Sell more cars the EASI’R way

Get to know: The Leading Cloud Relations Platform for the Automotive Industry, EASI’R.

For over 10 years, EASI’R has helped over 2600 automotive dealers and 16,000 users across Europe accelerate relations-building, sell smarter, and automatically scale their business with retailer-level customer relations management systems. By helping you simplify your workflow, motivate your dealers to achieve targets, and build and grow meaningful customer relations using fewer resources, we help you focus on the work that matters most: Taking care of your customers.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 10.19.20Are you letting customers fall through the cracks?

Leads no longer come in the front door of the car showroom. Today, they’re arriving via social media, website inquiries, and various marketplaces that bury you in a mountain of manual tasks. EASI’R lets you collect, manage and respond to all of the leads who come into contact with you in one convenient place.
No mess, no stress.

Collect leads from various types of lead sources …

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… and manage them centrally under one roof.

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Increase your chances of getting a “yes”

Customize relations paths to match customer preferences and buying behaviors, so you can give customers what they want and have a better chance of closing. Whether the lead is for a new, used, commercial or fleet vehicle, or simply for the aftersales department, you can create a proven shortcut to the “yes”.

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Not every customer takes the same route

EASI’R lets you create unlimited relations paths, so that you can tailor your communications and match your activities to each lead type, maximizing the sales potential.

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Save time with a proven process that automates sales success

Your sales personnel need to be free to serve customers, where their efforts will pay off the most. EASI’R provides a structured, fuss-free process that makes it quick to review relationship growth and follow up with just a few clicks, so time-wasting manual tasks aren’t putting the brakes on your revenue or draining your limited resources.

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Your relationship history – At a glance

Get single stream visibility into your past and planned activities, so you can drive each customer through your sales pipeline and automate relationship-building initiatives. One screen. All the data you need to decide how to engage customers next.

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Never let another lead or customer fall through the cracks. Have the perfect overview. In real-time.

With comprehensive overviews and data-driven insights, EASI’R shows you what’s going on in real-time. Generate reports that expose relations-building holes, so you can plug a drippy sales pipeline before it costs you customers and revenue.

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Sell from anywhere, anytime.

EASI’R gives you the freedom to access your leads and reports from wherever you are, so critical data is at your fingertips when it matters most. Take EASI’R with you on any device to stay on top of your targets, even when you’re not at your desk.

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Our customers: 2600+ automotive dealers. 16,000+ users. One clear vision.

We work with large and leading key players in the automotive industry who are manufacturers, national sales companies, large dealer groups, and vendors to the industry.

Like us, they’re always willing to go the extra mile when it comes to building and growing meaningful customer relations.

But more than that, they’re forward-thinkers who understand that in our ever-evolving business landscape, success isn’t about closing the deal today. It’s about building long lasting relationships that keep customers around for tomorrow.

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Join the world`s most innovative automotive brands and request your free test drive with EASI’R under www.easir.com/request-demo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EASI’R Interview: Getting Started

Customer Supporter Nina Falkenreck gives insights into the key aspects of customer support at EASI’R.  

Question: Hi Nina, where do you as an expert for customer support at EASI’R see the challenges for users when getting started with a new software?

Answer: When getting started with new software, we often sense that users are confronted with the challenge of getting familiar with the program and they need to overcome the fear of breaking something. Our experience has shown that users who have long since worked with another program (or with no sales software at all) struggle most with daring to use a new unfamiliar program.

We are dealing with sales people in the car industry who are legitimately mostly interested in selling cars, instead of spending time on a new software program. That’s where good customer service can help reduce the first barriers and improve the user experience. Our approach is to answer customer inquiries fast and as easy as possible, so the users can get started using EASI’R right away even though it might seem challenging to them in the first place.

Question: How do you address this challenge of scepticism towards new software approaches?

Answer: One main factor in gaining a happy end-user is the users’ acceptance of the program. User acceptance has been a widely researched field and I always like to refer to the  so-called Technology Acceptance Model by Davis, Bagozzi and Warshaw (1989), which is one of the most influential models. The model contains two main components: Firstly “Perceived usefulness”, which refers to how useful a system appears to a user, and secondly “Perceived ease-of-use”, which means their belief of how easily the system can be used without needing a lot of effort.[1]

When we use this model and apply it to our software, the main goal of our relationship management software and customer support is to meet these requirements among users. We can achieve this by showing users the opportunities to improve their job performances and by offering an intuitive software which can easily be handled.

