What Has Been Your Experience With VinSolutions?
With any large company there will be lovers and haters but as a national consultant, it is my responsibility to identify the truth and value of any and all corporations that effect dealerships, especially my Dealer Synergy clients.
I posted a simple question on my Facebook and in less than 24 hours it received almost 200 comments. It seems that there are a lot of people that have an opinion about VinSolutions. There were a lot of people passionate in their positions! It shows that CRMs are very important for a dealership to be successful. Even more important is that dealerships choose the right partner to help them achieve that success.
Here is the "Cut and Paste" from my Facebook Thread.
* I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and experiences about VinSolutions.
#CarPeople I want to get your opinion about VinSolutions as a CRM. I have a lot of Dealer Synergy clients that have been giving some candid feedback and I want to ask my network here on Facebook your thoughts. I am curious to hear from DEALERS, NOT from Vinsolutions or their employees. Please let me know what you like and what you do NOT like. As a national consultant and trainer, It is very important to gauge what the dealers are thinking so I can make the best decisions and provide my clients with the most accurate feedback. Thank you all in advance- —
Shane Locke It's great for the salesmen as far as accountability goes , you have to complete tasks or u cannot input a new customer . Internet sales is another story , dealer peak was great from a internet perspective . Dealer peak allows you to make high volume calls without losing your place with the "last action" option . We miss dealer peak.
Stanley Damer I'm a dealer in the D. Bout to sign up with there new web platform that's adaptive with mobile! Great new product. Other than this platform I never been impressed with them. Sean V. Bradley Csp if ur interested with the best CRM that all us large ford dealers use in Detroit message me! Ford are high volume in the D and follow up is the key (33 ford dealers in 3 counties) let me kno. Love money Mondays
John Roberts Like Shane said, the accountability of Vin is great. The main drawbacks I find with it is a lack of inventory page for salespeople and it does not remove a no longer owned car from marketing campaigns, so you find need your trade emails going to people that no longer have the particular car.
Sean V. Bradley Csp I would love for you to post here what the CRM company that you DO prefer on this thread but if you prefer not to make your opinion public I respect that. I guess it is enough that you do NOT recommend their CRM...
John Roberts One other issue I forgot to mention, Vin does not update from DMS, so if something changes in DMS it will not push to Vin.
Sean V. Bradley Csp That can be frustrating
Gary Reed Been using Eleads, seems to be working pretty good. I thought it was a jr. Vin solutions crm as I have used Vin before.
Kristin Buckley Don't even get me started.
Sean V. Bradley Csp I have also heard some really good things about eleads!
Sean V. Bradley Csp Kristin Buckley please do, you have been a valued Dealer Synergy client for a LONG time and are a Veteran of the Internet Sales 20 Group events and even a "Best Idea" contest winner. Your Ford dealership has been in business for OVER 100 years! I would LOVE to hear your opinion
Kristin Buckley Okay... Let's see.. Their "support" sucks. No one ever knew what they were talking about, they could only ever "open a ticket".
We couldn't get one good, accurate report to come out of that thing they like to call a CRM/ILM to save a life.
Anyone who has any type of BDC should just track everything on paper and save themselves a shit ton of money because it is definitely NOT designed to work based off of your dealership. They definitely think you should run your store based off of how they have their CRM set up.
Oh, and Sean Rancier was the worst account manager I've EVER dealt with (and I deal with almost all of our vendors). He told me he had too many accounts to pay attention to us, and if I wanted a certain report I should learn how to make them myself because support was only there to try and fix something if it breaks, not create reports for us.. I wonder if I still have his emails........
Kristin Buckley DealerPeak has been amazing. Their staff always knows what's going on, they definitely communicate with each other, and go out of their way to try and make their tool work around our stores processes.
My favorite part is the fact that it's not just set up for "admin" "manager"
And "salesmen" logins. They control each piece individually.
I wanted the salespeople to be able to close out their own sales and 15 minutes later they all had access to it.
