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CRM or ILM...and which one?


Push Start
Jul 14, 2009
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I've just taken the position as the ISM at a small dealership. I owned my own mortgage company for the last 8 years and I have no automotive experience. The dealership that I work at currently uses ADP for the backend and Dealer.com for the website. We don't use a CRM or ILM at this point. I realize that Dealer.com has LeadMachine but we don't have it turned on. I do not have authority to make wide sweeping changes to the entire sales organization so I can't implement a CRM to the entire store.

Sorry about being so long-winded but with all of that said, would you start out using just a ILM or try to go with a full CRM. I realize that I would be leaving alot of functionality on the table by going CRM but I eventually plan on implementing the CRM to the entire store. In addition, my primary responsibility is to set appointments. That is how I'm compensated.

I'm going under the assumption that most will say I should go the ILM route. If this is the case, is there anyone other than iMagicLab that I should I be looking at?
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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I'm going under the assumption that most will say I should go the ILM route. If this is the case, is there anyone other than iMagicLab that I should I be looking at?
Dealer.com's LeadMachine is a great little product. Since you already have their services, you should get them to turn it on. If there is a fee, then make the accountability argument to your boss stating that you do not have the ability to track and manage follow-up without an ILM.

Get your Dealer.com account rep to give you a list of the features and benefits of LeadMachine to help in your argument/sales pitch to the boss.

If they're too cheap to get you the tools to do the job, then my next question is why did they hire you in the first place?


Green Pea
May 22, 2009
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In my experience, the best scenario would be a fully integrated CRM in use by all of the dealership departments. This allows you to create a single entity for each customer and limits the frustration you may experience in trying to track down your "appointments". It also helps create a single voice for your dealership by allowing the sales floor to see the communication you have had with your customer, including any price quotes you may have sent to the customer. I have often seen a strong Internet department undermined by the sales floor staff, simply because they "didn't know"

The challenges you face revolve around buy-in. A CRM, if not used, has no value. If the management does not buy-in there will not be good usage, and as a result little to no benefit. If you are not able to get the whole dealership in tune, I would recommend focusing on your immediate area of control. There are several good tools in the market to help you, many if them discussed here in the forums.

My final thought is that technology, CRM, ILM, paper and pencil, only serve to enable your process. It is the processes that you implement that are the foundation for your long term success. Once you have your processes defined and evaluated, the decision as to what tool works best, is a simple matter of evaluating which one makes Your process easier or more effective.

"Beware of the Flair"
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Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
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In your situation you might consider selecting a great ILM system that your dealership can eventually grow in to the CRM functions. But be careful of ILM systems that don't do CRM functions because you don't want 2 systems or to switch later.

Also watch out for CRM systems that have very bad ILM functions. Believe it or not, a lot of ILM and CRM systems can't even send emails with pictures of your cars in them.
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