The customer relationship management (CRM) tool started out as a simple electronic rolodex and calendar. It’s now a complicated tool that is underused or disregarded by sales teams. You’re left incentivizing salespeople to use it, or more commonly punishing them for not using it.

But why is your sales team not using it? The traditional CRM approach doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t make their job easier or help them sell more cars. Really, it has the opposite effect – it adds inefficiencies that result in a less productive sales force.

From wasted time to lost deals, these inefficiencies cause problems for dealerships and users in more ways than one. 

Inefficiency #1: Manual and Duplicate Data Entry 

72% of salespeople spend an hour a day on data entry alone.1 You’re probably thinking, “that’s great, they’re adding customer information and deals!” But in reality, your salespeople spend time writing customer and deal information on a notepad, in their phone notes, or in their “hot sheet.” They then spend more time re-typing that information into the CRM.

They spend time manually creating follow-up tasks and action items, when they could spend it calling prospects, sending targeted marketing messages, or even identifying leads sitting in your service drive.

Does this sound like the most efficient and productive way for your sales team to work? 

Inefficiency #2: Manually Prioritizing Prospects

45% of sales reps need help figuring out which prospects to prioritize.2 That’s nearly half your sales team. Often times, they don’t really prioritize at all, they just start at the top and work their way down. Odds are they use valuable time sending birthday reminders to people who aren’t even looking for a new vehicle, while at the bottom of their list is a follow-up call for someone who test drove a vehicle just yesterday! More times than not, they don’t even get to that call and now you’ve lost a potential deal.

Does this sound like the most efficient and profitable way to manage prospects? 

CRMInefficiency #3: Reactive Coaching and Training 

It’s said continuous training results in 50% higher net sales per employee.3 Imagine the growth your team could achieve with proactive coaching. How often are review meetings painted through the salesperson’s eyes because the information in the CRM isn’t updated, complete, or accurate? It probably ends the same every time, “Get them in and we’ll get them closed,” because there’s not enough tracked information to coach any other way.

Does this sound like the most productive way to utilize coaching time? 

Inefficiency #4: Limited Access to Information 

65% of salespeople who adopt mobile tools achieve their sales goals.4 When a salesperson is on the lot or the floor with a customer, he has limited access to customer and vehicle information. He has to leave the customer to scan the driver’s license and find the right vehicle. When on the test drive, he forgets which vehicle features to highlight and the right route to take. By the time he and the customer return, your assistance is needed, but the customer’s information isn’t in the CRM yet, so you can’t properly help because you have no background information. The customer walks out and you’ve lost another deal opportunity.

Does this sound like an effective way to handle and access sales information to close deals?

Inefficiency #5: Disengaged with the Sales Floor 

37% of sales managers feel that lack of visibility to what sales is doing is an extremely challenging part of their job.5 How often are you pulled in seven directions and feel lost to what’s happening on your floor? You get occupied with calls and approving deals, so you’re blind to the customers in your store or on a test drive. You can only help when a salesperson seeks you out – which is often too late, with the customer already leaving. You review goals and reports, wondering how your team can sell more cars and hit more OEM incentives.

Does this sound like the best way to manage your sales team? 

The Cost of Doing Nothing 

What happens to your sales team when it’s plagued with these inefficiencies? What happens when selling cars just feels hard? What happens when prospects go somewhere else to buy?

Salespeople leave.

This is evident by the nearly 70% turnover rate6 in sales departments today. They find a job somewhere else where it’s “easier” to do their jobs and ultimately make money.

So what is the true cost of inefficiencies caused by a traditional CRM? Lost customers and sales, lost employees, and lost income and revenue. In our hyper-competitive industry, the most efficient and productive sales teams win, and everyone else loses.

The traditional CRM isn’t working. It’s time to take back control and solve the problem at its core. You need to redefine CRM… what it is and what it enables your team to accomplish. Only then will you put your team in a position to be more efficient, productive, and ultimately win more deals.

Check out our eBook, Redefine CRM: Take Back Control to Wipe Out Inefficiencies, for more insight on these inefficiencies. 

1 Hubspot
2 CSO Insights
3 The Brevet Group
4 Innoppl Technologies
5 Reynolds Study

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi Ed,
    Thanks for giving us the essential information on CRM. CRM is a crucial tool for every organization but most of the sales reps ignore CRM as they are finding it a bit complicated. I think prioritization is the main concern here. Most of the sales reps don’t know, on which prospectus they need to prioritize first and because of the heavy workload, they might lose a potential lead.
    The amazing article it was.

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