Automotive CRM: The Complete Guide

Why Is This Guide Needed?

This manual is intended for used car dealers who are looking at the most crucial software programs such as automotive CRM for managing their businesses. For a general readership, we have made the guide straightforward and high level.

why crm guide need

The Need of an Automotive CRM for Every Dealer

In the past ten years, the car sector has undergone complete transformation. The departments of sales, inventory, finance, compliance, and even services have all been completely reorganized. Above all, the purchasing process for customers has evolved. This implies that you must also update your toolkit.

CRMs, or customer relationship management solutions, are vital in the fiercely competitive dealership market of today. However, any CRM won’t work. The appropriate CRM must be used for your dealership. That is the main purpose of this tutorial.

Selecting the appropriate automotive CRM might be particularly challenging for small and mid-sized shops. They don’t believe they need one, which is why. Some claim they can manage it alone and that they are too tiny to employ a CRM. Regarding that, are you certain?

The issue is that customers don’t give a damn if you’re a tiny individual business or a huge dealer network. They never settle for anything less than a remarkable sales experience. And you need a CRM if you want to continuously provide that experience.

We’ll go over the benefits of CRMs for dealerships in this tutorial. Next, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting the best CRM for your needs. Lastly, we’ll provide you with the best CRMs available right now.

CRMs are not just about storing contacts. They serve as the brains behind every effective sales campaign. Let’s begin transforming your dealership if you’re prepared.

What is an automotive CRM?

While there are hundreds of CRMs available today, dealerships have to pick one designed with the automotive sector in mind.

A customer care, sales, and marketing platform specifically created for the distinct car-buying experience is known as an automotive CRM. The majority of car CRMs interface with Dealer Management Systems (DMS) that are already in place, saving you from having to enter client information twice.

An automobile CRM offers the following four main advantages (among many more, we’ll discuss them later):

Lead management is the process of monitoring sales leads from any source, including the internet, the phone, third parties, and walk-ins.

Lead generation and nurturing: CRMs with features like Auto Reply and Auto Responder enable you to reply to new leads first.

Better Communication: CRMs assist you in monitoring every interaction you have with customers, including emails, texts, and phone calls.

Transparency and Reporting: To maximize your sales process, track each contract through to completion. Track KPIs, view and log every sales call, and calculate the return on investment for each marketing channel.

Dealerships may streamline and automate their marketing, sales, and customer care procedures using an automotive CRM, which will eventually increase vehicle sales.

Automotive CRM Advantages

The biggest dealer groups are well aware of the benefits of CRM use. Small and medium-sized dealerships, however, don’t always notice it. In actuality, without a CRM to run their business, no dealership can succeed in the modern day.

The difference between having a record-breaking sales month and going out of business can be made by using an automobile CRM. The following are some main advantages that a top-notch CRM solution offers:

Arrange Leads and Contacts


Dealerships receive leads from a variety of sources, including online forms, OEMs, third-party lead suppliers, online and offline advertisements, and traditional walk-ins. CRMs allow you to trace the source of leads and save all of your contacts in one location. You can observe which channels yield the best results over time.

You can keep track of interactions with CRMs for days, weeks, or even years at a time. Every contact’s whole chat history will be available to you instantly.

Respond Quickly to New Leads


A Harvard Business Review research found that salespeople were seven times more likely to qualify a lead if they got in touch with them within an hour, and sixty times more likely if they waited more than 24 hours. In order to ensure that no contact is missed while you are occupied with other duties, many CRMs provide auto-reply capabilities.

Put Your Sales Team in Order


You must be aware of the quantity of automobiles sold as well as the team member responsible for those sales. CRMs include reports that may be used by your sales staff to track performance, establish quotas, and predict.

Streamline Communications


CRM solutions enable you to track all of your interactions with leads—calls, emails, texts, or walk-ins—by providing text, email, and call management options. Pulling the record from the CRM saves you the trouble of trying to remember specifics of the discussion.

Continue to Comply


Maintaining contact with customers and dealerships Making a TCPA complaint can take some time, but the alternative could be more expensive. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), enacted in 1991, forbids businesses from using telephone technology to send clients any kind of unwanted message. This implies that in order to keep in contact with the consumer by phone, text, or email, you must have their permission. They also have the right to opt-out, or to stop receiving communications from you.

