Over the Curb: 2 Ways to Increase CRM Engagement

February 3, 2020

Two successful car dealers share how they use DealerSocket CRM to drive their showroom process and increase employee engagement.

By Gregory Arroyo

Increasing CRM engagement is challenging. Hey, sales talent and technology don’t always mix. Still, the one thing I noticed over a decade covering this industry is talent that produces month after month and year after year typically adheres to a strict process — one that is often driven by technology.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a couple of process tips that have helped some pretty successful operations increase CRM engagement while preventing opportunities from falling through the cracks.

Tip No. 1: J. Pauley Toyota’s “5 PM Call” Reminder

Adam Nobles is the internet manager at J. Pauley Toyota in Fort Smith, Ark., and he’s a big fan of DealerSocket CRM. “You guys have done a phenomenal job,” he says. “To me, the biggest thing is I can customize it.”

He points to the ability to customize reminder labels as an example. DealerSocket CRM does offer a list of generic reminders, but users can customize them after clicking on “Add New Reminder.” In J. Pauley’s case, Nobles created three key reminders: “One Week Follow-Up,” “Day 3 Follow-up,” and “5 PM Call.”

Nobles says the latter is designed to tell a salesperson that an unsuccessful attempt to reach a customer was made that morning. “They were probably at work,” Nobles says. So when that “5 PM Call” reminder pops up at, yes, 5 p.m., the salesperson knows to make another attempt at reaching the customer.

The same goes for the dealership’s “One Week Follow-Up” and “Day 3 Follow-Up,” which immediately tell a salesperson or internet staffer what task to perform.

Tip No. 2: Great Lakes Honda’s “3-Day” and “10-Day” Follow-Up Process

Ryan Huang is the sales manager at Great Lakes Honda in Akron, Ohio. He also is a big believer in CRM. “Whether it’s DealerSocket or one of the other popular ones, you have to use the CRM to its full potential,” he says. He and other sales managers made CRM and process training a key focus in 2019. They also made a few process tweaks to encourage engagement.

The three-day and 10-day follow-up tasks the management team created for themselves are a great example, and they’re Huang’s favorite. Not only are they designed to ensure proper follow-up, they force the dealership’s sales and BDC teams to enter notes into the CRM. More importantly, it ensures sales managers never miss a customer.

DealerSocket CRM allows users to create customized labels for reminder tasks. DealerSocket’s First Pencil blog shares how two dealer customers utilize that capability to their advantage.

The process works like this: If a fresh “up” enters the showroom but doesn’t buy, the salesperson who engaged the prospect has three days to follow up. “Seventy-two hours after the customer leaves our dealership, the CRM sends me a reminder to review the opportunity to make sure proper notes were taken on that customer, and that the salesperson is completing proper follow-up,” Huang says. “If they aren’t completing proper follow-up, I have the opportunity to go straight to that salesperson and say, ‘Why haven’t we called this customer’ or ‘Why haven’t we emailed them.’ And if there aren’t any notes, God forbid I catch it.”

If there aren’t notes or a follow-up was missed, Huang will type in a few notes of his own: “One of my favorite things to do on the third day is, if there aren’t any notes in there or the salesperson hasn’t followed up, I’ll type a note for the salesperson to see,” he says. “And I’ll write, ‘Why didn’t you write any notes on this customer? What’s going on with them? How can I help?'” Seven days later, Huang receives the “10-day follow-up” task, which allows him to see if the salesperson replied.

“I can see if they took action after I wrote those notes,” he says. “And if they didn’t take any action and it’s seven days later, whoa.

“So those two tasks for fresh-ups have truly helped us, and it ensures that no customer slips through the cracks,” he adds, noting that the dealership will soon implement a similar approach to RevenueRadar leads. “Another way it’s useful is, let’s say the salesperson went on vacation. I get the three-day call task and I get the 10-day, allowing me to follow up with that customer because I can see the salesperson is on vacation or not at the dealership for whatever reason.”

Gregory Arroyo is the former editor of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today magazines. He now serves as manager of strategic content for DealerSocket. Email him at garroyo@dealersocket.com.