Why Every Dealership Needs a Data Scientist

Dirty data is keeping you from your full sales potential

You likely collect millions of pieces of data about your customers and prospects every day. Collecting these data points is mostly a passive effort for your store or group since people create data about themselves as they go about their usual business online and in other digital spaces through Get E-Price lead forms and more.

That passivity is great to an extent—the data comes in and now you automatically have more information about your prospective buyers, data that you can easily track, segment, and store for later use. On the other hand, you’ve seen it before, a new lead comes in on a new model with the “ABC XYZ,” “email@email.com,” and “789-123-4567″ contact information fields. What are you doing today to keep your CRM clean and free of dead weight data?

This is the point where most dealerships go wrong.

The Dirty Secret of Dirty Data

The passive nature of gathering data is a blessing and a curse. Data on its own is just a jumble of information coming from different sources from people acting in all kinds of situations. This raw data on its own, before any clean-up, interpretation, or organization, is called “dirty data.” This is what most dealerships try to use, “as-is data”, and expect it to work wonders for their sales teams.

Those dealerships don’t see the results they want because raw, dirty data goes in too many different directions all at once. Dirty data is a muddled series of hundreds of thousands of clicks and inputs from thousands of consumers who are operating in all kinds of situations. If you try to follow every path this data leads you to, you’ll end up precisely nowhere.

Harnessing the Power of Data

So how do you turn dirty data into a powerful resource that lifts your sales team to their full potential and makes competitors wonder how you did it? You clean your data. This means sifting through millions of data points to determine what is useful.

If you do this correctly, and you know how to read the data you have, it will tell you a story about your buyers that you can take to the bank. Think about all the immersive content you can create if you can confidently know who your buyers are and what they’re currently driving, not just what you sold them back in 2012. The average person moves 10-12 times in their lifetime, so what is the likelihood that you have their correct address in your CRM or DMS? Think of all those wasted dollars spent on sending the wrong direct mail piece, with the wrong model, to the wrong person, at the wrong address. This is where clean data proves its worth.

What to Do If You Don’t Have a Data Scientist

Reading the story that data is trying to tell is usually best left to a data scientist. These professionals decipher random information and find patterns. They apply algorithms and models to interpret what data tells you about customers. They identify what is irrelevant, consolidate repetitive data points, and make sure entries are updated.

Most dealerships are not going to expect their staff to be data scientists, nor are they going to hire a dedicated data professional. Fortunately, you have other options for cleaning your data.

Learn to Clean Data Yourself

You can teach yourself to clean data, but wait, you have a dealership to run and promote! Your team members have their own jobs which do not include learning to be a data scientist. Plus, the sheer volume of data you’re up against is going to be a huge hurdle to getting your data clean any time soon.

The best-case scenario is that all of your sales and service staff are inputting the correct name, email, phone number, and address when they are in the dealership, but how often is this really the case? Sales staff are either incentivized on closing rate, where they don’t always enter every “up” in the CRM, or they are incentivized on the sheer volume of contacts, where they enter phony placeholder information just to check the box. At the end of the day, this missing/dirty data is weighing your operation down and costing you every year.

Use Software That Cleans Data

This type of software provides a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that acts as a data scientist to sort through your millions of data points and reveal what data is most useful for your dealership or group.

Your clean data now indicates what your customers want and where they are looking to do their online vehicle shopping. The software can use this information to identify where your customers are online and spin up automated communications for them, individualized messages to those who might be ready to buy or service. These automated AI tactics can get your prospective buyers where you want them in your sales funnel without any time spent by your sales team.

These software solutions can also create detailed reports that will prepare sales team members when customers come into the dealership. Basically, you gain a 24/7 artificial intelligence sales force to complement the expertise of your people. This all means that your team members can focus on what they do best: bringing home the sale.

Clean Data, Your Competitive Edge

Every dealership is collecting data about their potential buyers and trying to use it to boost sales. Take the first step to rise above the norm by cleaning your data so that you can harness its true power, increase your bottom line, strengthen your customer relationships, and unlock your sales team’s full potential.