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Studies show 80% of your revenue actually comes from the top 20% of your customers. It’s also 10x more expensive to acquire a new customer versus retaining an old one. But did you know that your CRM is one of the most powerful tools your dealership has to start retaining and upselling customers right now?
Boosting customer retention just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%. In this webinar, you’ll learn five simple ways to start retaining customers using your CRM’s built-in tools. These are practical tips that you can start implementing immediately, to help your dealership maintain profitability, as business begins to return to normal.
Attend this Automotive News webinar to learn how to:
About the Presenter:
Anthony Mitchell, Sr. Manager, Strategic Growth at DealerSocket, Inc.
Anthony Mitchell’s extensive automotive experience and consultative insights have helped countless dealers make the most of their software investment and sell more cars, more profitably.
In a one-year span, data mining generated $275,000 in gross profit on 106 units for Idaho’s Larry H. Miller Honda Boise. Stephen Smith, the location’s business development and internet manager, chalks it up to a veteran sales team, DealerSocket CRM’s automation and accountability tools, and the ability of the CRM’s RevenueRadar data mining tool to deliver high-value opportunities.
“It starts with having the right strategy, process, and people involved,” says Smith. “My internet/BDC team handles all internet and phone traffic, which allows us to hand RevenueRadar and data mining almost solely to the sales staff.”
Smith says "almost" solely to his sales staff because there are a couple of accountability processes and CRM automation steps designed to keep his sales team on-task. For instance, the dealership uses CRM automation that gives salespeople 24 hours to act on a RevenueRadar lead via email, phone, or a SocketTalk text message.
“After 24 hours, my BDC staff gets full permission to reach out to the customer,” Smith says. “If we make contact, we put it under our name and work it. The automation keeps our salespeople motivated because they’ll lose a potential customer if they don't work their RevenueRadar leads.”
To ensure the team isn’t inundated with long-shot opportunities, the dealership pairs RevenueRadar’s lead scoring, which provides each opportunity with weighting based on propensity to buy, with its drip logic, which filters in the highest priority opportunities on a manageable cadence.
“You don’t want to see sales guys with 200 tasks in their bucket. It’s not helping anybody process their leads,” Smith says. “Keeping those cleaned up is important, and RevenueRadar does that very easily.”
Together with their DealerSocket Strategic Growth Manager, the dealership optimizes its RevenueRadar leads to improve the sales team's chances. For instance, Smart Payment leads, or customers who can switch to a newer vehicle while lowering their payment, are set up to trigger in RevenueRadar when customers have an APR between 6% and 29% and at least two years of good payment history.
“The system is great at identifying who can lower their payment, so you can trust you're getting quality leads,” Smith says. “In a lot of cases, RevenueRadar leads are better than Internet leads.”
Using RevenueRadar, which is built directly within the CRM, the Larry H. Miller Honda Boise sales team provides a personalized follow up approach based on the customer’s current vehicle and equity position, finance terms, payment and service history, and a keen understanding of current-year models and trim levels. “With all the information the system provides, it becomes a courtesy call," Smith says of the store’s approach. "It’s not a cold call. It’s you giving them a call to provide a needed service.”
To ensure a superior customer experience continues, the dealership relies on the CRM’s automation to send vital customer touchpoints, such as the delivery of reminder emails the day before the appointment.
The store employs tailored phone scripts by attaching them to RevenueRadar leads through the connected CRM. These pre-built phone scripts contain word-tracks that guide the opening and closing of a conversation, as well as key questions a salesperson can sprinkle throughout based on the lead type and the customer’s responses. The store’s veteran sales team takes it from there.
"There is a lot of information in those leads, and it’s important they know a few details about the customer’s loan, vehicle of interest, and the vehicle they currently own,” Smith says. “This isn’t a phone book. You have to be prepared, and that preparedness is going to translate into car deals, and, more importantly, into gross.”
DALLAS, June 22, 2020 — DealerSocket, Inc., a leading SaaS provider to the automotive industry, today crossed another milestone in its drive to improve the clicks-to-bricks experience for dealers with the release of its next-generation Desking solution. Sporting more intuitive, easy-to-navigate workflows designed to prevent errors and reduce time to first pencil, the all-new Desking tool comes equipped with a robust calculations engine, flexible payment options, custom presentation capabilities, and seamlessly integrates with DealerSocket’s PrecisePrice digital retail solution.
