8th March 2021

MENTOR DEALTRAK INTEGRATION

We are pleased to announce a recent integration with DealTrak, a software platform dedicated to connecting the automotive finance and insurance sectors. DealTrak brings together motor dealers, lenders, finance brokers and VAP providers into one efficient and compliant platform.   To increase productivity, and to eliminate the need to re-enter data, the Mentor DealTrak  integration enables a quick and easy one-click submission of customer, vehicle and finance details from Mentor directly into the DealTrak portal. Mentor CRM integrates with hundreds of third party integrations and manufacturer hubs. Mentor DMS comes with features normally only reserved for expensive bolt-ons. Contact 01923 604 105 or email info@mentorsystems.co.uk to find out more or to book a demo.  Or you can visit www.mentorsystems.co.uk to see how we can help your dealership. For further information about DealTrak please visit www.dealtrak.co.uk.

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1st March 2021

Peter Ambrose ACL Integration

  Peter Ambrose (Castleford), integrate the new ACL integration feature within Mentor for full FCA compliance throughout their sales process.   “We are very pleased with the new ACL integration within Mentor, it saves time as our sales people don’t have to rekey customer information and keep going in and out of different systems. It safeguards our business throughout the different stages of the sale, from quote to handover.” Peter Ambrose, Managing Director   This new integration safeguards businesses, as FCA compliance procedures are part of the Mentor system, salespeople cannot miss out stages in compliance or process the deal without recording the information needed, in the right order.   Being an appointed representative member of Automotive Compliance Ltd, helps companies to adhere to FCA compliance and protects dealers, but this integration goes even further. It ensures that for every vehicle certain procedures must take place, or the sales person cannot go to the next step of the sale.   “This new integration ensures that dealers are fully compliant in the reselling of financial and insurance products, as no parts of the process can be forgotten or take place in the wrong order. Salespeople and customers also appreciate how much quicker this process is, as the information needed is part of the Mentor DMS, there is no need to keep going in and out of a system, with different passwords, and customer information only has to be keyed in once,” said Danny Palmer, Managing Director, Mentor Dealer Management Systems & Palmers Motor Group

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15th February 2021

Web-Connect Training Program (TalkSales Europe Ltd)

