Wines says the CRM's reporting capabilities also serve as an excellent change-management tool whenever she needs to incorporate a new process wrinkle. Lately, it's getting salespeople to use the CRM's driver's license scanner to check-in appointments or fresh "ups." To help, the group’s regional senior vice president worked with her and their DealerSocket Customer Success Manager to create a report that gets distributed to every store in her region. It works as kind of a scoreboard, she says.
"A driver's license scan has been a huge push for us since the beginning of the year," she says. "So, an email goes out once a week to our senior vice president, who then forwards it to all of the stores and says, 'This is where you guys are. This is how many driver's licenses get used in the end.' That spurs competition because everybody wants to peek over the fence to see what the other guy is doing."
The CRM's sales activity reporting is another favorite of Wines. It serves as an accountability tool for managers and helps them identify coaching and training opportunities. "I'm a very black-and-white person," Wines says. "I understand that there are gray areas to all this, but as long as you lay out your expectations very clearly, then a lot of the speed bumps we encounter will go away. Again, it goes back to process, and the CRM helps drive that."
That same approach has served Wines exceptionally well when she switches to her marketing role. Larry H. Miller employs an advertising agency to handle most of the group's marketing and communications needs. However, anything that needs to be sent or created from within the CRM falls on Wines. Her top priority is to keep all communication lines open, and she's especially protective of the group's email channel.
"There are many different ways we can contact our customers, but when it comes down to providing the most information in one shot, it's got to be email," she says, adding that her focus on reporting helped put an end to the weekly e-blasts to each store's customer database. "We tried it for a long time, and our results really went downhill. We don't want to increase our opt-outs. That's something we watch very, very closely."
Those same reporting capabilities also told her which days and times are best for sending emails. According to the report, the worst day is Monday — an exception being the Monday before Black Friday. "You have to be plugged into the CRM's data and live through that for many years to know that," she says.
Experience also helped Wines learn how to maximize the CRM's extensive audience targeting and marketing campaign tools. The goal is to reach the right consumers when creating her customer lists, which she begins with the same four parameters: Customers with emails and who opted in to receive communications, their communication preference, and the campaign categories they opted in to receive, such as dealership specials and events.
Then there is the CRM's Smart Links feature, which utilizes an email recipient's click behavior to enroll them in short, targeted marketing campaigns. With Smart Links, Wines can get a granular view of email marketing performance.