3 Min ReadJuly 12, 2023

Use Your Dealership’s CRM to Take Control During Uncertain Times

Use Your Dealership’s CRM to Take Control During Uncertain Times

The past few years have been a wild ride for car dealers with no signs of slowing down soon. Some analysts predict new vehicle prices will plummet thanks to bullish automaker production schedules and the return of incentives colliding with rising interest rates.

While market conditions may be out of your hands, control over your operation isn’t. Your best bet to come out on top, whether the economy is lagging or booming, is to cut costs.

Leading dealers are turning to automotive CRM software to help leverage sales teams and customer data to improve performance and efficiency during uncertain times. All without buying more leads or hiring more staff. Here’s how you can do it.

Brush Up on Sales Skills

For the past few years, your sales staff has mostly been taking orders. Car sales skills may have atrophied and need some polishing. CRM productivity reports can pinpoint who needs help and where they need it in the sales process.

These reports allow managers to establish, monitor and manage sales goals for specific teams and salespeople. Metrics — such as lead response times, overdue activities, and monthly goal progress — allow you to address problems before these affect your bottom line.

Capitalize on Equity Opportunities

In recent years, many consumers held onto vehicles longer than they wanted to because the inventory wasn’t available. Now that lots are filling with vehicles again, these leads should move to the front of the line.

Create equity mining triggers in your CRM solution to pull historical data of prospects who can trade in an older vehicle and buy a new vehicle for little or no money down at a lower or equal payment. Another good strategy: market to customers with expiring leases or financing.

Revisit Online Leads

Online leads boomed during the pandemic and that trend is poised to continue. As inventories continue to rise, more of these shoppers will get off the sidelines. Now is the time to revisit that packed pipeline.

Strong integrations between your digital retail tool and your CRM tools allow you to capture customer information even if shoppers complete only a few of the online steps. With the help of a CRM, you can segment customers based on where they are in the buying cycle and then automatically email information that’s most relevant to them.

Examine Digital Lead Providers

While capitalizing on the leads you already have is key, the majority of dealers will still want fresh leads coming in. However, the true cost of the sales you get from lead providers must be examined.

Focus on CRM reports that break down cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale per lead provider to get a clear accounting of ROI. For example, if your closing ratio on a provider’s internet leads is below the standard industry benchmark of 7% to 10%, it may be time to reconsider the relationship.

It’s also worth noting that you’re not just paying for the lead. You’re also paying the salaries of internal sales and Business Development Center (BDC) staff tasked with following up on those leads. When you look at the big picture, following up on 500 monthly leads from a provider but closing only 2.5% erodes your front end gross any way you look at it.

Learn how the CDK Elead CRM solution can help your dealership during uncertain times.

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CDK Global
By CDK Global
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