CRM and beyond

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As the newest player to launch a CRM software platform north of the border, SalesEDGE is a web-based performance management tool that provides dealers with a comprehensive technology solution for managing prospects and customers through the complete sales and service lifecycle.

Some of the key capabilities include lead management, customer relationship management, loyalty campaign management and dealer process enhancement.

Or, as Mike Cullen, SalesEDGE Canada director of sales puts it: “Most CRMs are good at a couple of different functions like desking, F&I menus, scheduling follow-up calls or sending out letters. But there’s nobody really out there that does everything really well, until now.”

The basics
Started as a CRM-firm out of Chicago by Chuck McGraw in 1995, SalesEDGE said it has enjoyed a wealth of success, particularly with larger U.S. dealer groups, for the better part of 15 years.

After a partnership with EFG accelerated its presence six years ago, the successful program has been adapted for Canadian dealers and has been quietly rolled out in Canadian stores over the past few months.    

During a recent meeting with Canadian AutoWorld, Cullen gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the Canadian program, even logging into a live account at a dealership to demonstrate everything dealers, sales, F&I and service managers can do with this technology.

It all starts with lead management.

Cullen said whenever a lead – from your website, AutoTrader, phone or email – comes in, it will automatically be pumped into the system and sent directly to a sales person’s smartphone.

It allows the sales person or Internet lead manager to respond (with everything date and time stamped) back to the customer right away to set appointments.

Cullen, son of John Cullen, a long-time GM dealer in Wingham, Ont., started with SalesEDGE doing installs and working as the national sales manager covering “Arizona to Maine, Miami to Alaska.”  

He’s been in the car business for 23 years – 14 of it in retail here in Canada and nine years working with dealers on sales training and CRM in Canada and the U.S.

He said the travel helped him realize that dealers across North America have many of the same problems and are looking for solutions and options and don’t want to have to purchase multiple systems to run multiple areas of their business.

That, he said, is where SalesEDGE comes in.

Feature bonanza
We say it is unfair to deem this web-based software as CRM-only simply because of the long list of features.

In addition to prospect and lead management, with inbound/outbound call management complete and recording and tracking, SalesEDGE Canada CRM has a litany of additional features – everything from F&I menu selling to owner loyalty programs, BDC and CDC functionality, sales and service follow-ups, and complete sales, service and F&I reporting suites.

One of the areas where they standout is with a technology they call enterprise reporting.

“We vary from a lot of the CRM’s out there because we specialize in dealer groups. It doesn’t matter how many stores you have, you can log onto one system and it shows the complete picture for your stores giving management the type of high-level reporting it needs,” he said.

This broader picture is called enterprise reporting. It lets owners of multiple points compare and contrast and communicate with stores simultaneously, something Cullen noted is of high value for dealer groups.

It also has a deal desking tool that includes deal push and pull into your DMS to avoid double entries.

“One of the biggest things is to convert that desk and be able to roll into the F&I department instantaneously so they don’t have to spend those 10 minutes re-typing it into Reynolds & Reynolds. From the time the customer said yes to a deposit, the F&I manager is ready for the turnover in 15 seconds.”

He claimed the company has the only CRM program in Canada to offer a full owner loyalty rewards suite, too. While there are tons of reward programs in the Canadian marketplace, many, he said, don’t integrate with the CRM and there are hassles with cards, points and authorization issues.

“For us, that’s just part of our suite.”
    
More is more
Cullen’s biggest pitch for SalesEDGE concerns the cost-effective nature of the program. Given that the software is so “encompassing,” he said dealerships signing on with them often eliminate three or four software vendors at once because of the multiple tasks SalesEDGE takes care of.

When asked about the success of the program in the U.S., EFG Technologies’ president Chuck McGraw said, the technology is not the key.

“That sounds strange coming from a technology company, but the key for us when it comes to CRM and implementing that technology at dealerships is less about technology and more about the process,” he told Canadian AutoWorld.

“You can have the greatest technology in the world, but if the staff at the dealership level don’t use it, it’s worthless. For us it’s about training and measuring and getting people better at what they do.

He said the integration, communication, adaptability and automatic nature of the program to run these multiple programs for different areas of the dealership help set SalesEDGE Canada CRM apart.

    For more information on SalesEDGE Canada CRM check out info@salesedgecrm.ca or call 905-766-7608