Log in

ISM Article

Dealership Tools in a Competitive Market

10 Nov, 2009 By: Rob Gilbert imageSource

Dealership Tools in a Competitive Market

With all of the focus on Managed Print Services today to secure a more
profitable business and shore up your customer base, it’s also important to look
at the other aspects of how a dealership operates and the type of tools
necessary to keep things running smoothly overall.

Print Management has its own set of tools and processes that must be put in
place in order to create an opportunity:  track printer data, understand the
current trends, create & propose opportunities, and how to measure
profitability.  But ask yourself this: What else is needed to those things in
order to keep your dealership on track, such as assisting management on the day
to day rigors of business in the office equipment channel?  There are several
items that are essential. 

A Good Back End

One essential tool for smooth dealership operation is a good back end
accounting system, or ERP.  They also can be referred to as dealer management
systems.  Nextgen, e-automate and OMD are the most prominent of these.  A good
Dealer Management System is the backbone of accurate and timely dealer
profitability, in that it will house critical customer data and the processes
necessary to manage inventory, order equipment, parts and supplies, and
reconcile invoices, track profitability, and more.  In addition, you will be
able to setup contracts for leased equipment and track lease expirations. 
Service agreement data & billing criteria are all stored & managed by your
Dealer Management System.  Important customer data like service histories,
number of calls, disposition, parts needed, down time, average time to failure,
etc., are all at your fingertips and can be utilized during account reviews with
customers to enhance your value as a provider.  The ability to quickly see lease
expiration information, service billing data, and average volumes are critical
pieces of information that salespeople need to make decisions about future
opportunities. The right Dealer Management System will also let you take meter
information that has been collected by a network audit and assess opportunities
for service replacement, supply contracts, or a full takeover strategy.  In the
demanding MPS environment, some tools offer the ability to compare supply
pricing among vendors, and track profitability during the lifecycle of a

The CRM Component

In order to manage a business, a territory, a relationship with a prospect,
or a marketing campaign, you must be able to capture and manipulate basic
customer information. Relational information is a must for any dealership & is
the cornerstone for sound territory setup, marketing, forecasting and account
maintenance.  That is why a CRM (customer relationship management) software
system is an essential starting point to identify key applications or trends
with particular customers.  This in turn will help you create vertical market
strategies within your territories.  Sales reps & managers can stay in sync by
entering activity notes into each account history & schedule meetings and times
to perform different sales functions with prospects and customers alike.  They
can track previous and future opportunities, key goals and applications for
prospects, and stay informed of specific tasks and timelines that need to be
associated with customers and key personnel in an organization. 

A good CRM system helps you track customer information on existing equipment,
key personnel located in specific departments, email addresses and contact
numbers, customer’s personal interests and buying signs, marketing lists and
introductory promotions.  In an age where it takes an average of six touches to
close a deal on an account, a CRM system will accelerate the sales process and
eliminate gaps that deals can fall into before the system is implemented.  It
allows reps to automate many tasks that were manually done in years past. In
addition to CRM, Sales Force Automation software is key for boosting sales rep
performance to its highest levels. Proposal generation, territory mapping,
product configuration & the like are all key elements of a good sales automation
system.  A good system will capture equipment pricing, service pricing & leasing
information such as rates, forms, etc., to the package.  A system that automates
sales reps processes by combining forms into 1 area to keep from filling out
multiple sets of paperwork to complete a transaction, will help keep reps in the
field more.

Rob Gilbert, Sr. has 23 years experience in the office equipment industry,
implementation of CPP programs from consultation to implementation, and performs
sales and management training & consulting including MPS program setup. Contact
him at: rgilbertsr@gmail.com.

WebinarCase Studies and White PapersSand Exchange Blog

imageSource Magazine Quick Links
Upcoming Events
ITEX Expo & Conference
©2015 Questex, LLC. All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited
Please send any technical comments or questions to our webmaster