If I have a suggestion on something they either work on changing things, or at least give us the option to have it built for us by their support team. Couldn't be happier
Sean V. Bradley Csp For the record, Dealer Synergy works with 13 DIFFERENT CRM / ILM companies with dealerships all over the country. I am VENDOR neutral. I only want to know what dealers like and don't like and why-
John Roberts Thought of another, any problems that come up they want three samples before opening a case. Not everything happens in threes.
Megan S Barto DISCLAIMER: I am a dealer.
I love VinSolutions. We've been on them since 2007 and every issue I've ever had has been rectified.
As far as "support ticket issues" - find out who your Performance Manager is - go through them. The custom reports are amazing. I have 20-30 of them set up for just about every person that needs any kind of reporting. Including salespeople! "Save A Deal" - delivered to my sales professionals email inboxes. Daily. With their ups.
Salespeople CAN close out their own visits - or they can't. If you don't trust your Green Pea? Don't let them close out visits! VinSolutions does integrate bi-directionally with your DMS - all it takes is a simple phone call to set it up. Id anyone needs any help with VinSolutions - let me know - I'd be happy to help!
Kristin Buckley My performance manager was the biggest problem we had.
The system wouldn't track customers for our BDC reps at all.. Once it was switched over to a salesperson it stopped tracking for them. I tried like hell to make that system work for us because it costs so much money to switch systems, plus loss is customers etc. but it just wasn't going to happen. I am very computer savvy and I knew that system inside and out.. The problem is that not everyone was/is that savvy and VinSolutions is complicated for the average user
Kristin Buckley Not officially but I know of her. We were on Auto Dealer Live together once
Megan S Barto Kristin - you can assign specific BDC agents and there's even a system report (not a custom report) that's "Performance by BDC Agent" which makes a FANTASTIC tracking/breakdown sheet. And if you don't like your PM - you can ask to have them changed!
Kristin Buckley I know the report.. We had a problem with it because it would round robin a BDC agent onto every customer added to the system. So it was definitely not accurate. Believe me, I spent a lot of time on the phone with whoever would listen to me from Vin. It wasn't designed to work with our store and by the end of it they could have completely redesigned their tool and I wouldn't have used it if they paid me to.
Megan S Barto The nice thing about VinSolutions is there's a work around for just about everything. Just in certain situations - you just need to find a Performance Manager with some knowledge of the system and some imagination.
Kristin Buckley I imagined that system going right out the window.... And it was so weird because the next thing I knew, it was gone.
Sean V. Bradley Csp LOL!
Subi Fernando Ghosh I'm no longer a dealer, but it's been less than a year after 6 years in a showroom but I had vin (among others) and had a single really bad experience. when I took it to them, they addressed my issues, took input for opportunities to help the platform and really dove into great options with reporting. I ended up with a strong vin relationship with my reps after they helped me out. I will say that their new restructuring efforts have made huge differences for the better. I'm impressed with their direction and growth in the last year. I would definitely recommend them but ensure (like with any Crm switch) that they have an individual in house that understands the ins and outs of CRM for proper set up. My experience is that poor set ups usually set the tone for poor experiences with CRMs. I've even had a great experience with ADPs CRM that most complain about after setting up a great partnership for my dealer group.
John Roberts I would love to find out about getting ours to be Bi-directional. Don't take my posts wrong, I do not hate Vin, it is head and shoulders above our previous CRM, just wish a few things were better.
John Roberts I agree, just want to make clear my feelings
Sean V. Bradley Csp Absolutely! Thank you so much for your insight
Kristin Buckley The way Subi and Megan talk about vin is how I feel about dealerpeak. The entire staff has treated me like gold and I love the fact that I can name probably half of their staff by their first names. Not only does their tool work so much better for our store, and performance wise, but they're less expensive.
Having been treated like we were not important from a company we were spending $3500+ monthly was all I needed to move on.
People buy from people they like, right #carpeople!? Lol
Megan S Barto John - DM me your questions about Vin - I'll be happy to answer any!
