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Dealership Marketing 101: What is a Sales Platform & Why You Need One

At automotiveMastermind, we talk a lot about auto dealership sales platforms.

With Mastermind, our proprietary automated sales and marketing platform, and dedicated consultative service, we empower dealers to maximize their success

In our experience talking with dealership owners, managers, staff, and other stakeholders in the auto industry, it’s become clear that while many have a general understanding of what a sales platform is, there are still questions about what exactly they do, their value to the dealership and where they fit into dealer’s sales and marketing operations.

In this blog post, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve heard about auto dealer sales platforms, including:

● What is a sales platform? How is it different from a DMS or CRM?

● Where does the data for your sales platform come from?

● How does a sales platform help you better understand your customers?

● Will a sales platform increase my sales?

Sales Platform vs. DMS vs. CRM: What’s the Difference?

Possibly the most common question about sales platforms we hear from dealers is what the difference is between a sales platform, a dealership management system (DMS) and a customer relationship management system (CRM). This has become even more complex in recent years with the rise of customer data platforms (CDP).

As its name implies, a CRM system only engages with a small component of the car sales process. It is designed to manage interactions with dealership’s existing customers, wherever they may be in the sales cycle. These systems store customer information, track sales progress, and integrate with dealership’s marketing efforts and systems.

A DMS is a more all-encompassing system, typically focused on managing the dealership’s operational and financial details. While DMS details vary from vendor to vendor, common capabilities include inventory, cost accounting, pricing, fixed ops management, sales and service target management, labor costs, reporting, audit compliance and more.

A CDP collects and manages customer data from various sources, such as website interactions, email campaigns, social media and customer service interactions. This data can be used for data-driven marketing, customer segmentation and personalization by providing insights into customer behaviors and preferences.

By harnessing data from a dealer’s CRM, DMS and CDP, a Sales Platform offers a comprehensive view of the customer journey, allowing for more strategic and targeted sales and marketing efforts. Intelligent sales and marketing platforms take this one step further, leveraging this data to automatically target and engage prospects with personalized predictive marketing campaigns.

Data is the Foundation of a Sales Platform

In today’s competitive auto retail market, data quality is paramount.

At the heart of a sales platform like Mastermind is its ability to analyze big data to generate usable insights to move the sales process forward. That frequently leads to another common question about sales platforms: “Where does the data come from?”

Comprehensive sales and marketing platforms like Mastermind integrate data from the dealership’s existing systems – CRM, DMS and CDP. This integration includes customer interaction histories, inventory management, financial transactions and insights into customer behaviors and preferences.

Partnering with industry-leading data providers like S&P Global Mobility and CARFAX, Mastermind then layers in thousands of additional data points to build dynamic buyer profiles.

This enables dealership’s sales and marketing teams to know more than how many payments a customer has left on their current vehicle or their mileage; it enables teams to understand each buyer’s lifestyle, needs and preferences on a deeper level. This comprehensive view allows for highly personalized marketing approaches that resonate more effectively with each customer.

Get the Guide: Seamless Integrations: Turning Automotive Data into Actionable Insights

How a Sales Platform Empowers Dealers to Know Their Customers

Ultimately, understanding the customer is the cornerstone of any successful sales strategy, especially in the auto industry. This is where the capabilities of a sales platform like Mastermind come into play, transforming raw data into meaningful customer insights.

Mastermind’s analysis considers a broad range of factors that drive prospect quality and urgency. Mastermind offers exclusive access to S&P Global Mobility’s demographic data from more than 125 million households, over 650 million vehicles and 30+ years of owner history.

However, having too much information about a prospect can be just as challenging for your sales team as not having enough about them. That’s where one of Mastermind’s greatest differentiators as a sales platform comes into play: the Behavior Prediction Score®.

The Behavior Prediction Score  0-100 rating boils down everything knows about a prospect, about your market, about your dealership’s available products and offers and about how auto customers like them tend to act, generating a simple numeric score that singles out the highest-potential prospects for your marketing and sales teams to focus on.

Will a Sales Platform Help Us Sell More Cars?

At the end of the day, essentially all the questions dealers have about sales platforms boil down to one simple query: Will an auto dealer solution help me  sell more cars?

With Mastermind the answer is emphatically, “Yes.”

By distilling vast amounts of data into a simple numeric score, Mastermind helps sales teams identify and focus on prospects with the highest potential for sales. This targeted approach helps improve the efficiency and effectiveness of dealer’s sales and marketing efforts by prioritizing the prospects that are the most likely to convert.

With Mastermind, sales teams have access to actionable insights about each customer, enabling them to tailor their sales approach to individual needs and preferences. This personalized approach not only increases the chances of a sale but also enhances the customer experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Ultimately, by leveraging a sales platform to fuel targeted and personalized marketing strategies, dealers are better equipped to meet their sales targets and maximize their profitability. In fact, our dealer partners report an average cost per sale 64% lower than the industry average.

Still have questions on what a sales platform can do for your dealership’s bottom line? Contact us for a free demo where we’ll answer all your questions so you can make the most informed decision possible about what’s right for your dealership.

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