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‘Integrating the CRM with the cash register’

Dave McMahon, Editor-in-Chief
July 8, 2013
Filed under Features

More Than Rewards launches Contact Central to drive dealership sales

Now that dealers are aware of the need for a CRM, More Than Rewards is trying to help dealers take the next step in efficiency.

The Wisconsin company’s web-based Contract Central is a combination of its Free Powersport CRM and its follow-up call center module. It’s all meant to provide dealers with an efficient and effective method of determining the factors that led to the consumer’s decision to buy or decline to buy from the dealership.

“When our dealer mentors call the dealer’s customers, the survey results, call histories and the call recordings are all included in the CRM deal itself, in real time,” said Brandon Siegesmund, vice president of communications. “Dealers don’t have to wait for reports to tell them what is going on for individual customers. So I think that our CRM and Contact Central is designed more around ‘quality over quantity’ results. We’re integrating the CRM with the cash register.”

Siegesmund added that dealership staff are capable of using the technology that CRMs offer, but dealers “are questioning what it’s really doing for them, and how much time they’re spending with it.

“Dealers are seeing that a CRM can be more than just a ‘data repository’ that spits numbers back out at them once a week or month. What they can do now is spend only a few minutes in the CRM to get a good idea of what’s going on, and do quick spot checks to make sure their reps are entering their deals. They can then take action on very recent events, or potential customers, if need be. In this way, our CRM helps them be more active with their sales data, as opposed to passive. Even if a salesperson is away from their computer, they can leave a note for a deal by calling a number on their cell phone, and our system will automatically convert their voice to text in our CRM.”

More Than Rewards uses dealer mentors to perform follow-up calls as part of its  Contact Central addition.

More Than Rewards uses dealer mentors to perform follow-up calls as part of its
Contact Central addition.

Siegesmund said More Than Rewards research shows that “at least 70 percent of dealers stop using their CRM in the first year of implementation. And that’s mainly because it’s too hard to use, it takes too much time to enter leads, or their salespeople implement some of their own bureaucratic resistance. We’ve even run into cases in which non-sales staff spend a few hours a day doing CRM data entry.”

Beyond that, Siegesmund said he’s seen instances of flawed numbers, as sales staffers only enter deals they are sure to win. This is one reason why Contact Central has implemented management review modules.

“When you get down to win/lost ratios, it may not even matter, because you don’t know why you are truly losing deals,” he said. “We further help staff by refreshing the CRM with newer leads, as every dealer has a configurable ‘deal timeframe,’ so deals which may be 30, 60 or 90 days old automatically get flagged as ‘lost’ and assigned to a sales manager for review.

“We are encouraging salespeople to enter lost deals, as by analyzing lost deals we are able to better find out why they were lost, and be on the sales person’s side,” Siegesmund said. “This is because our dealer mentors, who are making the callbacks, will uncover trends that may be related to pricing, marketing, dealer reputation, and not necessarily because they ‘didn’t like their sales rep.’ And, even if they didn’t like the salesperson, we can give them the opportunity to change the perception within a few days.”

Siegesmund says Contact Central is a result of dealer feedback based on the success of its rewards program.

“Our dealers told us we should think about doing a CRM, or a better way to track sales,” he said. “They want to navigate the main section of a CRM quickly, and they want to be able to enter information that is necessary to move the sale along. Many current CRMs fall short in this area. Due to their slowness and complexity, sales people tend to stop using them, unless it’s mandated by management.”

Contact Central sends an email alert to dealer personnel that provides a call summary of won and lost sales.

Contact Central sends an email alert to dealer personnel that provides a call summary of won and lost sales.

Free Powersport CRM, combined with Contact Central, was built to overcome those challenges. Sales staffers can log a deal within 30 seconds. Once a deal is created it will automatically trigger a call to the dealer’s customer from the dedicated dealer mentor, who works out of the More Than Rewards office. A representative from the dealership meets monthly with the dealer mentor to review the call results. In addition, an email summary of the call and a copy of the call recording is sent to the dealership staff in real time.

Deal timers count down from the dealer’s customized deal time frame, so that when a deal is not marked as won or lost for the specified amount of days, it’s automatically assigned as lost, and the sales manager gets an email notifying him of the loss. The manager also receives a warning message a week before the time period expires, providing a coaching opportunity with the salesperson.

“It’s easy to see the deals that are being won, but you’re interested in the sales that are lost,” Siegesmund said. “This allows you to capture lost sales revenue that you would have traditionally missed out on.”

With Contact Central’s call center, dealers can hear a recording of the conversation with the customer, review customer surveys about their experience at the store and view call metrics.

Customizable surveys have been a popular feature with dealers currently using Contact Central, with topics such as marketing, service and P&A often provided to customers for feedback.

Questions often asked include: To whom did you talk? Were you greeted when you came in? Did you pick out a vehicle? Were you quoted a price?

Sales staffers are encouraged to let customers know that they will be receiving a call as part of the dealership’s quality assurance process.

“People appreciate getting a call. They want a callback to know the dealer’s still thinking about them,” Siegesmund said. “It also allows for the unspoken problem to come to light. It might have been an imaginary slight that they encountered while they were in the store. You don’t know it happened, but in the customer’s mind it did happen.”

Along those same lines, a customer might not want to complete a survey via the phone call, but that same customer might provide other information that can be helpful.

“I’ve worked in call centers, and it’s the impersonal nature of the call center that turns people off. Our dealer mentor program provides names and faces to make it personable, acting as an extension of the dealership itself. We even use call masking technology so that the caller ID information from our call center matches the outbound number of the dealership,” he said.

More than 1,500 dealers use More Than Rewards, and the company partners with Harley-Davidson. ARI/50 Below partners with More Than Rewards for email marketing.

 

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