Provide Financing and Credit Options


With soft credit pulls, you may pre-approve consumers using certain CRMs. When salespeople possess credit information, they may promptly match buyers with the appropriate automobile. Soft draws are simple to market because they don’t affect a customer’s credit score.

Maximize Your Marketing Expenses


Which marketing channels work best, in your opinion? All dealerships, no matter how big or small, need to make every marketing and advertising dollar matter in this tightening economic climate.

CRMs assist dealers identify their best and worst-performing marketing channels by tracking the origin of incoming leads. You may even create custom reports with certain CRMs and share them with your team.

Essential Elements of an Automotive CRM

Every CRM and every dealership are slightly different from one another. It’s not enough to just imitate the man across the street. The ideal tool for you must be selected.

Nevertheless, we’ve utilized a number of CRMs in the past. We are aware of what functions well and poorly. A basic set of characteristics seen in the finest CRMs increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and consistency.

When assessing automobile CRMs, keep the following elements in mind:

  • Simple Training and Onboarding
  • Integrations of DMS
  • Management of Voice and Text
  • Automated Email Responses
  • Task and Appointment Management
  • Simple Training and Onboarding

Your sales staff won’t utilize an automobile CRM if it is unwieldy, clumsy, and challenging to understand. They already have too much on their plates, let alone figuring out a new, difficult instrument. It’s imperative that your car CRM is simple to use and has a wealth of onboarding and training materials.

First, search for a CRM with an up-to-date, user-friendly interface. Whether your salesmen are seasoned pros in the field or youthful newbies, it should seem comfortable to them.

Secondly, the CRM provider must to provide thorough onboarding and training. To make sure you’re prepared for success, the greatest CRMs will guide you through the onboarding procedure. Learning libraries and assistance manuals should be available to you and your team for continuous training.

Selecting a CRM without a robust training curriculum might be disastrous for your group. This is an essential component of a top-notch automobile CRM that is sometimes disregarded.

Integrations of DMS in Automotive CRM

CRMs monitor sales prospects and procedures, whereas DMS are utilized for inventory, accounting, and desk administration. When dealerships are prepared to close sales, opportunities must flow from their CRM to their DMS with ease. Ideally, your DMS and your preferred CRM will be integrated.

However, what happens if a CRM and your DMS aren’t integrated? Not all is lost, particularly for small and medium-sized dealerships. The advantages of a CRM greatly exceed the infrequent work of transferring information to your DMS.

Management of Voice and Text Messages


Systemizing your sales process is essential, regardless of whether you manage a group of salespeople or just yourself. CRMs that include integrated text and voice communications management are a great start toward achieving that. They support dealerships in keeping their sales staff accountable, transparent, and consistent.

When assessing CRMs, confirm that the system is capable of:

  • Monitor and log phone calls made using the platform.
  • Give follow-up assignments.
  • Forward incoming calls to the sales representative who is managing the transaction.
  • To ensure TCPA compliance, obtain opt-in/opt-out message consent for the dealership.
  • Give consumers the option to SMS the dealership straight from your website.
  • Program messages
  • Make templates for standard correspondence with customers.
  • Calls from the store were recorded for use in sales training.

No more searching through file drawers or missing bits of paper. All of your customer communications should be kept in your CRM.

Automated Email Responses


You may further streamline client contact by using email responses. Having automatic email answers set up can help your team reply to leads fast, which is essential to closing the deal.

Platforms for Desktop and Mobile


Your dealership is not managed from a desk. You are purchasing the best merchandise at auctions, on the sales floor, and outside on the lot. For this reason, car dealerships ought to spend money on desktop and mobile automotive CRM systems.

Analytics for market channels


You can’t afford to estimate how well lead generating sources like AutoTrader,, and others are functioning if your dealership uses several of them. To have a comprehensive understanding of all the lead sources for the dealership, use a CRM that has a marketing channel analytics dashboard.