Tammie LeBleu CRM thats the key to being successful in todays market. I used Car Research and had phenominal success with it. When I was still at ORR Group I trained some Internet Managers on VIN Solutions and found it hard to navigate. There are so many components that are not utilized. I had the honor of training my first store over a week ago in BDC and their CRM was VIN. I am not one for bashing but I defintely prefer Car Research to VIN.. I am partial because of the great succes I had with it but lets just cut through all the red tape. It doesn't matter what CRM tool you use. You must marry it adapt its processes and put those strict processses into place and you will be successful. It is the road map to great success and must be utilized everyday....
Subi Fernando Ghosh Aaaand tammie comes in to lay it out! Preach on sista!
Nathan Hays Our DMS Import from Autobase to VINSOLUTIONS was/is atrocious. 56,000 people, 4 brands, 3 rooftops and 4 store IDs. Data wasn't scrubbed. Each store/ID has different settings, permissions. Part of it our issue, part AutoBase, Part ADP. It's brutal.
The customer merge function is better than it was. The website provider/software compatibility is mediocre. Minimal Cheome/Firefox support. Internet explorer sucks, but I'm forced to use it because of VIN. The mobile app is better, however my settings have been shut off at random.
Their support is pretty good. Very quick, yet very concerned with closing tickets, even without resolution. I have a few other complaints, but many of it is out of my control.
Sean V. Bradley Csp Tammie LeBleu for the record... you were the #2 Nissan Consultant in the United States, selling 47.5 units in one month and 400.5 in one year and made OVER 1.5 Million Dollars selling cars on the showroom floor in less than 5 years right?
Kristin Buckley We had auto base before vin too. It was like living with the Flinstones and then moving in with the Jetsons lol
Subi Fernando Ghosh One last note. If we're talking CRMs DealerSocket has a fantastic product, is incredibly intuitive, and excellent customer service.
Tammie LeBleu Right! And Car Research was my tool and my road map to success!!!
Megan S Barto So you're copying me???
Sean V. Bradley Csp LOL!!!
Sean V. Bradley Csp OUCHHHHHH! You GOT ME
Megan S Barto I know - it doesn't happen often.
Nathan Hays Needs some Midwest love.
J.r. Batchelor I've used almost every CRM personally and what I noticed with Vin was that you can't use their follow up process or you would not touch customers daily during the initial 30 days. I agree with Tammie LeBleu unless managers and salespeople own and master the CRM any tool the dealer chooses will be in vain.
Megan S Barto JR - I absolutely agree with you. A CRM is a *tool* you need to have competent people running the tool - no matter what the CRM is. With Vin - their processes are a great base, but as with anything you need to add your own "flair" to it. Which is why I've modified every single process in VinSolutions. It's also the job of their Performance Managers to help you modify them for your store!
Sean V. Bradley Csp I will say this though Megan S Barto, you are one of the exceptions... as you pointed out, you were on the cover of AutoSuccess Magazine. So, you know what to do, how to do it and how to modify it and make it better. There are a LOT of sales reps, Internet Managers / Directors that do NOT have that knowledge or experience and are dependent of Customer Service / Client Support to guild them and assist them, to coach them, to assist them and if it isn't there... then the dealer is screwed. And this goes for ANY CRM COMPANY.
Sean V. Bradley Csp Dealer Synergy does NOT want the CRM to tell you WHO to call in the "task list". Process driven versus task list driven wins all the time, every time. Task list driven leaves too many errors and gaps.
Kristin Buckley Another reason I love dealerpeak.... But they're going to have to start signing my pay checks if I keep going lol
Sean V. Bradley Csp I am referring to CRM as it relates to an Internet Department or BDC that has "Coordinators" or BDC Reps... b/c these people do NOT have to get up and do product presentation, deliveries etc...
Kristin Buckley Applies to salespeople too. Our "guys" have their folders they go through daily to keep their customers in front of them. They don't operate just based off of tasks either. I've been able to set our system up to work for THEM. We have folders for everything.. Makes life much easier
Sean V. Bradley Csp Look at this Video I created in April, 2014 about VinSolutions and how to actually set up VinSolutions the RIGHT WAY! This is the Dealer Synergy system (qucik version). Do you hear the COMPLIMENT I give VinSolutions? This is TRULY a NUTRAL post https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyo5w0aTM40
Sean V. Bradley Csp If you are not part of the solution... you are part of the problem-
Joshua Shackelford Dealersocket is a far superior CRM.
