A Top 50 New York RV Dealership Turns to IDS CRM to Manage their 12,000-plus Contact Base

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Wilkins RV dealer storyWilkins RV, a third-generation family owned dealership located in Bath, NY, has a long-standing tradition of providing great service to its customer base.  Having been recognized by RV Business Magazine as a Top 50 dealer, Brian Wilkins and his staff know what it takes to run a successful RV business.

Since implementing IDS in 1995, Wilkins RV has seen an increase in both sales and productivity.  By maintaining one of the top RV dealerships in New York, the business needs to constantly stay in front of their 12,000-plus contact base.  They are turning to IDS CRM for improved communication.

Business Challenge:  Reach 12,000-plus Contact Base on a Consistent Basis

With such a large contact base, it’s essential for Wilkins RV to keep its audience engaged on a continual basis.  Although Brian Wilkins and his staff have been able to produce some monthly newsletters and direct mail, they have found it challenging to stay in front of their contact base in a consistent and affordable way.


Solution: IDS CRM and Email Integration

Wilkins RV took the integration within their IDS dealer management software to the next level by implementing Astra G2 CRM into its business.  By combining their contact database and follow-up process with all the sales, service and financial history, the dealership has the ability to produce content relevant to its contact base and follow-up on prospects’ wants and needs.


Results: Increased Communication at an Affordable Rate

Affordable Email Blasts

By sending e-newsletters out through Bronto, Brian Wilkins and his staff have significantly reduced the added cost of direct mail and outsourcing newsletters.

“We spent a lot of money on direct mail, which is obviously very expensive,” said Brian.  “E-newsletters cost so much less.  I think people are going to open up an email as quickly as they open a direct mail piece. So I see a lot of opportunity there.

We’re seeing good results out of it.  That’s something that Bronto allows us to do more effectively.  Previously we’ve been using our web provider to help us create e-newsletters.  It can be a little expensive and Bronto is more cost-effective way of creating that.”


Ability to Send Multiple Newsletters per Month

With a more affordable, on-site method to send out newsletters each month, Wilkins RV now has the ability to send out weekly newsletters, each focusing around a different area of the business.

“In the past we’ve been inconsistent in creating and sending out e-newsletters,” said Brian.  “We now average about two per month consistently and we’re trying to get to the point where we send one per week.  Just the other day we sent one out that was geared around our satellite antennas and satellite dish receivers. We’re trying to rotate our newsletters among the departments.  So once a month we will send a sales-related newsletter, once a month we will send a parts-related newsletter, once a month it will be service-related and once a month we will send a letter that will be related to the products that we sell in the business office.”


Automated Follow-up Capabilities

By tracking its contact base’s wants and needs, the sales staff now has the ability to automatically follow-up with prospects who are interested for a particular vehicle the moment it comes in.  Having this ability allows them to continuously stay in front of prospects and creates the potential to close more deals.

“The sales staff likes the ability to search when a new vehicle comes in and search for customers that are looking for that vehicle,” said Brian.  “They like the ability to follow-up using email versus phone call and the ability to send emails and automatic notifications.  They can see that we got this trailer in yesterday and we’ve got five or six prospects that are looking for something like that and can easily let them know.  Those are great tools that should help them attract more customers.”


Improved Sales Management

With all of the customer activity and follow-up procedures integrated in IDS CRM, Brian and his staff now save time from manually tracking sales staff’s productivity and see great potential in increasing sales and profitability.

“CRM provides a lot more capability,” adds Brian.  “It’s a system that gives us the potential to get to where we want to go.  We’ve been manually tracking our sales staff’s productivity and CRM gives us the ability to do that electronically.  We’ve got the ability to track their production.  We can track what they’re doing on a daily basis, how many phone calls they made, how many emails they sent and can view sales productivity reports.  It’s an overall effective way to track their progress.”



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