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3 Technology Tips to Help You Adapt to Change

Letter blocks on table, spelling "change"
Article Highlights:

  • Your dealership has seen a lot of changes recently.
  • Follow these three tips to ensure you have the right tech to keep up.

You’ve seen more change to your business in the last year than you have the entire past decade. Not only have you had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and regulations, but you’re also having to continuously adapt to ongoing changes to consumer buying and lifestyle habits, new and used inventory fluctuations, and OEM demands.

These changes aren’t making business easier. It’s harder to get quality leads, win deals, stock the right inventory, and keep employees. However, having the right technology in place can help you adjust to these changes and establish a new normal for business. Follow these three tips to keep up with our changing industry.

  1. Redefine what a CRM tool does for your dealership.

Your CRM tool can no longer just be a CRM tool. You have to redefine what it can do and how it will help you focus on tasks that get you ahead. According to CSO Insights, 45% of sales reps need help figuring out which prospects to prioritize. Could this be why your team struggles to find leads or close deals?

The right CRM tool will help your team by automatically prioritizing their daily work plan based on a customer’s likelihood to buy. They no longer will have to manually organize their day or figure out what on their to-do list has the highest potential of making them (and you) money.

The right tool will also help you proactively manage your team. A Reynolds study found 37% of sales managers said lack of visibility to what sales was doing was an extremely challenging part of their job. Using a tool that helps you track your team, sales numbers, the status of deals, and leads, puts you in a position to step in and help where needed. You can save deals and monitor how you’re meeting consumer needs and OEM expectations and incentives.

  1. Utilize predictive analytics.

According to a recent Reynolds study, although over 50% of car buyers spend time researching dealerships and vehicles online, only 10.7% actually submit a lead to the dealership. This leaves you spending thousands of dollars on marketing efforts with little return because you really don’t know what type of leads (if any) you’re going to get.

Meet predictive analytics. It’s a simple but powerful way of using data to identify and generate high quality leads. It relies on information already available in your DMS and CRM tool to predict when someone is ready for a new vehicle, likely before they even realize it themselves.

Not only does it help you uncover leads and increase sales, but it also helps stock inventory – something more important than ever right now. You can use predictive analytics to target those customers in the right equity position with a new vehicle, allowing them to trade in their high quality used vehicle that will turn quickly on your lot.

  1. Use tools that let you retail anywhere.

It’s no secret the shift to an all-digital sales process has been developing in the automotive industry for some time now. At the start, it was a slow process, with only about 1% of customers truly purchasing online according to Digital Commerce 360. But, due to the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing changes your dealership is facing, online retailing is growing and has become a larger part of the sales conversation than ever before.

Due to this growth, your dealership needs to be able to serve customers no matter where they are –  in-store, at home, or both. It’s not an either/or choice. It’s the ability to Retail Anywhere.

When your dealership has the ability to retail anywhere, you take steps toward a more convenient, more satisfying, and more cost effective sales experience. It opens up new opportunities everywhere you look and allows you to bring in more quality leads. Using tools that help you retail anywhere is vital to your ability to adapt and is an investment in the future success and sustainability of your operation, no matter the change.

Looking Ahead

Taking the leap and adapting to change is never easy, but history shows dealerships who do so tend to benefit the most. So as your dealership continues to experience change, you must equip yourself with the right tools to start getting ahead. By redefining what your CRM does for your dealership, utilizing predictive analytics, and being able to retail anywhere, your dealership will be ready and equipped for anything thrown its way.

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Sr. Director, Product Management, Reynolds and Reynolds

Corey Walls leads Product Management for Naked Lime Marketing, Digital Retail, and FOCUS. He was formerly the director of software design for ERA-IGNITE, POWER, The docuPAD® System, AddOnAuto, and ReverseRisk®.

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