Speeding up customer connections

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Infographics background laptop in the Social Media NetworkAfter working in a Toyota dealership for two years and selling over a million dollars worth of vehicles while dealing with “clunky” CRM and DMS systems, Zach Klempf knew there had to be a better way, for both dealer management and the sales staff.

Klempf envisioned a system that salespeople and managers would be encouraged to use because it was easy and quick for handling customer data and inventory records.

When the San Francisco-based Klempf, who started selling cars at the age of 19, later got involved with a business startup accelerator program, he saw the opportunity to develop his idea. He first created an iPhone app that allowed dealership sales staff to capture and organize client information.

With further fundraising, Klempf was able to then develop a full sales management platform that he said is “designed for modern dealerships.”

This led to the creation of Selly Automotive in 2014 with co-founder Joseph Dixon. The company offers a full dealership sales suite, with integrated CRM, Internet lead management, email marketing and inventory capabilities. The software also integrates with programs from major DMS providers.

He feels that his relatively young age, 24, helps him bring a fresh perspective to industry norms. “Over the next five to 10 years, we’re going to see more disruption and change in this industry than in the past 50 years,” said Klempf.

Klempf, who is CEO of Selly Automotive, saw the importance of making dealer systems mobile-centric and social savvy — the kind of things other millennials (those like himself who were born between 1982 and 2004) — understood and appreciated. He found existing CRM systems to be overly complex, and he believed dealerships needed fresh tools to cater to the mobile and social customer.

That first iPhone app has morphed into a new product called Selly Automotive Lite, available for iOS and Android. “We want to be true to the salesperson, so the Lite program is free,” said Klempf.

Selly Automotive now has thousands of users in more than 2,000 unique dealerships, mainly in the U.S., but also in Canada, Australia and Colombia, said Klempf.

Regarding Canada, Klempf said the company recently formed a partnership with SureFireSolutions.com, a DMS provider based in Kelowna, B.C. SureFire has integrated the Selly program and localized it for the Canadian market.

“That means the driver’s licence scanners work for Canada, we use kilometres instead of miles, and we also will be available in French,” said Klempf. “SureFire helped us understand the different nuances between the U.S. and Canada.”

A key component of the integrated program is Selly Mobile, which streamlines the data entry process for salespeople by offering driver’s licence and VIN scanning features.

Dealers that start out with the Selly mobile app “are going to see a 25 to 35 per cent increase in fresh ups entered into the system.” One of the big reasons for this is the driver’s licence scanner, said Klempf.

Klempf added that the integration with SureFire means all that information is sent to a dealership’s DMS system in real time.

“Dealers that are not using an Internet lead management system are leaving money on the table,” added Klempf. “With Internet-savvy consumers, it’s all about speed; it’s about responding to those customer enquiries as fast as possible.”

For more information, visit sellyautomotive.com.

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