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Auto industry trends are fleeting. Unless they can enhance the efficiency and profitability of the sales process, dealers move on, and they’re quickly forgotten.
Car dealers have experienced a myriad of auto industry trends over the last couple decades. The most substantial changes have impacted inventory and customer relationship management because people just don’t buy cars the way they used to. The majority of customers do their research online before they step foot in a showroom, and they’ll do whatever it takes to decrease the time it takes to buy a car. Thanks to third-party websites, people have access to inventories from dealerships all over the country, and customer reviews to help them decide where to shop.
There are times where all the power seems to lie in the hands of the consumer, but thanks to digital auto industry trends, dealers can be remarkably successful.
5 Auto industry trends that could make your job easier
1. Digital inventory management
Sales managers used to wait for their DMS to update at the end of each day to reprint current inventory lists. Every morning they’d print a new list, make copies for all their sales staff and hand them out. Every time a car sells, it has to get crossed off everybody’s list, or it’s not accurate. Plus, paper lists can be misplaced, and you wouldn’t want a customer to find one and see your dealer costs.
Thankfully, there have been considerable improvements in how dealerships manage their stock list. It’s now quite simple to sync a dealer’s DMS inventory to their CRM tools or various car buying websites. Vehicle details and photos are stored electronically and accessible on multiple devices and to thousands of potential customers. You can quickly sort through stock and send vehicle information faster than dealers ever could before.
2. Automated communications and reminders
It can be challenging to keep track of dealer communications. Between sales appointments, incoming leads, deals in progress, and customer follow-ups there is always something to be done.
Dealer CRM tools have significantly evolved and can provide automation features that are invaluable to a car salesperson’s efficiency. Instead of messy stacks of handwritten notes, you can digitally organize your appointments, and update customer files throughout the sales process. You can even set reminders and pre-scheduled messages to make sure you nurture your existing client relationships. Automated messages and reminders help dealers give car buyers a much better overall experience.
3. Lead assignment improvements
Customer lead assignment can be a stressful topic for some dealerships, which is why lead distribution tools are necessary. Automatic lead assignment not only reduces a customer’s wait time but eliminates the need for salespeople to find a manager to get their next client assigned to them. They can log into their CRM dashboard, see what’s next on their agenda, and go from client to client without wasting any time. Management can focus on other tasks, and there is no argument over lead assignment favoritism or a bogus “up” system.
4. Enhanced mobility
There are so many ways dealers benefit from mobile auto industry trends. There are apps to track dealer reviews, compare inventory, and even apps that tie into your CRM dashboard. You can almost exclusively sell a car right from your phone. Mobile dealer apps are beneficial if you’re out of town but want to wrap up business with an important client. You can look up their deal information, send them inventory photos, and make sure they get what they need before they think about looking somewhere else.
5. Salesperson accountability
In the past, the only way to monitor a salesperson’s success was to average their monthly sales. Months or even years could go by before you realize that they aren’t as productive as they should’ve been. CRM dashboards can help managers monitor their sales team in real time to make sure they are making the most out of every lead presented to them.
The one commonality in all these auto industry trends is the use of a dealer CRM tool.
In an industry affected by consumer reports and five-star reviews, it’s important to take customer relationship management seriously. Customers often know what they want, and if your team doesn’t have the information they need readily available, they’re going to buy their vehicle somewhere else. Stop losing customers to the competition and increase your team’s efficiency by utilizing some of the best auto industry trends available to dealers.
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