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What is the Difference Between Automotive DMS and CRM?

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5 Min Read

Car dealerships use management software like CRM DMS, which helps them provide an exceptional customer experience during the car buying journey. Car dealerships focus on providing satisfied services to customers. Therefore, satisfied customers are more likely to revisit the dealership and spread positive word of mouth. But why do you need both Automotive DMS and CRM? What is the difference between both? Check out our informative blog on DMS vs CRM to find the answers to your questions.


What is Automotive CRM Software?

An automotive CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software solution helps automotive companies with sales, customer service, and marketing. CRM allows auto dealerships to coordinate a multi-channel sales operation, collect leads, foster and nurture deeper customer relationships, and improve their customers’ journeys. CRM automobile helps businesses revolutionize themselves. Therefore, the CRM market grew to 10% even during the pandemic. Auto companies observed improved conversion and retention rates, better access to customer data, and increased profits and revenue after the integration of CRM software.


What are the 3 Main Types of CRM Systems?

Automotive CRM helps car dealerships communicate with customers and create long-lasting, healthy relationships. The system analyzes and manages customer data and interactions to increase sales growth and improve customer service and retention. Additionally, CRM systems have expanded their number of tools and functions. Therefore, before purchasing a CRM system, it is essential to understand the three types: operational, analytical, and collaborative. This will help you know which CRM best suits your business.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM blends all business processes, such as sales, marketing, and customer service. It streamlines several processes for customer relationships and helps them apply them to the central business process. Further, it generates leads, converts them into contacts, and provides the service required to retain customers. It uses a shared platform and stores information on employees, leads, and customers to support business clients.

1) Marketing Automation: It helps car dealerships decide the most effective channels to target customers, such as phone calls, emails, and social media ads. Therefore, automation allows you to find the best way to approach your customers using campaign management modules.

2) Sales Automation: It organizes information to help car dealerships to increase sales and meet customers’ needs. Therefore, it includes various modules like contact management, lead management, and sales forecasting.

3) Service Automation: Service automation is the connection point between service teams and customers. Its functionality includes setting up inboxes aggregated with customer emails, setting up chatbots, and coordinating live chats. With ticketing systems, it also delegates service tasks to reps and includes FAQ pages as additional features.


Types of CRM


Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM helps dealerships turn large amounts of data into actionable insights to improve customer experiences. Data can include channels, customer preferences, trends, touchpoints, forecasting, etc. Therefore, it helps devise strategies to increase customer retention, develop new leads, and create efficiency for car dealership marketing and sales departments. However, the analytical CRM system is technical and needs a dedicated staff to understand.
Analytical automotive CRM systems are best for large and mid-size dealerships, as they can gather large amounts of data and refine it into insights and trends.

Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM, also known as strategic CRM, helps create a hassle-free customer experience by bridging the gap between departments and teams. It allows different departments in an organization to share customer information. Therefore, it helps the team make customer relationship management decisions from similar data and create a holistic approach. Collaborative CRM primarily focuses on customer service. At the same time, operational automotive CRM tools focus on sales and marketing. Collaborative CRM systems have two major components.

1) Interaction Management: It tracks touchpoints through numerous communication channels between a business and its customers. It also ensures that customers are not over-communicated by managing and monitoring each exchange. Over-communications might cause customers to block all forms of business.

2) Channel Management: It gathers information from interaction management to identify the best communication channel for a particular customer. It improves the information shared between marketing, sales, and customer support departments.


What is a (DMS) Dealer Management System?

DMS automotive meaning is to allow dealerships and service shops to manage their day-to-day operations. It uploads all the vehicle inventory on various platforms and includes tools for sales, finance, customer information management, vehicle inventory, and credit reports. Additionally, it contains tools for parts inventory, sales, administration, and service. When the process is centralized, the dealer management system increases efficiency and provides better interdepartmental cooperation.

What Does a DMS Do?

