Best PracticesOpinions & Advice

I know we need an ISM tool, but which one?

I’m completely new to the internet side. I’m the first person in this position at a Toyota Dealership. So I’m carving the way here but not sure steps I should be doing. I know we need an ISM tool ASAP but I don’t want to make a mistake on what one to choose. I have been looking at:

  • icarConnect
  • AVV Webcontrol
  • Rey Rey Contact Management

I have heard that AVV doesn’t have the best support when you run into problems. To be honest I’m really not sure exactly what I should be looking for in a tool, because any tool would be better then no tool at all, which I’m at right now. Any help would be great. Thanks!

-Josh Couzzo

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
I use Webcontrol currently, and am pretty happy with it. It's a good system overall, and the few times I've had issues the support was great. You do have to pay extra to get additional features, such as automated emails... which seems a little odd, but I don't know. I haven't used any other ISM tools to date, so they may all be that way.

I am the director of internet marketing for KEA Advertising. One of our dealers with the largest internet presence asked us to research an ISM/ILM system and we decided upon getting them setup on AVV. From what Ive seen its great and not overly expensive. When you activate the system they also give you a complete training session via online meeting software which is very helpful to understanding how everything works. I would give them a try. if you have any questions feel free to email me.

I can recommend a couple of things to help you in you new position.
1) contact your local Toyota representative and ask him his thoughts
2) find a Toyota dealer outside of your territory and find out what they are doing to achieve success
3) give me a call because eSelleration Inc works with multiple vendors and is here to help you and the dealership achieve success.
Look forward to hearing from you but check our website for more information
Sincerely Yours
Stephen Douglass

  • R
  • February 12, 2007
Part of my job has been to look at a number of lead management and CRM businesses. Adding to the comments above, I'd say look at NetTrak also as a lead management tool. They're the tool behind BZ. Chris Garver is the founder and seems like a good guy.
Thank you all ... I have decieded to go with iCarMagic. Now I need to work on our website. Any feed back from anyone. I am looking at DealerSkin.
  • E
    Elane Druk
  • February 17, 2007
I have worked with a few dealers using dealeron and they seem to have a good product. Our toyota dealer uses Xi group and have been very pleased so far.
Hi Josh, I've installed WebControl in every dealership I have helped develop. It's easy to use, has great customer support, provides separtate module for internet so you don't need to buy a complete showroom control system, and doesn't really cost you an arm and leg per month.
Here are a few preliminary steps I would suggest:
1. Review your website: Contact 3s, where they ring, are you tracking those calls, who is getting them; hours of operation, services available, links on your website, etc. Test EVERYTHING!

2. Where are your leads coming from? Who are your lead providers, how many leads have they given you and what is the cost. Get the URLs for their back-end tools and save the password/username in a secure document only you have access to.

3. What kind of Internet Department are you going to have? Cradle to grave where the ISM takes the up, works the deal and then delivers, or where someone receives the lead on the floor and works them with your supervision, or perhaps with BDC setting where people in a call center set the appointment and certain individuals show the vehicle and work the deal. Each has specific strengths and weaknesses, so determine which way your dealer wants to go.

4. What is your process? How long will you work leads, what types of templates will you use, etc.

5. Your CRM software can be as simple as Outlook for now, but there are many good vendors out there. An inexpensive one is Autojockey which has a lot of features and is not a lot of money.

6. Develop a spreadsheet to track your ROI! This is your lifeline. By tracking deals, profits, leads in, appts set, units sold and the profitability of the department is key to asking for more money and more leads!

7. Contact your lead providers like Cars, Autotrader, Dealix, AutoUSA, CDM Data, Dealer Specialties and ask for some time to meet, understand what they represent, any training opportunities they may have, and if they can come by and orient you ontheir back-end tools.

8. Ensure your merchandise is ready! Good quality, multiple photos will tell the story to a prospective customer that this is a vehicle worth looking at. Do not skimp, and if you are not satisified with the quality or number (I recommend at least 7-9) make changes!

Get with your Toyota Rep and see what help they have. There are some great resources out there, including this one! As you start to negotiate the course of an Internet Director, you will be exposed continually to more information and things to help make you better. Learn a little every day.

Good luck and stay in touch.

Gerald Hand
Internet Director
Toyota of Irving