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Autotrader.com switches to Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Auto classifieds Web site Autotrader.com has signed Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide customer relationship management tools, replacing the site’s legacy CRM software.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which is already used by some of Autotrader’s sister companies, was chosen after the company reviewed various off-the shelf tools and its own legacy system. Microsoft’s ease-of-use, its tracking tools and its flexibility made the system appealing to Autotrader, and the fact that it integrates into Microsoft Outlook sealed the deal.

“That it was integrated into Microsoft Outlook doesn’t sound like a big deal, but from a salesperson’s perspective, for someone who is mobile and wants access to the CRM tools wherever he is, Dynamics’ integration within that application suite made it a very feasible tool for us to use,” said Gib Finley, director of sales and service technologies, Autotrader.com.


Executives at Autotrader hope that the new Microsoft system will improve the sales teams’ trending and forecasting, thus improving sales. The system’s mobile capabilities should also make the sales force more efficient, while Microsoft Dynamics’ central database is expected to streamline and improve the accuracy of the data the team is working with.


“It certainly does help with the customer lifecycle management,” Finley said. “We can see the activity that’s occurring between our sales force and the end customer. We can see the entire lifecycle, from picking up a contact to changing that contact to an opportunity, to managing account information to tracking which deals have closed. There’s simply much more visibility into what is happening day-to-day with those customers.”


He added that Autotrader is working toward being able to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for campaign management and lead management. For now, though, the goal is widespread adoption of the tool among the sales force and to provide a more consultative selling model based on Dynamics data.


Autotrader.com works with more than 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private owners to connect car buyers and sellers. The site receives 14 million unique visitors per month.


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