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Desking Favorites

Discussion in 'CRM, ILM, and Desking Support & Best Practices' started by mattwatson81, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. mattwatson81

    mattwatson81 Getting Refreshed

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    Just curious how many dealers out there use a desking module and what some of your favorite features are?

    What type of worksheets do you prefer to use?
  2. AndrewDiFeo

    AndrewDiFeo Refresh Team

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    We use Dealersocket's desking tool and their payment matrix worksheet (4 terms, 4 down payments, giving you 16 payment options.)
  3. mattwatson81

    mattwatson81 Getting Refreshed

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    So do you think a 16 payment matrix is much better than a 9 payment matrix? Or does 16 create too many payment options?
  4. AndrewDiFeo

    AndrewDiFeo Refresh Team

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    I guess it comes down to personal preference, but the more choices we can present the customer the better for them to make an informed decision. And it may reduce the back and forth between the desk over questions like " well what if I want to extend the term, put more/less money down, etc."
  5. Alex Snyder

    Alex Snyder Administrator Staff Member

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    I hate to say it like this, but my favorite desking tool (just for pure desking) is a spread sheet one of our GM's created. This spread sheet is so advanced it pulls down information from outside databases! It is completely customizable - obviously, so it costs deals out and creates commission sheets while you're working the deal. It even pulls in the most recent residuals and terms from BMW, MINI, Audi, and Porsche. We only use it at our luxury stores because it is highly balloon focused - something we should all be looking at again in these times. Our volume stores are using iMagicLab for retail deals, but get upset with it due to the speed - which isn't iMagicLab's fault, it is due to old computers that are due to be replaced this year. Once iMagicLab can get a $0 down lease to roll backwards they'll start using it for leasing too....soon I'm sure ;)

    We originally got hooked on the 9 payments per payment type worksheet (yes, that would be 27 payments on a purchase, lease, and balloon presentation) because of ePencil. For its time, that program was off the charts. I think it finally has some real competition in the market today, so it isn't off the charts anymore. I'd love to see it go completely online...or a hybrid online/software packet on a desktop like DealerSocket does it. But at the end of the day, there is no fantastic desking tool - they're all just desking 1.0 right now and there are some issues to get past before we ever see 2.0.

    I don't think there is an end-all be-all penciling solution. The reasons:

    • it is too difficult to code for someone who worked on a desk (see the next point)
    • desk managers are really simple people - most don't think beyond the deal that is in front of them
    • GM's don't have time to mess with it
    • Coders might have sold cars at one time, but never worked a desk
    • CRM companies hire good people from the car-sales side of the industry and never let them go near development
    • CRM companies code it as it should "technically" be, but that isn't how it works in the real world. Then too much development time is put into it and they don't want to go back.
    • It is difficult to get a deal to push to the DMS 100% accurately 100% of the time.
    I could be way off, or I could just be looking at this microcosm that I've worked in without regard for the rest of the world. Anyway, that's how I've seen things go down.

    There are answers and most of those begin in the mirror for us dealers:

    • Hire people who can use a computer
    • If you're going to put someone on the desk just because he can close a deal, you better make his partner a big nerd
    • Start doing business based on the numbers, and not from the gut
    • Partner with your CRM company and create a position that is primarily focused on CRM usage - then, through this position, help the CRM design a desking solution that fits your needs
    • If the DMS companies are going to be funny about data integration....who cares....key the deal twice. If you have the oldest of old dinosaurs behind your desk then you're looking at 10 minutes extra per deal. Let's say he does 10 deals in a day (you probably have another sales manger anyway) then he would be spending almost 2 hours per day transferring information from the desking tool to the CRM - fie him! I guarantee your next salesmanager won't have that same problem.
    Desking tools don't sell more cars - they generate more gross. They force a sales manager to slow down to consider the deal more and maybe point out some numbers they may not have considered. Then it provides the reporting necessary to scrutinize each deal based on where things were started and where they ended up. We dealers try to put more into it than that and view it as something that is going to speed things up. That's why I say we need to look into a mirror first, before judging a desking tool.
  6. mattwatson81

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    For the last 9 months we have been working on the third version of our desking tool. We completely scrapped the old version and started from scratch and we are writing it in Silverlight. Our current customers have been beta testing it for about 3 months now. I'd like to get your feedback on it once we release the final version.
  7. Alex Snyder

    Alex Snyder Administrator Staff Member

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    I'd be happy to take a look Matt :thumbup:
  8. countzerro

    countzerro Noob

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    We attempted to use ADP's WEB Desking and it was such a disaster that I wrote a spreadsheet to pencil deals with. We finaly switched back to ePencil and could not be happier.
  9. mattwatson81

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    Ok here is the problem that I see with desking software. Maybe you guys can provide some feedback on this.

    There are almost always at least 3 basic purchase options to present to a customer.

    1. Manufacturer Financing + Rebates (ex 2.9% APR + $1,000 rebate)
    2. All cash or Alternate Financing + Different Rebates (ex Standard APR + $3,000 rebate)
    3. Lease

    These scenarios have different incentive based rebates & rates. As well as lease differences like government fees, taxes, no GAP, acquisition fees, security deposit, bank fees, etc.

    So it can be very difficult to EASILY prepare all 3 options in a software program and then present it in a good format to the customer. Not to mention different tiers of finance rates. :-)

    What I want to avoid is having the desk manager work up all 3 scenarios separately and print 3 different worksheets.