Question: How would you describe the role of customer support at EASI’R?

Answer: At EASI’R, we believe relation-building software should be simple, straightforward, and easily integrated with other tools. Customer support plays a vital role in communicating these values and by giving end-users the best user experience as possible. One big part of this is to reduce the afore-mentioned barriers.

At EASI’R we also use our customer support as an instrument to measure customer satisfaction and to get a feel for our users. Their feedback gives us important insights on how they work and which needs they have when it comes to a CRM software supporting their sales efforts. Moreover, they help detecting soft spots in the software which benefits the quality of EASI’R and builds a bridge between our support and Quality Assurance department. So, I personally think that customer support has an important role at EASI’R.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_acceptance_model

Nina
Our interview partner, Nina Falkenreck,
responsible for Customer Support at EASI’R

 

 

Picture: unsplash.com

Discover the EASI’R Games Room!

Having fun and enjoying coming to work each day is a crucial part of the EASI’R work experience. We believe that people who work hard and give their best to create great things should also have a great portion of fun. Therefore, we promote a laid back attitude in the office and have a well-equipped games room!

So whenever someone needs a break, wants to blow off some steam in virtual reality or wants to crush a team mate at table football, they go to the games room. Here, people can relax on the sofa, watch TV, and of course also play! We have games consoles, driving/gaming seats with driving controls and table football. Of course not all fun can be limited to the games room, and on occasion a nerf war has been known to break out in other areas of the office.

We believe in loving what you do and that life is too short to not work somewhere awesome. So why not check out our careers page and see if there is something for you?

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Right now we are looking for new team members for our Development department. We have an opening for a Backend Developer for Special Projects, and are continuously looking for interns and students to help out in general. So if you think you fit the bill and like what you see, then please get in touch by calling Miriam on +45 22 17 67 71 or send an application to jobs@easir.com

Different Countries, different Christmas Traditions

EASI’R’s international team shares their different christmas traditions!

Christmas is close and here in the office, everyone is making plans to go home and celebrate with their families. As an international company, we have employees from all over Europe so we thought it would be a nice idea to let them share their respective christmas traditions with us.


wmathiasDENMARK: Mathias Brix, EASI’R Business Consultant 

In Denmark, christmas is one of the most sacred holidays of the calendar year. The reason for this is that the danish “hygge” is heavily enforced during the period. One tradition, which I believe to be very danish, is that we dance around the christmas tree on christmas eve before opening our presents. Another tradition is having a “nisser” in our homes, a sort of leprechaun, whom we must keep happy with “risengrød” (a sweet rice dish). Otherwise, they will play tricks on us!

wiasminaROMANIA: Iasmina Puschila, Frontend Developer 

On Christmas eve, children in Romania go out carol singing from house to house. They get sweets, fruit, and money from the neighbours, and it is considered good luck to let carol singers in. Also, in the villages, carol singer groups are often accompanied by a man dressed up as a goat, who dances around and gets into mischief!

wmareikeGERMANY: Mareike Roder, PR Manager at EASI’R

Very important for Christmas in Germany is the decoration of the christmas tree. The evening before christmas eve, the tree is decorated by the whole family with colorful christmas balls, with wooden toys, with lametta and candles. In a lot of families, children are not supposed to see the illuminated tree before christmas eve arrives, this is supposed to be a surprise for the “Beschehrung” – the time on the 24th December when everyone finds their presents under the christmas tree.

wmartaPOLAND: Marta Okulicz, Graphic Designer at EASI’R
The traditional Polish Christmas eve dinner should consist of 12 meals which are meant to bring you good luck for the next 12 months. Such a feast! However, no one can start eating until the first star appears on the sky.

