What’s E Leads CRM? [Intro to Car Dealership CRMs]

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Car salespeople don't boast the best reputation.

Sometimes it's deserved:


Most of the time, it's not.

However, it's just something car dealership professionals have to live with.


Because this negative perception, together with advances in technology, has shaped the modern customer journey.

Car shoppers no longer drop by dealerships to find out about the latest models…

People do their busy work online and only head over to dealers to close the deal.

The stats back it up: car buyers do 9.5 hours of online research — a whopping 64% of the total time they spend shopping for a vehicle — and visit an average of 2.2 dealerships.

So how can you capture and nurture all these digital-first leads?

Invest in a sales CRM (like E Leads CRM) and seamlessly integrate its powerful capabilities into your marketing strategy. Duh. 😃

But let's not get ahead of ourselves; we need to take a step back and show you:

  1. What car dealership CRMs are, touching on E Leads CRM in particular
  2. Why car dealerships have specific CRM requirements
  3. The proven benefits of implementing a CRM solution
  4. Four inspirational success stories
  5. Five solid alternatives to E Leads CRM

Sound good?

Awesome, then let's put the pedal to the metal!

All You Need To Know About Car Dealership CRM Solutions

What Are E Leads CRM and Elead CRM Mobile?

This question is the reason you stumbled on this article, meaning it's pretty much mandatory for us to start here.

Elead CRM (commonly called “E Leads CRM” or “Eleads CRM”) is one of the leading customer relationship management solutions in the automotive industry.

It helps dealers manage their sales pipeline, convert prospects into sales, transform one-time buyers into loyal customers, and deliver “wow, that was helpful” service.

E Leads CRM also comes with a mobile application called Elead CRM Mobile, available for both Android and iOS. It's super handy for bringing actionable insights to your showroom salespeople, and collecting data on the fly, too.

All in all, Eleads is a fantastic automotive CRM solution.

But does this section leave you feeling a bit like this?

SNL jeopardy way too early


We thought so, too. And we completely get it.

You're not quite at the “deep dive into a specific solution” stage yet, so let's rewind our discussion and tackle a few overarching questions.

First up:

What Is a Car Dealership CRM?

Alright, so you know that E Leads CRM is an automotive CRM, a.k.a. a car dealership CRM.

But what exactly is that, and why should I bother learning?

Good questions. These are precisely the right places to start.

A car dealership CRM (or customer relationship management system) is a complex piece of software that completely revolutionizes the way car dealerships think about their leads, customers, and after-sales services.

It helps you take a customer-centric approach and deliver impressive levels of personalization.

For example, an automotive CRM makes it easy to collect information about a person online via your website and then make it available to salespeople when they drop by your dealership.

This way, you won't waste time showing a Fiat 500 to a die-hard Ford F-series fan.

There's a colossal difference, both in the cars and in the level of customer experience.

Ford Fiat


What other critical CRM features should you be aware of?

  1. Contact database management
  2. Optimized customer communication (i.e., via a softphone, SMS, email, and live chat)
  3. Marketing automation (i.e., automated email sequences, automated trigger notifications)
  4. Visual pipeline management
  5. Workforce planning
  6. Service and meeting scheduling
  7. Sales automation (i.e., automated sales forecasting, automated lead qualifying)
  8. Reporting and analytics

Told you they're complex pieces of software.

But don't panic; good CRMs like E Leads CRM and Ringy (that's us!) have a habit of turning complexity into a sweet ride for users.

Time for our next question:

What Are the Specific CRM Requirements of a Car Dealership?

E Lead CRM Mobile

Because yes, car dealerships are special, and they need some extra Barry White-style loving from their CRM.

Something not all CRMs are capable of delivering.

Here's the rundown on their six key tasks:

1. Keeps Things Simple in the Face of a Complex Sales Process

We realize we mentioned this point like five sentences ago.

And no, we don't have Alzheimer's (yet).

It's just so important we need to repeat it.

Selling cars is a manic affair.

You have a million potential touchpoints with your clients — think social media, offline, in the dealership, on your website, on your OEMs' websites, via a test drive, on an affiliate's site.

But why?

Because buying a car is an expensive purchase (often second only to purchasing a home) which comes with several tons of deliberation and careful consideration.

And this has the knock-on effect of making it necessary for dealers to equip themselves with a software tool that's been explicitly customized to simplify this long and winding journey.

