What is a CRM? - For Heavy Equipment & Commercial Truck Dealers

Learn about how a CRM software system can make life easier for every department of your heavy-duty dealership.

what is a crm
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Let’s learn all about CRMs and how they can help your heavy-duty dealership thrive. 

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Easy access to information has never been more important. 

As a dealer in the heavy equipment or commercial trucking industry in the digital age, this means that you’re competing with other dealerships and private sellers all over the country. 

So, how can you stand out?

One of the ways you can stand out from other heavy-duty dealers is by offering the quickest and most professional customer service in your field. Attention to detail and the management of customer relationship information are essential. Fortunately, CRM software systems have greatly simplified the way heavy equipment and commercial truck dealerships like yourself manage customer relationships.

What does CRM stand for?

CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” While customer relationship management is a concept that has been around for generations, the use of the acronym “CRM” typically refers to CRM software systems used to manage all customer details for sales organizations and dealerships just like you. 

How does a CRM work? 

A CRM system is typically a software application that allows a dealer or company’s representatives to quickly and easily log, retrieve, and maintain any data relevant to a particular customer. This customer data may include: 

  • Contact information
  • Any correspondence with dealer representatives
  • Stage in the buying process
  • Transaction history
  • Assigned representatives
  • Response to marketing campaigns
  • Any other information a sales or customer service representative needs to record

CRM software systems make all relevant customer data accessible to dealer representatives (sales and customer service professionals) to streamline the buying and customer service experience.

CRMs can talk to other systems. 

Many CRM software systems can be configured to work in collaboration with third-party systems—such as marketing, inventory management, transaction systems (such as payment or POS systems), or even shipment tracking systems to streamline transaction management. Some CRM systems may even contain their own inventory and payment management options—allowing sales, customer service, and fulfillment representatives to manage and process transactions from a single system. 

Who uses a CRM within a dealership?

A better question might be, “who doesn’t use a CRM within a dealership?”

The information logged and maintained in a dealer’s CRM software system can be used by anyone with the proper credentials: 

  • Dealer leadership
  • Department managers
  • Sales representatives
  • Customer service representatives
  • Marketing specialists
  • Administrative staff
  • Fulfillment specialists 

Access settings are typically determined by a manager, supervisor, or IT director.

A robust CRM software system allows immediate access to relevant customer transactional details at a moment’s notice—typically from any device with the proper credentials. 

How does a CRM improve customer service?

CRM systems allow customer service representatives to focus on customers. 

The main focus of a customer service representative should be serving customers. Without an adequate CRM system, many customer service representatives may find themselves torn between administrative tasks and serving customer needs. CRM software systems allow customer service personnel to automate many administrative tasks—such as drafting reports, task assignments, record updating, manual data entry on forms, and communication among other departments to resolve customer issues.

CRM systems help departments work together.
office cooperation

A CRM system helps customer service personnel by streamlining access to information between customer service and sales or fulfillment departments. This interdepartmental communication greatly decreases the likelihood of details or tasks becoming lost in transit between sales and customer service—allowing for a seamless resolution to any problems or questions. 

With the right CRM system, these up-to-date details can be accessed from anywhere on any device with the proper credentials. These systems have also made working in the field or remotely considerably easier for heavy equipment, commercial truck, and trailer dealerships. 

CRM systems remove the slack and redundancy from customer service correspondence. 

Another way CRMs systems help your dealership’s customer service department is by allowing for seamless handoffs to additional or specialized personnel without any “slack” in the chain of communications. For instance, a customer issue can be easily transferred to another service representative or a technical support representative without the need for any customer to repeat the details of their issue along the way. This not only makes problem resolution faster but leaves customers feeling respected and cared for.

How does a CRM help improve sales?

sales performance increase crm

CRM systems help sales professionals provide a personalized experience. 

Because CRM systems place all customer details at the fingertips of sales representatives, this allows sales staff to customize a sales experience to those details. If a lead or customer is looking for a specific type of equipment, has a particular budget, or even prefers certain forms of communication over others (emails over phone calls, for instance), all of these details can be captured in your CRM. Equipped with these details, sales professionals can make this customer’s sales experience feel one-of-a-kind. Attention to these details not only makes customers feel better about going through with a purchase, but they can also help foster customer retention, loyalty, or even cause them to recommend your dealership to others.

CRM systems can greatly assist with sales training. 

When properly set up, a CRM system allows sales managers to closely monitor how sales representatives interact with leads and customers. Depending on the CRM software system in question, this may mean that sales managers have access to all telephone, email, and even SMS text correspondence with leads and customers. This allows sales managers to follow up with sales representatives to coach them and help with problems in their sales process that may be causing them to lose business.

CRM systems help sales professionals remain organized. 

Most CRM systems allow sales managers to assign representatives to particular leads or existing customers. A well-maintained CRM system not only equips sales representatives with all of the information necessary to increase sales, but also allows them to quickly adjust information or details in real-time—such as errors, a lead’s changing needs, or the outcome of certain correspondence. Having this information at their fingertips—both in the office as well as out in the field—allows sales professionals to quickly pivot and tend to the needs of their customers. 

How does a CRM help keep dealerships organized?

relaxed business man crm
CRMs automate many manual administrative processes.

If your dealership is still managing customer details and orders with address books, spreadsheets, or paper invoices, CRM software systems can streamline and automate many functions carried out by your customer service and administrative personnel. 

In addition to administrative automation, many CRMs allow you to use existing system data to quickly compile essential documentation—such as quotes, invoices, receipts, and other forms—in just a few clicks. These functions can save you and your staff hours in filling out necessary sales documents.

CRM programs make reporting and auditing information a breeze.

  • How many leads were converted into sales last year, last month, or last week? 
  • How many phone calls did a certain salesperson make to leads last quarter? 
  • How many times on average did a customer have to speak with a customer service representative before their issue was resolved? 
  • How many people opted into or out of the marketing newsletter last month?

Getting answers to these questions and more is easy thanks to the reporting capabilities built into most CRM systems. 

Using a CRM to manage customer information makes it incredibly easy to keep a finger on the pulse of the performance of your dealership. Retrieving specific metrics on the performance of most any department is often just a few clicks away. Most CRMs allow you to use the data to create charts, graphs, tables, and other visualizations from within the system. 

A CRM Designed Specifically for Heavy Equipment, Commercial Truck, and Trailer Dealers

Are you a dealer working in either the heavy equipment (construction and agricultural equipment, etc.), commercial trucking, or commercial trailer industries? If so, Dealer Technology Solutions from My Little Salesman is the CRM system that was designed and built specifically with you in mind. In addition to being customized to meet the specific needs of your industry, Dealer Technology Solutions is among the most competitively priced CRM of its kind on the market. 

To learn more about Dealer Technology Solutions, reserve your virtual demonstration today.

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About Ken Lane
Ken’s affinity for the heavy equipment industry was fostered as a curious youngster—becoming happily lost on his grandfather’s tractor sales and service lot (his favorite color is still Allis-Chalmers Orange). Since then, he’s perfected the art of turning black coffee into helpful buyer resources and marketing materials for My Little Salesman.
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