Keeping track of your dealership is no easy task. Not only do you need to keep on top of your inventory, how quickly it’s moving or not moving as the case may be, you also need to make sure that your sales team is working on sales leads effectively and consistently, and you need to keep track of the financial aspects of your business. In order to do all this effectively, you know you’re going to need to use an auto sales software package. The difficulty lies in figuring out which one is right for you. Making a list of features is one of the best ways to narrow down your selection and get your business running smoothly.
The Features You Need
As you start to do your investigation into which auto sales software is right for your business model, create yourself a list of the activities that go on in your business that you would like to see as features of the software package that you select. The following is a list of features to get you started:
- Online presence – most savvy car shoppers are looking for their next vehicle by shopping online first to save themselves time and find the particular type of car they’re most interested in. Having an easy way to get your inventory information up onto your website is a very important feature.
- Online marketing – in addition to getting your inventory on your own website, you’ll want to be able to get it out to the websites that people browse when they’re shopping for cars, such as ebay or craigslist. Look for a software package that offers a built-in way to get cars listed on these types of sites.
- Inventory management – VIN numbers already have auto features encoded in them. Finding a package that can pull that information from the VIN so that you don’t have to enter it yourself is a great time saver. All you have to do after that is add the vehicle specific information such as mileage and color along with photos.
- Making the sales and making sure of compliance – Having a package that walks your sales team through the sales process and helps them make sure that they are collecting all the required information from potential buyers is a great way to make the sales and make sure that your dealership is complying with state and federal regulations.
- Customer relationship manager – you’re definitely going to want an auto sales software package that helps you to capture customer lead information so that your team can go to work on finding them the car they’re dreaming about. Look for a package that can track things like how the customer contacted you including various online methods, contact information, purchase information, sales associate info, and some way of tracking when and how to contact them next.
- Accounting – you may want your package to be able to do some basic accounting for your, or you may want it to be able to export in a format that can be consumed by your in-depth accounting software.
- Web-based vs. PC – more and more software are becoming subscription based, meaning that for a monthly fee you can run the software from the internet. You’ll want to decide if it’s more important to have direct control of your data or not. If you do, you’ll want to look for a package that installs locally on your PCs. The drawback to this system is that you’ll have to maintain the hardware and backup the data. The drawback to the web-based system is that your data is housed on someone else’s hardware, and you have to have internet access at all times in order to be able to use the software.
Keep these issues in mind and add your own business requirements to the list. You’ll be managing your system with the right auto sales software package for you in no time.