They help customers make better decisions, and they keep you from losing your cool every time you open up your sales platform.

2. Enables Hyper-Personalization, the Key to a Superior Customer Experience

Did you know that 71% of customers are frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences?

And while the study didn't directly mention car shoppers, we have enough experience to say that number must be higher when people spend such a significant chunk of their earnings on a product that they'll sit in every day.

So what does that imply for dealership professionals?

It means that the way to get ahead and sell more cars is by providing a personalized shopping experience that goes miles beyond knowing your customer's name, address, and past purchases.

You have to dazzle them with things like:

  • A complete record of all their interactions with your company
  • Omnichannel marketing
  • Personalized discounts and experiences (i.e., a free test drive of your newest supercar)
  • Easy servicing
  • Tips and tricks on how to get the most out of their car

3. Fully Compatible With Industry-Specific Software, Workflows, and Tools

Dealerships have plenty of pre-existing software solutions.

We don't need to tell you; you already know all about things like a DMS (Dealership Management Systems), dealership inventory software, accounting tools, and OEM integrations.

However, we need to say that good CRMs should come with the ability to integrate with your existing systems effortlessly.

It makes life easier, and that's a little thing that goes a long way in convincing your staff to adopt your new sales platform.

4. A Mobile CRM Is a Must-Have, Not a Nice-to-Have

Gone are the days in which it was enough to update your CRM system once a day or even once a week.

Nowadays, you must carry your CRM around with you all the time.

Well, except when you're on holiday. Put it down then, because it won't help you at the beach.

But in the showroom and the vehicle lot, it's an entirely different deal.

Having a mobile CRM allows you to log all your customer interactions and pick up on a large range of subtle customer queues that you can use to create a better customer profile.

After all, remember that 41% of car buyers visit only one dealership, so if someone is in your shop, they're serious about buying, and you should be serious about turning that valuable interaction into a lifelong relationship.

One where the average person buys 9.4 cars in their lifetime! $$$!

5. Doesn't Ignore Your Service Department

Is this any way to treat your customers after you've installed a shiny new CRM system?


Absolutely not, right?

We think so, too.

And that's why you need to avoid CRMs that aren't equipped to handle customer service, repairs, and maintenance appointments.

Well, that is if you have a service department… because if you don't, you can ignore this requirement and skip straight to the last one.

But if you do, your CRM needs to handle the two types of customers and leads you serve — car buyers and car owners.

Your long-term relationships depend on it.

6. Features Both a User-Friendly Interface and an Easy Onboarding Process

Last but not least, nobody wants to have to struggle with their CRM software.

Poor UX is the single biggest roadblock to CRM adoption and usage. If a software program is clunky or hard-to-use, then people simply ignore it.

It's a problem every single industry faces, but nowhere is it as bad as in car dealerships.

What plagues us?

An ultra-high turnover rate of over 40%.

That's about three times higher than the national average of 12% to 15% annually in the USA.

This means car dealership salespeople are amongst the least likely to put in the effort of learning how to use a complex, confusing solution.

And that, in turn, means there's no need to add insult to injury by implementing a CRM system that requires a long sales training period.

Pro tip — check out your chosen CRM's knowledge base, forum, and user guides before signing up (or at least during the free trial period) to see how easy it is for agents to use.

Now onto our third and final question (not counting the FAQs at the end of this post):

What Are the Benefits of a Car Dealership CRM?

SMS Phone Leads

A (good) automotive CRM meets these six industry-specific requirements with flying colors and delivers a host of benefits to its users.

Here's a quick overview of how it can change the way you do business:

The Benefit

Why It Matters

More efficient lead management

  • Track prospects no matter how they enter your funnel (SMS leads, email leads, phone leads, physical leads, etc.)
  • Be quick to respond and gain the first-mover advantage
  • Nurture leads on autopilot with automation

Streamlined communication with customers and prospects

  • Get access to a single platform that unites all communication: online, email, phone, and SMS
  • Generate auto-replies and automated sequences and never leave anyone feeling ignored

Faster turnaround times

Better workload management

  • Know who's selling what and to who
  • Track performance and identify high-fliers and slowpokes
  • Make sure your showroom is always adequately staffed

Optimized marketing efforts and spend

  • Identify effective marketing channels
  • Allocate budget based on proven tactics
  • Share discounts only with the right type of customers

Easy scheduling

  • Book in sales calls or servicing appointments with ease
  • Cut down wait times and increase customer satisfaction

High ROI

Car Dealership CRM Success Stories

Not sure you believe all of these benefits?