Seek for a CRM that generates marketing metrics that are simple to read, comprehend, and convey. It ought to have the following particular qualities:

  • Examine marketing channels based on lead cost and quality.
  • Personalized dashboard tailored to your company’s needs
  • Analyze annual and weekly sales patterns.
  • Track each sales team member’s (individual and dealership-wide) success.
  • Organizing appointments and tasks

Look for a CRM that enables you to centrally handle all of the meetings and duties related to the sale. Sales managers may examine the state of each transaction in the store on the feature dashboard, and sales workers can monitor the status of the deals they are working on.

CRMs guarantee that follow-ups and lead details never slip through the cracks by keeping your team focused on each sale.

Leading Automotive CRM

It doesn’t have to take a lot of effort or time to get the ideal car CRM. It all begins with being aware of the particular requirements that your dealership has. Smaller dealerships, for instance, don’t require the expensive or extravagant features of larger, enterprise-level CRMs. Locate a solution that meets your needs in terms of pricing and functionality.

CRMs are widely available on the market. The top CRMs for the three categories are shown below:

  • SimpSocial offers both independent and BHPH dealerships.
  • Franchised Dealers: VinSolutions, CDK Global
  • Overall Goal: Salesforce, Go High level, Hubspot

The best CRM for BHPH and independent dealerships:

One of the few CRMs designed specifically for independent/BHPH merchants and one-man shows is SimpSocial CRM. also named it the Best Overall Automotive CRM. Only the most crucial features for small and mid-size dealers are available on SimpSocial’s platform:

  • Simple training and onboarding
  • Connectivity with several well-known DMSs
  • Management of text and voice messages
  • Automated responses to emails
  • Platform in the cloud
  • Analytics for market channels
  • Organizing appointments and tasks

SimpSocial offers excellent value for BHPH and individual retailers. They are aware of the particular difficulties faced by small dealerships, such as having too many hats to wear and a shortage of staff or time.

With monthly costs as low as $100, SimpSocial Automotive CRM is an ideal solution for independent and BHPH dealers that are prepared to give up using paper and sticky notes to keep track of leads.

Utilize an automotive CRM

Utilize an automotive CRM Right Now

Large dealerships aren’t the only ones using automotive CRMs. To increase sales and improve operations, EVERY dealership should adopt a CRM. And those who don’t adapt to the times run the risk of becoming obsolete like the Model T.

  • CRMs are much more than just databases for storing contact details.
  • With fresh leads, they present you as competent and timely.
  • They support your continued adherence.
  • They make your sales process more organized.
  • They can even offer funding for new sources of income.
  • CRMs are like your company’s rocket fuel.

Pay attention if you’re an independent BHPH dealer. When it comes to aims and criteria, you are not like franchise dealerships. This implies that you require a distinct kind of CRM. Download our manual on independent dealers to find out more:

FAQs Regarding Automotive CRM

CRM is a sales and marketing platform that assists companies in gathering, arranging, and overseeing their work procedures.

CRMs assist dealerships with lead management and follow-up, while DMS solutions handle back office operations and final sale processing. Dealers may handle inventory, finance, warranties, licenses, and insurance information with the aid of DMS systems. Dealers must have a DMS in addition to an automotive CRM.

All-purpose CRMs aim to fulfill the needs of every industry they cater to. Both large and small auto businesses require particular tools, features, and add-ons that are exclusive to automotive CRMs. They have a higher probability of integrating with other dealership systems and your DMS.

Indeed, implementing a CRM may be advantageous for independent dealerships as well. It’s really rather important.
Undoubtedly, large dealerships use CRMs to manage client information and expedite sales. It follows that you ought to follow suit. The tiny guys become just as competitive as the larger shops when they have an automobile CRM, leveling the playing field.

CRMs that are integrated are never as powerful as those that are not. While you might be able to save contact details, you won’t be able to take use of the other features and advantages that we discussed in this tutorial.

Indeed, they do. Simply said, independent dealers don’t require every feature and capability of a major CRM. Franchises require the capacity to track rebates and interfaces with DMS platforms allowed by OEMs. The most crucial elements for independent dealers are improved communications and simple onboarding.

The world won’t end because of it. SimpSocial and other automotive CRMs may function as stand-alone tools. The occasional hassle of moving data to the DMS will be far outweighed by the advantages of using a CRM.

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