What difference would it make to your business if you could double your sales from web enquiries without increasing your marketing spend? Web-Connect Training Program (TalkSales Europe Ltd) white paper using Palmers Motor Company case study. Audience: CEO’s, MDs, GMs & DPs, Sales Managers and BDC & Contact Centre Managers. Aim: This white paper will examine how the car industry currently manages web leads and will look at ways to make changes to increase web conversion rates. It explores this issue by using Palmers Motor Company as a case study.   Author: Richard Beagle, TalkSales Europe Ltd, is a specialist in the automotive industry. TalkSales has supported over 850 dealerships across the UK, to grow their sales and service staff to the next level. Contents 1. Current situation – where is the automotive sector now in terms of managing web leads? 2. Solution - using Palmers Motor Company as a case study, what did TalkSales discover utilising their Web-Connect Training Program? What were the steps taken which made a positive impact on results for web leads? 3. Conclusion – summary and call to action.   1. Current situation Where is the automotive sector now in terms of managing web leads? For many of us in the automotive sector, we have been conditioned over many years to sell cars based on customers reaching out to us – customers coming into our showroom and forecourt. Second to this is inbound phone enquires and a long way behind this, web enquires. With COVOID-19 these figures have completely reversed in the last 12 months. What do you do when your customers cannot come into your dealership? Instead of a nice to have, maximising web leads is now essential to your business. Why did the automotive industry not focus on web leads? The management focus was on walk-ins and inbound phone enquiries and maximising these. Web enquiries were not given as much focus and were often seen as a distraction. As a result of this the industry didn’t figure out ‘what good looks like’ and were more concerned about hitting the standards of (some) manufacturers to ‘call customer within a certain amount of minutes.’ Sales people focused on getting a good score on this, but this took the focus away from results being achieved in the business from web enquiries. A lot of dealerships were finding also that they had a poor measurement of conversion rates on web leads, and some dealerships were not measuring this as it was not their focus. Typical dealership conversion rates from web leads Talk Sales reviewed web conversion rates in early 2020, reviewing 2121 automotive web leads from 11 different dealerships, identifying 157 sales from web leads giving a close rate of 7.4%. These figures highlight that dealerships are not selling to around 93% of their web leads! how long could you afford that conversion rate if this was ‘walk in’ customers in normal times? But with COVOID-19, this is how your sales are taking place!    Why are dealers losing 93% of their web leads? When we look at why dealers are just converting around 7% and losing 93% this has been proven to come down to a number of different reasons with the major ones being (this list is not exhaustive): 1.    No ‘spoken to’ contact attempt from the dealership because of no phone number on enquiry. 2.    Not actually spoken to customer despite having phone number. 3.    No fixed sales process ‘trained in’ for engagement with web lead. 4.    Multiple voice mails and emails, in small time window, sent to customer with no response activated. 5.    Incorrect or no use of video communication. 6.    Extended follow up period of ‘no contact’ web leads. 7.    Lack of ‘buy-in’ from sales teams on quality of web leads. 8.    Lack of measurement and communication of results to team. 9.    Poor CRM program to track results from web leads. 10.  Ineffective management practises. How many of the above is happening in your dealership now? What is the common solution and why it is not very effective? The common solution would be to phone the customer on the web lead arrival and keep following the customer up until they answer maybe over a number of days/weeks. With continually no answer from the customer, this can be demotivational to sales advisors particularly with a full diary of similar leads to follow up. 2.  Solution - Palmers Motor Company case study – how to convert web leads into sales. Use an easy-to-use CRM that can show sales conversion rates Palmers Motor Company use Mentor CRM and DMS to run their dealership. This means that they can quickly gain information on both group and individual performance. Without a management system it would be difficult to identify conversion rates and see where salespeople need that additional investment in training and development. Communicate your web conversion rate to your sales team With Palmers Motor Company we rolled out the Web-Connect training program by video conference to the whole sales team. We communicated where the company was from a conversion rate perspective, which was at 7.1%. This was an important part of the process – communicating with the team. Like any type of measurement, this was a line in the sand. From this we set in place what we would need to do differently to have a positive change to the conversion rate. Give sales people 100% accountability for every single web lead    Bring 100% accountability for every single web lead that arrives into your business. We created an easy 7 step process that each sales person must deliver on with every web lead. These steps did not mean working harder or longer on each lead, but working smarter and getting better results to sell even more cars.   Video content for customers with no telephone numbers An integral part of the Web-Connect training program was the introduction of video content. This was particularly aimed at customers where no contact telephone number had been provided. What this meant was the sales adviser would send the customer a friendly and professional introduction video of themselves and the business, with the objective of creating a positive first impression and getting a telephone number back from the customer. This enabled the sales advisor to have that critical phone conversation. Conversion rates and results This resulted in a 100%+ shift in results going from 7.1% conversion rate to a 16% conversion rate on web leads in the space of 8 weeks. One of the key goals of the Web Connect training program was to have an actual telephone conversation with the customer this would lead to a massive uplift in the conversion rate. This uplift was down to a new strategy with the sales adviser’s ‘double tapping’ the customer’s phone number. Which means if there was no answer on the first call, we would immediately redial the customer again. Both actions completed within a maximum time of 15 minutes of web lead arrival. Plus, if there was no answer on the ‘double tap’, an appointed phone call time was sent by SMS to the customer; this appointment time was set to one hour after the double tap. This was pre-programmed into the Palmers Mentor CRM and made it easier for the sales teams to activate. This proved to be very effective and led to an increase of 45% for ‘first contact’ with the customer. A key factor of success in 2020 was using video content for customers where there was no phone number. This led to a conversion rate of 80 sales with a 13.2% conversion rate. Over 75% of these videos were sent to customers without a phone number meaning the 80 sales truly were additional to Palmers Motor Company generating just over £120,000 of extra income for the company.  3. Conclusion We are in a period of retailing that none of us would have experienced ever before. In order for dealerships to survive, thrive and drive we have to be flexible in our approach in the way we maximise results. A well-used saying and one that’s so relevant at the moment ‘If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we will keep getting what we’ve been getting…..’ Having looked at the problem ‘where are the automobile industry now with web leads?’ and looked at the solution, ‘what worked at Palmers Motor Company?’ we have presented some empirical data to answer this, notably the conversion rate on web leads going from 7.1% to 16%. Again using Mentor, this information was easily accessible and also showed where sales advisers were above or below the 16% and where to focus their attention. With the combination of TalkSales Web-Connect and Mentor this has proven to be an invaluable partnership to get even better results without any more spend on stock, premises or marketing.

