Capterra provides a “Top 10 CRM” list that is supposed to help a business select a system that will work for them. While graphs and comparisons are helpful to understand how these CRMs compare to each other, they fail to uncover why dealers who try these CRMs end up with something that doesn’t work for them.
What Is CRM Software?
The best definition is from CRM.org, “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software organizes your business, automates tasks, and centralizes all your data.” Given this definition, let’s look at where the Top 10 CRMs fall short for W&D Dealers.
How the Top 10 CRM Software Programs Don’t Work for W&D Dealers
- DIY Many CRMs are sold as toolkits that rely on a dealer not only having to learn how the system works, but having to create an entire system that reaches into every area of their business. Remember, a CRM is supposed to “organize your business.” Given the workload and resources of a typical dealer, this does not end well.
- Workflow Most CRMs have workflow, the concept of tasks done in a sequence that move a “deal” forward. The problem is most CRMs rely on users to remember to click something to affect workflow status. Users forget, and the system bogs down.
- Vendor-Dealer-Customer Dealers sit at the center of data moving to and from vendors as well as customers. Most CRMs are set up to deal with customers, but few are designed to connect vendor-job-dealer-customer information in a way that provides the best outcome for all. Remember—a CRM is supposed to “automate tasks,” and this means logistics and administration as well as sales and marketing.
- Operations Ignored The world of most CRMs revolves around marketing and selling, with some throwing in “service tickets” usually based on a software support model. The heavy lifting done by dealers to order, track, acknowledge, receive, store, reload, and ship complicated products is ignored. This leaves a gaping hole in all three jobs a CRM is supposed to do.
- Job-Centric. W&D Dealers are job-focused. Job-site addresses are critical to smooth operations. Everything is related to a job—an architect, builder, orders, contracts, payments, customers, job superintendent, garage door code, deliveries, service, warranties. Most CRMs are not set up for this, and trying to make a “Job” work in place of some kind of “CRM Deal” fails.
Most dealers have a steady flow of business and often can’t keep up with the amount of pricing and proposals requested. It doesn’t make sense to bring on a CRM that has a complex marketing and sales system that, if it works at all, brings in more inquiries that add to that backlog. Find a system that has Jobs at the core, has automatic workflow that makes sense, includes operations and logistics, and can be set-up and operational within weeks by someone outside of the dealership who knows best practices for W&D Dealers.