The dealerships you drove to in the early 2000s are not the same ones you approach today. As time has passed, dealerships have started operating differently, and the most successful ones have focused on shifting to the tune of consumers’ increasing reliance on technology.
Today’s notable dealerships are transitioning their sales online, developing intuitive, well-designed websites, joining social media, creating digital content, and quickening their DMV processes. These changes primarily appeal to millennials, who are becoming the largest demographic of U.S. car buyers. Dealerships that want to attract this generation know that millennials don’t shop for everything in person. This demographic is not as likely to drive to a dealership lot, find a car, and haggle over price solely in face-to-face interactions.
Millennials are tech-savvy, and the generations after them are well-acclimated to the digital world. So, if your business wants to succeed with these new types of car buyers, you must operate things differently. Instead of hinging all your success on an in-person model, it’s time to implement dealer tech.
What is dealer tech?
Dealer tech is short for dealership technology, which is software applications and online tools that dealerships can use for their retail operations. Many types of dealer tech tools exist and typically fall into three categories:
- Office and General Management: This dealer tech includes payment platforms, dealership intelligence applications, dealership management tools, and human capital management solutions. The staff members who’d benefit the most from these technologies include dealership owners, general management, CEOs, CFOs, office managers, and accounting and billing employees.
- Marketing and Sales: The dealer tech in this category focuses on helping dealerships enhance their sales and marketing initiatives. Some common tools are CRMs, advertising systems, social media, online content, and dealership engagement tools. The primary users of this tech include CMOs, CROs, general sales managers, sales reps, digital marketers, customer experience managers, and leasing consultants.
- Fixed Operations: In this category, the dealer tech ranges from mobile car care to tire management tools to service management suites. Some team members who’ll use these solutions include service directors, shop foremen, fleet managers, parts directors, logistics managers, collision center directors, service technicians, and body shop clerks.
Having dealer tech in every category is wise, especially if you run a large operation. Ideally, you want every department to feel equipped and empowered to use technology to help your dealership grow. However, for the purposes of this article, you’ll learn about the marketing and sales tools you should incorporate into your dealership’s workflow.
Dealer tech tools for sales and marketing
Various types of dealer tech can enhance your sales and marketing, and you’re welcome to try as many as you find beneficial. But keep in mind that biting off more than you can chew may be overwhelming, especially if your sales and marketing teams aren’t used to leaning on specific tools.
So, below is a list of just five solutions you should implement throughout 2023 to stay relevant and appeal to most car buyers. To make things easier, adopt one to two tools per quarter to ease your team into the changes. That’ll also leave room for learning curves, which is especially important to give your employees.
Keeping all that in mind, here are five sales and marketing dealer tech tools to start using.
1. Social Media
There are 4.7 billion active social media users, and guess what? That number could hit 5.8 billion in 2027. Why should that matter to you? It’s simple—if you’re not actively engaging with car buyers on social media, you’re missing a huge opportunity to attract and convert leads.
You can find car shoppers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. And if you create content that’s visually appealing, engaging, and relevant to them, you’ll have no problem getting potential customers to browse your dealership’s inventory.
2. An optimized, eye-catching website
Google found that 92% of car buyers research online before making a purchasing decision. That means your website must be optimized for search engines to ensure it ranks and is easy to find in search results and Google Maps. Without an optimized website, people won’t organically discover your dealership and will simply click on your competitors’ sites on the first page of search engines. So, take time optimizing your website with target keywords.
Additionally, make sure your site is intuitive and well-designed. That way, when people discover and visit it, they’ll browse instead of leaving after a few seconds. An eye-catching website should have high-quality photos, persuasive call-to-actions, incentives, updated pricing, and effective inventory filters.
3. Website and Content Strategy
Every brand needs great content to outperform competitors, and yours is no exception. With a majority of car buyers preferring to research online before purchasing, you need to have resources that aid in their decision-making process.
Blog content, videos, email marketing, buying guides, testimonials, and in-depth vehicle information are valuable resources that car buyers will appreciate and utilize. Your ability to provide them will determine whether you get or miss a sale.
4. Online DMV platform
It’s no secret that most people don’t like the DMV. While going is a necessary evil, the DMV consistently has long lines, lengthy wait times, and many forms to find and fill out. If you want to get license plates, tags, or vehicle registration for your customers, it could take weeks as you try to gather all the necessary documents and go back and forth with DMV representatives.
Thankfully, there’s a way to simplify things: you can use an online DMV platform to meet your customers’ DMV needs. The good news? You don’t have to build anything yourself. All you have to do is outsource your DMV-related tasks to a private DMV services company like Barry Risk Management.
We have an online platform that allows us to help dealerships retrieve their customers’ license plates, tags, and vehicle registration. We work with dealerships all around the U.S. and gather and fill out the appropriate forms to ensure car buyers get what they need in a timely manner. That means no more long lines, wait times, or energy spent running in circles trying to get everything your customers need. When working with a private DMV services company like Barry Risk Management, you can rely on professionals who will use an online platform to make things easier and faster.
5. A CRM System
One of the most integral pieces of any successful sales and marketing initiative is an integrated CRM. With this dealer tech, you can capture all of your leads and track follow-up and lead engagement reports. This insight will let your sales team know which car buyers to circle back to and which resources your marketing team should create to help sales reps’ interactions go smoothly.
However, make sure your sales team actually uses the CRM daily to log reports and customer interactions. The last thing you want to do is miss out on critical insights that could result in a sale.
Innovate to stay keep up
Dealerships no longer have the luxury of solely relying on face-to-face interactions to close deals. With tech-savvy generations entering the car-buying market, your dealership must use sales and marketing tools to attract customers and compete with brands that are readily adopting new technology. Only then will your business be in a position to thrive long-term and consistently generate sales.
Want to rely on an online platform for your DMV needs? Contact Barry Risk Management now at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247).