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CRM as we know it is dead. Its sole purpose was to replace index cards and rolodexes with a more organized digital solution – one which helped salespeople more efficiently follow-up, track and manage conversations. However, in most cases, the ultimate beneficiary is the user, not the customer.

 

In terms of communication, today’s world is filled with noise. So many businesses compete to communicate with and attract the attention of consumers. Ultimately none of these messages are received. Why? People have stopped listening. We are all tired of those unsolicited phone calls, email solicitations and direct mail. I am sure you throw them away, just like me. If the primary functionality of a CRM is to communicate with people, and those people have stopped listening to you, then it no longer serves much purpose. Yet an average dealer will spend north of $3K per month on this futile exercise. The people have voted and businesses are blocked from their digital and physical lives! They are fed up with intrusions upon their limited time.

 

However, technology now provides a far superior way to communicate with people. Just like we evolved from note cards and rolodexes to CRMs, the next evolution is happening -- and the companies that pay attention are winning. Today’s consumers interact with and do business with companies that pay attention to their needs. Businesses that listen to and make it convenient for customers to do business will win. If you doubt this, simply consider how easy it is to spend money with Amazon. From “one-click” to “Dash” buttons – and now you can simply verbally tell Amazon Echo what you want -- you don’t even need to touch a computer, get up from the couch, or go anywhere. You can order a Hyundai delivered right to your front door for a test drive. You can complete the entire car buying process online and collect the vehicle from a vending machine. No humans required.

 

It’s no longer about relationship management, it’s about managing interactions. Try it, improve your customer interactions by simply listening to and making it easier for your customers to do business with you. You should see increased sales and market share, along with unprecedented retention. Continue to communicate the same old way that you always have and your customers will find someone who WILL listen to them.

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Comment by sara callahan on November 21, 2016 at 12:08pm

Comment by Dennis Summers on November 18, 2016 at 7:13am

So do you have any suggestions, companies or processes that are innovative enough to allow for this shift? I am board with CRM monitoring of the sales force because as you stated this has become about management instead of marketing.. Or I think that is what you are saying... Management is paramount of course yet hardly pays for the CRM without some type of attached strategy to allow the customer to buy in a non-intrusive way, their way. If CRM is dead then what's next?

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