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Does Your CRM Suck... or Maybe Not?

This Might Be a Cool Discussion.

Recently I have become more involved with a lot of Automotive retail of CRM Companies. Many of these people have become good friends of mine and I love their products and services.

On the other hand, I communicate with literally thousands of Dealers and Dealership Managers and Employees regularly. I see and hear a lot of things at 'Street Level"  What I get a lot of is either "Praise" or "Complaints" about the services and functions of the dealerships' CRM Company. I am sort of including Internet lead Management programs in the Mix as well. 

On the phone yesterday a dealer principal of a large group told me they were reverting back to Reynolds and Reynolds newest version of Showroom management programs. Of course, I asked why? They were leaving a really high-profile Big CRM Company that we are all familiar with that is supposed to be state of the art, cutting edge. The dealer told me (and they've been a client of mine for 15 years)... He told me, their functions really sound great in the sales presentation BUT their support and service Sucked the Big One and he felt he had evidence they were misusing his customer data. This was his words, not anything I coaxed, coached or put him up to. 

Although I am really pleased to hear Reynolds and Reynolds has greatly improved their offering, which I am recently hearing from many dealerships; I was surprised to hear that one of his main reasons for switching over was Reynolds security of his data without undisclosed aggregation of information coming out of his DMS that he felt his current other Big Company was doing. 

So, I am NOT going to influence this Blog one way or another BUT I will comment back. I'll erase anything abusive or attacks, so play nice. 

I want to hear candid discussion on your CRMs without my slanting in any direction. The vendors themselves are welcome to chime in IF YOU don't dominate the discussion, intimidate or harass the participants. 

Here's the questions ( and name names)...

  • What CRM are you using?
  • What's Good About It?
  • What Sucks About it?
  • Do you have an Internet Lead Management Program?
  • What's Good About It?
  • What Sucks About It?
  • What features do you need that you don't currently have?
  • What should your CRM be capable of doing that it's not performing?
  • What does your CRM do that you wish they would cease doing?

This might take off and get some discussion, might not, let's see?  JIM

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  • our dealerships use Imagiclab and for the most part I think it is a very solid CRM (I've used dealersocket, dealerpeak, autobase and rey/rey in the past). The customer support is great but If I were to complain I think it needs to allow for more flexibility in adjusting drop downs, lead assignment schedule, etc. Definitely would recommend it over any of the others I've used (can't compare to the latest version of Rey/Rey but it was a nighmare back in 2010-2011 when we were using it.

  • We switched to Eleads a few weeks ago and so far other than the amount of time it takes to get it just right, It's pretty straight forward, and inexpensive considering the cost of other systems.


  • We are using Auto Raptor. You can't look up a contact by a keyword which is a pain. It assigns the vehicle, but not it's photos to an email unless you add them as a file. Nothing is automatic either. I'm looking for a better platform, but its hard to find one as reasonable as Autoraptor. I'll keep praying for improvements for the moment.

  • i will take up your offer Kevin. I have had reps and training staff at my dealership and they could never figure it out. What is your number and when is the best time i should call you? My Number is 337-344-2691 Thanks a bunch!

  • Kevin:  Thank you  for  your  comments.  I  agree  with  you.  At  present  I  have  ADP  with  The  ADP  dms  accounting  software.  While  it  works   it  is  designed  with  an  accounting  point  of  view.  When  you  interact  over  the  web  it  is  a bit  cumbersome,  and  does  not offer total  versatility  in  one  package.  My  point  is  not  any  one  system  but  adaptation  to  our  changing  client  culture.

    As  you  point  out  your  process  and  inspection  are  critical.  I  have  operated  a cradle  to  grave  as  well  as  a BDC system.  At  present  80  sale  average  3 people  15%  close  thru  all  lead  systems  tracking  120 days.  I  can  always  improve.

  • Mr Choate, 

    With all due respect Sir, R&R CM does all of that except for the I pad/I phone complaint.  The product requires training to use to its best ability.  Feel free to call me and I can show you how to get that information you mentioned above.


  • Jim, in 2005 the Hyundai store I was working for at the time was getting Reynolds & Reynolds Contact Management.  I was the Internet manager at the time and the GM of the store told me "If you learn this CRM inside and out, you will be able to walk into any dealership/group and create your own job.  Well in 2011 when the Hyundai Dealer and I parted ways I walked into the Sandy Sansing Group and told them what I can do with this CRM they just signed up for and the rest is history.  I now train Reynolds & Reynolds contact Management for the entire group (8 stores).

    Reynolds & Reynolds Contact Management integrates with the Reynolds DMS so the reporting that is available is worth its weight in gold.  My favorite feature is the client collection feature.  You can create literally any report you desire for all departments.  Reynolds & Reynolds Contact Management when integrated with their DMS allows you to look at reports including but not limited to; sales person performance, response times, traffic analysis, prospect source ROI, follow up consistency and the list goes on.  Now the down side is that it is only as good as the information you put into it.  Staff must have continued training and review of utilization in order to keep the reporting pure.  We hold CRM training and Q&A weekly for staff that needs more training.  It is a classroom environment and works well for our group.    Now I may be a bit partial, but I do not see much that can be improved with this system except for the price perhaps (we all want to pay less for more right?).  

    Kevin Campbell

    Internet Director

    Sandy Sansing Group

  • Ok,  I"ll  say  this.   As  an  Internet Director,and  in  the  internet  for  about  12 years.  I  have  used Reynolds-e-lead-dealer socket-and ADP.  Here  is  what  I  would  say.  Some are  more  flexable  than  others.  Most  lack  a few  key  factors.  Ease  of  use--great  analytics  of  mass  information.  The  ability  to  send  and  receive information on  many  fronts or  devices

    Most  are  not  completely  compatable  as  a package  with  other  existing  systems.   Most  do  not  add  improvements  untill  the  next  version  or  a charge  is  incurred.

    Any  CRM  is  only  as  good  as  you  inspect  thru  it.

    Just  my  two  cents

  • Contact Management (reynolds)

    Alot sucks about it. Unable to copy and paste Vin#'s and other information from the View Lead portion. Unable to give me a contact rate report on Internet Leads. Cannot utilize it with Smart Phone or iPad. Cannot easily Track number of customers that came into dealership and didnt buy. Its Sssslllloooooooowwww. You can't call the Support team and tell them what you are trying to acomplish and have them do it, they have to explain it to you and you have to do it. Skating Alert option is horrific. Anytime you want someone to come and train it cost big $$

    Now with all that being said, I have sat down through the presentation of the upgraded product and was impressed. The support Staff is usually pretty good except for helping change processess and schedules which is really hard to understand.

    "Trying to hang on as long as I can take before the Upgrade Comes along".


  • James, yes you do.  No matter what CRM, yes, you are right.

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