Pull the plug? On your CRM?? What???

Yes, you may as well try it so that you are prepared for that Very Eventual day when suddenly you have “no CRM”—I mean, real dealer experience shows (more than once in 2016) that at least two of the top three CRMS will eventually turn THEMSELVES off right when you need them.

And these outages to date very often revolve around weekends--or worse around important HOLIDAY weekends.

What do you do when your CRM goes down? Four-squares? DMS deal entry? Pre-printed top sheets? Sharpies? And hopefully you still get a copy of your leads into an accessible email?

Of course you do all that. And more.

There is something else you need to do.

You need to re-learn to live without a CRM. You don’t use most of the features it has, anyway, and your salespeople grouse about using it. Always.  They’re not doing follow-up, even though it’s a task in the CRM, so what is a CRM for, again?

CRM companies worried about this and wrung their hands for a bit. Eureka: DESKING. Ugh. When CRMs began including “desking, because it made sense” nobody realized it does NOT make sense. You already knew how to do desking in your DMS…so what was this for? Oh yeah: It was so that you didn’t lose showroom traffic because nobody was putting customers in unless they . . . wrote numbers.

Wait. Doesn’t that mean that your staff only logs about 40% of your traffic into your CRM, anyway? The ones you’re presenting numbers to . . . which are geared to go into your DMS already. This is because CRM desking as pushed by the CRM companies was REALLY for THEM: So you used your CRM "so much" that it became a core of your business, and you wouldn't dare change CRMs.

What?? This is now SO confusing, right? Let me straighten it out: You need to Reduce Your Technology (CRM) Dependence in your Day-to-Day operations so that you can survive outages--don't fall for "feature hype" that you need "everything" in any technology tool:

  1. Use your DMS for desking and accept that you will NOT log everyone into the CRM.
  2. Use your CRM for lead management and BDC operation but prepare your teams for outages.  Copy all inbound leads to an email OUTSIDE your CRM. Print out call lists every Thursday so that you can survive an outage weekend.
  3. Print out EVERY appointment sheet with contact info  EVERY MORNING. And do this for the WHOLE WEEKEND every Thursday.

Get ready for no CRM, and from now on always use the CRM as an AMPLIFIER to your business and NOT some CORE to your business that it was never meant to be and just sucks at. And you know it!

Just forget the myth that technology will solve your problems—because when your CRM was down, YOU solved your problems.

And your sales staff sold cars and trucks without a CRM.

Which is as it should be.

By Keith Shetterly, Consultant
281-229-5887 cell/text

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