wherveFRANCE: Hervé Soursou, VP of Channel Sales 

In France, the Christmas days are really the holidays of overeating – maybe more than in other countries. Early on Christmas eve, dining begins and we eat for several hours, until midnight and later! We are having several courses, starting with seafood (oysters) followed by different sorts of meat, cheese, salads and the traditional dessert “Omelette Norvégienne” (=Norwegian omelette) which is an ice cream cake, topped with meringue that is being flambéed. No one in Norway has ever heard of this dessert but it cannot be missing at any French christmas dinner. The next day, at lunch, the next big menu waits …

Press Release: Launch Social Media Integration Feature

New for Lead Management and CRM Software:
EASI’R is Launching a New Feature which Enables Automotive Salespeople to Gain Access to Information from Public Social Media Customer Profiles

Chemnitz/Aarhus December 2016 – Getting to know potential customers in the automotive retail sector before you first meet them means being able to make tailor-made offers: Publicly available information from Social Media Platforms makes this possible. Until now, the central obstacle preventing most salespeople from using these resources was the time intensive, manual research. The German-Danish IT-company Loyalty Factory is now offering a solution for its Lead- and Customer Relationship Management software EASI’R, and has launched the new feature ‘Social Integration.’ It offers systematic, fast access to social media information for car salespeople in the used and new car retail sector.

EASI’R CEO Mikael Moeslund: “With the new feature, automotive retail salespeople get fast, structured access to relevant information, e. g. about the current position and company a potential customer is working for, about their family status and the number of children. Information about the types and models of cars a customer has possibly “liked” on social media in the past, or comments he has written about them are highly valuable. If a salesman has access to such information, he can make tailor-made offers before the first meeting, and so enhance the chances to close the contract in the end.”

This is how the new EASI’R feature works: A salesman inputs the first and last name in the EASI’R user dashboard, and – if available – also residence and e-mail address of a customer about whom he would like to know more. With this information, EASI’R scans all social media platforms, e. g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and searches for so called “matches”. A match exists if the correct, searched person has been found during the search process and the salesperson was provided with the link to their social media profile and a profile picture. EASI’R also controls for user names that are present several times on social media platforms. Due to this comparison of different social media platforms, EASI’R can narrow down beyond doubt which person is the prospective searched customer.

EASI’R CEO Mikael Moeslund emphasises: “We are of course only looking for customer information which is public and freely accessible for everyone. The nature of this information depends on the personal privacy settings of the respective social media account owners. We only have access to that information that anybody could already google. However, with EASI’R we enable faster access for car salespeople to such information, via a smart, systematic scan of all social media platforms with only one click. This social media information would ordinarily be beyond most salespeople because a manual search for each customer would be too time consuming.

About EASI’R

 The Lead and Customer Relationship Management solution EASI’R has been available since February 2016, and is currently being used in Germany by more than 1000 dealerships 2016. For example, EASI’R is being used by TOYOTA all over Germany. EASI’R has been specifically developed to bridge the gap between the online and offline world in customer contact, which has been caused by digitalization. Various features are enabling this bridging process. Amongst these is the collating of all online and offline leads under one roof, with the possibility of a direct further processing of the whole sales team in this central platform. In addition, EASI’R provides more specific functions, for example a reminder function for follow-ups, and a pre-planned, automated contact function with text proposals and professional layouts – all aiming to shorten the reaction times to customer requests in retail. This gives salespeople using EASI’R a competitive advantage. Aside from that, EASI’R also offers an App for smartphones, smart watches and tablets so that salespeople can process customer requests from anywhere, anytime.

 

 

How To Join the EASI’R Team – Some Tips From HR Manager Miriam Davidsen

We are happy that EASI’R is continuously growing. This, of course, implies that we are looking for awesome new employees who can help us to further develop our software and revolutionize the way the international automotive retail industry works. This interview with our HR manager Miriam Davidsen gives all job seekers some tips on how to apply at EASI’R, and what we are looking for in prospective employees.

Question: Miriam, which personal and professional skills do you need to fit in at EASI’R?

Answer: We are always looking for outstanding people, those who are the best and most ambitious in their field. If that is frontend or backend development, data science, customer support, or a sales position – it matters not. We have the philosophy that the amount of diplomas hanging on somebody’s wall counts for much less than a positive attitude and unique personal skills that someone might bring into the company. People interested in working at EASI’R should relate to values like getting things done, thinking outside the box and an appreciation for working in a team, since here, all departments work closely together and help each other to achieve the best results. Besides this, it would be good if an employee at EASI’R has a good sense of humor, and never forgets to have some fun at work!

