Today, customers queue to buy vehicles and sellers usually take orders. We don’t know when supply chain issues will be resolved. We do know that the stock will slowly start to bounce back over time. Will your sales teams be ready for a more competitive market? Will they have the tools to be productive and keep the revenue flowing?
In our recent Retail friction points report conducted with NADA, we found that 94% of the 303 dealers surveyed want to move beyond traditional, outdated sales processes. Dealers recognize that to make vehicles easier to buy; they should be easier to sell. A simple, convenient process will win back customers as the chip crisis subsides.
In this blog, I’ll focus on the best tools—some faithful and some new to the market—sales teams need today to connect with customers and move deals forward.
DMS & CRM
I would say 100% of franchise dealers have a DMS and CRM. Self-employed people are left behind. These solutions are critical to sales to increase lead response times, have more personalized customer communications, and speed up the buying process. However, simply having these tools will not improve productivity and efficiency. Good data entry procedures and consistent use are critical. Dealer employees are also getting tired of using multiple systems that don’t talk to each other. As you analyze your sales process and consider upgrading to a new DMS or CRM, you need to prioritize seamless data transfer.
Digital Retail Solution
Our Friction Point report shows that 85% of dealers surveyed have a digital retail strategy. However, only a third use it in the showroom to provide an omnichannel shopping experience and improve sales presentations. This is a big missed opportunity. When in-store salespeople use the same tools as customers online, there’s no need to re-enter information or ask questions that have already been answered because the data is right in front of them. There are newly launched platforms that are compatible with a variety of CRMs, lending solutions and website providers. Look it up to create a seamless omnichannel experience for customers and salespeople.
Shopping Intelligence Tools
Knowing what your customers are doing online can help your dealership sell vehicles. Shopping intelligence tools allow sales associates to view website browsing activity, including VDPs on third-party sites, top-rated cars, and trade evaluation portals. With this information, sales can proactively provide relevant information that helps speed up the purchasing process. You want these tools integrated into your CRM so you can set up trigger alerts and task assignments when browsing activities require action.
Stock mining tools
Equity mining is the most well-known tactic for finding new opportunities from sales and service customers. But there is more than one way to mine your CRM. These tools also allow you to create targeted marketing and sales lists based on customer profiles, such as people who can’t get financing, be-back appointments, and unsold leads. The upside is that these tools need to integrate with your CRM to effectively mine your data.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an important technology that many dealers overlook. AI applications powered by machine learning can help sales teams save time by automating tasks and streamlining workflows. For example, AI can help create targeted lists of customers who are more likely to be in the market to buy a new vehicle. AI can also enable smaller sales teams to generate qualified leads faster by performing monotonous, resource-intensive tasks (such as following up on leads).
We don’t know when the auto retail market will regain a sense of normalcy. Use this downtime to prepare and equip your sellers for when inventory stabilizes. Investing in new tools to overcome sales friction points will increase productivity and keep revenue flowing despite changing market conditions.
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