VinSolutions has been one of the top dealer CRMs for over a decade thanks to their simplicity, hands-on training, and integrations with other popular tools.
In this Dealer Guide, we will cover everything you need to know about VinSolutions:
- Features and Tools
- Cost and ROI
- Training and Customers Support
We want to see your dealership to succeed. That’s why we’ve created a library of guides for dealership software tools. We hope these guides help you find the best tools for your business.
Ready to dive into VinSolutions? Let’s go!
Products and Tools
VinSolutions is a CRM first and foremost, but they also have other powerful tools for dealers. As part of the Cox Automotive family, they integrate seamlessly with the rest of the Cox fleet, including Dealertrack and vAuto.
VinSolutions products include:
VinSolution’s most popular product, Connect CRM is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for managing customer relationships. Connect CRM is as flexible as it is powerful, so salespeople can customize their workflows and use automation to save time.
For example, Connect CRM’s Data Append feature automatically updates customer data and reconciles duplicate customer records.
Connect CRM is full of features that make salespeople more efficient. There’s Connect Mobile—the smartphone app that lets salespeople update customer information on the go—and Call Tracking for holding staff accountable while interacting with customers.
Dealers use Connect CRM to make data-driven decisions with fully-customized reports and data visualizations. At the same time, dealers can be confident that customer data is secure in the Documents Library.
From VinSolutions: “Make informed decisions faster and easier with fully customizable reports. Review key metrics for your entire store with custom data visualizations, and see your group-level metrics in one report with Enterprise Reporting & Analytics.”
Financing is a complicated process. There are dozens of potential lenders, manufacturer-incentivized rates, and payment structures. Connect Desking helps dealers find the best deals based on a customer’s credit score and preferences, then shows customers several financing options side-by-side to compare.
Connect Desking integrates with Dealertrack and other certified DMS’s so that dealers can quickly create loan worksheets based on their financing calculations. This streamlined sales process makes customers happy and dealerships more profitable.
Car buyers spend more time researching online than they do at dealerships. VinSolution’s Inventory Management tool makes it easy to update vehicle listings and merchandise them across third-party sites.
From VinSolutions: “Quickly pull details for any vehicle on your lot – from your phone or your desktop – and create rich descriptions and compelling listings with Connect Inventory Management.”
VinSolutions offers a suite of marketing tools that allow dealers to create customized promotions for the right customer at the right time.
Connect Campaigns lets dealers create and schedule customized marketing messages, while TargetPro is VinSolution’s email marketing tool. TargetPro identifies profitable customer segments and recommends what messages to send and when. For a completely turnkey solution, VinSolutions has TargetPro+, a service where a campaign manager will create and manage marketing for your dealership.
Learn more: How AdCue automates advertising for dealerships
There are a lot of car appraisal apps on the market. VinSolutions has two tools to help dealers on this front: Connect Vehicle Valuations and Connect Market Pricing. The tools work together to give dealers a real-time understanding of car prices in their area.
The downside for dealerships is that they must navigate two separate tools. Other car appraisal apps combine valuations and market pricing to streamline the appraisal process.
Accurate used car appraisals are critical to maximizing profitability in today’s world of shrinking margins. The problem is, appraisal prices fluctuate constantly. That’s why dealers need a real-time market data tool to identify the right price at the right time.
VinSolutions also integrates with vAuto, another Cox Auto product that provides real-time market data and inventory management. However, vAuto is sold separately from VinSolutions and can get pricey.
VinSolutions Special Features
VinSolutions is different from other CRMs thanks to their hands-on dealership support, seamless integrations with the Cox family of products, and their close relationship with OEMs.
Every VinSolutions customer is assigned a performance manager: an auto dealership expert that helps teams optimize their use of VinSolutions tools and services. Performance managers identify key areas of improvement with weekly performance calls for the first month and monthly calls after that.
VinSolutions, as part of Cox Automotive, integrates seamlessly with other tools in the Cox family. Integrations include:
- Desking and data-sharing with Dealertrack
- Ad campaigns with AutoTrader
- Real-time market data with vAuto
- Tracking digital leads with Dealer.com
The downside with being part of the Cox family is that the best integrations are with other Cox tools. While VinSolutions does work with outside tools, the integrations are not as seamless or powerful.
Franchise dealerships can rest assured knowing that Connect CRM is certified by all major manufacturing brands. VinSolutions goes out of their way to regularly update these certifications so that your dealership is always compliant.
Cost and ROI
For all its features and functionality, VinSolutions is still relatively affordable compared to other CRMs, making it a popular choice for medium and large dealerships.
However, it is still out of the price range for most small dealers.
According to G2 Crowd, the perceived cost of VinSolutions is in the 67th percentile. That means dealers believe it costs more than two-thirds of the tools on the market.
VinSolutions doesn’t share its pricing publically. The only way to know the exact monthly cost is to schedule a demo. Depending on the size of your dealership and the upgrades you choose, expect VinSolutions to cost several hundred to several thousand dollars a month. Other Cox Automotive products are sold separately.
Even if your bill is at the higher end of that spectrum, VinSolutions can deliver a positive ROI in several ways:
- Helping you close more deals
- Improving your marketing spend
- Holding your sales team more accountable to their monthly numbers
Training and Customer Support
A CRM could have the greatest features on the planet, but if their customer support is terrible, dealerships will never adopt it.
Training is where VinSolutions excels. They know the first month after install is critical for team adoption. If a dealership doesn’t learn the ins and outs of VinSolutions in the first 30 days, they probably never will.
That’s why every VinSolutions customer is assigned a performance manager to hold weekly review calls for the first month. During these calls, dealerships can ask technical questions and get advice on how to best use VinSolutions. Performance calls continue on a monthly basis after the first 30 days.
Beyond performance managers, VinSolutions offers an extensive resource library with articles, documents, and webinars for continuous education. Customers can also attend workshops to learn new features and best practices.
Is VinSolutions right for you?
VinSolutions is a powerful tool that many customers love. They focus on simplicity, integrations, and hands-on training to ensure dealers get the most out of each feature.
One downside of VinSolutions is that their deepest integrations are with other Cox Automotive tools. If you personally dislike Dealertrack or vAuto, the integrations aren’t going to be valuable to you.
The other downside for some dealers is the price. While moderately priced compared to all dealership tools, VinSolutions is still a hefty investment and often too much for small dealerships.
Be sure to do your own research on VinSolutions by requesting a demo and reviewing the features on their site. You can also review other software product guides on our website.
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