Question: EASI’R is a company that operates on an international level. How do you make sure that international employees feel comfortable at EASI’R?

Answer: Our company language is English since we have people coming from all over Europe to work at EASI’R: from Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, France, as well as Danish employees. Of course, you will hear some Danish being spoken in the office from time to time but in general, our major language is English, and not all our employees can even speak any Danish! In addition, we have regular company events that brings the team together outside the office. Last May, for example, we attended the Classic Motor Race Aarhus over a weekend sponsored by EASI’R, in order to support our CEO who was participating to the race.

“We are always looking for outstanding new employees. What really counts for us is attitude and unique personal skills brought to the table – not the amount of diploma hanging on somebody’s wall.”

Question: What departments comprise EASI’R, and how do they work together?

Answer: The core part of EASI’R is the tech team, with our frontend and backend developers, the QA and support people. Applications from developers are always very welcome since it is the developers that shape and deliver our product; the EASI’R sales acceleration cloud platform for automotive retail. Next to the tech team, we have an international sales team, marketing & PR, Human Resources, and of course the management team.

Question: Do you have any tips for a good application for a role at EASI’R?

Answer: We receive many applications, and therefore it is important that your application gives us a picture of you, the job you are seeking and what you wish to bring on the table.

Whilst we appreciate candidates who have done their “homework” investigating EASI’R business, your application must also show confidence and enthusiasm. Finally, you must tell us why you would be the perfect candidate for EASI’R, and what concrete achievements you wish to bring to the company, with your work and your participation within the team.

“Whilst we appreciate candidates who have done their “homework” investigating EASI’R business, your application must show confidence and enthusiasm. Finally, you must tell us why you would be the perfect candidate for EASI’R, and what concrete achievements you wish to bring to the company, with your work and your participation within the team.”

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About Miriam Davidsen
Miriam Davidsen is responsible for all Human Resources queries at EASI’R. She is always looking for awesome potential employees, whether that be through the publishing of job postings, or representing EASI’R at company days in public. With a great sense of humor and empathy Miriam is always looking out for the concerns and wishes of the EASI’R team.

CRM: Getting Started

An Interview with EASI’R CIO Jesper Munkholm, about the nice-to-knows in the implementation process of a standard SaaS platform in an international company.

The implementation process of a standard platform is not always a walk in the park. It takes a great deal of preparation and a fairly open mind to change legacy processes, and adapt to a new way of doing things when a SaaS platform is introduced.

The following post is an interview with EASI’R CIO Jesper Munkholm, whose team is developing a SaaS Sales and Customer Relations Acceleration platform for major international customers within the automotive industry. He answers the key questions regarding how to steer the implementation process, and how to be aware of and handle the main challenges.

Question: Jesper, is there a general implementation guideline you would advise to remember when implementing a standard platform?

Answer: There is no such thing as a final and generic recipe for implementing a standard IT platform. All organizations and their processes, politics, and competencies are different.

But there are a few things that are universal. Any major IT project, and especially a SaaS platform implementation, needs to begin with an HR off-set and a joint effort between HR, IT and the business side, in form of sales and/or marketing.

The key point is to asses the HR challenges for the team that will go on to steer and lead the project internally. If the team is not familiar with the ways of working and implementing a standard SaaS platform, this needs to be the very first challenge addressed.

A few things are universal. A SaaS platform implementation should begin with a joint effort between HR, IT and sales/marketing.

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Question: Where would you suggest beginning, and how much time should an organization commit to aligning existing processes with the new standard cloud based platform?

Answer: First of all, the level of ambition needs to be realistic and if the right team is present and the preparation is good, we are looking at a time frame of 30-60 days that consists of what we call a test-drive. A test-drive is basically a slimmed down lead management project to a low number of dealers to do a proof of value calculation.

This setup should be prepared and narrowed down so that after the 30-60 days of test-drive there exists the basis for a full-scale roll out, and the first part of a more elaborate project moving towards the full customer lifecycle.

