Next week Monday will be my first official day working with Zach Klempf on his startup, Selly Automotive. It’s been a long nine months of networking with personal connections, attending startup meetups, hopelessly emailing recruiters, and working on my own side project for a while, all while working at a small Korean company that had no clue that I was navigating my way to an exit. It’s been a long wait, but I’m excited to begin working in a field that I’m passionate about.
Selly Automotive it is an auto dealership CRM software. There are two Selly products: a mobile app for the salesperson, and a desktop platform for both the salespeople and the sales managers. These two products make up an all-in-one front-end customer management tool that salespeople can use to effectively manage leads and ultimately improve the sales experience for both the salesperson and the customer.
Both Selly products are being introduced to disrupt the car dealership CRM industry, an industry that is in obvious need of an overhaul. Of course, this is easier said than done, and there are many barriers that are preventing the complete modernization of CRM tools. Selly is built to break through these barriers, and introduce an innovative solution to improving the overall experience for both salespeople and their customers, alike. I’ll go over some of the top reasons why Selly will change the car-selling experience for dealerships and salespeople alike.
- Mobile Wins
In this day and age, mobile wins, and will continue to win as our lives become more and more dependent on the improving features of our smartphones. It’s now possible to respond to important emails, create a sales presentation, and even manage product inventory, all with a smartphone. Mobile is completely changing the work experience, and it is no longer necessary to be tied to your office computer just to respond to an email or look up information for a customer. With Selly’s mobile app, salespeople can manage their leads, scan driver’s licenses, check inventories, and even pull up CarFax reports without leaving site of the customer. There’s no reason to leave the customer on the lot while you head back into the dealership to scan the customer’s license or pull up information about the car. These types of sales activities that used to take up five or ten minutes are eliminated with Selly, leading to a much more efficient dealership.
- Cost to Upgrade
Like any other industry, it would be naive to say that technology in the dealership CRM industry is stagnating. This is not true. There are CRM software companies that are creating user-friendly front-end tools (I’ll speak more about product differences later), but often times these tools are catered to larger enterprise dealerships that have a significant amount of money spend on upgrades. In many cases, small- and mid-sized, independently owned dealerships do not have the capital to spend on expensive front-end software, and because of this, it is becoming more difficult for these dealerships to compete with larger enterprise dealerships. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for smaller dealerships to rely on pen and paper to keep track of their leads. Selly Automotive is targeting these smaller to mid-sized car dealerships and setting an appealing price point for its complete front-end mobile and desktop platform.
- Legacy CRM
As I previously mentioned, smaller, independent car dealerships that don’t have enough money to purchase new and fancy CRM software are left with either old and clunky CRM software or no such software at all. Those smaller dealerships that do have some sort of CRM software often times have legacy software that looks like it had been developed in the early 1990s, which may be completely true. Although this legacy software may be navigated with relative ease for salesmen and sales managers who have worked with it for decades, there is a definite learning curve when it comes to learning such CRM systems. With a high churn rate for salespeople in the auto dealership industry, many hours must be spent training new employees, which can lead to inefficiencies within the dealership. Selly’s modern, user-friendly, and easy to use mobile and desktop apps make it easy to learn quickly, thus reducing the time spent to train new salespeople.
- DMS Integration
Selly’s CRM system is a front-end management tool for dealerships, but dealerships also need a back-end system to manage accounting, print forms, and send deals to lenders. These DMS systems are the backbone of the data stored in dealerships, and every dealership has its own DMS provider. The downside to this all-in-one approach is that the dealerships switching to these software packages need to radically change the their backend infrastructure. This requires new training for everyone employed by the dealership, which can be a pain, especially for those who have been working with the same DMS system for years. Selly Automotive is solving this pain point by integrating its CRM software with many major DMS providers. This way, dealerships can upgrade their front-end CRM software while keeping its current DMS.