The Benefits of an Automotive CRM

May 11, 2023

Team ACV




The Benefits of an Automotive CRM

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A used car salesperson reviews his interactions with a customer using an Automotive CRM

The car buying journey has evolved a great deal in recent years. Today, customers typically kick off their quest for a dream ride by scouring the internet for information on the vehicle of their choice. Once they've gathered enough intel, they may complete a lead form on your website before venturing into your dealership to test-drive the car. Some may take their time and try other models before returning weeks later to make the final purchase.

Whether you are a salesperson at an independent dealership or franchise, there is no way you can remember every customer that you come in contact with and where they are in the buying process. That's where Automotive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes in.

What's an Automotive CRM?

 An automotive CRM is software designed specifically for car dealers to manage their communications, interactions, and relationships with customers and prospective clients. A CRM allows dealers to keep track of their interaction with customers via diverse touch points including: 

  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Texts
  • Contact forms
  • Visits to your dealership

CRMs also have the ability to automate some tasks that you might forget. For example, if you wanted to send a Thank You email to a prospective customer who just took a test drive, you could automate that task, and the CRM could send an email or text message the next day.  

Benefits of Automotive CRM Software for Dealerships

Keep all your leads together

If you love structure and organization with your sales processes, CRM software helps keep everything related to your contacts and leads in one place, whether they came from your website, walk-ins, or over the phone. It allows you to target different contacts and set scores and alerts based on individual leads or customer activity. 

An adequately deployed CRM system can also track and manage all interactions and communications your reps have with prospects and customers, helping flag opportunities that may require additional follow-up and nurturing. If you have a customer who took a test drive but decided not to purchase a car, you can have the CRM set up a “Drip Campaign” to send them an email in a week if you haven’t heard from them to see if they purchased elsewhere or are still interested. 

Keep your sales team accountable 

An automotive CRM system enables your entire sales team to maintain essential information in a centralized database, streamlining the tracking of critical details that can drive sales success. With all of this data residing in a single location, the CRM can generate reports that provide comprehensive insights into your team's performance. Armed with this information, you can accurately forecast how your sales staff is poised to finish out the month and take proactive steps to optimize their efforts 

Streamline communications

You can easily manage all your customer interactions through an auto CRM. The software allows your sales team to track all communication related to customer experiences and requests and streamline the information into a timely, easily accessible format. 

The CRM tracks all parts of the buyer's journey, including every interaction, phone call, and email communication. With these insights, you can easily determine the right time to reach back out to a prospect.

Improve your connection with buyers

Every seasoned salesperson values the need to interact continuously with clients throughout the sales process, from initial contact to timely customer support. An auto CRM tool helps ensure seamless communication by connecting you to your buyers via multiple channels, including email, social media, blog, and website. 

It also allows you to tap into marketing automation tools to tailor your messaging further and offer a personalized experience. An auto CRM even enables you to receive questions from your clients on all the available channels and respond to them promptly. 

Optimize your sales process

Although effective communication with potential buyers turns leads into sales, messaging alone is not enough. A productive sales strategy requires you to track when your leads interact with your touch points so you can schedule meetings at the right time and convert them into customers. 

An automotive CRM comes with lead generation and pipeline management tools that allow you to automate your sales processes and move more prospects down the sales pipeline.

Close more deals

Creating a smooth sales process is an effective way to close more car deals. Typically, too many potential deals fail to pull through because something was forgotten in the sales process. An auto CRM enables workflow automation of low-value tasks so you can focus more resources on meeting customers and closing more deals. It allows you to set an action plan that creates specific tasks based on stages of the selling process. That way, you avoid losing a deal because a specific task slipped your mind. 

Streamline the test drive phase

Handling too many requests for test drives can be overwhelming and take too much of your productive time. An auto CRM can simplify the process and streamline this phase. Once a customer submits a test drive request through your website, it will be channeled directly into the CRM. The system then generates an automatic confirmation email and adds the task to your daily workflow.

Help with compliance

Ensuring your customer data and dealership communications are TCPA compliant can be challenging. Unfortunately, ignoring compliance requirements can lead to costly consequences, including penalties and fines. A CRM helps you get customer consent to continue communicating via phone calls, text messages, or email. It also allows you to meet their request to cease contact (opt out).

Key features of an Automotive CRM Software

Every auto CRM comes with tailor-made features that meet the unique needs of each dealership. That said, the best CRMs should offer primary features that ensure greater efficiency, productivity, transparency, and consistency. The following are key features to look for when evaluating an auto CRM:

  • Seamless onboarding and training: A good CRM should have easy-to-use features and robust onboarding/ training resources. Ensure the CRM has a modern and intuitive-to-use interface familiar to all your salespeople, regardless of their experience level. 
  • DMS integrations: While CRMs track sales opportunities and processes, DMS systems streamline the desking, accounting, and inventory management. A DMS integration allows you to seamlessly move opportunities from your CRM to DMS when closing deals.
  • Voice and text message management: A good CRM features built-in voice and text messaging management that helps you maintain transparency, consistency, and accountability on your sales teams. When evaluating a CRM tool, ensure the platform can track and record phone calls, assign follow-up tasks, and enable customers to text the dealership directly from your website.
  • Effective reporting: CRMs contain a wealth of customer information, making it crucial to invest in a system that simplifies reporting and presents this data in easy-to-use dashboards. These reports make it easier to determine which marketing tactics are generating the most leads, allowing you to optimize your strategies and drive conversions. Effective reporting also enables you to track which salespeople successfully convert leads into buyers each month, giving you the insight needed to reward top performers and provide additional training to those who need it.
  • Secure and mobile: In a fast-paced marketplace, sales teams need to be able to access their CRM system anytime, anywhere. Buyers make decisions around the clock, and your sales staff must be flexible to engage with customers and update critical information, whether at their desks or on the lot. With a CRM that provides seamless, on-the-go access, your sales team can respond promptly to inquiries, build stronger relationships with clients, and drive sales growth.

It is hard for any dealership to thrive in the current highly competitive marketplace without an   automotive CRM. An automotive CRM provides your team with valuable visibility into the sources of all leads, including website, walk-ins, social media, and beyond. Tracking each lead's position in the buying journey, your team can customize their communication and effectively nurture each prospect towards a sale. The result? More closed deals and a streamlined sales process.

Innovative Tools to Empower Today's Dealerships

An automotive CRM is just one of many innovations that car dealership owners can use to stay competitive. Another one is working with ACV Auctions. ACV is the leading online car auction for dealers. We have the industry leading condition reports that include undercarriage views and engine sound so you know the condition of the car before you make a bid. With our user-friendly and convenient vehicle auction platform, dealers can access quality vehicles from across the country. Register today to become a member!


"Automotive CRM Ultimate Guide." Selly Automotive, n.d. Web. Accessed 11 May 2023.

"Automotive CRM Software." HubSpot, n.d. Web. Accessed 11 May 2023.