As mentioned before, go for the low hanging fruit initially. The fundamental and highly business critical processes that are related to the project are advised to be taken on further down the road.

A good start is to look at the lead management process and then work your way into full scale customer relations processes, like service management, aftersales and repurchase management. These areas are highly tied to other databases and platforms.

Since structured and traceable lead management is a fairly fragmented area for most manufactures and importers, this is a good place to start.

My advice: Go for the low hanging fruits initially. Start with the lead management process and continue with the full scale customer relations processes.

For example, measuring the path of a lead goes from a website, or any other lead source, to the dealer, is processed by the dealer and ends up as a closed deal or rejection of purchase. This process is filled with very valuable data. One example of such data is information about dealers who are performing well, and not so well. Knowing this, it is possible to learn from the best performers and bring that success to the others. It could also be that the quality of different lead sources can be benchmarked and converted into a monetary output. One of the most important uses of data is to become more knowledgeable of customer behavior during the sales process.

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Question: Finding the right employees capable of implementing a standard platform is a common challenge for most companies. How would you recommend solving this, and would you rather look for employees inside or outside the company?

Answer: As mentioned before, I see the main key to a successful implementation coming from the human resources side.

The culture and mentality between the ‘old’ waterfall and custom IT projects are very different, so the key to success is to build the right team, then look at the IT and business side, and finally the marketing and communication.

If the right team members are not present internally, I would recommend to source them from outside.

As a side note, it is also highly important that the key stakeholders are familiar with both the challenges and the potential of working with a standard SaaS platform.

Question: One central concern during implementation is ensuring data security. What needs to be done during the implementation process to secure this?

Answer: As soon as data is placed outside your own company, data security and privacy becomes an important point on the agenda, and needs to be addressed very early in the process.

Data security and privacy is essential. Do not forget to make this as a key point on your agenda.

However, most SaaS platform providers take data security and privacy extremely seriously, as this is one of the cornerstones of providing a SaaS platform. In our case, a lot of precautions were taken regarding security very early on. One of them was that we went through an ISO 27001 certification, which is an extensive certification for data providers that handle important customer information.  To put it into perspective, there are only 17 companies in Denmark which have this certification.

In addition to this we operate across many countries and are therefore cooperating with legal advisors to ensure we keep the highest standards regarding data privacy and security.

 

Picture 1: EASI’R
Picture 2: unsplash.com/Demi Kwant
Picture 3: EASI’R

 

Press Release

EASI’R & TOYOTA Germany:
TOYOTA is converting its customer relationship management Germany-wide, and is integrating the new German-Danish CRM solution – EASI’R 

  • German TOYOTA dealerships are starting to use EASI’R
  • EASI’R is a central constituent of TOYOTAs digitalization strategy
  • It allows quicker follow-ups for customer contacts, more flexibility for salespeople through app-integration, and selection of premium leads and predictions through artificial intelligence
  • EASI’R is helping TOYOTA to assimilate to digitalization, and close the gap between the online and offline worlds, in the area of customer contact management

Chemnitz/Aarhus 13th October 2016 – TOYOTA is converting its lead and customer relationship management tool, Germany-wide, and integrating the new German-Danish IT solution EASI’R. From now on, the TOYOTA dealerships in Germany will use the new software for the daily processing of leads. Sevilay Gökkaya, General Manager Marketing at TOYOTA, said about the implementation of EASI’R, “We won’t only achieve our planned growth via our existing stock of customers, but also by winning new customers. The lead and customer relationship management is a central component for us – next to a promising product portfolio and attractive financing offers.”

EASI’R shall help particularly in bridging the gap between the online and offline worlds in the area of customer contact. This gap is generally caused by the fact that today, customers do their product research predominantly online, and find their way into the car showroom quite late. EASI’R CEO Mikael Moeslund explains that “EASI’R has specially been designed to close this gap and to maintain customers during the online phase in an ideal way. This is possible with EASI’R since the platform allows to store all online and offline leads centrally under a single roof and enables to continue further processing from there. Various features of EASI’R enable an efficient, digital customer maintenance.”

