The choice in CRM makes or breaks a dealership – this is an undebatable fact, like helium being lighter than air or how cats will suck the souls out of newborns when threatened – as a quality CRM allows dealers to truly maximize their potential to convert leads into sales.

Indeed, a good CRM is quite a powerful sales tool – when used properly. The best dealers utilize it in any number of ways: to engage with customers, manage relationships, review reports to uncover additional efficiencies. Yes, some will even go to great lengths to review their duplicate leads.

However, the reality is most stores simply aren’t doing that, nor are they taking full advantage of their software to address common problems with poor staff performance and improper lead handling. (Our analysts and coaches see these issues every day in auditing clients’ CRM usage.)

In our short how-to video and the written tips below, our very own Dealer Operations Analyst, Matt Trudell – enjoy your 15 minutes, bud – showcases ways in which your dealership can make the most of VinSolutions’ Lead History software to locate and assess duplicate leads. Mr. Trudell, take it away. (That means click the image below to watch the video.)


VinSolutions: Understanding the Lead History Tools

First things first, you’ll want to get acquainted with the VinSolutions platform and its various sections. VinSolutions is a great piece of software, and one of the benefits it gives you is the ability to find and link to a customer’s lead history and pertinent details – from many, many accessible places within the CRM.

  • From the Dashboard, view “Recent Messages” and click through to any customer’s lead profile.
  • Managers can (and should) review every customer’s scheduled and completed appointments to understand where they’re at in the funnel.
  • Under the “Tasks” menu, you’ll find an overview of your dealership’s lead bucket, which includes new leads, follow-ups, service leads, and others.
  • When in doubt, perform a search on the lead’s last name to locate their details.

Yes, it’s easy to view your customers’ lead history in VinSolutions. But the more important question to ask yourself is this: how do you effectively use this history to make sure you’re educated and ready to talk to the customer about their interactions with your dealership?

The first rule of thumb is to review those dastardly “duplicate leads.”

Duplicate Leads are NOT Always Bad Leads!

As you review your customer’s submitted leads in VinSolutions, you may notice a “Duplicate” status on some. Among the common albeit significant mistakes our clients make, disregarding duplicate leads is one of the most egregious. Not all duplicate leads should be marked as such; in fact, many of them may be indicators of increased customer interest.

A lot of times, perhaps out of bad habit, a salesperson, BDC agent, or manager will only take the time to look at and work green “Active” leads. Instead, these sales agents should be inspecting those leads individually, as each one represents a unique action made by the customer – whether that’s an online inquiry, phone call, text, or walk-in. Every lead will have its own history, and understanding that history will enable you to not only recognize a lead as bad, but also to communicate effectively with your customers, ultimately leading to more sales.

If there’s one takeaway from this blog, it’s this: don’t assume a duplicate lead is bad! A decent portion of them are likely to be inquiries regarding different vehicle models. In these instances, this knowledge is crucial to have before attempting to contact your lead. When a customer has a wide-ranging interest in, say, sedans between the model years of 2010 and 2017, you may have an opportunity to discuss or offer vehicles comparable to the ones in their initial inquiries.

Take the steps to ensure your staff is trained properly. Find your store’s ideal process to identify duplicates and differentiate them from qualified leads by watching Matt’s brief walkthrough tutorial. Should you need further assistance, I’m sure he’d be happy to lend a hand. Contact Matt and our team of coaches to learn about our DealerPoint Training Hub or webinars.