Sean V. Bradley Csp Thank you Joshua Shackelford. There have been numerous people on this thread that have spoken highly of DealerSocket and I have a lot of Dealer Synergy clients using DealerSocket but I would love to hear what you like about them most and what you think they do that sets them a part from all other CRMs...?
J.r. Batchelor As we all know this is a people driven business. You can have all the best tools in the world and have an $200K ad budget but when the rubber meets the road you MUST have the right PEOPLE. Processes without the right people are utterly worthless. Sean V. Bradley Csp Megan S Barto
Sean V. Bradley Csp Well said!
Joshua Shackelford Compared to VinSolutions is like comparing Harvard to grade school. Endless amount of data to pull. It gives you alerts daily on all previous customers, ups, and service customers as well. I run a Ford and GM store, I can pull equity positions (you're no longer upside down), APR (based on your rates and payment history I can save you X amount of dollars when you trade in and up), how much they would save on fuel by trading out of an older car they're in to our newer one that's also under warranty, time since last service, warranty expirations and renewal etc. It gives the amount of data I can have my employees mine nearly endless. It's much more complex but it's reports and data on MY employees as well as the salesman has helped show me who's working it right and who's not. I can automatically generate birthday, anniversary or purchase etc and link directly to the customers social media to communicate, congratulate etc. It brings more "development" of business than any other CRM, including Vins than I've ever seen. It's allowed me to help make actual "salesman" out of salesman instead of product pushers. Makes all the difference in building and retaining a customer base.
Joshua Shackelford I tried to be objective but it's honestly apples to oranges. What do/would you prefer?
Joshua Shackelford Oh yea, the mobile app of socket is second to none. It really makes my job as manager of 2 lots much easier.
Sean V. Bradley Csp What do I prefer as a CRM? or do you mean as to your feedback?
Joshua Shackelford CRM.
Sean V. Bradley Csp LOL! of course...
Sean V. Bradley Csp First, I want to say that I truly believe that there isn't a perfect CRM. There are NUMEROUS functions of a CRM, BDC, Dealership(s). And different CRMs specialize in Different things. For example... some CRMSs SPECIALIZE in Special Finance, some CRMs specialize in Data Mining, some in LEAD MANAGEMENT, other in showroom control / desking...
Joshua Shackelford Haha.. So are you obligated to prefer vins? Lol.
Sean V. Bradley Csp So it is important for a dealership FIRST, "Begin with the end in mind". What are THEY looking to accomplish...how are they going to use the CRM?
Sean V. Bradley Csp Now with that being said... As it relates to Internet Sales, BDC... Lead Management. I have my (NEW) Top 5 in NO particular order...
Joshua Shackelford The downside to socket is teaching those less tech savvy how it can help them. Some guys are pen and paper guys, but it's MY job to show how the benefits of managing leads in their customer bucket and every detail of their deal and how it can make them money. If I'm not showing them how it's here to make them money then I am failing them.
Sean V. Bradley Csp LOL!
Sean V. Bradley Csp THAT is ANOTHER issue... NADA just released its 3rd Annual Industry report on Workforce. It states that Dealerships have a 66% Turnover rate on the showroom floor! http://www.nadafrontpage.com/Dealership_Workforce_Study... That means that with such a HIGH Turnover... all of the new sales reps that join the force have to be accimated to the CRM ASAP... who is doing that? Who is monitoring that this is getting done the right way?
Joshua Shackelford BDC managers are the most under appreciated people in any dealership.
Because who's going to teach them? We are. And in our market, producing 50 additional sales to a 150 car a month lot plus cleaning up sales staff garbage, spending most my day on 700 credit to pre-qualify.
I've turned my departments out of appointment based and into qualified buyer based. Im incentivizing getting credit apps more and more. It's saving and making my company more money in the long run for all the obvious reasons... What salesman wants to waste 2 hours on a guy 7k hooked who can't even buy paper?