We get it. It's hard to take someone's word in 2021. Darned social media and fake news!

But no worries, we'll take this modern challenge on the chin and show you how CRM benefits car dealers with four customer success stories that'll also serve you as inspiration for your future CRM implementations.



How they used a car dealership CRM



Qvale Auto Group decided to use a CRM to build a central virtual business development center (VBDC) for their entire US operations.

It handles the inbound and outbound calls for anything that's sales, service, or vehicle servicing related.

  • Cut costs


  • Made 31,000 outbound calls


  • Generated $750,000 of revenue

Access Auto Sales

Access Auto Sales turned to Selly Automotive's CRM for help optimizing their lead management process.

They received a sales pipeline, a central database of SMS phone leads, customer profiles, and powerful marketing automation.

  • Improved customer experience


  • 11% increase in sales

Suzuki South Africa

Supported by its automotive CRM, Suzuki SA ran an inbound marketing campaign targeting car buyers in the early stages of the sales funnel.

They built awareness, shared valuable content, and funneled qualified leads straight to their dealers who could take action and sell cars.

  • 21% higher sales


  • 42% increase in market share


  • 12.5x the web traffic

San Francisco Toyota

San Francisco Toyota wanted to join Toyota's SmartPath, an OEM digital marketing initiative aimed at helping customers do more online.

To make it work, they turned to DealerSocket for a CRM that could integrate with their website and ensure an omnichannel approach to selling cars.

  • 40% rise in conversion rates


  • 173% increase in blog traffic


Ready to emulate this success?

Awesome, you have two choices:

  1. Go for E Leads CRM ownership and trust the pioneer of car dealership CRMs.
  2. Learn more about five alternatives that give E Leads CRM a real run for their money.

We suggest you go for option two because it won't take long, and you won't regret the extra bit of research if you find the perfect CRM for your budget and needs.

Five Proven Alternatives to E Leads CRM




The Best Standalone Sales CRM for Car Dealerships

Ringy is our very own CRM platform.

But don't worry; that's not why we added it to this article. We'd be the first to drop it if we thought it didn't work for our automotive customers.

Ringy is here because it's a solution we're proud of, one that helps salespeople spend their days selling and frees them from the weight of low-value tasks.

This is what you need to know:


  • Visual sales pipeline and customizable customer profiles
  • Super affordable at only $109 a month for unlimited users
  • Integrated VOIP, email, and SMS messaging
  • Local presence dialing from all 50 US states
  • Cutting-edge sales and marketing automation tools
  • Perfect for nurturing email and SMS leads
  • Top-notch customer service
  • Free onboarding
  • Comes with iOS and Android mobile apps


  • Doesn't integrate with certain dealership programs out-of-the-box (it's not the end of the world — just ask us if you have any doubts or you'd like to request a custom integration)
  • Better for sales teams than service teams

Solera DealerSocket

Solera DealerSocket


The Best for All-in-One Dealership Software

Solera DealerSocket is an excellent all-in-one program that features both a robust CRM platform and a comprehensive DMS.

It provides you with total dealership management — one solution for controlling all your processes, from the front office to the back office and everything in between.

We'd definitely consider it if we were planning to replace our legacy systems.


  • Designed by auto industry professionals
  • Separate workflows and solutions for sales, service, and repair teams
  • Easy to split between new and used car departments
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Good marketing automation
  • User-friendly
  • Works for all types of dealers, including BHPH (buy here, pay here) and independent
  • Web-based inventory management


  • Pricey at about $750 a month
  • Customer service not always effective




The Best Solution for Dealer Groups and Large Franchises

If you're working for a large dealership with a good collection of franchises or locations, VinSolutions needs to be your first stop after E Leads CRM.

Or maybe even before it.

VinSolutions transform mountains of customer data into a single version of the truth and then helps you use it to streamline your car-buying processes and close more sales.

Sound good?

That's because it is. But remember, you'll have to pay top dollar.


  • Phenomenal data management
  • Intuitive platform
  • Easy to onboard staff
  • Comes with a dedicated performance manager
  • Excellent mobile app
  • OEM-certified by all the major automotive manufacturers
  • Secure as can be
  • Great integrations with other dealership software


  • Very expensive (quote only available on request)
  • Not suited for small and medium-sized dealers

Hubspot CRM

Hubspot CRM


The Best Generic CRM With a Free Version

A lot of people ask us, “does HubSpot work for Automotive companies?”