    Anyone seen this done effectively or have any feedback about this? Is this perhaps the holy grail?
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  10. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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    @Countzerro - [/QUOTE]We attempted to use ADP's WEB Desking and it was such a disaster that I wrote a spreadsheet to pencil deals with. We finally switched back to ePencil and could not be happier.[/QUOTE] It's interesting to hear so many opinions on different desking tools. I have some dealers on ADP Desking and they love it. Was just on the phone the other day with someone from a larger dealer group where most of their dealers are on ADP Desking with lots of good things to say about it.

    @Alex -
    I would have to polity disagree with that. I believe a solid desking tool AND training your sales people how to present the numbers on the worksheet, when done properly is a closing tool all together and can helps flush out many objections the customer may have. I would never return to the salesfloor without a solid desking tool.

    As I type this..I have a copy of a desking sheet printed from DealerTracks SalesMaker - One of my dealers just signed up to test it out. I didn't get a lot of time to dig into it so no real opinions yet. I will have the say the layout of the worksheet could be a lot cleaner and presented better. The presentation has to be inviting..no different than going to a find restaurant and the presentation of the food helps decide whether or not your taste buds initially go into action.

    I was using ePencil a few years back and on the presentation scale, I would have to say it's still one of the best. Not sure if they have a patent on the layout or what but one would think others would do more to copy it. I also like the fact that ePencil was also designed as a closing tool. I loved the Keep it or Trade It worksheet (I can't remember is that was the actual name of the worksheet), it would factor in the trade information and help you close a customer that was going to decide to sell the car themselves or was thinking about wait awhile before buying and trading. It was a strong closing tool. Unfortunately we could never get the leasing figured to work.

    I also used eLead Desking. I personally never had any issues and actually liked using it, the customer presentation wasn't to bad either. The lease payment quotes were usually within a few cents.

    @Matt
    I have always used a 9 Payment sheet BUT that was 9 purchase and 9 lease payments. I think 9 is good enough for 1 purchase type.

    Many times it's not always the software, it's the end user. BUT..if it's the end user then I believe it many times comes back to the vendor for not properly training the dealer personnel and not following up with the dealer to be sure the software is being used to it full capability.
  11. tomfohr

    tomfohr Getting Refreshed

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    I use and Excel program that I made that compares 3 purchase terms with 3 cash down options (9 payment options) and for new vehicles also compares 1 lease term with 3 cash down options. We leave it to our Sales Managers to determine what lease term is going to be most attractive based on the residuals and money factors. But the layout we have looks nice and clean and presents well. The top has three boxes: 1) MSRP 2) Discounts/Rebates/Trade In 3) Cash Difference with the payment options below.

    My biggest gripe with using this as our desking tool is there is no intergration with CRM or DMS and no real way to save where you left off (other than hoping the sales person saved the proposal form) so you can re-hash deals. Currently I am working on a solution for that... We are hoping to start the beginning of the month saving all of our proposals with the Deal # from our CRM as the file name in a shared folder that all the Sales Managers have on their desktops. Not ideal but at least gives us something to reference when we are doing unsold follow up or save a deals with the sales people.
  12. ddavis

    ddavis Sr. Refresher

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    I'm a big lease proponent. I like to do a lease conversion before going to the desk and then come back with strictly lease figures.
  13. yagoparamo

    yagoparamo Sr. Refresher

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    Just curious, does anyone know if there is some type of IPAD or tablet application that would allow the desk person to interactivelly show these numbers to the customers?
  14. JQuinn

    JQuinn Super Moderator

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    Curious... how important is it that a desking tool is integrated with the DMS, CRM or other systems?

    How about data? As in tax rates, lease residuals, etc? Should the tool "know" these things, or is manual input OK?

    I've worked a couple of systems where EVERYTHING was a part of the tool. Maybe we were just spoiled...
  15. JamieS

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  16. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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  17. JQuinn

    JQuinn Super Moderator

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    Wanted to give this thread a quick bump.

    Very curious to learn what our better users are using for desking/1st pencil tools -- and what they'd like to use.

    Simple calculator? (manual data input?)
    Printed Worksheet? Hand-written worksheet?
    Integrated tool?

    What's working well out there now?
  18. jscole86

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    JQuinn,
    We use VinSolutions as our crm/ilm which has a pretty robust desking tool built in. It pushes to our dms (Arkona/DT), dealertrack and routeone and is integrated with AIS Rebates so we have factory incentives (except dealer cash) and leasing rates/residuals (except it doesn't have the allowable markup on factors built in). No deal gets desked without being put into the system first. It can calculate purchase/ lease/ balloon scenarios. You can also create multiple scenarios and compare them to each other on 1 worksheet with payment grids and everything. Although we aren't doing this yet, we'd like to get to where we present a purchase & lease comparison on every single new deal.

    The only drawback with it, IMO, is that it's built on the silverlight platform.. Which can be slower and doesn't work on iPads. Plus Microsoft is pulling the plug I believe on it and moving to html5.
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  19. tomfohr

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    We use a excel program that I made that compares 1 lease term and 3 purchase terms with 3 cash down options. We have our sales people create a deal # in our crm and then save the proposal with the deal # as the file name in a shared network folder so all the managers can access them to re-work the deal, ect. I have it set up so it calculates our front end gross and payable gross so we have it in front of us while we are working the deal. Customers have liked our presentation because the numbers are large and bold and its very simple looking with multiple payment senarios.

    I am also in the middle of working on a proposal for cash out the door deals with also a 1 pay lease option.
    Attached are a customer view example and a dealer view example as JPG files. Dealer View Proposal.jpg Customer View Proposal.jpg
  20. JQuinn

    JQuinn Super Moderator

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    Very nice! Do you pre-load rates and terms, etc., or add them manually for each pencil?

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