3 Tech Tools for Automotive Manufacturers to Drive More Sales

By: | October 13th, 2023

Photo by Martin Geiger on Unsplash

As we enter the fourth quarter of this financial year, every industry is scrambling to form new strategies to achieve their sales targets for the year. The automotive industry is no exception. 

Even though supply chain problems have started to wane, several new challenges have emerged. There is a possibility of a recession, inflation rates are quite high, and the war in Ukraine, as well as the one that just started in Israel, can have quite an impact on the financial markets. These challenges can make buyers rethink their decisions to spend money on new or used automobiles.

Thankfully, automotive manufacturers can harness the power of the latest technology to stay ahead of their competitors – from the factory floor to revenue operations. Manufacturers can use digital transformation to enhance customers’ purchasing journey, which can increase sales and improve the brand’s perception in the market. 

In this article, I’m going to discuss three pivotal sales technologies that can help automotive manufacturers thrive in today’s digital age.

Common Sales Challenges and How Technology Can Help

Before we dive in to the specific technological tools, let us first explore some of the common challenges automotive manufacturers face to achieve their sales targets and how they can use technology to meet those challenges.

These days, buyers expect a seamless and personalized buying experience with complete transparency and access to more information. They also expect automotive manufacturers to offer a rich digital presence that can add to the convenience of buying vehicles. 

According to Wards Auto, online sales of automobiles did not exceed 2% before 2020. However, this figure increased to 30% during the pandemic and has continued rising ever since. Many automotive manufacturers have started selling certain models exclusively online, and some manufacturers say that online sales now constitute up to 50% of their entire business.  

Manufacturers can use advanced e-commerce solutions and digital programs to offer their customers a streamlined, informative, transparent, and engaging online buying experience. I would also recommend the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) for virtual test drives and vehicle exploration.

Manufacturers can leverage the use of data analytics and AI to understand consumer behavior and market trends, thus enabling them to create personalized marketing strategies. They can use predictive analytics to forecast demand and manage their inventory effectively.

Economic conditions like recession and inflation can also significantly impact sales trends. Moreover, manufacturers have to adhere to an array of regulations related to environment, safety, import, and export. They also have to deal with volatile supply chain issues, like the recent global shortage of semiconductors.

Automotive manufacturers can implement advanced supply chain solutions that use IoT or blockchain to improve visibility and traceability in the supply chain. They can also use AI-powered tools to forecast demands, manage risks, and identify operational inefficiencies. Regulatory compliance management systems can help manufacturers track and manage their legal compliance with various regulatory bodies.

Now that we have understood some of the common challenges faced by automotive manufacturers, let’s talk about three specific tool categories that I believe can help them achieve their sales targets.

1. Sales Prospecting Tools

As the name suggests, sales prospecting tools help automotive manufacturers improve their customer acquisition process.

Lead Generation

Sales prospecting tools are quite effective in data mining and aggregation. These tools can scour the internet for potential customers on social media platforms, online marketplaces, automotive forums, and other relevant sources. These tools can also be integrated with inbound marketing to capture leads from website visits, information downloads, and newsletter or webinar signups.

Sales prospecting tools can score the leads based on factors such as engagement level, past purchase history, and online behavior. The scoring algorithm effectively qualifies or disqualifies leads so that sales representatives can focus their attention on the most promising prospects. 

The software sorts the leads into various segments based on their demographics, location, interests, and behavior. It allows the tool to develop and send personalized messages to these segments to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

Lead Engagement

Automated email campaigns can nurture leads through the sales funnel by giving them relevant information and incentives, so prospective customers can purchase. They also monitor how leads engage with marketing emails, social media posts, and website content to understand their interest and readiness to buy.  

For example, let’s say an automotive manufacturer is launching a new EV model. Sales prospecting tools can help the manufacturer identify and target environmentally conscious consumers, tech enthusiasts, and existing EV owners to increase sales significantly. 

Performance Analytics and Automation 

Sales prospecting tools can be used to track the return on investment (ROI) of various sales and marketing campaigns. This allows automotive manufacturers to identify the most effective strategies and use or modify them as required. 

These tools can also analyze the data generated by monitoring the leads to forecast future sales trends so that manufacturers can adjust their strategies accordingly. 

Sales prospecting tools can be integrated with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to connect the sales and marketing teams efficiently. This helps revenue teams to automate various routine tasks like data entry or follow-up so that sales representatives have more time on their hands to monitor KPIs and develop strategies. 

2. CRM

Some 56% of buyers say that finding a vehicle of their choice is one of the most tedious aspects of the purchase cycle. Also, 31% say that negotiating the price frustrates them the most. These are perfect examples of the customer-related problems faced by the automotive industry. 