The sleek new interface, which has been architected within DealerSocket’s award-winning CRM, gives the new Desking tool a uniform user experience with other DealerSocket solutions. The solution opens up a host of new opportunities to modernize a dealer’s road-to-the-sale process, and enhance save-a-deal and data-mining activities, CRM-generated campaigns, and remote deal-making.
“There are several critical storylines captured in this exciting launch of Desking. For DealerSocket, our next-gen Desking solution represents another critical step as we unify our suite of integrated solutions,” said Darren Harris, executive vice president and general manager of retail solutions at DealerSocket. “Then there’s what the tool can do for dealers from a clicks-to-bricks perspective. Yes, our new Desking solution allows dealers to reimagine their buying journey, but it also puts them in total control of just how far they want to go.”
The main advantage of DealerSocket’s new Desking tool is that it operates within the CRM as an in-app program, allowing dealers to seamlessly move between Desking and throughout the CRM to update a sales opportunity’s vehicle of interest, follow up with appointments, or send communications. That deep integration within DealerSocket’s CRM also means no pop-up windows for Desking and an efficient and easy process that begins with a single click on a sales opportunity to start desking a deal.
Once engaged, the Desking tool displays a calculations worksheet, customer details, and payment options on one screen. The latter views are collapsible when structuring deals using the calculations worksheet, which eliminates the need for mental math with smart fields within Desking that can calculate dollar value increases or decreases in MSRP, selling price, cash down, and rebates.
Users can then compare and present a variety of lease and finance options with different cash-down amounts, term lengths, and APRs, as well as view and adjust other deal influencers like doc fee, buy rate, and gross. Dealers can also take advantage of the following innovations:
“Especially in the digital environment, dealers need a platform that allows data to flow across a single ecosystem, and allows users to easily navigate software tools and features seamlessly,” said Alok Tyagi, DealerSocket’s chief product and technology officer. “Today’s release of our next-generation Desking tool represents another significant step toward delivering a simplified experience to our dealers, who now have a tool that allows them to create new opportunities.”
Trend Motors Volkswagen in Rockaway, NJ., is three years into its drive toward a paperless sales process. To accelerate his plans, General Manager Frank Maher signed up with DealerSocket, knowing that to deliver the digital buying experience customers want, he needed consumer and deal data flowing across a single digital ecosystem. DealerSocket not only had all the pieces, Maher says, it also had a knack for staying ahead of the curb.
Using text messaging to deliver customer convenience is a top priority for Maher and his sales team. “You know, my own children would prefer to text me from their bedroom than to come downstairs and speak with me. It's just the world we live in. You have to adapt.” That’s what led him to customize the dealership's opt-in message with the inclusion of “For your convenience” and the salesperson’s name.
In the two months since personalizing its text opt-in message, the dealership has realized a 36% increase in text messages sent and 51% increase in those received. "A lot of the things we've changed, like the opt-in message, have come from a salesperson's suggestion," Maher says. "The CRM is their No. 1 tool, so we listen to what they have to say."
Maher’s deep understanding of lease maturities led him to activate DealerSocket’s RevenueRadar® data mining tool. The 200-unit-a-month dealership’s 68% to 72% lease penetration also made the decision a no-brainer.
“Our DealerSocket Strategic Growth Manager quickly got us on the right track with RevenueRadar. He showed us how to drip opportunities in at a manageable pace, so we get to optimize the opportunities that are sitting there, right in front of us. It’s really a great tool.”
The importance of leasing is also why Maher is excited about the new integration between DealerSocket’s CRM and Volkswagen’s Maturity Manager, a dealer portal VW Credit created to facilitate end-of-term transactions and initiate maturity programs. “It's much more cost-effective to keep or retain a customer that we already have than to try to find a new one. So, having that integration working with the brand and pulling that information into the CRM — the platform my salespeople already use to reach out to those customers — is a great idea,” he says.
Ensuring all these integrations and add-ons are optimized to the store's process is critical, which is why Maher is especially grateful for his DealerSocket Customer Success Manager (CSM).