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9th February 2021

FCA compliance using the ACL integration within Mentor Dealer Management Systems

We are very excited to announce the new release of FCA compliance using the ACL integration within Mentor Dealer Management Systems. This is a game changer for franchise dealers and second hand vehicle dealers. This new integration safeguards businesses, as FCA compliance procedures are part of the Mentor system, salespeople cannot miss out stages in compliance or process the deal without recording the information needed, in the right order. Sales managers and customers will also appreciate that the process is now much quicker. No need to log in and out to a different system, with a different password and no double keying of information either. Being an appointed representative member of Automotive Compliance Ltd, helps companies to adhere to FCA compliance and protects dealers, but this integration goes even further. It ensures that for every vehicle certain procedures must take place, or the sales person cannot go to the next step of the sale. “We are very pleased with the new ACL integration within Mentor, it saves time as our salespeople don’t have to rekey customer information and keep going in and out of different systems. It safeguards our business throughout the different stages of the sale, from quote to handover.” stated Peter Ambrose, Managing Director, Peter Ambrose (Castleford) Ltd “This new integration ensures that dealers are fully compliant in the reselling of financial and insurance products, as no parts of the process can be forgotten or take place in the wrong order. Salespeople and customers also appreciate how much quicker this process is, as the information needed is part of the Mentor DMS, there is no need to keep going in and out of a system, with different passwords, and customer information only has to be keyed in once.” said Danny Palmer, Managing Director, Mentor Dealer Management Systems & Palmers Motor Group “We are very excited about our integration partnership with Mentor Dealer Management Systems. This cuts down on time and potential errors in double keying customer information for sales departments. Most importantly it gives senior management the comfort of greater oversight of their FCA procedures which under the SM&CR regime they can now be held personally responsible for. Let us not forget the customer who benefits from a transparent process, receiving the correct up to date information in a timely manner enabling them to make a truly informed decision. Genuinely a win-win for all stakeholders.” stated Paul Guy, Co-Founder Director, Automotive Compliance Ltd Find out more about Mentor CRM or Mentor DMS or to request a demo please call 01923 604105 or email info@mentorsystems.co.uk.

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1st February 2021

MENTOR CINCH LEAD INTERGRATION

Mentor Dealer Management Systems is committed to integrating with the leading automotive digital suppliers, helping customers to buy online - essential during COVID-19. We are excited to announce our recent integration with Cinch, a web platform which showcases cars from thousands of different dealerships. Customers can find and buy quality used cars online and get them delivered straight to their door. With Mentor’s innovative software, all leads and customer enquiries are picked up immediately on the web site and routed directly into the Mentor CRM system; with instant alerts (sms) to management personnel ensuring prompt follow up. Mentor CRM integrates with hundreds of third party integrations and manufacturer hubs. Mentor DMS comes with features normally only reserved for expensive bolt-ons. Contact 01923 604 105 to find out more or book a demo.  Or you can visit www.mentorsystems.co.uk to see how we can help your dealership. 