DMS automotive software enables dealerships to perform day-to-day functions. It encounters financing operations, sales operations, service operations, etc. All these dealership functions must work together. By combining all the required tools into a single platform, dealers can improve their businesses in each facet. A single platform allows you to manage your inventory, view service history, create point-of-sale invoices, and follow up on leads.


What is DMS?


Why is DMS Required?

Every automotive dealership can benefit from having a DMS. Anyone at a dealership, including accountants, service managers, technicians, and more, can boost productivity and efficiency. A DMS reduces inefficiencies between different apartments and manages all aspects of the business, including sales, services, finance, IT, or parts. Dealerships who are expanding their business and spending several hours finding the problems. DMS solutions can help them increase efficacy and resolve complex problems efficiently and swiftly.


What is the Relationship Between Automotive DMS and CRM?

Businesses need a DMS to effectively use the information provided by automotive CRM software. A CRM system collects loads of data about clients in the form of surveys, emails, call records, notes, and more. Further, employees generate new sales contracts, add specific sales to orders to customer files, and find existing paperwork when selling to existing customers or finding new ones. A DMS allows employees to store and find customer documents and details easily and eliminates unnecessary efforts and time spent on non-productive tasks.

If employees switch platforms (jump from DMS to CRM) to find details when dealing with customers, it can take a lot of time, and they might lose focus. A longer response time will cause the customers to lose interest, and dealerships will lose customers. That is why integrating DMS with CRM is essential for automotive dealerships to improve work efficiency.


Automotive CRM vs DMS

Automotive CRM and DMS work best when integrated. This allows dealerships to have a seamless flow of information between sales, service, and automotive marketing, leading to a more positive customer experience and a more profitable dealership. We have mentioned the difference between automotive DMS vs CRM below.

Automotive CRM Automotive DMS
CRM centralized the dealership’s business by automating customer interactions and outreach while tracking customer journeys. DMS streamlines and centralizes automotive business operations by organizing documents, from scans and contracts to text files and emails.
CRM collects and organizes the data into a tidy package, including customers’ purchasing information, interaction with ads, or getting help. DMS allows employees with easy and quick access to the documents. Therefore, it helps salespeople to close the deal quickly and efficiently.
It helps manage interactions with leads and existing customers throughout their buying experience. This includes:

  • Lead capture and nurturing
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Communication tools (email, text, phone)
  • Customer service tracking
  • Reporting and analytics on customer behavior
  • Personalized marketing campaigns
It focuses on the internal dealership operations and manages the day-to-day tasks and data essential for running a dealership smoothly. This includes:

  • Inventory management (vehicles, parts)
  • Vehicle history reports
  • Deal structuring and document generation (contracts, invoices)
  • Service scheduling and invoicing
  • Financial reporting and accounting


Benefits of Using Automotive CRM and DMS Together

DMS is an important office solution for information management, and CRM is necessary for your business. Employees who work only within CRM for companies and generate new leads are the best they can do. However, if your automotive dealership and its salespeople integrate desk manager DMS with CRM, they can save time on each transaction.

1) Find new customers: It allows them to find new customers without collecting new paperwork outside CRM and hunting down paperwork.


Benefits of using CRM and DMS together


2) Dealership Efficiency: DMS can help dealerships fill the loopholes, regardless of whether the company uses CRM. Choosing the right automotive DMS and CRM together can improve dealership efficiency.

3) Organize Documents: DMS helps dealerships record and organize all important documents. Therefore, it helps salespeople search for required documents swiftly and save time finding files on computers, filing cabinets, or emails. CRM provides essential sales data, while DMS collects financial data and internal information.


Why is it Necessary to Integrate Automotive CRM with DMS?

Automotive CRM is a perfect library where all the necessary information is tidily arranged. CRM in automotive integration without DMS is like a vehicle without fuel. CRM helps dealerships organize information about customer interactions and manage relationships. Meanwhile, DMS acts as a document storage and management system. It holds contracts, service records, and other crucial paperwork. Explore how integrating CRM with DMS cars can help your dealerships.

1) Reduced workload: Integration eliminates the need to manually search for information between separate systems, saving employees time and effort.

