Buckeye Marine Reaps the Benefits of Full Integration with IDS CRM

Buckeye Marine
Recognized as the top Canadian dealership by Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers, Buckeye Marine, located in Bobcaygeon, ON, prides itself on more than 60 years of long-standing relationships in the boating community, giving back to the industry, and providing the best in customer service for the generations of customers who have walked through their doors.

Buckeye Marine implemented the IDS Astra Dealer Management System in 2004 to help manage the everyday operations of their business. Marketing Manager Carly Poole and the staff at Buckeye Marine determined that using two separate programs to manage their CRM and dealer management operations just wasn’t cutting it.  They turned to IDS for a fully-integrated solution and have already noticed major improvements.  Continue reading to see how IDS CRM has improved their sales process.

IDS: Sales management and accountability is vital for profitability in a marine dealership.  Can you tell us how your sales team manages customers on a daily basis and how implementing IDS CRM has helped?

Carly: “I’d say the fewest steps you can give salespeople to successfully go from having somebody that they don’t know to having a new customer, the better.  This comes anywhere from the implementation of the contact information, to figuring out what type of history they have, to what type of boat they are looking at, and all the way down the line.  This is where IDS CRM has helped.

One of the biggest reasons we chose IDS CRM is because everything is in one place.  It’s seamless because you don’t have to go from paper, to this system, to that system to get the end result.  It’s far superior to have all of your contacts and leads in one place and know what is happening within the sales department as a whole.  You can’t do that as easily when you are on a paper system.  There are people out there who still use paper and it’s very difficult to measure and to manage, especially when you are dealing with more than one salesperson.

If you want a good grasp on your sales prospects, you need to know exactly what’s in your queue and how much business is on the table.  Not only that, but you need visibility of how much business you are losing, who you are losing it to, and why.  If you have one salesman who is consistently losing boats to XYZ marine, than you have a pretty good idea that you need to talk to that salesperson and figure out if they need some more product knowledge to sell against the competitive brand, or other coaching.  I think it’s a really good thing to make sure that type of reporting is in place.  Its significantly easier with IDS CRM than it is with a paper system.”

IDS: What other factors helped you decide to go with IDS’s CRM product?

Carly: “We were trying to move away from having a bunch of standalone systems that were either paper or electronic outside of IDS.  We wanted something integrated into our Astra dealer management system.  Prior to IDS CRM, we used a competitive product, which was a standalone leads management program.  We found there was lot of duplication of work.  The software would get the information into our existing program, the email leads, and those type of things.   Our salespeople would work them within that external system and then once we would sell the unit, they would transfer it and type in all the information again into IDS in order to move forward.  So the integration of IDS CRM has been super helpful for us because it eliminates double entry and saves time as all of our leads and contacts are in same place and move seamlessly between different stages of the sales process.

We also have the visibility to see other things that are happening within the system.  We can view customer purchase history, their service history and different appointments that have been scheduled in the CRM.  This clear visibility obviously wasn’t accessible with two standalone systems.”

IDS: Can you tell us how you go about your email campaigns and how you utilize the CRM integration with Bronto?

Carly: “We send our emails with Bronto and it is awesome!  The tracking within it is superior to the product we were using before because it’s far more intuitive.  We love it!

It is my intention to start using some automatic work flows.  We actually have the list of different workflows that we want to setup so people get automated emails.  We are also looking into the different availabilities of social media integration.  I think that will be a really great feature.”

IDS:  Can you give examples of some marketing campaigns you are planning to implement with IDS CRM?

Carly: “Service is big one and we will have the functionality to serve those workflows.  When a service order is billed out, we can automatically send them a notification/email which includes a link to a survey.  It’s not something that we really had functionality to do before because our mass email system did not speak to IDS.   This will be a huge advantage for us.

We’ll also have the ability to do more marketing directly to our existing customers that just brought their boat in.  If somebody has a repair that’s over X number of dollars, we could trigger a message that encourages them to take a look at our new boats.  We are really excited about that potential!”

IDS: What does your sales team think about IDS CRM system?

Carly: “Although we are still wrapping our minds around all the great functions of the system, our staff is very happy with our move to CRM. There are several features we enjoy specifically.  One is the sales management tool.  It is helpful because it allows us to check the dashboard and see, for example, that George has had this many leads coming in and he has disqualified 90%.  But Susan has the same amount of leads coming in and has qualified 90% of them.  What’s George doing wrong?  Maybe we need to talk to him and discover where the objections lie.

Marking the contact’s opportunity won or lost is also a great addition that we previously didn’t have.  We had the ability to mark them sold, but we didn’t have the opportunity to mark one lost and give a reason.  Now the salespeople have to give reason.  Again, it allows us to see how many deals we are losing to ABC marine, and what are they doing differently than us.  So that’s really beneficial.

Our senior sales professional will tell you that his favorite part is that emails are synchronised through Outlook.  When they send an email from their iPhone or their Blackberry, it’s automatically updated in CRM and as well as their Outbox.  He loves that and thanks us often for switching to CRM!

This senior sales rep has been using CRM for about a year at this point and he far prefers this tool over the systems that we used in the past.  He thinks it’s much easier to use because of the integration.  It eliminates steps so he doesn’t have to email in one system then email on another system and everything is in different places.

We are also very excited about having the mobile tool.  I think the more momentum there is toward web applications the better.  We have seen that all our manufacturers are offering either applications for tablets or iPhones, Androids, Blackberry’s, etc., so this is great addition within the CRM system.”

IDS: Finally, can you tell us how your CRM training experience and support has been with IDS?

Carly: “My training experience was fantastic!  Mark Berggren went through the process of CRM, which really helped us get a clear understanding of the intention of the system through how it’s built.  That made things more streamlined for us at the end of the day.  What I really appreciated about Mark being here was his flexibility. He was very well versed in the all areas of the system.  There really wasn’t a question he either couldn’t answer or work to instantly get the answer to.  When you are just learning IDS CRM, you might not have gotten all the answers.  But because he was able to answer the questions that were outside of the CRM, it made everything flow together quite nicely.  That was incredibly beneficial.

The other thing that’s been huge is what type of customer service is available.  I personally can say that I have been very fortunate to deal with some really great people at IDS.  Whether it’s a question about not understanding how to use the CRM system, or a question about something I don’t think is functioning properly, I have been very fortunate to get to somebody who has been very helpful.”

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