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Go-Fast Customer Relations

CRM to Address the Need for Speed

Last month I addressed the need for speed in terms of responding to your customers. You were going to check on your processes and see how it was all working for you. Well? What did you learn?

I’ve written in the past about how tough it is to get advertising in front of my son — our target demographic. He doesn’t watch live TV, read the newspaper or listen to the radio, so all traditional forms of media are frankly useless. He’s a product of what I like to call “Generation ADD” If you don’t violently and abruptly snatch and hold his attention, he’s gone in mere seconds. From his high-speed broadband cyber perch in front of his computer screen, trusty mouse in hand, he can surf the net at speeds that many of us old farts can’t fully grasp. He’s simultaneously engaged in anywhere from seven to 700 text conversations on his smart phone. He can juggle a thousand things at once, but none of them for more than a few seconds at a time.

Those are the driving factors of what will work going forward in terms of advertising. Whatever works, it must include the added component of speed at its core.

Now, let’s take those factors to the challenge of CRM (customer relationship management) systems.

I’ve looked closely at a dozen or so systems, and a few of them address accountability fairly well, but none of them address the need for speed.

I recently got an email from a company advertising their CRM. I clicked on a link directing me to their website, which gave me just enough information to whet my whistle. I love websites that are just intriguing enough to make me consider giving them my info — this one did. So, I closed the browser and went back to my inbox. What happened next got me hooked. Before I was through reading the next email, my phone rang. It was the sales guy from the company.

My first thought was that I must be the first lead he’s had in a month. I was wrong. When I hit the “submit” button, he instantly got a text message telling him to check his email. That email had been automatically populated with all the contact info I’d entered on the site and whatever questions I’d asked. The most significant factor here is that because I’d gotten the call so quickly, my brain was still engaged in the process. Because of the speed with which he’d gotten back to me, he didn’t have to remind me about anything.

Their CRM process got and held my attention, but will it work as effectively for powersports dealerships as it worked for him? Not unless, of course, we make it work. As I’ve said before, none of this stuff does itself.

Here are some of the questions I’d like to ask the guy to see what else it’ll do:
1. Will it send a text and/or email to my sales manager at the same time it sends one to the salesperson so I can create some accountability?
2. Can it track how long it takes to contact the customer and break that information down by salesperson?
3. Can the sales manager assign incoming leads as he/she wishes instead of having it automated?
4. Can it force the salesperson to make contact immediately?
5. Does the system provide any reporting that can help a sales manager coach for improvement?

If I know one thing about my readers, it’s that you’re all smarter than me. Therefore, I know you’ve all got many more questions. I’d like you to help me see if I can break this CRM; if we can break it, it’s no better than anything else out there. If we can’t break it, then we might all want to take a closer look at it. Send me your thoughts and questions. I’ll squeeze this guy and put their system to the test to see if he can help us all address the need for speed, and I’ll get back to you.

Otis Hackett is the founder of Otis Hackett Group. OHG provides general management services for powersports dealers across the U.S. The OHG team brings real-world experience, having all been motorcycle dealership employees working on the front lines of the industry every day. Click on www.otishackett.com or email [email protected]. Join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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