2) Improved efficiency: Automated workflows can streamline tasks like sending documents. This reduces delays and keeps things moving smoothly.

3) Cost savings: Integration can significantly reduce costs by minimizing wasted time and resources.


How Does an Automotive DMS and CRM Integration Work?

CRM helps dealerships collect customers’ information and tell employees what to do. It also helps salespeople sell more vehicles. Meanwhile, DMS automotive allows them to take the necessary action and provides the required paperwork and contracts to complete the process swiftly. Therefore, integrating CRM and DMS saves dealerships money and time and gives positive results. Find out how the integration works and how it can help your dealership below.

1) Workflow automation

Traditional emailing documents and information is a method of communication. An integrated system allows an automated workflow, eliminating missing contracts and lag time. CRM automatically organizes and sends the documents to the right place. Exchange-heavy processes such as training and onboarding can be dramatically accelerated.

2) Cost savings

CRM simplifies the process of finding and generating new customers. Meanwhile, DMS integration helps eliminate the unnecessary time spent chasing documents. Therefore, it boosts the dealership’s sales and revenue. Additionally, saving time can significantly reduce the business’s costs.

3) Saves time on manual data copy-paste

DMS cars allow dealerships to keep their documents organized. However, filling them out still requires a manual process. CRM system integration offers document templates that can be auto-filled with the correct information. Therefore, with this integration, a manual copy-paste is no longer required.



Automotive CRM vs DMS automotive software has different offerings to streamline the business process. However, their integration helps car salespeople speed up interactions and customer communications. Additionally, it eliminates the time-consuming haggling of finding and organizing the necessary documents. This saved time can help employees focus on essential tasks, streamline their strategies, and close more deals. Integration of both software can improve business workflow efficiency. However, it is important to research the best automotive CRM and DMS type that suits your business.


  • Q. What is DMS or CRM Retargeting?

    CRM retargeting collects a marketer’s first-party data, such as an email list, and matches it across known customers on any browser or device within logged-in media, such as email and social platforms.

    DMS retargeting tracks customers’ online activity and relies on the previous customer data and interactions stored in the company’s database.

  • Q. What are the benefits of integrating a DMS and CRM?

    CRM and DMS integrations improve the customer’s experience by providing a comprehensive view of clients’ journeys.

  • Q. What is the difference between a DMS, CRM, and ILM?

    DMS: DMS stands for Dealer Management System. The software platform helps manage deals, vehicle inventory, credit reports, customer information, and paperwork. It is considered a back-end part of the dealership.

    CRM: CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It helps analyze and manage customer interactions, improve customer relationships, and increase dealership sales.

    ILM: ILM stands for Internet Lead Management. It allows dealerships to manage their lead follow-up process through customizable messaging channels such as phone calls, emails, and text messages.

  • Q. What is the difference between CRM and customer MDM?

    CRM: CRM systems analyze and manage interactions and relationships with potential and existing customers. They include organized customer data, tools for storing and managing customer communications and interactions, and tools for analyzing customer preferences and behavior. The goal is to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction, identify marketing opportunities, and target new sales by improving customer service.

    MDM: MDM ensures that the data used by different systems and departments within the company is consistent, accurate, and up-to-date. It also helps to reduce inconsistencies, reduce the risk of errors, optimize business operations, and improve reporting accuracy and organizational efficiency.

  • Q. Can integrated CRM systems replace the DMS?

    No, an integrated CRM system can’t replace the DMS. A DMS provides a customer-centric view with relevant documents. However, a DMS remains essential for core dealership operations and document management due to its specialized functionality and compliance considerations.

  • Q. What is the importance of DMS and CRM for automotive dealerships?

    It helps to increase sales, improve customer service, create targeted marketing campaigns, and organize customer information and necessary documents.

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Team Spyne

Young, enthusiastic, and curious are the three words that describe Spyne’s content team perfectly. We take pride in our work - doing extensive research, engaging with industry experts, burning the midnight oil, etc. Every word we write is aimed at solving our readers’ problems.

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