 Shortening of reaction times

By integrating EASI’R, TOYOTA Germany wants to assimilate to the new expectations of customers, which have changed due to the digitalization of the industry. The reaction times and the professionalism regarding contact with customers shall be particularly strengthened. Sevilay Gökkaya: “Studies show that approximately 60 % of all prospective customers expect a reaction from a salesman within the same day. 30 % are still fine with the following day. Besides from that, we have shortened reaction times. 80 % of all prospective customers make their purchase decision within a maximum of 8 weeks, and many within a shorter time period. This makes clear how important professional, consistent maintenance is during the purchase phase.”

EASI’R enables the shortening of reaction times via various lead management functions.  With EASI’R, all salespeople can collate leads from various sources
(e. g. requests via Toyota.de, via TOYOTA-dealership websites, third party websites, contacts from trade fairs and events, and also requests from the car show room) centrally under a single virtual roof. With only a few clicks, salespeople can gain insights into all customer information and the current status of a process. In addition, all types of leads – from the request for a test drive, through requests from an e-brochure, to the wish for a purchase advice or a purchase request – are directly being channeled through EASI’R. In order to guarantee a quick answer to customer requests, EASI’R offers a reminder function for the whole sales team. In addition, EASI’R helps salespeople to save time in the area of customer correspondence, since the system contains a preplanned, partially automated contact sequence with text proposals and professional layouts for the whole customer journey. This way, emails and marketing newsletters can also be generated with only a few clicks, while the integration of a personal touch is still possible at any time.

 More lead management flexibility with mobile solutions  

In order to enable salespeople maximum flexibility, EASI’R offers an app for smartphones, tablets and smartwatches. Via the app, salespeople can now process leads at any time, from everywhere, independent from their desktop computer in the office. As soon as a salesman receives, for example, a request for a test drive from a customer, the app is giving him a notification in real-time. The app for smartwatches handles predominately simpler tasks, like getting a notification for a current lead, or opening an email from anywhere. The use of the app on smartphones or tablets is intended for more complex tasks, like the quick response to a customer request. Aside from that, salespeople can also store new customer contacts and requests through the app, which they might receive at trade fairs. If desired, all notifications from EASI’R can also be sent to the user via SMS.

 Enhancing the quality of leads

Next to the enhancement of flexibility and pace when it comes to processing leads, TOYOTA also wants to enhance the overall quality of leads with EASI’R. In addition to collating leads from various sources under a single roof, EASI’R enables precise evaluation of the quality of leads. This way, the industry-wide wish for support with selection of high quality leads, and for help with recognizing where the most failures and successes occur, is fulfilled. More tailor-made, effective addressing of customers is made EASI’R.

 Support through Artificial Intelligence

In order to enable a tailor-made customer experience for each and every customer, and for the maximization of sales opportunities, TOYOTA is also using the intelligent EASI’R algorithm. The built-in intelligence can make predictions for the individual purchase-behavior, for example, when a customer might wish to acquire a new car. The algorithm can recognize this before the customer actually decides that they want to buy a new car. In addition, for every salesperson, the algorithm is predicting the most promising follow-up steps, as well as the ideal point of time and the ideal channel for contacting a customer (by SMS, landline or mobile phone, or by email). This way, the customer gets contacted in a manner that suits them.

The algorithm anonymizes the customer data, and works based on regional and brand specific data, building analytic clusters out of this information. Based on that, EASI’R can make concrete predictions for every single lead. The prognosis is being made exclusively and especially made for the specific dealership that is working with EASI’R, in order to optimize its customer relations and increase sales numbers.

 About EASI’R

EASI’R has been available since February 2016 and is being used in Germany by more than 1,000 dealerships, including the TOYOTA dealerships. In addition, eBay Motors Denmark and an Austrian Car Classifieds are working with EASI’R. Together with its previous iterations, EASI’R has been helping 2,600 car dealerships and 16,000 users European-wide to increase sales for 10 years, as well as some very well-known importers in different countries.

Picture: unsplash.com/Florian Klauer

Test Drives – The Ultimate Sales Tool for Car Dealers

The customer journey consists of various different milestones. For example, it often begins with an online request for a brochure by a customer, pursued by a follow-up call or a cost offer by the salesperson. All of those steps are important in order to please a customer, meet their needs and to be able to close a contract in the end.