“She’s a Rockstar. She changed our perspective as far as what we can do with DealerSocket,” Maher says, also crediting his CSM for getting the dealership to switch from a paper log to the CRM's Desk Log to track customer interactions. “The Desk Log has become a bible for us. Every day it's up on my desktop. Right now, I can see how many units have been sold today, who's come and gone, what the notes are, and we have accountability for the sales associates to check in the visit, check in the demo, the write up, that it went to F&I, and that it's in. So, we can see everything that occurred, along with upcoming appointments and those that have been confirmed or canceled.”
Having his DealerFire website perfectly synced with his CRM is key to Maher’s overall strategy. “Part of the reason I went with DealerSocket over the other vendors was to have continuity. I knew if I had the DealerFire platform that the triangulation between my website, CRM, desking tool, and, when I’m ready, PrecisePrice, would make for a much better experience for customers,” he says.
As a next step, Maher plans to use digital retailing to build upon existing foundation. "As for digital retail, you want to jump in both feet first. But that’s how you set yourself up for failure. We're tackling it one item at a time, and DealerSocket is allowing us to do that."
As savvy dealers do, Brandon Walker was looking for ways to save on operational spend. One such area of opportunity he uncovered was to switch CRM providers. While the price was seemingly right, Brandon and his team at Walt Massey Chevy Buick GMC Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram found that all CRMs are, in fact, not created equal. After three months with a different provider, the group reactivated their CRM product suite with DealerSocket, crediting its unique offering as the reason for the decision.
CRMs play many crucial functions inside a dealership. In basic form, they are responsible for providing access to data and insights that help drive activity, performance, and sales. In Brandon’s experience, DealerSocket’s robust and reliable reporting tools are part of what differentiates it from other solutions. “It's hard to make decisions off guesses. You know, in this business now, the profit margins are shrinking so much, you actually have to have real data in front of you,” says Brandon. “With the other provider, we couldn’t really get a firm grasp of where our numbers were. We were making decisions off-the-cuff versus being able to look at the numbers and being able to drill down and figure out where the problem was and how to resolve it.”
As he recounts his experience with different CRM providers, Brandon identifies accountability as a critical success factor. “One thing that DealerSocket helps promote is accountability…from the salespeople to finance to BDC and sales management, there's a level of accountability.” Brandon and his management team use DealerSocket’s Checkout functionality, a process by which sales managers set activity expectations and give each associate a rating based on where they fell against that expectation at the end of each day.
“The Daily Checkout gets the salespeople and sales manager on the same page. Each day. Going over what that one salesperson has in front of them, what they've got lined up for the next day, and how they perform throughout the day,” says Brandon.
For Brandon, creating a culture of accountability extends to everyone that is supporting the Walt Massey group. DealerSocket’s unique insights reporting helps him in promoting that culture. “The Internet ROI reporting is a very important tool for us because it shows what vendors we’re actually getting proven results out of and which ones that we’re not. You know, that gives us an idea of what we want to spend next month on with advertising, what third-party vendors we want to use, and DealerSocket helps make that possible.”
After reactivating their DealerSocket CRM suite, Walt Massey Automotive Group regained focus on a collective sales and customer retention strategy. “I think whenever we made the change over to our DMS provider’s CRM tool, there was a change in some of our numbers, a decrease in business. But it seemed like everybody wasn't on the same page. When we made the change back to DealerSocket, we were able to get back on the same page. Left hand knew what the right hand was doing,” says Brandon.
The group uses the CRM’s built-in data mining tool, RevenueRadar®, to drive customer retention. “It's a good way for us not only to see where the customer is at in the buying process – you know, in reminding them where they're at from an equity standpoint - but it also gives us a chance to reconnect with the customer. Currently, we're doing about 15 to 20 sales from RevenueRadar in a good month, so definitely looking for those incremental sales,” says Brandon. “We're really territorial. Once we get a customer, we want to take care of them not only now, not only for one purchase, but later on we want them to be a part of the Walt Massey family and continue to market to them and sell to them down the road.”
Ohio-based Great Lakes Honda registered a new high in terms of sales and gross profit. Vehicle sales grew by 711 units to a record 4,729 units sold, while total gross profit grew by 39% thanks to a $219.35 year-over-year increase in average front-end gross profit per unit retailed. Sales Manager Ryan Huang is quick to credit DealerSocket CRM’s RevenueRadar data mining tool for the record-setting year.
