Put Customers in the Driver Seat with Salesforce Automotive CRM

Before a buyer ever enters a car dealership, you can bet that they’ve already made it through some very important check-points on their customer journey. In fact, according to data from Lab42, 48% of buyers spend 1–3 months shopping before making their purchase. This places automotive dealers in a unique position.

When prospective clients are able to research makes and models, compare prices, review the histories, and even calculate wholesale value of specific cars without involving dealerships, it might seem like car lots are  headed in the same direction as video and DVD stores. After all, e-commerce has become a major industry — everything from clothing to groceries can be easily purchased online. However, there’s something different about automobiles that keep buyers from fully migrating to the internet.

Most car sales still occur at automotive dealerships and car lots. This implies that there is an advantage to buying cars in person. Even though the first stages of the car buyer's’ journey are relatively easy to complete online, those final, crucial stages still benefit from in-person resources. Of course, as technology improves, more buyers may decide to make the switch to buying online. In order to remain relevant, dealerships need to be able to offer their clients a level of service beyond what is possible with e-commerce.

To do that, they need car research CRM software.

What is Car Research CRM?

Car research CRM, also called automotive CRM, is a tool used by dealerships to not only simplify and optimise their own processes, but also improve client communication. To accomplish this task, it relies, as the name suggests, on advanced customer relationship management (CRM) technology.

CRM technology makes it possible for dealers to manage their entire customer base from a single system. Every bit of data associated with leads, prospects, current, and repeat customers can be gathered, analysed, and recalled quickly and effectively. This data can be used to provide dealerships with valuable forecast information, and the improved efficiency of consolidating multiple systems can drastically improve productivity. That said, the greatest benefit lies in CRM’s improved capacity for customer assistance.

Learn more about Salesforce automotive CRM

Dealer CRM solutions give employees direct access to all relevant client information. As customers work with salespeople, they can benefit from competent, personalised advice and service. And, should they need to suspend their shopping experience and pick it back up at a later date, they’ll be able to do so without having to worry about starting over — CRM ensures that no matter what salesperson is on the job, they’ll be up-to-date on who the customer is, and what they are looking for.

From IT, to project management, to customer service, CRM empowers automakers and dealerships to optimise their process and their services. As a result, they enjoy improved sales and increased profits. Studies have shown that the average ROI for CRM tools is a whopping $5.60 for every $1.00 spent.

What Should You Look for in a Car Research CRM Tool?

Car research CRM makes it possible for dealerships to play an integral part in helping their clients find the best solutions for their automotive needs. That said, there are many CRM providers on the market, and not all of them offer the same level of service. Here are the several questions worth considering when searching for a car research CRM tool.

  • How useable is it?
    When it comes to CRM, car research offers an interesting challenge: it needs to be powerful enough to handle massive amounts of customer data pulled from a variety of sources, while still being accessible enough for every member of the organisation to use easily.

    Interfaces that take advantage of data-visualisation to provide comprehensive control functions from a single screen ensure that users can access functions intuitively. Likewise, built-in tutorials and multi-channel support options help users get the most out of the system, without having to undergo lengthy and costly training sessions. Perhaps most importantly, the solution needs to be 100% mobile-compatible. This will allow salespersons on the lot to easily access customer data while selling.

  • How well does it integrate?
    No car research CRM, no matter how powerful, should undermine a dealership’s established processes. Rather than modifying existing systems to fit a new CRM solution, dealerships would be better off selecting a car research CRM tool capable of integrating with apps across the board.

    Fully integrated CRM software can bring together data from every available source, while also ensuring that calendars, business logic systems, sales systems, and others can all be accessed and controlled from a single program. Additionally, the CRM should be available on any desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

  • How current is the data?
    Data has a very real expiration date, which is to say that if it isn’t current, it isn’t valuable. Car research CRM solutions that draw data from a variety of relevant sources in real time provide dealerships with data they can trust. And, as the data changes, real-time syncing to connected devices ensures that no one is ever left out of the loop.

  • How flexible is it?
    Even within the confines of the automobile dealer industry, no two businesses are exactly alike. With that in mind, no single out-of-the-box software solution is likely to be a perfect fit.

    A CRM solution should be configurable, so that it is not only a perfect fit today, but also capable of scaling and being a perfect fit for years to come. This flexibility relies on built-in options where users can work within the program to configure setting to best meet their needs. Additionally, integration with optimised apps can extend CRM functionality to meet nearly any demand.

With Salesforce Automotive CRM, Car Research Solutions Are Simple.

Salesforce has long been recognised as the leader in B2B and B2C CRM, to the point where its CRM platform has become the standard against which every other CRM provider is measured. Salesforce Automotive uses the same superior CRM platform that has revolutionised the business world, and puts it to work for automotive business.

Automotive CRM ensures that car dealers are focused on their customers. With car shoppers more informed and more proactive than ever before, they are expecting more from dealerships. Instead of waiting for clients to arrive and only becoming a part of their journey as it reaches its conclusion, dealers can use Salesforce’s Automotive CRM to connect with clients at every touchpoint across all media — including online, via mobile devices, through social media, and even through connected automobiles.

Engaging customers where they are gives dealerships a chance to cement strong client relationships from the very start of the journey. As leads progress towards becoming customers, dealerships can take advantage of Salesforce’s award-winning CRM to provide them with the best service possible, resulting in satisfied, lifelong customers.

Salesforce Automotive is an intuitive, fully-integratable, real-time, cloud-based system that can be customised and configured to meet the needs of any dealership. Salesforce CRM provides dealerships with the ability to meet the high expectations of modern customers, and to help them find what they’re looking for.

Drive Customer Engagement, With Salesforce Automotive.

In a study commissioned by Cox Automotive through IHS Automotive, it was determined that 46% of car buyers only visit one dealership, and 52% only test drive one vehicle before making a purchase. Make sure that the dealership they visit is yours, by connecting with customers long before they step onto the lot.

With Salesforce Automotive, dealerships can give their clients the right kind of assistance across all media and platforms, and guide them to car that fits their needs. And, in the process, dealerships can establish rewarding buyer-seller relationships, so that the next time that customer is in the market for a vehicle, they know exactly where to start their search.

Modern car buyers are in control of their own journey, and with Salesforce Automotive, dealerships can help them reach their destination satisfied.


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