One of the most decisive milestones is when a customer requests a test drive, especially in times where online interaction has increased significantly due to digitalization. When it comes to a test drive, a customer leaves the world wide web behind and meets a salesperson face-to-face, so that the salesperson gets the chance to deploy their sales talent and help the customer in the “real world” to find the perfect car.

A study by AM-online shows: More than 9 out of 10 dealers consider the test drive as an important tool in securing a customer sale. The study also shows that dealers point to test drives as being important in shifting customers from the consideration phase to the purchase phase. Among customers who go on to purchase a new vehicle, 80 % are estimated to have taken a test drive beforehand.*

This data shows that there is no doubt regarding the importance of a test drive. However, a lot of salespeople struggle with one major challenge. Often, salespeople lack relevant information about their customers when they show up for a test drive, meaning that they need to rely on guesswork about the potential wishes and needs of their client in order to steer the sales process. Do they prefer gas or diesel, and want 2 or 4 doors? What color and which technical equipment is required?

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-15-12-27Guest posting:

Our guest author Henrik Kinder, from KiNDER automotive solutions, is sharing his insights about test drives.

An article about the importance of detailed customer insights and how to get them.

 

“What else could a salesperson at a car dealership wish for than to receive detailed customer information and a request for a test drive? As we all know, a test drive is most likely the last step to a successful sale.

Valid information about potential customers is essential for a perfect sales preparation. So how can I get this information (besides my own sales pipeline)?

Platforms, such as Autogott.at in Austria, enable customers to configure their car, check which possible stock vehicles are available, evaluate their current used car and often ask for a test drive. This data can be acquired by dealers/importers. The sales manager then receives all of the information about the configured car, as well as information about the customer’s current car or other configurations of new cars the customer has made. He can then contact the potential customer and arrange a test drive.

The use of this data will definitely increase your sales pipeline. It’s easy, efficient and cost effective. Just do it.”

About Henrik Kinder
Henrik Kinder has more than 15 years experience in management in a leading position in the automotive industry and related sectors. With his consulting company KiNDER automotive SOLUTIONS, Kinder uses his expertise and has specialized on strategy planning and operative implementation. Kinder has an extended network in Austria and Eastern Europe. Learn more at kinderautomotivesolutions.com

*Source of data: http://www.am-online.com/news/dealer-news/2016/02/10/dealer-staff-call-for-more-training-to-exploit-test-drive-opportunities-and-reduce-the-dangers

 

CRM Field Work: Three Key Challenges

Business Consultant Mathias Brix on The Three Major Challenges for Car Salespeople Today

When I was a student, I earned some extra money by working in a car showroom in Denmark for several years. I was highly motivated and could not wait to start selling cars.  Sure, I found myself cheering after closed contracts, but just as often, I wanted to throw my laptop out of the window in order to be rid of the digital sales tool that was on it.

For many years now, I have worked with CRM systems behind and in front of the curtain, and I can say that I have seen and experienced all aspects of them; from customer support for CRM, and working with such a system myself in a showroom, to now being part of the development process of a sales acceleration cloud platform for the automotive industry, as a Business Consultant at EASI’R.

Over years in the field, I have identified three major challenges that most car salespeople have in their daily working routine. Some of these issues are closely connected to digitalization, which has turned the whole automotive industry on its head right now. Others are rather structural and even psychological. However, with all these challenges, the right digital sales tool can make a huge difference. I want to share my insights with you.

There are three major challenges that car salespeople have to deal with today. These are caused partially by digitalization, can be structural in nature, and in part derive from psychological mechanisms. For a good CRM system to really work, it is absolutely necessary to cover all three aspects.

CHALLENGE 1: INCREASE IN CUSTOMER REQUESTS AND A NEW LEVEL OF TIME PRESSURE  

The effect of increasing digitalization is clear: With customers having gotten ever more tech-savvy, the physical visits of customers at a car showroom have decreased, but at the same time the online requests have increased to a level unprecedented in the history of car sales. Whenever customers get interested in a new car, they simply pick up their tablet, laptop or smartphone while sitting comfortably on the coach, and request specific information from car salespeople.

