Getting it right with CRM designed for the aftermarket, Part 1

by | Jan 30, 2023 | 0 comments


Making the right decision about your Customer Relationship Management system is critical to ensuring how well your team is attentive to changing customer needs.

“Ninety percent of the time, jobbers keep their sales teams informed about customers through meetings. Management pulls information out of their system and lets the team know what needs to be addressed, based on that information,” says SiteAlive founder Faraz Sayal, which offers the CRM solution.

Sharing information through meetings requires the sales team to retain and act on that information, sometimes days later. And the feedback from the team back to management is often problematic: scattered emails, handwritten notes, text messages, phone calls in to customer service reps. Even formatted call reporting can fall behind, get lost, be misinterpreted, or simply be forgotten.

It’s easy to see how information offered at meetings can be out of step with the real situation on the street. “You’re going to lose information in the middle in every scenario, when you are giving it to the salesperson as sort of an information dump about what they need to do,” says Sayal. “There are going to be points that they are going to miss. And then, if you are receiving information from a salesman at the end of the day, there are things that they’ve done throughout the day that they’re going to miss.

“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

“So, our goal has always been, how do we streamline all of this into a product that is primarily – a number-one requirement – easy to use, right? And that’s how we’ve tackled it with our CRM.”

Simplifying the challenges is the goal, he continues. “Jobbers may feel confident that they are on top of their sales activities and feel they are able to track effectively how that plays out. But in a market as competitive as [this one] is, having systems in place to maximize your information flow and responsiveness is critical.

“You need every tool possible to organize your bread-and-butter business, which is your salesperson selling hard parts to your ‘captive’ customer. A very disloyal captive customer, by the way, because that customer will buy from somebody else to save $5,” says Sayal.

Weekly sales meetings can seem ancient history by the time the Thursday meeting rolls around. Success for salespeople at the customer level means one thing: being able to access accurate information on a particular customer’s buying trends as the rep makes each sales call.

“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

“Certainly I need to have some background on them, but if I have that material at hand as I’m walking in and I can see that this is their business, this is what they’re buying, this is what they’ve stopped buying, I can be super-efficient about that meeting – for the benefit of the service shop owner, who’s going to appreciate that I’m not going in just fishing.

“And obviously I can be really focused and directed in my conversations.”

The goal, ultimately, is communication, with simplified data on each customer’s status in key areas:

  • How is the customer doing?
  • How much do they owe?
  • When did the salesperson last visit?
  • What was discussed?
  • What was promised? 
  • Any issues that were raised: did they get resolved or are they still outstanding?

Through a simple note-and-tagging system, you can know whether that issue is being dealt with, and be able to confidently communicate any updates.

The salesperson can, for example, make a note about a credit owed and tag the accounts payable; management can, in return, tag the sales rep regarding an issue with the account.

In each case an email is generated, to push the issue forward quickly.

And everything is recorded in the CRM. So all that information on that individual customer stays accessible in one place, only a few clicks away.

“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

Imagine pulling up in front of the customer’s shop, taking out your phone, pulling up the customer account (which takes just three clicks), and all on one screen you can see how they’re doing, how much they owe you, what is their return percentage, which lines they are buying, and what their month-to-date and year-to-date looks like.

“You want be able to see that. You want to be able to see additional information in the call notes. You want be able to see all open and closed calls for this customer,” says Sayal. “SiteAlive’s CRM closes that loop.”

It brings a higher level of professionalism into the relationship,” he points out. “It really empowers the salesperson with all of this information at their fingertips.

“So it’s more than just offering an insight into analytics. It’s about offering them everything that they can possibly get out of a CRM.”

SiteAlive CRM for the aftermarket logo

For more information on how SiteAlive’s CRM solution can work for you contact SiteAlive at:

Phone: 416-428-0890


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