The Key to Unlocking the Power of Your CRM or ILM Software

Your Dealership, like many others, likely has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and / or ILM (Internet Lead Management) system. These powerful tools have the potential to increase your sales. Improve your efficiency and so much more.

So does this mean your Dealership is making more sales just by having a CRM or ILM in place? Not necessarily and here is why. The reality is most Dealers jump into using their CRM or ILM without having had proper training and more importantly, without having created a process for handling the customer life cycle, starting with the internet shopper. The result is often a pricey monthly fee for a system that is being utilized about as effectively as a Gmail account. Avoid going down that path by following these guidelines.

Document your lead handling process

Your lead handling process maps out how your organization plans on managing all leads that come into your Dealership. Whether they be a digital lead (through an online submission) or a showroom lead (someone just walks into your Dealership), you need to create a processes that can be easily implemented by all members of your team. By documenting each step in this process, including long term follow-up, you are making it much easier for your team to deliver a consistent and positive customer experience. As an added benefit, ramping up new employees becomes a breeze.

Create actionable KPIs

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) act as a measuring stick and help yo gauge your team’s effectiveness in achieving dealership goals. When creating your own KPIs, ensure they meet these 3 criteria – 1) they are measurable, 2) they are actionable 3) they are linked to a goal. A good example would be “response time”. It’s easily measurable in most CRMs and ILMs, your team can take action to improve it, and it’s easily linked to one of many goas such as increased response rate, increased close rate, etc.

Setup performance reviews

Take time on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis to review how your team is performing against the KPIs and Dealership goals that you have established. These meetings are a good chance to track how much progress has been made and to look for opportunities to improve. It’s a good idea to document the results from each of these reviews so that you can compare your latest results against previous weeks/ months. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing improvements over the previous month!

Update your process based on performance results

Remember to update your documented lead handling process when your team develops new and improved techniques or processes for handling leads. It’s these process improvements that will ultimately drive performance gains and take your dealership to a new level of success.

Provide coaching on areas that need improvement

Work with your team members on an individual basis to assess areas of strength and weakness. Coaching is a great way to improve areas of weakness, increase knowledge and boost performance. These sessions are sure to pay dividends in the form of future sales.


Let’s collectively agree to stop using our CRMs and ILMs as glorified email platforms and start doing things differently. You have the power to turn your CRM or ILM into a high performance money making machine, so get out there and do it!