Published On: July 25, 2011
"The Sales Manager’s Laws of CRM Use" presented by Greg Wells at the 10th Digital Dealer Conference.
We’re living in the age of information, and a CRM is an effective hub car dealers can use to record, analyze and implement information. That’s the message Greg Wells presented at the 2011 Digital Dealer conference, where he advised car dealers to use their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to strengthen the results of their internet sales and BDC departments. Greg’s presentation focused on how raw data can be recorded in the CRM and turned into meaningful metrics to improve car sales. These measurable metrics include sales-to-traffic ratio, and the results of sales representative interactions with incoming customers. His initial claim is that for this to work, car dealers need to record as much raw data as they can and centralize the information in their CRM. According to this extensive work with the auto industry’s top performing BDCs, Greg finds that at the most successful car dealerships, the sales manager is the expert when it comes to the CRM.
From his experience, Greg has created the following five laws of the CRM:
- No duplication
- Update status
- Rank showroom traffic
- Track data input
- Set performance standards
The first law is primarily to reduce waste by not having duplicate entries in your CRM for the same customer. Greg says it is best to identify your customer and record data specific to that one person, instead of having too many duplicate customer identities in your CRM, which can get confusing and result in inaccurate measurements. The second law is about creating chemistry between your car dealership and the new and returning customers who interact with your salespeople. Keep track of how your salespeople are pursuing leads by having them assign a specific status to the customers they work with; how often a customer comes in, and if they return, is simple yet useful data. Greg’s third law advises the sales manager to rank traffic using broad categories, such as “green” for a likely car deal, “yellow” for a lead that will need more nurturing, and “red” for a deal that does not require a follow-up by any salespeople.
Greg’s fourth and fifth laws discuss how to handle data and what to make of metrics. The fourth law of the CRM concerns reaching your target audience by asking them directly about their preferred method of contact. This practice increases the likelihood that the potential customer will respond to being contacted by your salespeople. Greg’s fifth law proposes the necessity of setting performance standards in the showroom, so that sales strategies and activities are understood in terms of their results. Examples of performance standards include data collection standards to measure how well your team captures contact information from potential customers, as well as how well your team converts the contact they have with customers to actual sales. When it comes to data, understanding your customers, and being their go-to dealership for a new or used car, the relationship is clear: gathering and organizing information in your CRM can help your sales team tailor its strategy towards higher customer interaction, satisfaction, and conversion to sales.