Opportunities generated by RevenueRadar get special attention from Huang’s team. Over the last quarter of the store’s banner year, the deals the tool delivered bested all other sales sources by at least $609 in average front-end gross. Back-end grosses were also healthy, with each RevenueRadar deal topping all other channels in total gross profit by 35% to 62%.
“If you provide the proper training and you turn your salespeople into believers of RevenueRadar, all you have to do as a manager is know your programs,” Huang says. “So, I love starting every month with Honda. That’s when I get my new programs, and I see my new incentives, my new rate, and my dealer cash.”
Huang theorizes that the reason RevenueRadar leads result in high-gross deals is timing; his sales team can capture customers before they become internet shoppers. That allows them to focus on gross vs. units, providing confidence in the power of data mining. “They believe because they can see in their numbers that RevenueRadar works," Huang says.
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When Geno Walsh, Executive Manager of Retail Operations for the Qvale Auto Group (QAG), decided to implement a revolutionary single-point, virtual business development center (VBDC) that handled sales and service business across the country, he knew he needed to build a strong foundation of people, process and technology. After a decisive discovery process, he recruited a high-performing team to implement integrated technology solutions and processes, and create a collaborative culture that continues to produce results for the group.
Qvale’s VBDC has a set of core values that encompasses everything they do that aligns with the business initiatives of QAG. They are called the Seven Commitments. VBDC agents are expected to apply these commitments to their work day and understand they are non-negotiable.
“The Seven Commitments have been a great bedrock for this team and our culture,” says Walsh. “Everything we do is tied to these values, including pay plans. The result has been phenomenal team work where they all want to be successful, so they share how they are applying innovation with one another.”
Qvale’s VBDC started out small. After implementing a new CRM partner and hiring four reps, the team started making outbound calls on untouched leads for two stores. By monitoring activities and reviewing the information that was available through the CRM, it was clear that they were on to something great. According to Walsh, there was plenty of data at their fingertips just waiting for someone to crack it all open. Now, 18 months later, they are a team of 28 strong, handling inbound and outbound calls for everything related to sales, service, and vehicle service contracts for nine of their 15 stores, and growing. Their consistent efforts have produced some impressive stats. They reached 31,000 outbound phone calls, 12,000 emails, 11,000 texts and $750,000 of revenue directly attributed to the VBDC in the first nine months of the year.
Coupling the VBDC with DealerSocket's CRM has enabled Qvale to gain the connectivity they want with their customers and their different dealerships nationwide, even those up to 3,000 miles away from one another. Walsh elaborates, “It’s a holistic approach to being connected. To stay connected to all our stores from California to Florida, you’d either need a really fast jet or you need to have the technology to get you there really fast. That’s what’s made the difference for us.”
Located in West Palm Beach, Florida, the virtual center helps customers from the San Francisco Bay Area to South Florida, and several places in between. However, anyone talking to one of their reps over the phone would never know they were in a different location. Every detail has been vetted out to ensure an exceptional customer experience, down to the local phone number that’s displayed when making their outbound phone calls from West Palm Beach. Walsh recalls a time when one of their dealership’s was struggling with performance and didn’t have a general manager for nearly five months. The dealership ended up being managed at the corporate level with the help of the VBDC. Looking at the data through the CRM, they could identify what needed to be fixed from a process and technology standpoint, and addressed those issues. The store was able to recover and improve performance in both the sales and service departments.
In short, one of the largest contributing factors to the success of Geno Walsh and his VBDC is his ability to hold his team and the dealerships that comprise Qvale accountable for their success. Walsh understands the importance of connecting the right technology with the right people. “DealerSocket is the greatest accountability machine.”, claims Walsh, “Looking at the reports (data), I can pinpoint which dealerships are just clicking buttons and which dealerships are actually doing what they are supposed to be doing.” In his experience in automotive, he understands it’s hard to have people complete activities consistently for a long period of time and that is why accountability is part of everything they do, from core values to pay plans. He reminds his team every day that the calls they make today may not be fruitful for another three months and that’s why it’s important to complete a lot of activities through phone, email and text. The more seeds planted, the more successes will be had.
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Aggregated data compiled by DealerSocket's Inventory+ team reveals encouraging signs for the automotive industry's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pricing, however, remains a concern. Take a deep dive into recent inventory & appraisal trends with DealerSocket's COVID-19 Impact Report.
Along with an analysis of Inventory+ data and recent market reports, here's what else you can expect: