If you are of my generation, you know that an essential item of your elementary school life was the iconic Trapper Keeper. They were note pads and color-coded filing systems all rolled into one. They were the ultimate folder on steroids. And you weren’t cool if you didn’t have one. Moreover, they were a necessity because it was the one-stop-shop location where every note, paper, page, or reminder went. They were your first CRMs.
The best students used their Trapper Keepers to the fullest. They wouldn’t simply doodle on the outside, only opening them on occasion. The smartest kids wouldn’t abuse their Trapper Keepers by stuffing in their to-do homework assignments and never look at them again. No. The best students recognized that this was their livelihood. If it wasn’t in their Trapper Keeper, it didn’t exist. They recognized that their success would only be as great as the notes they made and reviewed inside that Trapper Keeper.
Your salespeople, BDC Agents, Internet Sales Managers, and Sales Managers must use their CRMs the same way the smartest kids utilized their Trapper Keepers. They must realize that they are only as good as their notes. Without notes, all is lost and they can’t get credit for anything.
Notes in a CRM make the world go ‘round in a dealership. No follow-up call can be made correctly without previously reviewed notes. No sales manager can trust they have all the information before contacting a customer if no notes are stored under the customer’s profile in a CRM. No BDC agent can make outbound calls to unsold walk-in customers on behalf of the sales floor without those salespeople properly documenting the entire history of their time with the customer. You’re only as good as the notes in your Trapper Keeper.
A customer’s contact info logged into a CRM is not good enough. There is only one way to reinforce the importance of notation. Take deals away if there are not notes. It’s that easy. Logging a customer should no longer grant you “skate protection” without adequate notes. No calls should be counted as “completed” in the CRM unless there are notes attached, even if they did only leave a message. Notes alongside each activity with a customer are the only acceptable way to retain ownership of that customer, and they assist multiple team members as to the current status of that customer. Without notes updated in the system, your staff isn’t worth the almost-blank worksheets they are printing out of the tool.
Make sure EVERYONE in the dealership is properly leaving notes at every stage of attempted or completed customer interaction. From figures previously given to trade-in info to kids’ names to the other vehicles they’re considering, every single piece of info gleaned from a customer must be captured and logged.
Your people are only as good as their notes. They already know this if they are smart. There is no such thing as effective CRM use without notes being made at every single action. The best students, those that know how to use their Trapper Keeper, are those that will be leading the way in the future. I hope you’re taking notes.