Keeping track of data provides insight on how your dealership is performing, lets you know what you should currently be working on, and helps you prepare for the future. For those reasons and more, staying on top of data management is a crucial component of any strategy that will allow you to outpace the competition. If it were car parts, data would be the rear-view mirror (for letting you know what’s behind you), the engine check light (for its ability to warn you), and the headlights (because without it you’d be stuck ‘in the dark’).
DATA & ITS MANY LAYERS
Dealership data comes in different types: Discrete data is restricted to a limited set of values (i.e. the model of a car). Continuous data is any value that falls inside a defined range (i.e. the exact manufacture date of a car).
In addition to having different types, dealership data has multiple layers. Take any new car that you have sold, for example. You probably have its VIN, contact information for the manufacturer or distributor you bought it from, and contact information for the buyer; so just for that one car there are three layers of data: the car layer, the manufacturer/distributor layer, and the owner layer.
FIND YOUR MANAGEMENT FIX
Picking the right software solution to fix your data management issues is a tough decision to make. The majority of dealers utilize multiple data management software solutions, as the art of running a dealership successfully is just too complex for one to handle. One piece of the puzzle that there is a sound solution for is customer relationships. Customer relationship data is important to keep track of because by analyzing it you can determine which selling strategies have worked the best, which customer demographics you should pitch certain products, what conditions your salespeople sell the most well under, and more – that is why you need a CRM.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM)
A CRM platform is useful for both managers and salespeople alike. Managers can use CRM to look at how their sales team is doing overall, assign territories to individual sales representatives, track key performance indicators such as inventory turn rate, and more. Salespeople can use CRM to store customers’ contact information, schedule appointments, study their own past performance, and more. Depending on the CRM you choose, it may have marketing automation features, such as the ability to set reminders or send personalized emails to customers en masse.
A lot can go wrong if a dealer loses track of its data. Furthermore, it pays to store data because even the smallest bits of data can be used (in aggregate) to build analytical models that will help steer your decision-making in the right direction. Some of your employees may (because they’re ‘set in their ways’) not want to start using a new piece of software. Or, some of them may (for whatever reason) be averse to using computers in the first place. This will make your life as a manager more difficult. But, even though they may require you to work harder at the onset, plans to implement software solutions for your dealership almost always proves to be worth it in the end.
About the Author
Ken Gibson is a data analyst at Black Ink Technologies, which helps the premier manufacturing industry sell more, faster and smarter. The SaaS platform provides more visibility across the entire supply chain – from a manufacturer plant to distributor, to territory managers, to dealers, to the local marketplace.