At Larry H. Miller Dealerships' 17 locations in California and Arizona, there's a saying every salesperson is keenly aware of: "DealerSocket is the rule." It can be a hard lesson for the uninitiated, as any deal resulting from a text made from a personal phone or an appointment not logged in DealerSocket's CRM results in a no-deal for violators.

"The thing our regional senior vice president says every single time he walks into the store is if it's not in DealerSocket, it didn't happen — meaning, you don't have coverage, and you don't get the deal," says April Wines, who serves as CRM Marketing and Process Specialist for that region of the group's operations. "So, we have no problem with CRM usage."

It's a requirement Wines appreciates given her process-driven approach, which has served the former paralegal well as she rose from the sales floor to internet and digital director to store manager and process director to her current role with the 64-rooftop group. DealerSocket, she says, has been her CRM of choice through it all.

“DealerSocket's CRM has everything our managers need to hold their teams accountable and be the backstop we need them to be on every deal," Wines says. "In my role as a marketer, it's just ridiculous how easy it is to go from list building to campaign creation. Then it gives me the ability to produce a manifest that informs our general managers of the effectiveness of their campaigns — who opened them, and who clicked through."

"DealerSocket's CRM has everything our managers need to hold their teams accountable and be the backstop we need them to be on every deal."

April Wines, CRM Marketing and Process Specialist

Larry H. Miller Dealerships

Process driver

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."


Lead generator

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.

"DealerSocket's CRM helps us keep our teams accountable to those processes, which gives us better data and makes our marketing efforts more successful."

April Wines, CRM Marketing and Process Specialist

Larry H. Miller Dealerships

Automated lead protection

The CRM's automated workflows are how the group ensures every opportunity generated from Wines' efforts gets maximized, whether it's re-enrolling a customer into a follow-up campaign or redistributing a lead because the original assignee failed to respond in a timely fashion. Wines also uses this automation to send out a series of emails when a salesperson has finished following up with a customer.

"After 10 or 12 emails, the salesperson has given up. So, we send out drip emails at 30, 60, and 90 days," she says. "Sometimes, these campaigns pique the customer's interest, and we get a lot of engagement — even at 90 days. Then we hand those leads back to the dealership to try to re-engage."

At Larry H. Miller Dealerships, continuous process improvement has led to continuous improvements in key metrics and sales, with stores in April's region realizing substantial improvements in open rates, click-through rates, and lead response times. "The process part of it is key," Wines says. "DealerSocket's CRM helps us keep our teams accountable to those processes, which gives us better data and makes our marketing efforts more successful."

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