In an exclusive interview with Lucep, this is what sales technology expert Nancy Nardin had to say about the need for augmenting CRMs:
“If you think CRM is all you need… think again. CRM is not a productivity tool, nor does it help salespeople be more effective. Look for other tools that augment CRM if you want to increase sales performance.” -Nancy Nardin, president and founder of Smart Selling Tools, Inc.
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In this post, we want to show how automotive dealerships can improve sales performance by integrating your CRM or Dealer Management System (DMS) with a pre-CRM platform for lead capture and smart lead distribution.
But before that, let’s take a look at why this is so important.
Digital retailing is not DIY for customers
It's a simple enough proposition, as applied to car sales. Car buyers are completing a lot more of the process digitally since 2020, but they still want to speak with someone at the dealership, and take a test drive before they buy.
Let's take a look at the statistics (from a Roadster-NADA survey) that explain why phone calls and human interaction still matter in the post-Covid age of digital customer experience.
86% - Customers who completed some of the transaction online;
89% - Dealerships that have adopted a digital retailing solution;
82% - Dealers who say digital retailing is here to stay, even after the pandemic;
86% - Online buyers who interacted remotely with someone at the dealership;
80% - Buyers who purchased 100% online, but were guided through this process by someone at the dealership.
The numbers show that:
1. Digital retailing is not just a passing trend.
2. Automotive sales still requires leads to be moved from digital platforms to the phone, and additional remote human interaction via chat (Whatsapp) or email.
To summarize - Digital retailing is here to stay, but not DIY for the customer. The need of the moment is to be phygital - connecting with customers on the phone at the moment when they raise a digital lead, and then inform and guide them through the rest of the process - online and offline.
How to do this, then, is what we are now going to explore below in a step by step manner.
Phygital lead management for automotive dealerships
Let’s outline the lead capture, distribution and lead response requirements here for your automotive dealership, and then the sales tools you should consider integrating with your CRM to get this done.
Step 1: Lead capture: You get leads from the OEM (a spreadsheet or email of latest leads for you, perhaps?), from your own website (phone, quote request, contact form or email), through phone calls initiated via search, and from social media campaigns. The requirement here is to implement omni-channel lead capture.
Step 2: Lead distribution: Collect leads from all the above sources, score and qualify leads, and then distribute them to your sales team based on criteria like the service / product / and location requested.
Step 3: Lead response: Tech savvy millennials already preferred digital for product research, and now they want to complete online as much of the buying process as possible. So lead response must be swift to prevent them from moving on to another dealer. Respond quickly to convert at the moment of intent - when the vehicle buyer is on your website or social media, and wants to speak with you.
Now you begin to see why sales experts like Nancy Nardin say that CRM alone is not enough, and it is not a productivity tool, nor does it help salespeople be more effective.
Digital leads from web forms, social campaigns, email, app and other sources must be instantly distributed to the right location and sales person, who then has to respond instantly. One way to do this is to send every lead from all digital sources to a single pipeline in your CRM, and then treat them all in the same way.
But the CRM was designed for a different world, and those were different times. The process is not agile or flexible enough. If you are depending only on a CRM, the delay at the start of the process will significantly reduce the number of leads responded to and converted. As per an Ipsos study, only half of digital leads are responded to by automotive dealerships, and only 66% of those who get a response are then offered a test drive.
The solution, that will double test drives generated from the same existing leads, is to integrate a pre-CRM lead management app (Lucep - see demo) with your CRM or DMS to automate the three processes described above - lead capture, distribution and response.
From Facebook to phone and back online
An example to show you how it works, with leads generated from a Facebook lead ads campaign. When an interested car buyer fills in a form, the lead data is instantly picked up by Lucep and moved in real-time to your sales team on the phone.
Which sales executives should get it can be customised based on factors such as the buyer’s location, and the make and model they are interested in. Whoever picks up the lead can instantly call back, within 5-10 minutes to speak with the buyer and schedule a test drive.
Send me the details on Whatsapp...
The end result of a lot of sales calls these days is that customers ask you to send more details by Whatsapp.
The fast changing pace of digital automotive sales requires trained staff at dealerships who know how to engage customers online with the intent of generating a test drive.
After that, you have to re-engage online by email and Whatsapp.
How to make sure that leads don’t slip through the cracks during every stage of this online-offline-online phygital process? Don’t depend only on your CRM. Enable your sales teams with the right lead management app that increases sales performance and productivity.