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25th January 2021

Partnerships - Rapid RTC

Mentor Systems recently partnered with Rapid RTC Lead manager and are now able to offer our customers an integrated platform with Rapid RTC digital products. We made a big push at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 to integrate our software platforms with the leading automotive digital suppliers in the UK. The Automotive market around the world is moving to integrated software platforms seamlessly passing information between them to reduce work load on the end users, we want to keep Mentor at the forefront of this digital revolution. Customers using Rapid RTC will have their qualified leads show up in Mentor DMS, continuing the sales process with the customer to conclusion. This seemingly small step removes the need to re-enter data and ensures all of the relevant customer data captured in the initial lead enquiry stage is passed to the dealers DMS software. Commercial Manager Robert Lamont commented " These strategic partnerships with selected suppliers in the UK not only enhance our software platforms offering better value to our customers they offer real savings in time and ensure the accuracy of data transfer between a dealers systems. We would like to invite all of our customers who are currently using Rapid RTC to explore the benefits of linking their dealership systems together". To find out how we can link you into the UK's leading web lead specialist contact the Mentor helpdesk on 01923 604 105. To find out if Rapid RTC can help your dealership visit them here.

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27th February 2020

Accounts Module - Sales and Purchase Ledger Email

We have expanded the Email facility in the Sales ledger to include the ability to email invoices to a Customer, Account or Account contact email address.  This update allows for any posting to a sales ledger account that has a document associated, for example Service and POS invoices to be emailed to either a customer record OR main account contact OR sub account contact OR a system user. Email Sales Ledger Invoices Locate the transaction on the account you wish to email to a recipient and reprint the document (1) Select the Email button to email the document (2)                                               In the Email Screen there are three Contact Types Account - the main account email address and any account contacts loaded User - A user account email within the system Custom - Any email address can be manually entered Use the dropdown list to select the contact to send the email to                                         Once the correct contact has been selected, enter any details into he email body and select the Email button

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14th February 2020

Marketing- Email Upload Facility

We have recently added the facility to upload emails supplied from third party suppliers such as manufacturer portals or marketing companies. This email upload allows the zip file supplied containing the HTML code and the image files to be directly uploaded into the Mentor letter editor. The new Email template upload is available to all users that have access to the letter/email templates menu option in the marketing module. How do I use this new Email upload facility? Save the Email Zip file to your computer. Open the Letter/Email Templates in the Mentor Marketing module and select 'Add Template'. Select the Upload button and browse to the Email Zip file you saved to your computer. When the file has completed uploading select the apply button. Your email template will now display in the letter editor. Minor character display issues can be corrected directly in the letter editor. Complete the usual steps to name the template, set the branch access, add the merge hash(#) codes, add custom links to the images in the template and enable email tracking as required. New Upload Button in Letter editor  Browse to the Email Zip file location    Note: The email up-loader attempts to correct HTML coding differences between different programs. It may be necessary to attempt the upload several times and un-tick the Code Page Corrections and/or Convert to inline CSS boxes until the best displayed result is achieved by the email upload programme.                               Finished Product  

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3rd February 2020

Accounts Module - Purchase Ledger - Credit

A new feature has been added into the Accounts module to allow for the quick crediting of Purchase Ledger Invoices. The credit button reverses the selected PL invoice allowing for the correction of mistakes or processing reversals of PL invoices. A credited PL invoice can be re-processed and re-invoiced again.      

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3rd February 2020

Banking Reconciliation - Statement Balance

An Update was released to all systems in December to allow for the bank statement balance to be entered into the banking reconciliation. This statement balance then calculates the difference between the last reconciliation and the bank nominal account to display a difference balance. The difference balance will update live as you are reconciling the  banking transactions giving the user a live total of the remaining difference to match to the statement balance. Additional updates to this screen include renaming the Debit and Credit columns to Receipts and Payments for greater transparency to users.

