An effective CRM system for jobbers and distributors has to be easy for management and sales teams to use, but it also needs to fit the business of the aftermarket. Being flexible, responsive, and tuned into the scale needed for aftermarket businesses isn’t a given. Massive, faceless CRM systems simply don’t cater to the specific needs of those working and doing business in the automotive aftermarket.
Part of the reason SiteAlive’s CRM solution can provide such a responsive communication platform for businesses comes from the way that the licensing is organized. Even the most capable CRM system for your business won’t deliver maximum results for your enterprise if your enterprise doesn’t have access.
“The way that we’re making that possible is through licensing this product with a block of seats, rather than per [single] seat,” explains SiteAlive founder Faraz Sayal. “Fifty user accounts is our minimum buy-in to the CRM, because we don’t want just your three salesmen and your manager and your owner on this product.
“We at Hamilton Discount Auto Parts have been using CRM for several years. Amazing communication tool as our sales force require immediate response. Great support and staff at SiteAlive.”
Roland Singh, Sales and Operations Manager
Hamilton Discount Auto Parts, Hamilton ON
“We want your back office involved. We want your purchasing team involved. Purchasing can use it for all sorts of document sharing and lists of suppliers that they manage. And you can do call notes by suppliers as well. So the idea is we want everybody and anybody in the company to use it.”
Naturally, that access can be fine-tuned by management to restrict access to authorized personnel.
This feature is among many that SiteAlive instituted after listening to customer feedback.
“We’re constantly modifying this product to become more than a CRM,” Sayal explains. “It has become sort of your online company, extranet/intranet type website, where you have this information available readily at any point, from anywhere.
“We’ve been working in the automotive aftermarket since 2003. We’re laser-focused on it. We’re not going to pretend to know what jobbers want on a day-to-day basis from a business operations standpoint.”
“We have been using the SiteAlive CRM since 2015, it is an important part of our daily operations. We found it easy to implement and the sales team took to it right away.”
Eric Knogler, President
Sutherland Automotive, Saskatoon SK
The first version launched in 2015, and since then, valuable feedback has led to upgrades that help jobbers and their sales teams be more efficient.
Early versions of the software required a lot of typing to input notes and customer information. This has largely been replaced with pre-selected, point-and-click options. And now, it accepts notes that you dictate into your cell phone, so you don’t even have to type those.
“We do four major releases every year,” says Sayal. The October 2022 update, for example, included an autosave function, so that if a sales rep loses their internet connection or the battery on their phone, they don’t lose the notes they were working on – up to three days later, they can pull them back up, finish them and then save them to the CRM once the connection is reestablished.
Autosaving these notes every ten seconds is obviously useful when service interruptions occur, but also extends utility when sales team members visit customers outside of major centres where cellular service – and internet connectivity – can be spotty.
“Our CRM solution from SiteAlive has been a great addition and tool for our sales team. We are more than happy with it’s growth over the last couple of years.”
Kyle Kowalchuk, Operations
Warehouse Services Inc., Edmonton AB
Another new feature is simplifying the transparency among reps and management: a sales manager with a territory can act as a rep, but also have visibility into other reps’ accounts as manager. They can also see customer accounts, which a rep would normally not be able to do.
“So the type of feedback that we get is very sales rep-driven. And it is very automotive aftermarket-driven. We build it in a way that uses the industry’s feedback.”
Customer suggestions go into the development pipeline and every quarter new updates are released at no cost to the customer
“We want to keep customers for life. That’s our goal. If you tell us you want to see something different, we will go back and tweak it and within a quarter you’ll see it available on your system at no cost to you.”
It’s a constant flow of feedback, development, and quarterly releases. And everybody benefits.