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Today’s boat dealers are managing and even juggling many different areas of their operation, and keeping up with the speed of modern day business has become challenging. Gone are the days of spreadsheets and the business card rolodex to stay in touch and manage customers. Today it’s a mandatory requirement for a boat dealer to utilize a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. The most valuable asset your dealership can have, is the data within a CRM. Data is king and the actual power behind most successful businesses lies in the data and insights that can be mined from data.

This past year has seen the boating industry welcome many new customers. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, people needed to find new activities to turn to that allowed them to stay safe. Boating proved to be a popular choice in 2020, as the industry welcomed many first-time boat buyers. The focus for 2021 will now be to make sure these customers come back and prepare for yet another potential wave of first-time buyers. After all, social distancing will still be a vital practice this year until vaccine rollout improves the situation. However this goes beyond just welcoming new buyers. Boat dealers will have to ensure that these customers become boaters for life, well after life returns to normal. A proper CRM strategy could set up dealerships for the long term.

A CRM strategy needs to include a way to manage your leads and contacts. The needs within a solution with fields such as customers, lost sales, prospects, suppliers, partners, and even inactive customers will be slightly different from business to business. However, this type of CRM database is the foundation to managing these relationships strategically to move your dealership forward in growth and revenue. It also serves as the foundational data to build ongoing drip marketing campaigns around to further develop future business. Empowering employees with their mobile devices makes sense and giving them the ability use the many apps and programs available for calendars, setting reminders, access to contacts and taking notes are all available at your fingertips right now.

Let’s dive into the important aspects in implementing the right CRM for your boat dealership.

Don’t Underestimate The Implementation

When it’s time to choose a CRM tool, this can become an overwhelming experience with all the possible choices available in the market. There are three common decision factors that end up being the difference between making the right choice vs making a critical business mistake. First, a CRM must be implementation friendly. Any time that you are changing or introducing new software, there is going to be a period of implementation.  In some cases, you may need an outside consultant or a staff member who is heading up the deployment.  In either case, there is going to be training and testing, and it is important to have the professional service or internal knowledge at your business to support this. An implementation can incur substantial costs and will take time away from your teams’ current obligations, so please do not underestimate this step.

Second is user adoption, and no matter which system you choose there will be members of your team who resist the change. Involving your team in your CRM selection process to get their buy-in and keeping them involved all the way through the process helps people feel less threatened by a new system. The more ownership your employees have in the selection of a new tool, the more likely they are to adopt it. Third, customization within the tool is a must. Every business’s processes are different, so CRM is not a one-size-fits-all template.  It is important that your CRM is flexible enough to handle your processes, grow with your business and will be able to adapt to your changing needs without having to be replaced. There are CRM tools designed for specific industries, so be sure this ability to customize and grow is aligned to the marine world.

Real Experiences & Results

DockMaster’s CRM system provides an affordable to implement and cost-effective CRM solution. It allows for the storage of your data and the tracking of records to keep your system in sync with fields like customers, prospects, serialized boats, motors, trailers and more. Prospects and inventory are easily tracked and managed, and any new or modified deal records are immediately updated.

This CRM tool can help empower your sales team to deliver better results for your dealership or brokerage. It allows for a closer look into your prospects, with the ability to understand and modify contacts, deals and also your inventory. Without a CRM system, it’s difficult to focus on the customer. Companies that invest in CRM are using its power to put the customer at the heart of their business, which is the fastest way to increase sales and profits.

DockMaster Software has launched DMPay, an online payment portal where customers pay invoices online, in a secure cloud environment. For more information on DMPay, reach out to your account manager, or contact us here

DockMaster Software is an industry leading management system for marinas, boatyards, and boat dealerships. DockMaster includes Unit Sales, Prospecting and F&I with fully integrated financial management and numerous integrations with CRM applications, dealer websites and text/messaging services. The Service module includes estimating, labor tracking, and complete parts management with ordering/receiving, subcontractor fulfillment and invoicing. DockMaster Mobile allows technicians to clock on/off jobs from any mobile device. Visual Marina™ management includes storage & billing, occupancy tracking, reservations and dry stack management, including integrations to leading consumer applications for boat rentals, online reservations, concierge/launch scheduling and our new Fuel Integration with FuelCloud. DockMaster also includes Point of Sale, Order Entry with eCommerce and a complete accounting system. Learn more at and follow DockMaster on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn. Or email

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