San Francisco Toyota is a one-of-a-kind dealership located in downtown San Francisco. To sell and service its large selection of new and used vehicles, the dealership utilizes nine buildings within a three-mile circle — including three separate showrooms — and keeps most of its inventory in parking garages. They are in the top 10% of Toyota dealers in the nation, moving up 25 spots since they became DealerSocket customers.
After achieving significant CRM success, General Manager Doug Donnellan decided to add a DealerFire website to the dealership’s suite of DealerSocket solutions. Eager to participate in Toyota’s SmartPath initiative, a new digital marketing system designed to fundamentally change the way customers buy and finance vehicles online, Donnellan was also eager to take advantage of DealerSocket’s CRM and DealerFire integration – CrossFire.
“Ultimately, what pushed us over the edge in selecting DealerFire was the ability to use Toyota SmartPath,” said Donnellan. Toyota’s SmartPath program enables dealerships to better service customers who want to complete part of the car-buying process remotely. With a SmartPath-enabled website, consumers can pick out a vehicle, get accurate pricing, and apply for vehicle financing online, before setting foot in a dealership. “We wanted to be one of the first SmartPath dealers.”
Using a DealerFire website helped San Francisco Toyota change how it prepares, promotes, and presents its inventory. Vehicle details entered into Toyota’s Dealer Daily are synced in real-time to the dealership’s DealerFire website, ensuring the most up-to-date and accurate information. Those same details are also updated immediately on Toyota.com and third-party lead-gen sites, ensuring that customers see the same inventory and information no matter which tier website they visit.
“One of the big changes Toyota made in SmartPath is being able to promote inventory that's in transit,” said Donnellan. “Right now, with the scarcity of inventory, being able to promote inventory in transit our DealerFire website is incredibly helpful.”
CrossFire, DealerFire’s website integration with DealerSocket’s CRM, is critical to delivering an optimal experience to SmartPath customers. When car shoppers come into the dealership and provide their name, the sales team can pull up their record in the CRM and view everything they did online; what vehicle they selected, their desired payment, and whether they have a trade. That allows the salesperson to pick up right where the customer left off.
Website-to-CRM integration is also key to managing SmartPath leads. “All of our leads and every ounce of follow-up we do goes through DealerSocket’s CRM,” said Donnellan. “DealerSocket’s CRM makes it easy to track all of our interactions and also to monitor and manage activity. If something is off or a step was missed, we know right away.”
Just one month after launching their DealerFire website, the dealership saw great results. “January and February were our two best months ever from a financial standpoint,” said Donnellan. “Let’s forget March, April, and May because those really don’t count (due to Covid-19). June and July have been back-to-back best financial months ever, and August is pacing beautifully.”
Since switching to a DealerFire website and the Toyota SmartPath program, San Francisco Toyota has seen the following results:
“It's just going incredibly well,” said Donnellan. “Our team is utilizing it well, and our grosses have increased significantly.”
Donnellan says that it’s difficult to attribute the dealership’s successes to any one thing. “I think it’s a combination of our in-house marketing team, SmartPath, DealerFire website, and DealerSocket’s CRM being able to talk to DealerFire —that’s helped tremendously. All in all, I couldn’t be happier with how things came together.”