In a nutshell…

  • Sales
  • Sales Process

National Car Buyers purchase a huge quantity of second hand cars from individuals each month. Thanks to Covid the small team had to find a way to quickly and successfully appraise vehicles remotely while ensuring the customer understood the process and felt supported throughout.

Zoho CRM is used as the source of truth for their customer data, providing the platform from which to systemise and automate each step of the sales process. With the end to end process in place not only is it easier to train new team members on the sales patter, it ensures crucial verification steps are not missed and the customer is kept informed at each stage of the purchase.

The National Car Buyers team calculated time saved through the reduction of data entry and processing to be at least one hour for each won Deal. And for those that don’t go all the way, at least 30 minutes was shaved off the processing time.

The time saved already equates to at least 40 hours of reduced admin time each week!

The brief

To be able to quickly close the deal, it is imperative that the National Car Buyers team engage with the seller quickly, with the aim to make the car purchase easy, painless and as fast as possible for the Customer.

They required a system that could manage data entry by external and internal team members, the collection of photos and documents from customers, the ability to verify information and most importantly provide a tool that ensured the sales team could consistently and easily step through the sales process.

The solution

  • HTML webpage
  • Zoho CRM
  • Zoho Flow
  • Zoho WorkDrive

Squirrel worked closely with key members of the team to devise a solution that utilised a number of the Zoho One applications with the overarching goal of the CRM implementation to reduce repetitive data entry, centralise customer data and create a process that was easy for new team members to follow.

The five key areas that we focused on were:

1. Data Collection
2. Systemised Sales Process
3. Communication Automation
4. Contract Generation
5. Third Party Integrations

Lead Creation

Leads are added to the CRM via an outsourced team who use a Zoho Form to enter information from an external system (with no API access). The form is set up to mirror the order of data in the external system to speed up entry and reduce mistakes.

Streamlined data collection processes

Prior to Covid vehicle inspections were often carried out in person which was a time consuming process – or worse, via digital inspection meaning photos were supplied by clients on a variety of platforms (SMS, WhatsApp, Email) meaning photos had to be downloaded, renamed, saved – taking up precious time that could be better utilised. With restrictions in place the team had to refine the way car inspections were carried out to ensure the business could continue.

A Zoho Form was created that guided the Customer through the process of taking and uploading photos of every angle and required component of the car. Once submitted the photos were uploaded to Zoho WorkDrive where, using Zoho Flow, they were moved to the Customer’s master folder that was automatically created when the Lead record was generated.

Data Process

The decision was made to push documents to WorkDrive to manage CRM storage limits while still keeping files within the Zoho ecosystem. The folder is linked to the record in the CRM via a field with the URL, allowing for ease of access. Permissions are set to allow limited access to just the photos for the Wholesaler Request Platform.

Systemised Sales Call

Central to the buying process is a detailed call script built using Zoho Forms. This form uses a number of form layout rules to hide and show data based on requirements and step the Buying Consultant through the sales process.  A number of checkboxes and trigger fields in the Form ensure that on submission the Lead is updated and the next pieces of communication are sent to the Customer.

Communication Automation

With time of the essence it is vital that new leads are contacted as quickly as possible. Using CRM workflows set to business hours, as soon as the lead is created a welcome email is sent, clearly outlining the process and introducing the team.  Shortly after an SMS is sent to ensure the Lead knows the team is onto their enquiry.

Integration with third party systems

As part of the verification process the team must complete a PPSR check (Personal Property Securities Register) to establish if there are any legal or financial issues linked to the vehicle. Each verification requires the user to login, enter the VIN, download a PDF of the certificate and enter the required information into the CRM.

Third Party System Integrations

Squirrel automated this entire process via an API integration with PPSR. Now as soon as a new Lead is added to the CRM the PPSR check is triggered, the certificate is added to the WorkDrive folder and the relevant fields are updated in the CRM record. This automation alone saves over 5 minutes per record!


Contract Generation

With the vehicle verified via the photos submitted, the seller identified, and the finances and banking details checked it’s time to generate the contract. Previously this process involved finding digital files from a number of locations, updating a master spreadsheet with all of the buying and selling details and printing to PDF before uploading to a digital signing tool.

Squirrel developed a multi-use contract template using Zoho Writer. With conditional formatting this document works for individual or company purchases, minimising the chance of the wrong document being used. Once the document is merged and checked in Writer it is sent via Zoho Sign. As the native Zoho Sign integration isn’t available in our custom module a webhook is used to update the CRM with the document status and Zoho Flow is used to move the file to the Customer folder.

NCB wholesaler platform GIF

But wait, there’s still more!

With all of these cars being snapped up in record time the National Car Buyers team needed a fast and seamless way to spruk these cars (now for sale) to their wholesale network.

Squirrel built a custom web-based platform upon which invited wholesalers could access via a unique link. When a car is available for purchase, by simply updating a field in the CRM record an email and SMS notification is triggered to the relevant wholesalers. The webpage gives the Wholesaler access to view the vehicle photos (iFramed from WorkDrive) and relevant vehicle details. To create urgency a countdown timer runs down next to the field where the Wholesaler enters their bid.

Bids are saved in real time against the vehicle record, allowing the buying manager to keep abreast of the offers as they come in. At the scheduled time the car is taken off market, the Buying Manager makes his choice, updating another field in the CRM the winning buyer is notified and the vehicle’s status is updated for all in the portal.

The benefits

  • Time savings equating to 40+ hours a week
  • Reduced manual data entry and improved accuracy of data
  • Secure Data Storage for items like licences and Banking details – no longer being sent via text/email
  • Systemised sales process resulting in consistent and accurate outputs
  • Automated customer comms to reduce manual actions and improve customer experience
  • Increased efficiency in promoting, and greater activity from wholesalers looking to purchase vehicles

The CRM system built by Squirrel Business Solutions is the best investment we have made to our Buying Department. It has saved countless hours, mistakes and headaches by taking the daily grind out of simple repeated tasks. It has made the storage of private data like licences completely secure giving clients even more confidence in dealing with us. And has allowed us additional departmental growth at a rate previously unattainable.

The team at Squirrel aligned their thought patterns with our Vision and Goals to produce the best possible solution in the least amount of time.

National Car Buyers

Ask Squirrel

Could your business benefit from a similar solution? We’d be happy to help you find one. Book a free consult today.

Squirrel Business Solutions implements and integrates CRM and other cloud-based systems, and provides training and support, for small and medium-sized businesses all over Australia, including Melbourne, Bendigo, regional Victoria, Tasmania, Sydney and Brisbane. This empowers them to automate their processes and improve their efficiency.

By | Posted on 24 September 2022 | Automotive, Manufacturing & Retail

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By | Posted on 24 September 2022 | Automotive, Manufacturing & Retail