The CRM moves at a relentless pace; however, for a variety of reasons, the automotive industry has been slow to catch up with the latest and greatest technological innovations in the CRM space. However, with Dynamics 365 in the Cloud, that might be about to change, with many disrupting technologies available out of the box that will particularly benefit automotive industries.

Automotives are facing a paradigm shift from product-driven organisations to customer-driven. Clients are continuing to make bigger and bigger fleet purchases. This requires a stronger relationship between the dealership and the client to build trust. New technologies help facilitate this enhanced relationship. Automotives face the challenge of capturing customer data and applying it into their customer-driven strategies, which an optimised CRM is perfect for.

CRMs need to enhance the customer relationship and deliver on advanced capabilities which open up new sales opportunities for automotive organisations. This industry has traditionally been slow to adopt new CRM technologies, with the US and EU market being led by smaller, mid-market solutions that are built on-premise. These solutions "do the job" but they won't push the envelope, and due to their inherent architecture, are slow to adapt to the fast-moving business environment.

This might be about to change, with reduced capital costs, maintenance and technological advancements, many are starting to migrate to cloud solutions. By 2025, cloud-based CRMs such as Dynamics 365 will gain more traction and penetrate the market by 35%. Cloud solutions can deploy updates quickly across the customer base, supporting them to be able to use cutting-edge capabilities.

The pitfalls of old CRM leads to different challenges for customer experience.

Car Buyers' Most Frustrating Aspect of the Dealership Experience

In a survey by software advice, 56 per cent of buyers say finding the right vehicle is the most frustrating aspect of the car buying process. Another 31 per cent say haggling over the price is frustrating.

Modern automotive CRM software will help alleviate the tedious aspects of car buying. By synchronising a CRM to a portal, customers can view inventory online and make choices within a few moments, and it also gives them ideas before they arrive at the dealership and engage in the buying process by being more informed about what's available. 

What future technologies can Automotives expect from CRM?

CRM industry experts are discussing the concept of CRM 3.0 for automotives. This might be too early for many companies on older architecture, although this table below from The Marketing Journal demonstrates the enhanced capabilities one will have when they decide to transition.

Portal access

Clients and dealerships want unrestricted access to their service agreements and data. It empowers them with insights about when fleet contracts are up for review, or visualise pre-arranged volume commitments. In addition, they can present sales staff with key graphical indicators to provide guidance on targets and client registration trend analysis. Modern Portals are synchronised instantly with CRMs which have centralised, reliable data. Portals are highly customisable and can present granular information to a variety of end-users from across both the dealership and the client.

Compatibility

A modern CRM must integrate with back-office systems with ease, providing a complete aggregated view of information to management and sales staff.

Insights

How well do automotive companies understand their existing fleet customers as well as prospects? Modern CRMs help you understand the real value and support you in where you need to direct your sales resources.

Communications

Future CRMs will build closer relationships with clients and help sales, marketing and customer service teams perform in their roles better. This future automobile CRM will provide advanced contact management tools, easy access to automobile forms, dealership tools and email marketing tools. Marketing teams will benefit from detailed reporting and analytics, and service teams will benefit the end-to-end service management tools. Also, automation tools such as email marketing and chatbots will further enhance the customer relationship.

Mobile Sales Team

With Sales travelling more than ever, it's essential they can access to business information and can perform processes while in the field. Future CRMs will provide that capability, so they don't need to get back to the office to finalise car sales.

Inventory Enhancements

A dealerships success are dependent on its range of vehicles on the lot. The modern automotive sales environment has a more significant number of models and customisations available than ever before, which has meant we have entered an era of product information overload.

Today's environment is one in which shoppers tend to know more about a particular vehicle than the salesperson selling it. The Internet has created this research tool that is empowering shoppers like never before in the course of an automotive purchase. The result of this is that the shift in knowledge from sales to the customer can hurt the dealership's reputation and confidence if they can't explain features in specific details to help qualify a particular vehicle from a potential purchase.

In the future of CRM, Salespeople need to get this advantage back during the discussion by providing critical information about any vehicle based on extensive data using mobile devices. This will keep the customer engaged and help to build trust, which will naturally increase sales.

We often speak to automotives, and we know this data exists, but many CRMs have been unable to deliver this information efficiently in real-time sales situations across dealerships.

The future of automotive for CRM

Innovative technologies for supporting automotives are now accessible to dealerships both large and small through cloud architecture. Traditionally, this sector has been slow to adopt new capabilities so it will be interesting to see if CRMs such as Dynamics 365 can persuade them to take the necessary steps to stay up-to-date.

See how Annata and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are delivering innovation to the automotive industry. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform is helping independent software vendors (ISVs), like Annata, to create a solution that improves customer satisfaction.