I spend more time thinking about CRMs than I should. Even if a perfect one existed, users of the tool would find a way to mess it up. Last week I was reviewing how a lead was handled on behalf of a dealer client. While the salesperson handling the prospect was checking the “complete” box for each fulfilled task assigned to them, there were zero notes. No details of contact or attempted contact. No attempts to offer anything exceptional.
And this was the salesperson utilizing the CRM best at the store.
I’ve come to analogize a CRM being like a belt. A belt that you’d wear to keep your pants up. Much like a belt, if you’re using your CRM properly, you don’t notice it there, but get all of the benefits from the tool. The moment a sales team starts forgetting to use their CRM, like a belt, you see the crack (in their sales performance). If they never use the CRM, they’ll never be able to cover their own ass. One quick glance into their customers’ profiles and you’ll find countless reasons they’re not maximizing contact, appointments, and profit.
Sales management drives CRM use, but even then, salespeople must take it upon themselves to use it fully. Not just by completing their daily task list, but literally optimizing contact attempts in the CRM. This can be done with detailed notes, content related to vehicle availability/research/pricing, or multiple attempts of contact from different mediums.
If a CRM is barely used, then they obviously barely have their belt looped. They’re only one notch into their belt and their drawers are about to drop. If they use it extremely well, they’ve took the time to stretch, pull, and tighten up just how well they want to connect with customers. Heck, the better they use the CRM, the more they care about their job.
A CRM can cover up a lot of inefficiencies. Some old school car dogs want to keep notes in their lucky notepad, or claim to remember the customers they’ve worked with. This doesn’t last. And it won’t offer them skate protection either. Commissions from their previous customers are not owed to them if they didn’t use the CRM to keep in contact with them multiple times since date of last purchase. A salesperson is leaving themselves naked and vulnerable without having every activity they’ve performed logged into the CRM, with detailed notes attached. Using the CRM to its fullest is akin to getting dressed and making sure every article of clothing is secure and present.
When I see baggy pants on a person, I don’t think of it as “fashion” or a sign of the times. I think of it as laziness. It just takes a belt (and using that belt in the right place) pulling it across multiple notches of use, so I know you care enough to not be dragging ass around the street. Customer Relationship Management utilization is the same. Cinch your team’s CRM belt. Make sure they aren’t using it halfway or incorrect. Ensure they know how it works. If you tighten up your usage requirements for the CRM, you’ll find that the entire store is more presentable.
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