After nearly 30 years in the business, Rick Lane knows the challenge of selecting a new CRM. Before the first demo, he says it's key that dealers take the time to understand the dealership's intricate needs. The reporting capabilities, he stresses, need to be straightforward, because data uncovers opportunities for improvements. The right CRM must also be flexible and easy to use.

“So, if I were advising a dealer, I would strongly recommend DealerSocket, because what I've found after living it over the last six years is there's very little it's not going to be able to do for you," he says. "The integration is great, and I’ve never, ever had DealerSocket go down. More importantly, my salespeople love it.”

Lane has spent the last 19 years as the general sales manager at Washington’s Kia of Puyallup, where his sales team is averaging $3,000 in front-end gross, and where 93% of demos result in a writeup. Even more impressive, the dealership’s appointment-to-show rate sits at 70%.

"It always boils down to process," he says in typical car-guy fashion. “It’s also using the tools within DealerSocket to get the results that we want.”

"So, if I were advising a dealer, I would strongly recommend DealerSocket, because what I've found after living it over the last six years is there's very little it's not going to be able to do for you. The integration is great, and I’ve never, ever had DealerSocket go down. More importantly, my salespeople love it.”

Rick Lane, General Sales Manager

Kia of Puyallup

Process-Driver: There isn’t a customer touchpoint or process step DealerSocket’s CRM doesn’t influence at Kia of Puyallup. The tool’s Appointment Display Report, for instance, is up all day on the receptionist’s desktop. “We do that so when a customer comes in and says, ‘I have an appointment,’ the receptionist can greet them by name and know instantly who their salesperson is because the information is all there in a straightforward, tile format," he says.

“So, thanks to the flexibility of DealerSocket’s CRM, my receptionist has access to that,” he adds.

DealerSocket’s Mobile CRM app works the same way if a salesperson spots a customer who just walked onto the lot. “We ask our salespeople to jump into the mobile app to look them up. That helps us make sure we put customers with the right salesperson from the start,” he says. “We also use the app’s driver's license scanner, which eliminates typos. And then we use the app’s VIN Scanner so we can get those trades into the system, upfront.”

“It’s all about response time, and DealerSocket’s Mobile CRM provides us with critical tools to drive our process,” he adds, noting that the CRM's Quick Up tool also makes it easy to get walk-up customers logged into the system. It also quickly tells his team if the customer is a potential repeat buyer or a duplicate lead.

“It’s all about response time, and DealerSocket’s Mobile CRM provides us with critical tools to drive our process...We also use the app’s driver's license scanner, which eliminates typos. And then we use the app’s VIN Scanner so we can get those trades into the system, upfront.”

Rick Lane, General Sales Manager

Kia of Puyallup

Profit-Driver: The dealership pairs DealerSocket’s Desking with its Mobile CRM VIN Scanner to prevent salespeople from giving up gross, as every customer gets an appraisal and a first pencil at full sticker. From there, it’s simply asking the right questions to uncover what the customer wants and needs.

“We don’t engage customers on a hope,” he says. "We drill out exactly where they want to be and try to sell them the right car based on their budget. Then we get them out of the demo and use some of the insights we picked up through our discovery questions to present the figures. So, to me, the key to gross is getting as many people on paper without worrying about whether it's a deal or not. We simply follow the process, and the results are the fruit of that. What DealerSocket allows us to do is tailor it to how we want the process to be.”

"We simply follow the process, and the results are the fruit of that. What DealerSocket allows us to do is tailor it to how we want the process to be.”

Rick Lane, General Sales Manager

Kia of Puyallup

Results-Driven: That customization and flexibility extend to the CRM's dashboard, a real-time, interactive display of performance metrics. Lane has configured his dashboard to include a singular view of sales appointments scheduled, untouched leads, and lead response time, all of which he says are essential for managers.

"The CRM is literally the first thing I log into every day to get caught up on our work and what's going to happen in the dealership that day."

DealerSocket's CRM was especially helpful through COVID-19, he adds. "The CRM allows my team to easily log in remotely to do follow-up and work deals from home," Lane says. "So that’s been a big advantage for us, allowing us to accommodate the state's requirements and keep our employees as safe as possible.”

“And the support I get from DealerSocket is great,” Lane continues. “They are brisk when it comes to answering the phone, and there’s really been very little that my customer success manager cannot answer right away.”

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