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Mobile CRM and Inventory functions

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
We are currently working on creating a mobile version of our CRM and inventory modules. We are curious as to what types of functionality you would like in a mobile CRM or inventory solution.

Maybe some great features you have used in the past or maybe some great ideas you have always wanted but have never had.

Here are some preliminary functions we have identified:

CRM
1. CRM dashboard of today's activity (Appts, visits, sold, etc)
2. Sold Log to view sold deals MTD
3. Recent leads
4. Ability to choose a lead and get more details about it
5. Log a phone call or send an email for a lead.

Inventory
1. Search function
2. Detail view of a vehicle including photos

Thanks for your feedback everyone.
 
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jschofer

Green Pea
May 22, 2009
4
0
First Name
Josh
Matt,

I completely understand the idea of Mobile applications, especially with the explosion of Iphones. My concerns focus around the customer experience. I think it is important to not get wrapped up in technology for technology's sake.

For example I would agree that having a device that could search the inventory in real time , while I am walking the lot with my prospect, has tremendous value. I can become more efficient and become a better resource for my customer, providing value.

However, using my handheld device to enter a customer's information, or review my notes/previous contacts and then send an email would seem to be counter productive, and get in the way of my customer's dealership experience and my person efficiency.

As someone who considers themselves an "early adopter" of technology, I have a passion for the benefits of technology, but I have seen many good tools fail because of their complexity and or difficulty in using them.

Some areas that I see as beneficial include:
quick remote/mobile logging of emails and/or phone to stop the manufacturer time clock for leads
the inventory search function noted earlier
quick and easy trade valuation tool
 

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
Matt,

I completely understand the idea of Mobile applications, especially with the explosion of Iphones. My concerns focus around the customer experience. I think it is important to not get wrapped up in technology for technology's sake.

For example I would agree that having a device that could search the inventory in real time , while I am walking the lot with my prospect, has tremendous value. I can become more efficient and become a better resource for my customer, providing value.

However, using my handheld device to enter a customer's information, or review my notes/previous contacts and then send an email would seem to be counter productive, and get in the way of my customer's dealership experience and my person efficiency.

As someone who considers themselves an "early adopter" of technology, I have a passion for the benefits of technology, but I have seen many good tools fail because of their complexity and or difficulty in using them.

Some areas that I see as beneficial include:
quick remote/mobile logging of emails and/or phone to stop the manufacturer time clock for leads
the inventory search function noted earlier
quick and easy trade valuation tool
I understand what you are saying, but a mobile CRM isn't necessarily for sending communcations to the customer.

Our current system already allows sending emails from any mobile device to stop the response time clocks. That is kind of different from having a mobile CRM on your phone.

What about a CRM that can send you a text message that you received a new lead, with a link to view more? You can then jump right in to your mobile CRM and see everything about the customer, their history with your dealership, and then click one more button to call them from your mobile phone?

Or what about letting all the managers in the store have access from anywhere to see how their store is performing. They could view manager dashboards and their own custom dashboards built on a custom reporting engine?

There are lots of good reasons for a mobile CRM. Our users have came up with some awesome ideas.
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,942
1,622
First Name
Alex
We've had mobile CRM with iMagicLab for over a year now and barely anyone uses it. I'm constantly re-showing people that it exists. I'm kind of glad our guys aren't using it - I worry about the quality of their follow-up calls while they're not concentrated on a customer record. I also don't like the idea of giving a sales agent another way to be lazy on knowing what inventory is in stock - I already cringe enough when I see them walk a customer to a computer to show them the inventory on Checkered Flag.com instead of walking the friggin' lot :banghead:

It is okay to design for the best people (if I was selling cars again, I'd use all these tools), but let's face it - those of us on DealerRefresh aren't average sales people who view the car business as something to do until something better comes up. We're career-minded and they're not. That means the regular salesperson is going for the path of least resistance everytime - I just don't feel comfortable helping them do that.
 

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
We've had mobile CRM with iMagicLab for over a year now and barely anyone uses it. I'm constantly re-showing people that it exists. I'm kind of glad our guys aren't using it - I worry about the quality of their follow-up calls while they're not concentrated on a customer record. I also don't like the idea of giving a sales agent another way to be lazy on knowing what inventory is in stock - I already cringe enough when I see them walk a customer to a computer to show them the inventory on Checkered Flag.com instead of walking the friggin' lot :banghead:

It is okay to design for the best people (if I was selling cars again, I'd use all these tools), but let's face it - those of us on DealerRefresh aren't average sales people who view the car business as something to do until something better comes up. We're career-minded and they're not. That means the regular salesperson is going for the path of least resistance everytime - I just don't feel comfortable helping them do that.
It all depends. One of our customers has over 1,500 new cars in stock on one lot. It would be hard to walk the lot looking to see what you have in stock.

I think mobile CRM will be the most useful for managers and dealer principles. It will let them see what is going on without having to use a computer.

On our community site we've had quite a feud about this topic. Some people going as far as to say we shouldn't waste our time making such a solution. Then others showed up with torches and pitchforks ready to kill that person. We get requests for it every day from our users.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,013
1,538
First Name
Joe
I totally argee with Alex. Here's an observation on the times we're in...

You ever hear of The Peter Principal?
"Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."
Kind of reminds me of...
"Every Dealer Tends to buy more technology until it hits it's Level of Incompetence."
Marketing and technology has one mission.
We're here to help create a meeting between shopper and sales rep and a leisurely stroll thru the inventory, in the hopes of a serendipitous experience

Any tool or campaign that gets in the way of this, is doomed to fail.
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,942
1,622
First Name
Alex
I think mobile CRM will be the most useful for managers and dealer principles.
I need some good sleep too. I love a great dream. Those kind of sleep and dreams that require a few cups of coffee to get out of....they're the best. So Matt, you should drop everything and get down to Starbucks.....or build some back-end reporting metrics into these new things so you can watch how often they're are being used and by whom.


Joe - the Peter Principle is :lmao:
 

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
Hey Alex I have a question for you since your not high on the mobile CRM idea.

As a CRM vendor the #1 problem we see with CRM in a lot of car dealers is that the dealership simply doesn't have enough computers for the sales staff to even use the CRM to complete their follow up tasks. To get around this they can print a task list from the system on paper and that sort of works.

So my question for you is, why isn't mobile CRM a perfect way to fix this problem? Salespeople could pull up their task list on smart phones and complete them right there?
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,942
1,622
First Name
Alex
I didn't think about the dealerships that don't have enough computers for their employees. We are quite the opposite - we have way more computers than employees, and they're easily accessible. That's the main reason why the mobile CRM solution isn't used at Checkered Flag.
 

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
First Name
Matt
I didn't think about the dealerships that don't have enough computers for their employees. We are quite the opposite - we have way more computers than employees, and they're easily accessible. That's the main reason why the mobile CRM solution isn't used at Checkered Flag.
That's great for you guys. But oddly enough some of our biggest customers have the fewest computers. Their problem is usually having space for them.