3 Keys to Diagnosing Overdue Tasks in Your CRM
Make your processes clear and realistic, and hit the metrics that matter most
Sales is a task-oriented business. The calls, the appointments, the follow-ups, the record-keeping, the emailing . . . it all adds up. And when tasks go undone, lost opportunities add up. Did you know that one-third of dealers have overdue tasks in their CRM? This makes a huge impact on your business in three major ways:
- You’re missing out on new or additional revenue from your customer base by not keeping it engaged.
- You’re wasting money by generating leads that you’re dropping the ball with later.
- You’re wasting the money you spent on your CRM, which should be supporting your whole team in managing critical tasks.
So what’s stopping you from getting things done? Let’s take a look at three common factors.
1. Your processes are outdated
You know you set up your CRM at some point—or someone did. But chances are you don’t remember what you set it up to do, or what it’s telling your people to do. Shouldn’t you know what your software is telling your staff to do?
If you don’t know what your processes are, you don’t know if they’re doing you any good. They could be outdated. They could be flat-out wrong. Either way, the first step to getting more tasks completed is to ask your people to perform the right tasks—tasks that make sense and lead to more revenue.
2. You’re not a good task manager
Even the best processes won’t help you if nobody follows them. And you won’t help your people if you let them get away with skipping processes by cherry-picking tasks or letting them go overdue.
People want instruction. They want to know what’s expected of them and what the consequences will be if they fail to meet those expectations. You’re actually being a better, more supportive manager (not just a nag) if you nail down your expectations and make sure they know when they fall short.
I tell all dealers I work with to manage their people through the CRM. Once you have your clear and updated processes in place, start paying attention to how well they’re followed. Use overdue tasks as a call for intervention, and get your people back on task.
3. Your processes are too complex
Maybe you just migrated into a new platform and are anxious to get your money’s worth. Or you want to impress your new team with your aggressive goals. I’m not saying don’t set the bar high, but I am saying don’t set yourself up for failure.
So I tell all dealers the same thing: Give your processes a reality check. Are you inadvertently setting your team up for failure by adding too much complexity to your follow-up tasks? Are you unknowingly encouraging your team to cherry-pick tasks they think they can complete, leaving the uglier tasks undone?
Here’s what you and your team have to understand: Completing the process every time is more important than the process itself. So make sure your processes are clear and realistic, and help you hit the metrics that matter most: appointments scheduled, appointments confirmed, appointments shown, and cars sold to appointments shown.
If you’re still having trouble with overdue tasks after following these three steps, then you might have a people problem. But nine times out of 10, you’ve got great people—you just need to lock down the processes and tasks that will help them succeed.
Mark Vickery is the senior director of performance management at VinSolutions. His career in the automotive software industry began at vAuto, where he served as one of its early performance managers. He has grown the performance management division at VinSolutions from 30 people to more than 50 in the past two years.