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5 CRM Changes You Can Implement Today

Article Highlights:

  • Business is always changing – make sure you’re adapting accordingly.
  • 5 ways to customize your CRM tool for your dealership.

Think about our industry 15 years, 10 years, even just 1 year ago. Business has drastically changed and continues to do so. Where we go and how we get there, whom we greet and how we greet them, and customer expectations for mobile experiences are a few examples of changes that have taken place.  Most recently, the need to be able to work a deal remotely has taken center stage.

How you handle all of this will have a big impact on your future. Here are five changes you should make to customize your CRM to meet your dealership and industry needs:

1. Create a New Client Status

CRMs allow a prospect or client to be placed into a customizable status. Create a new status named “Online Purchase Request.” Instruct all CRM users to change the status to online purchase request for all prospects who indicate the desire for a more virtual purchase experience.

2. Add New Activity Results

If your dealership has created separate phone and internet follow up schedules, consider adding an “Online Purchase Request” result to every type of activity. Don’t forget to create it for phone, email, text, to-do, and direct mail as well.

3. Create a New Follow Up Schedule Process

Your result of “Online Purchase Request” should trigger new phone, email, and text activities for the individuals or team who will execute your online selling strategy.

4. Create on Online Purchase Team

Many CRMs allow activities to be assigned to a team so multiple people are notified simultaneously. For example, members of that team may include the salesperson, BDC associate, finance associate, and sales manager or general manager. Some dealers train and empower everyone to handle the online purchase request, and some have a select few caring for the new way of doing business. Both will work.

5. Change your FOCUS.

“Just get them in and we’ll sell the car” won’t work for the foreseeable future – maybe ever again. The new normal is educated and careful consumers that need to be impressed by your dealership. Consider the following virtual offerings for added convenience:

  • Set Virtual Appointments – Salespeople and clients will use their phones and computers to conduct remote meet and greets, vehicle walk-around presentations, and to gather information.
  • Conduct Virtual Appraisals – Nobody will back their trade up to the phone so you can hear the engine run… or will they? Pictures, video, and audio are great ways of getting the trade appraised, pending final inspection. In today’s world, the trade offer can be extended to a customer in the comfort of their home. Leverage a mobile application that humanizes the digital appraisal process for your customer while supplying you with a valuable trade.
  • Present Virtual Figures – This is undoubtedly the hardest thing to change because it alters how we’ve been trained to negotiate. Your CRM will provide the ability to send a proposal to your prospect. You still need to manage the process. Sales managers (now more than ever) need to do a phone or video turn over for each online purchase request proposal sent.


Times will continue to change so make sure you keep moving forward. After setting up your CRM system, you can begin training your staff on new processes and expectations for the new normal. Stay vigilant watching for changing consumer preferences and adapt accordingly.

Looking for more unique ideas to staying relevant in this changing world? Check out upcoming episode 38 of the Connected Podcast where Carl Bennett, Reynolds Consulting Services director, shares ways on how to think outside of the box by using videos to stay personable and promote vehicle sales and service.

If you need help implementing new processes, evaluating your existing setup, or acclimating to change, Reynolds Consulting Services can help. Each consultant has dealership experience and keeps up on the latest industry trends and solutions to bring you the latest and most unique strategies. Email consulting@reyrey.com to get information or to schedule a consultation.

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Reynolds Consulting Services

Mark has over 25 years of automotive retail experience in managerial positions at various dealerships, including BDC and internet manager, and new car sales/inventory manager. He joined Reynolds Consulting Services in 2012 and consults on CRM processes and Retail Sales Operations.

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