CRM Consulting

The Sale, be it a new or used car, parts or repair order, is the lifeblood of an auto dealership. If customers don’t respond to vehicle and service offerings, a dealership will ultimately fail. In today’s competitive environment, informed consumers redefine the way they want to be engaged and purchase vehicles. Therefore more and more dealership decision makers turn to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Internet Lead Management systems (ILM) to capture more value from sales and service operations.

Burgeoning Market for Automotive CRM and ILM Solutions

The market for automotive Front-End solutions is one of the most innovative and fastest-moving segments in the industry. The number of vendors that offer CRM core functionality but also supplementary services like websites, digital marketing plans (SEM/SEO), Desking user interfaces with lease rates and residuals, used vehicle inventory merchandising tools, data and equity mining kits, data cleansing, Service CRM platforms, call tracking and 800 numbers, and others is incredibly high. As each and every technology vendor strives for differentiation and offering unique selling propositions, the CRM market offers an enormous spectrum from lean entry-level solutions to complex CRM Front-End suites.

Dealers Face Tough CRM Choices

Car dealers but also Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) need integrated CRM and ILM platforms that are capable of managing customers and prospects across communication channels including showroom, telephony, and online presence. Dealers are faced with tough choices when selecting the right CRM system, as they not just have to worry about functionality and workflow, but also OEM approval and certification, DMS and Phone integration, data ownership, training and support policies, and of course price point and terms.

Gillrie Institute CRM Consulting

CRM and ILM systems come in so many different flavors that without the right insights a critical dealership technology project can easily turn into a nightmare. We will provide dealers with the guidance and tools they need to:

  • Understand CRM/ILM systems’ points differences and parity,
  • Attain maximum discounts on CRM and ILM systems,
  • Avoid data extraction problems with the dealer’s DMS,
  • Secure data ownership and safeguard rules, and
  • Save a lot of valuable time.


Here is a quick recap of what we do for clients:

Together with our client’s key personnel we formulate a master plan based on the dealer’s latest technology bills and goals, the then current contractual obligations, and the dealer’s preferences. This determines the right vendor mix for the bidding process. We also assist with setting up vendor onsite visits and preparing our dealers for demos by providing them with guidelines and questions that are created to unveil potential red flags.
We make sure the configuration of all proposals includes everything the client needs to run his business. We don’t want the vendor coming back in a few months and selling us additional required items when our leverage is non-existent. We also confirm that there are no items included that we don’t need or want.
We track pricing of over 13,000 items from 300+ vendors, which enables us to tell dealers exactly what others pay for technology. By verifying vendor prices against our database we can ensure our clients get the best possible discounts. We also analyze and comment on all contracts to ensure that the best terms offered to anyone are being applied to our clients. We typically will recommend up to 30 changes before we let a client sign a vendor contract.
We assist our dealers in negotiations with all technology vendors and guide them in the evaluation and selection process by sharing our experiences with the various vendors. Because we have so many clients in the US and Canada, we can relate the relevant experiences that other dealers have had with a particular vendor that may be under consideration.
We stay with the client, at no additional charge, for the entire time he retains the system we help him acquire. During this period, we are available as a resource on technology and to answer any questions that may arise. We will audit monthly vendor billings against the agreed contract terms on a quarterly basis or as often as the client submits his bills. It is a rare instance that we do not find abuse or errors.