Put your minds at ease — Hubspot CRM is a great low-cost choice for dealers, especially if they want to transform their inbound marketing strategy (like Suzuki South Africa did, member?).

You just need to accept that it hasn't been customized out-of-the-box.

It's no biggie, but you have to prepare (mentally and financially) to do it yourself if you run into workflows that need modifying.


  • World-class automation
  • Free, limited-functionality package available
  • Affordable pricing that starts at $50 a month
  • Can easily be integrated with a service hub
  • Powerful analytics
  • Access to Hubspot community and dedicated support


  • Might need custom coding to integrate with specific dealership software
  • Repair and servicing workflows need to be personalized

Selly Automotive

Selly Automotive


The Best Solution for Independent/BHPH Dealers

Selly Automotive is one of the few car dealership CRMs targeting independent dealers, BHPH businesses, and one-man shows.

And it does it remarkably well.

For a fraction of the price of VinSolutions or Solera DealerSocket, you get access to pre-customized automotive CRM that understands the unique challenges small car dealerships face.

It's a good alternative for people not wanting to customize Hubspot or integrate Ringy with their current software.


  • Easy onboarding and training
  • Affordable at c. $100 a month (exact pricing only available on request)
  • Integrates with most popular DMSs (i.e., Frazer, Wayne Reaves, AutoManager)
  • Email and SMS lead marketing
  • Appointment and scheduling management
  • Mobile app with driver license and VIN (vehicle identification number) scanner


  • Not as powerful as the other CRMs on this list
  • Doesn't work for large dealerships

E Leads CRM and Car Dealership CRM FAQs

Are you looking for a bit more information about automotive CRMs?

We've got you covered with four frequently asked questions we hear all the time:

What Is a Car Dealership CRM?

Time for a bit of repetition, eh?

Good thinking.

A car dealership CRM (or customer relationship management system) is a software tool that optimizes how car dealerships manage their leads, contacts, customers, and after-sales services.

It allows you to take a customer-centric approach and deliver hyper-personalization. All without breaking a sweat, thanks to automation.

Is E Leads CRM the Best Automotive CRM for Car Dealerships?

It's definitely in the top 6, but we can't say if it's the best for you.

That's up to you to decide by carefully reviewing its features, monthly pricing, and integrations.

We recommend you take your favorite CRMs for a test drive before committing. Kind of like you would with a new car from a brand you're not entirely familiar with.

What CRM Do Car Dealerships Use?

Car dealerships are spoiled by choice.

But rather than giving you a mile-long list, we'll simply repeat the six market-leading platforms we've already discussed in this post:

  1. Elead CRM
  2. Ringy
  3. Solera DealerSocket
  4. VinSolutions
  5. Hubspot CRM
  6. Selly Automotive

Check them out!

What's the Difference Between an Automotive CRM and a DMS?

You know all about car dealership CRMs — they're primarily concerned with prospects (from email to SMS phone leads), customers, and everything else that's front office in the exciting world of sales.

On the other hand, a DMS (Dealership Management Systems) is their slightly shyer brother that prefers to manage back-office functions like processing sales, financing, warranties, insurance, and vehicle inventory.

You should have both platforms.

Conclusion: Start Using a Car Dealership CRM Today

You've put a lot of miles on the clock today.

Let's revisit the main things you've learned about car dealership CRMs:

Key Takeaways



  • A software tool that transforms how car dealerships manage their leads, contacts, customers, and after-sales services

Dealership requirements

  • Simplify complex sales processes
  • Run hyper-personalization
  • Fully compatible with industry-specific tools
  • Includes:
    • A mobile CRM
    • Service department features
    • A user-friendly interface and an easy onboarding process

CRM benefits

  • More efficient lead management
  • Streamlined communication
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Better workload management
  • Optimized marketing efforts
  • Easy scheduling
  • High ROI

Top solutions

  • E Leads CRM
  • Ringy
  • Solera DealerSocket
  • VinSolutions
  • Hubspot CRM
  • Selly Automotive

Before we go, we think:

  1. Congratulations are in order for sticking it out until the end. 🙌
  2. We should mention our customized demos of Ringy — the commitment-free way to compare our sales solution to what you'd enjoy with E Leads CRM ownership.

Happy driving!

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