Ask the Dealers: Secrets to Maximizing Your CRM Usage

One of the highlights of VinWorx 2018, VinSolutions’ premier user summit, was the Connect CRM user panel. Dealers from across the country (and Canada!), including Bennett Boothe of Moreland Auto Group in Denver, Colorado; Kevin Frye of the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family in Cincinnati, Ohio; Bryan Armstrong of VW Southtowne in South Jordan, Utah; Erika Dantzer of AutoCanada in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and Mary Olson of Ferman Auto Group in Tampa, Florida, took the stage to share their top CRM tips and tricks with other dealers in the audience.

Panelists weighed in on a number of questions, but one of the most fruitful was, “How do you maximize CRM usage?” Here are some best practices from the experts.

Train, train, train

Your staff needs to learn not only how to use the CRM, but also why to use it. It is critical that staff are trained to understand how the CRM can help them personally improve their sales.

When you hire new employees, require that they be trained before they get access to the CRM. Establish a CRM champion for your dealership and make them the go-to person for questions and concerns. These two actions will create a culture of training within the dealership, and with new hire training each month and refresh sessions for all employees at least once a year, your team will maximize CRM usage.

Engage your salespeople with reporting

Leverage the information within the CRM to demonstrate its value to your sales team. For example, you can pull a report showing which customers have equity and may be in market for a new vehicle. Many of those leads will be unassigned, so you’ll be showing hidden opportunities.

You can also emphasize the dollar amounts associated with each CRM activity, such as the show rate for confirmed appointments versus non-confirmed appointments. Get your sales staff thinking about how much more money they could be making if they completed all their tasks.

Make it fun

You can also use your Connect CRM reporting capabilities to identify success stories and give out awards or even goofy trophies to amp up your sales staff’s competitiveness. For instance, you could give out a gold envelope to the person who sends the most customer emails or give the salesperson who does the best job of manually inputting opportunities into the system a golden laptop trophy. It doesn’t have to be expensive to create an awards program that encourages and supports good CRM practices.

Hold staff accountable

It’s vital to have buy-in from management to develop and nurture a strong CRM culture in your dealership. It’s up to your sales managers to ensure that their people are properly trained and following your processes. It’s also their job to keep their team members apprised of how they rank and what they need to do to improve, if necessary.