to return to the dealership.

Even if a salesman is only closing at 25%, that leaves 75% of business from the previous month they should be following up with to set appointments.

I’m a huge fan of CRM systems. After all, that’s how I got my start in this business. But I’m not a fan of dealerships that do not hold their system accountable. Hold your team accountable to a sales process for logging all guests that will ensure the sales staff is using your CRM as intended. Only then can you finally trust your reporting and begin to make smarter decisions for your business.


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