Dealership Marketing 101: What is a Sales Platform and Why Your Dealership Needs One

December 20, 2019 John Kehm

At Mastermind, we talk a lot about auto dealership sales platforms. Over the course of talking to dealership owners, managers, staff and other stakeholders in the auto industry, it’s become clear that while many people have a general understanding  of what a sales platform actually does and what its value is to the dealership, there are still questions about sales platforms, where they fit and what they do.

In this blog, Mastermind answers some of the most common questions 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).

A DMS is 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 sales platform, such as Market EyeQ, takes the data generated by your DMS and factors that information into its analytics, especially with regard to loyalty customers and service conquest.

Similarly, a CRM system only engages with a small component of the car sales process. As the name implies, CRM systems are focused on managing existing customer relationships, wherever they may be in the sales cycle. They track who your prospects are, when you last engaged with them and what happened at the time. 

By their very nature, CRM systems are not designed to identify and connect with potential customers that do not already have a relationship with your dealership – that’s where a dealership sales platform comes in.

Data is the Foundation of a Sales Platform

At the heart of a sales platform like Market EyeQ 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?”

The answer to that question varies widely between different platforms, but it’s a critical one for you to ask and have answered before implementing any sales platform in your dealership. 

Ever since the earliest days of computing, people have understood a computer’s ability to provide meaningful answers is dependent on it receiving the correct information. Nineteenth century British mathematician Charles Babbage, generally considered the inventor of the programmable computer, famously told the story of being asked, “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” Even then, Babbage already understood that a computer’s analytic insights can only ever be as good as the data it’s fed.

In the spirit of Babbage, his programming partner Ada Lovelace and every innovator since, Mastermind has built the foundation of the Market EyeQ sales platform on the highest-quality and most reliable automotive and customer data we can find. Our partnerships with industry-leading data providers (such as R.L. Polk, IHS Markit, TransUnion and CarFax), along with connections to the data in your existing DMS and other public data sources, ensure that Market EyeQ’s insights are of the highest possible quality and usefulness. 

How a Sales Platform Empowers Dealers to Know Their Customers

Market EyeQ’s analysis considers a broad range of factors that drive prospect quality and urgency. In fact, Market EyeQ offers exclusive access to IHS Markit demographic data from 197 million households, three billion ownership records and 650 million vehicle records. 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 Market EyeQ’s greatest differentiators as a sales platform comes into play: the Behavior Prediction Score®.

The Behavior Prediction Score  0-100 rating boils down everything Market EyeQ 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.

At its heart, the Behavior Prediction Score does just what its name says: It predicts the likely behavior of all the prospects in your market. With Market EyeQ’s insights at their side, your sales team starts from a much more powerful position of understanding and insight into the highest-quality prospects in the marketplace. That’s a recipe for efficiency and sales success.

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 Market EyeQ, the answer is emphatically, “Yes.” Consider the following benefits of adopting Market EyeQ:

  • While the results vary with the size of the dealership, Market EyeQ dealerships report gaining an average of 15 incremental conquest sales per month over prior sales and marketing management models.
  • Those who market with Market EyeQ report a service conquest activation rate 3X higher than other service-not-sold providers.
  • Market EyeQ improves dealers’ retention sales rate by an average of 15 percent over non-Mastermind dealerships.

What other questions do you have about a sales platform and what it can do for your dealership’s bottom line? Contact us to set up a free consultation where we’ll answer all your questions so you can make the most informed decision possible about what’s right for your dealership. 

Read more about how to improve your dealership’s sales.

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