Burger Chrysler Jeep posted significant year-over-year gains in critical sales and marketing metrics, including appointments created and sold, as well as average front-end gross. Ethan Caldwell, one-half of the father-and-son team leading the Indiana-based dealership, attributes the improvements to the powerful marketing engine inside DealerSocket’s CRM. 

Caldwell, who serves as e-commerce and marketing director, also had a hand in those gains. He spearheaded an initiative to improve CRM utilization and the data the sales team collects on every customerCaldwell believed the effort would allow him to get the most out of the CRM’s marketing capabilities. 

"We just really weren't focused on using the CRM to build up that customer database," he says. So, we’re really hounding the sales team to get as much information as possible. 

"The biggest thing is just really staying connected to your customer database and keeping tabs on all of our previous sales and what we could do for the future, because if you use the tool the right way, you should have no problem generating repeat business every month."

Ethan Caldwell, E-Commerce and Marketing Director

Burger Chrysler Jeep

The Opportunity 

Caldwell had managed the dealership’s online presence since permanently joining the family business in 2017. His role included oversight of the third-party lead sites the dealership employs, with the CRM’s Internet ROI and Marketing Channel ROI reports giving him insight into the effectiveness of those investments. 

That role allowed Caldwell to learn the technical aspects of DealerSocket’s CRM, which came in handy when he added internet manager to his responsibilities. He says it was while learning the CRM's extensive audience targeting and campaign automation tools that his eyes were open to the possibilities.  

The biggest thing is just really staying connected to your customer database and keeping tabs on all of our previous sales and what we could do for the future,” he says. “Because if you use the tool the right way, you should have no problem generating repeat business every month.”   

 

The Process 

As part of his effort to improve CRM utilization, Caldwell also tightened up the sales team’s lead-management process. His expectation for the sales team is to follow up with every lead until it's "completely dead." For his part, Caldwell assumed oversight of all opportunities that land in the CRM, setting appointments and managing lead distribution. The exception is when he’s asked to fill in as a sales manager. That's when he leans on the CRM. 

If it gets busy and I don't have time to respond to a lead, I'll hand it off to someone. But I don't let that fall through the cracks,” he says. “I create alerts in the CRM to remind me to check on those leads every couple of days to make sure the salesperson is taking action and inputting notes. If they haven’t done that, that’s when I take over.” 

The volume of customer data in the CRM has grown as a result of Caldwell’s efforts. And the more it does, the more effective he’s become at using the CRM’s audience targeting and marketing campaign tools. That’s especially true when he creates campaigns based on current manufacturer pricing and incentives. 

“For new vehicles, I’ll build lists of people who bought a specific model of Jeep two or three years ago — maybe a Pacifica or Gladiator — and send them information about the newer models with current incentives," he says, adding that such campaigns have been incredibly helpful in bringing in more trade-ins. 

DealerSocket’s CRM has been particularly useful when Burger Chrysler has a surplus of a particular model or stocked a specialty vehicle like a Dodge Charger. "Right now, we have quite a few used Ram 2500s, so I'm putting together a list of people who bought Ram trucks three to five years ago," Caldwell says. He has used this same technique with Chrysler Pacifica vans with good results 

“I’ve sold close to a couple hundred vans in the past couple of years.” 

"I can’t say enough about DealerSocket’s CRM. It’s made us more accountable and has really helped us elevate our internet marketing and lead-handling capabilities."

Ethan Caldwell, E-Commerce and Marketing Director

Burger Chrysler Jeep

The Results 

Caldwell says the biggest advantage of the CRM’s powerful marketing engine is how quickly he can go from list creation to developing and launching his campaignsEqually important is how quickly he can dive into the CRM’s various reports to measure the success of those efforts 

“The biggest thing I look at is the conversion ratio: How many emails get opened and how many conversions we get from those,” he says, noting that the CRM’s customizable performance dashboard also allows him to monitor the activities of his sales team in real-time. 

Burger Chrysler Jeep’s volume of completed tasks in the CRM has doubled since Caldwell took over lead-management duties. The dealership also realized an increase in average appointments created and appointments sold. At the same time, average gross profit per vehicle retailed has risen by 55% 

“I can’t say enough about DealerSocket’s CRM. It’s made us more accountable and has really helped us elevate our internet marketing and lead-handling capabilities,” Caldwell says. “In my opinion, it’s the best bang for your buck. It’s flexible, gives you all the capabilities you need to really drive the internet side of the business, and, ultimately, improve the customer experience.” 

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