What’s Your Dealership CRM Strategy?

What’s Your Dealership CRM Strategy?

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 spread sheets 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.

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.

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

One CRM system our dealers have found useful in conjunction with DockMaster is teamMarine. The teamMarine solution is built on the Salesforce.com platform, the #1 CRM solution worldwide. But rather than investing in an expensive Salesforce implementation, teamMarine provides an affordable to implement and cost-effective CRM solution. The integration with DockMaster allows for the storage of your data and the tracking of records to keep the two systems in sync with fields like customers, prospects, serialized boats, motors, trailers and more. When records are created or edited in either system, the changes sync and are pushed to each other immediately. Prospects and inventory are easily tracked and managed, and any new or modified deal records are immediately updated. Yacht Closer is another powerful web-based management tool designed specifically for yacht brokers. The CRM portion of Yacht Closer is integrated with DockMaster to sync customers, prospects and boats.

Both of these CRM tools 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.

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