I am currently needing advice with regards to CRM software for our dealership, we have something sort of close but very antiquated, that said, I thought that I understood the functionality of said software however I may have been sort of blind to it... My question(s) to you all is simple, for anybody using a CRM that they are happy with or would like to change a few things with their current software, please advise me on the following...

1-Integration with sales, service, and other departments (seamless functionality)

2-Ease of use for incoming/outgoing email, phone etc...(leads, follow-up etc..)

3-Smartphone friendly with regards to email response

4-A reasonable cost


I would really love for some input with regards to the above, tell me how it works..How does one use it? Pros/Cons etc etc.... Thank you

I am only in the infancy stage of building a case for the D.P of my store, so that he can see the benefits of said software... This is not an invitation for countless phone calls or sales reps from companies that offer CRM software to hammer me... Please advise me within this forum only!!!!!!

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Something that you need to consider as a #1 is the data security on your CRM, I recommend staying very clear of any "Hosted" or cloud based solutions.


Call Chase Abbott from Vinsolutions at 1-800-980-7488. They have the best CRM in the market right now. I have done every demo that you can think of, and vinsolutions it's by far the best I have been using it for over 5 yrs and I always shop aroound just in case so trust me on this one. They are the best. We are a Small Mitsubishi Store in Durham NC Call me if you need more info. Mauro Andres 919-596-0034.


My name is Erik Williams and I work at The Cardone Group. We offer eCRM and ePencil Desking Software. Please contact me regarding your need for an interactive CRM tool. Our product was designed by car guys for car dealerships. Please contact me at 800-551-9020 or erik@cardonegroup.com

Dear Mr. Kappler,

If you are looking for a software product that is quick and easy to unerstand contact DealerWizard.com

This software will assist you in selling cars as well. It is not a CRM though, just everything else.

Give them a call for a live dealership demo, you've got nothing to lose.


I have used several CRM's over the last 12 years and all of them have their pro's and con's, but as Mr Boyd says #1 concern of any CRM is data security, #2 user friendly and intergrateable with your DMS system. I have been involved in turnarounds in Dealerships Small to Large and you have to decide where you are, and what part the CRM will play in getting you where you want to go. If you would like to discuss it at length, then you may call me at 281-901-8596 or email me at formulatowin@aol.com. I am not a rep with any CRM software, I am just a Car Guy that knows that no CRM will work if your Managers, Sales Consultants, and Fixed operations do no use it.

I have also administered a few of the systems, and they all have their pros and cons. Thank you Michael, also I will second that if everyone doesn't buy into it from the owner all the way down then no CRM is going to help you. 

Hi Andrew!


I'm a Digital Marketing Consultant with ADP-Cobalt and we host your dealership website as well as your current "antiquated" (LOL!) LMCC lead management tool. What I'm excited to tell you is that we now have available a brand new, web based, smart phone enabled, VW certified solution called "VW Lead Manager". Please feel free to contact me directly if you'd like to learn more. I can be reached at 619.272.0244; dave.steinman@adp.com.

Thank you for your valued partnership!



Hi Andrew.  

You will get many if not all of your questions answered in an audio interview I recorded with Howard Leavitt.  I asked him some of the questions you have asked here and there are some additional tips.  This is part of an interview series I conducted with 5 experts on various topics.  I will send you a clip if you like.  



Speaking from both a previous CRM user and a current CRM employee I can tell you that no one knows what your dealership needs better than you. I encourage you that your best course of action is to do the research on all the systems that meet your core criteria that you listed above. Not all CRM systems offer everything you mentioned (i.e. Service Module and Mobile Support) and there is also making sure that they are VW certified. Once you narrow your list your best bet is to take the presentations and make a informed decision on which system will work best for you.


If you would like written information sent to your dealership for Car Research XRM or to set up a online or in dealership presentation please contact Jeff Page. He is in charge of sales in your region and can be reached at jpage@car-research.com.

We do offer everything that you asked for and so much more which is why I suggest the presentation so that you can see it in action. Good Luck with your search. I know from experience it is a difficult decision.

I have been using CRM's since the late 90's with the most recent being VinSolutions. Over the past month we have been shopping for a new CRM vendor (we sat with 6 companies) as we have had nothing but trouble with Vin and their non-existent support. All of the CRM vendors cost around the same monthly but some have much larger upfront costs (more integration, more upfront). You really need to speak to and get demos by as many companies as possible and then narrow it down to who is going to match the best with your needs. All of the managers that will be using the system need to be involved in all of these demos so you have buy-in! Once you have it narrowed down to one or two you then need to call and speak to dealers who are using those systems and find out what they have to say. Believe me, it was not easy to go through that many demos but it was well worth it as we found a good match and we are now moving forward.

Being that we are Mercedes dealer we had a list of approved vendors that we could work with and we talked to all of those companies as they are the only CRM's where we can receive our MB internet leads. Otherwise you have to access them through the MB NetStar system and then load them into the CRM manually. Does VW have a list of approved CRM vendors?

Here is who we met with:

UDC Momentum
E-Lead CRM
Advent Resources
Car Research XRM

We let every vendor know that we were shopping all of these vendors. One of the vendors refused to give us a price until we had spoke to all of the other vendors and guess what, he did not get our business. It doesn't really even matter which one we chose, it really matters which vendor will fit the best for you. Our choice might work great for us and our needs but might not be the best fit for your store. There may have been better vendors than the ones we met with but we had to work with a short list because of MB.

Hopefully this helped.

Lou W.

Something you might want to look for is text messaging for your customers. Sad but true, you can call people and they will not answer but if you text them bang they are right there. Another thing you might want to watch, desking tools many times are incomplete, if the tool cannot calculate a sign and drive lease easily then I would stay away. Sign and drive is the most complicated calculation, if a desk tool can do it I know it can do everything else. Even if you never use it you will know the programming is complete if this is included. I suggest that you do not buy one that does not.

Also the service module needs to be complete as well. A few CRMs I have worked with the service end was not very complete and was extremely balky. For both of these items you would want to talk to dealership users to verify any demo software. While it is not usually a problem, there have been companies known to show you how the PROPOSED software works and the reality is it is under developed or not built yet. Just a few things to watch for. 

Interview as many as you want, then choose 2 or 3 that you feel would fit into the culture of your dealership.  That is important because change comes hard to people.  Also, consider the level of sophistication of the people that will be using it.  If it is too complex it won't get used and you will have wasted a lot of time and money.  Remember, car guys aren't programmers.  Bring in the 2 or 3 you like best and let the users vote on which one they want.  Then they will be more likely to take ownership because it was their decision.  Most all CRMs these days have similar functionality.  Some are easier than others.  Also, get about 10 references from them to see if their promises are backed up with real world results.  Also, the sales rep with beat his chest telling you all the dealer you know that are using their CRM.  Great!  So, do you want to use the same thing as your competition or are you looking for an edge on the competition?  All the CRMs mentioned below will give you software.  Find one that gives you superb software.  Don't just listen to some Internet Mgr when it comes to your selection.  It is a bigger decision that just the Internet dept.  ILM is just a component of CRM.  Good luck and don't stop looking until you find the perfect fit.


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