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31st January 2020

Sales Homescreen - Daily Activities

A New Sales home screen has been developed for sales module users displaying daily activities and the most recent enquiries and deals. This user focused home screen displays your daily activities split by type (Appointments, Handovers, and All Activities) activities can be viewed and completed directly from the home screen, as each activity is completed it is marked by a green tick. The second addition to the sales home screen is display of the users most recent enquiries and deals. This screen is designed to allow the user to quickly return to those customers they have recently loaded onto the system or marked as a deal, activities can be completed and loaded from this home screen as well.  

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17th December 2019

Mentor Releases new VW hub integration to our Clients

Our programmers here at Automotive Innovations have been hard at work the last 3 months working alongside VW UK to integrate and roll out the new VW lead hub.  We are especially proud to announce that Mentor CRM/LMS is one of the first products in the UK to become VW compliant and release the new hub integration to our clients. The new VW hub is an upgrade on its predecessor allowing for the effective management of leads between VW UK and its dealers. Mentor is now accepting these new leads from VW systems and returning the followup data to the manufacturer.  All CRM/LMS providers to will need to provide access to this new VW Lead hub within their systems. Mentor is leading the pack to provide our customers with class leading manufacturer compliant systems as standard.  If you know of a VW dealer who would benefit from a Mentor CRM system why not contact our sales team on 01923 604 105.

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29th November 2019

Mentor Integrates with DealTrak

Automotive Innovations is proud to announce a new integration partner, DealTrak. This new and exciting partnership connects the power of DealTrak's F&I system to your Mentor customers allowing for quick and easy one-click submission of customer, Vehicle and Finance details from Mentor directly into the DealTrak portal, eliminating the need to re-enter data. About DealTrak: DealTrak is a software platform dedicated to connecting the automotive Finance and Insurance sector. Bringing together motor dealers, lenders, finance brokers and VAP providers into one efficient and compliant platform. With more lender integrations than any other platform, DealTrak are the original and leading F&I platform for car dealerships and brokers. For more information about DealTark click here For more information regarding the DealTrak Integration and how you can connect your Mentor system please contact our helpdesk on 01923 604105.

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17th September 2019

Customer Contact Preferences

In response to GDPR GDPR regulations have been in effect for over a year now and Mentor is committed to ensuring that our dealers remain in control of their data and maximise the performance of their data whilst still remaining compliant. Mentor received major updates to enable our customers to meet the GDPR requirements and we built upon our already strong customer contact preference options and added the contact prefs option into Mentor. Contact Prefs  All electronic via SMS and Email communications sent from Mentor can have a customer unsubscribe link added to them. This customer specific unsubscribe link directs the recipient to a contact prefs page where they can update their notification preferences. When the recipient of a Mentor communication submits an update to their communication preferences Mentor is updated and all changes are stored in the Customer GDPR report (Sales Module - Reports - Customer GDPR report) This method ensures that the recipient of your communications has control over what notifications they receive and can opt out at any time.  Customer record selection for marketing campaigns Mentor continues to ensure that when you are building ranges for marketing purposes the customer contact preferences are taken into account. When a customer record is included in a range to be used for marketing Mentor will perform a check to ensure that a record is GDPR compliant and that the customer has opted in for the type of communication of the marketing campaign. Need Help? If you are unsure if your current emails or SMS are currently GDPR compliant or if you would like further information please contact the Mentor Helpdesk on 01923 604 105.