No one. We sat at a 50% show to sale conversion last month which is absolutely unheard of.
Sean V. Bradley Csp Strong!
Joshua Shackelford The manager I replaced had 82 shows and 4 sales in her last month.
That's essentially stealing from the company.
Tom Hawkins We install Vin Solutions starting at 8:30 tomorrow morning. Over the years, I have been on Autobase, Interflow, Dealer Socket, back to Interflow, and then Car Research. After a painful year on Car Research, I decided to give Vin a try after running into Sean Stapleton at Driving Sales Executive Summit. We are already using Cox products vAuto, HomeNet, Auction Genius, and Auto Trader so going to Vin Solutions was an easy choice and a large savings due to consolidation. I am sure I will have my share of frustrations with Vin Solutions at first, but he two things I like about Vin are: 1. The marriage of all these products under the Cox Automotive label will allow the exchange of data that will benefit dealers a great deal...now and well into the future. 2. They use the performance manager model similar to vAuto. We are very satisfied with our vAuto performance manager process. I will be holding them accountable for how well we use the system. To be fair to Car Research, the previous owner was draining the company and not investing in the future of the product. I believe Auto Loop, with Tammie LeBleu's leadership, will make it much better company by upgrading the platform and giving them the tools to succeed (I was on the Autoloop Dealer Advisory Board). However, I couldn't wait, especially with the advantages for me of the platform consolidation. I guess I will know for sure when we're fully into it. But as you can see I have had enough experience with different CRM's to have a little bit of an idea.
Tony White My thoughts as I am a user of VIn.
I myself have been in the industry for about 14 years. I have used many programs and there's not a single one that has it all.
Vin needs to work harder on their fixed operations side. Not as robust as the sales. And we all know how much business comes out of service.
Vin like anything is accountability. Fair warning to those getting ready to buy it. Map your processes out on paper first. This way you don't create useless processes that people won't follow and you have a printed out manual of the processes and email responses. This way no one can ever say they didn't know.
I worked for Autotrader and KBB as well. There is still a lot the COX corporation has to do to get everything to work together. Some of it never will unless they rewrite the entire code.
Vin is good. But like anything, it's only as good as the users and management team. I would be happy to help you with it if you need. Or to run ideas.
Tony White You also need to know the depth of involvement your dealership is going to have in the tool. Are you only going to use it for Internet department, sales and Internet? Finance, forms, write ups? Trades? Marketing? Farming? Are you willing to make your service department use it? I think that has to be a big discussion. Then base your CRM around those needs. Not the other way around. Or you will be stuck with another headache and looking for the next shinning toy. Good luck!
Tina Ledoux Norton The best CRM depends on your dealer group and your level of usage. Tony White said it well above. In 2010 - 12, we made the decision to leave Autobase and we shopped everyone under the sun - it took everyday of 2 years to decide our next step. For our situation, we felt that VIN did not have the enterprise reporting necessary for a large dealer group - there were a lot of promises for what it would do in the future but we did not want to experiment. At the time, their poster child was Gary Crossley Ford. We visited them and found slowness issues, usage issues and because they were not a multi-point dealer, they could not address a lot of what we would need in a CRM. We also did not feel that it was as BDC friendly as some other tools on the market. In the end, we went with DealerSocket. Change is always difficult and there will always be those that resist. Roll out took almost a year and then it was another 6 months to a year beore I could say that we were truly users of the system and we are still learning more every day.
Jeremy Lewis Great Topic, if VIn was smart someone would be reading this and using it to their advantage!
Susan Goodman Givens Thanks everyone for the AutoSuccess shout outs. I am feeling the love!
Vicky Cooper An Internet dealership will utilize all their available tools to their maximum but having the right tools can definitely have an impact on success. Vinsolutions is horrible about the "bad leads", customer merge, and support. One the other hand, it is somewhat user friendly, has mobile app, and is easy to edit templates & auto responders. The push from the DMS is less than desirable.
Megan S Barto Vicky - have you tried their most recent Customer Merge? It's wonderful and is eons above the previous version.