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This results in the huge increase of leads that a single car salesperson needs to handle these days, meaning a higher workload for the same amount of staff on the sales floor. Even more pressure is added by the fact that customers do not request the desired information from only one car salesperson, but from many; the one who answers first has the greatest chance to close the deal in the end. The overall challenge for car salespeople is a decrease in direct customer contact, but much more digital requests that need to be handled as quickly as possible.

Digitalization puts high amounts of pressure on car salespeople: In addition to “physical leads” that come from the showroom, they need to process a huge influx of digital leads. At the same time, they need to follow-up on customers faster than ever before because if customers have to wait for feedback – even if it is just two days – they will turn away and contact the next sales team.

In my opinion, working with a digital sales tool is the only possible way to be able to manage the required fast processing of digital leads. The ideal CRM system collates all leads under one roof and makes them easily available to all users in a sales team. This way, nothing falls through the cracks and everyone can see how much time has passed since a lead first came in, and if it already has been processed. The later salespeople respond, the more likely it is that the customer gets annoyed and looks for another dealership that responds faster. This is a pity, since whilst digitalization creates a lot of leads, it is important to know how to deal with them in order to increase sales.

CHALLENGE 2: SCHEDULE APPOINTMENTS FOR THE BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

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When I worked at the car showroom, my colleagues and I had quite a struggle to please the customers who spontaneously dropped in to get information about a car. The main challenge was to handle the “peak hours”, which were e.g. Monday to Friday from 15:00 to 17:30. You could feel that the salespeople were significantly more stressed than usual, and a lot of customers needed to wait their turn because the staff could not serve all of them at the same time. An ideal customer experience clearly looks different.

The “rush hour” at a car showroom can be a real challenge when it comes to providing the perfect customer experience. Using a digital sales tool can relieve salespeople of time pressure and enable them to schedule fixed appointments in order to make sure that they have enough time to secure the best possible customer service.

Here, a CRM system means that salespeople do not have to simply wait for the next super-busy Sunday. It can ease workflow by enabling them to proactively steer customer visits by offering them free time slots in advance, and make fixed appointments – just as it is done with bank appointments. In addition, a digital sales tool helps salespeople to work more time-efficiently by being able to register all customer wishes and requests very quickly in a convenient dashboard. Aside from that, with a digital sales tool they have access to previous information about the customer, to make a tailor-made offer that does not need to be deduced from a long and complicated interaction between customer and salesman. This saves time!

CHALLENGE 3: PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRAINT – A CAR SALESPERSON WANTS TO SELL CARS

This might sound strange, but it is a huge part of the reason why so many salespeople struggle these days and need a CRM system: They want to sell cars. The truth is that registering all customer information in excel spreadsheets or on post-its will lead to lost data, chaos, and slow follow-up processes because information lacks structure, and is not accessible by one click. A digital sales tool should ease the workflow of car salesmen here, but often, sadly, it does not – if it is the wrong system.

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It is important to respect the psychology of car salespeople. They are ambitious and want to sell cars. Therefore, they need a digital sales tool that ensures the most intuitive use, and helps them to accelerate their sales process from minute one.

The right CRM system respects and harnesses this strong and intrinsic motivation to sell cars that drives car salespeople. The digital sales tool needs to be as simple and well structured as possible and it needs to be so intuitive that there is no long introductory process involved. I have often seen in the showroom that whenever a system did not work as simply as a salesperson wished it would, they switched back to paper & pen and post-its, and the chaos started again. Therefore, it is of major importance that a CRM system has very intuitive navigation, and that the users can start working with it without a long and complicated introduction. In the ideal case, usage is as easy and intuitive as it is with Facebook or LinkedIn.

About the author, Mathias Brix

I work as a Business Consultant at EASI’R. My previously mentioned experiences at dealerships, national sales companies and now the support lines with EASI’R, have put me in an ideal spot to help you, as a car manufacturer, a national sales company or an online classifieds site, to get rolling with the leading automotive CRM tool available today! Contact us, and learn more how you can get started in just 30 days at: easir.com/request-demo

Pictures: Header: unsplash.com/Jannik Selz. Picture 2: EASI’R. Picture 3: Unsplash.com/Murray Campbell. Picture 4 & 5: EASI’R 

 

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