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17th September 2019

Campaign Wizard - Revisited

Campaign Wizard Back in 2013 we wanted to help our dealers to send marketing to their customers quickly and easily. The result of this project was the Campaign Wizard which continues to be a crucial tool and one of the most heavily used areas of Mentor. The Campaign Wizard can be used to quickly locate a range of customers who match a list of criteria and then send media to that range via Email, SMS or Letter (using UK mail services).  The major benefit of the Campaign Wizard is that it monitors the responses of your customers to the marketing sent to them, it gives real time results as to which customers have responded to the campaign, shown up in your dealership and ultimately purchased a vehicle. Updates to the Campaign Wizard in 2019 The Wizard continues to be updated and in 2019 we released a major update to allow for the tracking of emails and the monitoring of click links within emails. This enhanced tracking allows for greater visibility of the penetration of marketing media with customers. By being able to see which emails are opened and which links within an email are clicked on allows for follow up marketing or contact to those customers who have shown the greatest interest. How do I find the right customers? Great question, there are a few ways to find a range of customers. The Campaign Wizard will step you through a series of questions and your answers will filter down the customer records in your branch to those that match the answers, the result will be a range of customers you can contact.  Another method is to use the powerful 'Customer Find' option in Mentor. Within the customer find you can select from multiple options to filter the customer records in your branch, for example - Customer details, Mentor Activity, Vehicle interested/purchased or part exchange, fleet, service and finance. The resulting range can then be selected to use in the Wizard. How can I communicate with customers? The Campaign Wizard allows 4 methods of communication with customers Email - either tracked or untracked SMS - send multiple SMS communications Letter (via UK Mail Services) Activity only campaigns (set activities for your staff to contact a range of customers) Marketing media can be created by Mentor users or your marketing department, downloaded from a manufacturer marketing portal or contact the Mentor help desk and we can offer our in house marketing teams assistance and design a template for you to use. How does the Campaign Wizard know a customer has responded?  Once a campaign is running the Wizard monitors the activity occurring in Mentor. When a Mentor user adds an activity into a customer record included in the running campaign, the Wizard records the activity and attributes it to the success of the campaign. Only specific customer activity is monitored by the Wizard and these include:   Phone Call (inbound)   Appointment   Show-up   Demo   Deal   Service Booking (service campaigns only)   Service job completed (service campaigns only)  Conclusion The Campaign Wizard is a valuable asset to any dealership, it can allow you to react quickly with new offers and deals that your customers would want to take advantage of. The benefit of the reporting in the Wizard allows dealers to focus and target their efforts on those customers who respond to the marketing.  Need Help? If you would like further information about the Campaign Wizard or you would like assistance to set up a Campaign please contact the Mentor Helpdesk on 01923 604 105.

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31st July 2019

Marketing Module - Email Tracking

The Mentor Campaign Wizard has been updated and expanded to include tracking of emails. Every email sent has the option of including a unique tracking link that reports back to the Campaign Wizard when an email is opened and which links in the email are clicked. This tracking feature allows deeper measuring of your email marketing success to customers. How it works  Emails with the tracking enabled communicate back to MentorDMS when the customer opens the email. If the customer goes on to click any of the links in the email these links report back to MentorDMS and update so we know which links the customer clicked on and what they may be potentially interested in. Why is this of benefit to you? Marketing gurus tell us that the more opens and reads your emails have the more successful the campaign, but that is only half the story. A dealers true measure of a marketing campaigns success is the number of vehicles they sell. The Campaign Wizard has been measuring campaign success by the number of deals since it's introduction, but what about those customers who click and browse your website and never call your dealership? By being able to measure who clicked and which links you can follow up those customers who showed an interest in your marketing and convert that interest into appointments and deals. If you would like the email tacking enabled for your site please contact the Mentor help desk on 01923 604105   Note: Please ensure your companies GDPR statement has been reviewed and complies with the GDPR regulations relating to customer consent for email tracking.  

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About Us


Mentor specialise in software for the automotive industry, providing vehicle dealers with cost effective Contact Management and DMS software solutions. With over 16 years of experience and supported by manufacturers and industry specialists, we provide a complete package to help you run and manage your dealership.

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Mentor Dealer Management Systems,
24 Greenhill Crescent, Watford,
Hertfordshire, WD18 8XN

 01923 604105

 Mentor Systems

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