Our Customers Are Unique
Many dealers are looking for one digital solution to manage website, sales follow up, inventory control, accounting, and any other process that is part of their dealership. In my humble opinion, it does not exist. Each process requires a level of expertise to develop and then intertwine with the other processes. There is a good reason dentists do not do heart surgery. They understand the body in general, but not in the detail required to repair a heart. The same standard of specialization should apply to the systems and processes you rely on to run a successful dealership.
Selling automobiles is significantly different than managing inventory. They have a relationship and a dependency, but require different skill levels to succeed effectively. Any one solution claiming to be perfect for both is likely not specialized for either. What you’re getting in many all-in-one solutions is a compromise. You want a solution for the sales staff that aids in the sale without overburdening their capacity to absorb the information. Complex solutions with multiple screen views, built to accommodate many disparate sets of data and processes, are difficult for the average user to navigate. It’s more than just about the aesthetics of the application; forfeiting simplicity and ease of use in favor of some bells and whistles gives you a system that can get in the way of the sales process. Solutions are often compromises especially when they are not specialized for the specific tasks that they want to accomplish.
Keep it simple
It is important to know all the social media a potential client uses to help sell them a car? I do not think so. Selling is still one sales person and one customer at a time. Yes, the methods of collecting data and using that data to communicate with the customer have changed. The use of the web and email has transformed the selling process so that without a digital solution you are at a significant disadvantage. But don’t be tempted to jump head-first into an all-in-one solution thinking it solves all the problems you have (and even some you didn’t know you had).
The difference in cost of paper to a digital should not break the dealer’s budget. When you, as a dealer, shop the current solutions your first reaction will be sticker shock. The perceived cool features are there to hook you into accepting the higher price of entry. In reality, are they really needed? Think of what is needed and find the solution that will work effectively in your culture and processes.
Some look for one solution for everything for the benefit of integration and the ease of dealing with one vendor. On the surface it seems to be the easier approach. In the end you wind up with marginal software that does not end your pain. With companies offering month-to-month fees for applications and low setup costs you should stop and look at alternate solutions.
Howard Leavitt is the president and founder of AutoRaptor CRM, he has over 40 years experience in the auto industry, which led him to develop a tool to simply and effectively improve the sales process. He can be contacted at 888-421-6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.