3 Min Read • December 12, 2022
CRM Reporting: The Key to Success Regardless of Market Conditions
The last few years have proven the old adage that nothing is constant but change. As new car supplies appear to be catching up to demand, we’re hit with interest rate increases and the threat of a recession. Economic conditions will always fluctuate, but your success doesn’t have to dip when the market does. No matter the market conditions, optimizing and monitoring your CRM reporting is key for ongoing efficiency, growth and profitability.
Basic reporting as part of a CRM software installation isn’t enough to get results. An automotive CRM with advanced reporting capabilities, able to self-customize reports on the fly is an important pillar of your dealership’s success. Since no business is exactly the same as the next, you need to be able to create your own reports or customize existing ones to fit your needs.
This is especially important today with a more modern customer journey, growing customer acceptance of ordering their own vehicles, and challenging economic times. All these factors necessitate keeping a close eye on business operations so you can pivot quickly when you need to.
As you look ahead, it’s important to make sure your dealership is considering the following reporting needs.
Customize Reporting To Fit Modern Retail
By now, we all know that a modern retail workflow is here to stay. The challenge is making sure your end-to-end retailing workflow is smooth and consistent for all shoppers — regardless of how they interact with your dealership. Customized reporting can solve one big sticking point for many dealerships: follow-up for online visitors to your website who browsed and maybe even selected a vehicle, but dropped out before completing all the steps.
Do you have a report that tracks this activity so you can assign follow-up to team members? These are low-funnel leads. Proper reporting can prevent them from falling through the cracks.
Align Reporting With Current Buying Behavior
Customers are more comfortable with the idea of ordering vehicles themselves and waiting for them to arrive. This new buying preference along with dealers' ability to cut floor expenses signal a new norm — a major shift for Salespeople and the BDC. Without proper follow-up processes and productivity reporting, the customer experience will suffer. Design your follow-up protocols to focus on the needs of customers currently waiting for a vehicle. Be clear about how often to follow-up, what communication channel to use, how to relay delivery delays and the details of vehicle pickup at your store.
Track productivity with customized activity reports to ensure processes are being followed. This may entail adding or removing fields, applying filters or specifying employees. One member of your team might be responsible for orders and another for in-transit, for example. A custom report can also help guard against your team pushing these “sold” customers to the back burner to pursue active leads.
Add a Visual Component
Visual data reports can help team members understand and act on business insights. Charts, tables and graphs all help to communicate patterns and trends more quickly than spreadsheets. One effective way to display month-over-month growth and reveal highs and lows is using line charts. This data is invaluable when allocating marketing dollars, assessing lead providers and analyzing team member performance. Advanced CRM systems make it easy to add visual representations with a few clicks.
Evaluate Your Vendors
Create reports that reflect your KPIs and desired goals and audit ROI. When you create your own reports, you have statistics to back up or refute what vendors are telling you. Customizing reports quickly create a window into the metrics that matter and give you the ability to adjust immediately. If a vendor is running a marketing campaign that isn’t bringing in leads, you can switch up messaging before wasting more money. There’s absolutely no reason to overpay vendors. Custom CRM reporting can help make sure you’re realizing the ROI that you expect.