Thankfully, manufacturers can sync CRM software with their buying portals so that consumers can see the inventory online and decide whether to buy or not quickly. The software also gives the buyer valuable information about the brand and the manufacturer before they commit to the buying process. Let’s take a look at how a CRM tool can be used to increase auto sales.

Customer Data Management

CRM systems provide an aggregate of customer data collected from various sources. This gives the sales team a comprehensive view of each prospective customer’s profile, preferences, and history of interaction with the brand. 

Team members can also access and update customer data on the go, enhancing the sales process’s efficiency and accuracy. 

Sales teams can engage with previous and existing customers with service reminders, special offers, or announcements of new models. These activities encourage repeat purchases and also ensure brand loyalty. Speaking of loyalty, CRMs can also be used to implement loyalty programs or customer satisfaction surveys to turn existing customers into brand ambassadors.

Performance Analytics and Customer Support

Automotive manufacturers can use CRM software to analyze key sales metrics and KPIs to understand the performance of sales teams and their campaigns. 

These analytical insights help them optimize their sales strategies and tactics continuously. CRM systems can be integrated with other tools like Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), or marketing automation platforms to facilitate a seamless flow of data, which aids functionalities for various teams. 

The use and integration of CRM tools can also be used for efficient after-sales support and service. The software can be used to schedule services and other aspects of customer management to ensure better customer satisfaction and loyalty to the brand.  Automotive manufacturers can take advantage of these feedback management systems to collect and manage customer feedback and reviews posted online. This can help them improve their vehicles and develop better products down the line.

3. CPQ 

As mentioned earlier, CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote. It is a software system used by sellers of various industries to provide accurate prices to buyers interested in configurable products, like vehicles. 

Automotive manufacturers can implement a CPQ system to make their sales cycles more successful. The software speeds up product configuration and proposal process to reduce the risk of inaccurate pricing. That way, the sales teams have a better chance to establish a positive relationship with prospective customers and offer them a better buying experience.

Here’s how these tools can be used effectively.

Product Configuration

We all know that vehicles come in various models and often have different features and customization options. Sales teams can use CPQ software to enable their customers to configure a vehicle to their satisfaction. 

Advanced solutions can be integrated to offer 3D visual configurators, enabling automotive manufacturers to show various vehicle configurations in real-time, thus increasing engagement and satisfaction. 

For example, automotive manufacturers can use CPQ systems to offer fleet customization for corporate clients. They can use the software to manage complex and large-scale deals involving purchasing multiple vehicles with different configurations and pricing structures. CPQ software can also be used to manage the influx of inquiries and send quotes efficiently during new vehicle model launches. 

Pricing Management

Automotive pricing is always dynamic because it is based on the configuration chosen by the customer. Pricing is also affected by real-time market demands and offers from competitors. Even major players have to adjust their prices often to meet the market. For example, Tesla started reducing their EV prices at the beginning of this year, which makes it even more challenging for other EV manufacturers to maintain profitability. 

The prices for Teslas’s best-selling EVs are now at par with gasoline cars. According to industry estimates, the base Model 3 is priced at nearly $39,000, which is $8,700 cheaper than the average price of cars in the US. CPQ systems can be used to adjust automotive pricing automatically based on configuration, promotional offers, and other economic factors so that prospective clients are presented with accurate prices. 

CPQ systems can also help manufacturers manage their discounts and promotions more efficiently. Automotive manufacturers can increase their profit margins by setting predefined thresholds and approval workflows for discounts or other promotions. 

Automated Quote Generation and Analytics

Automotive manufacturers can use CPQ software to instantly generate and send professional quotes to buyers, significantly reducing the time it takes for sales reps to close deals. 

The automation of sending quotations to prospects also reduces the risk of errors or misconfigurations, which leads to better order accuracy. Moreover, the tool ensures that all configurations and quotations comply with regulations and industry standards, thus avoiding legal complications.

CPQ software can support multiple sales channels simultaneously, whether the deal happens at a dealership, online, or through an app. The software can be integrated with CRM and ERP systems to provide consistency in configurations and pricing on multiple channels. This integration can streamline the entire sales process, from lead generation to order fulfillment, to improve operational efficiency. 

CPQ systems often come with analytics tools that can help sales leaders monitor the performance of team members. Manufacturers can also benefit from tracking the success of different configurations by analyzing buying patterns. Predictive analytics can aid in forecasting demand for specific configurations according to market trends, thus helping with strategic planning and decision-making. 


If automotive manufacturers want to keep up with the constantly evolving market demands, they have to employ digital means to meet the challenges. Fortunately, the advancements in technology are also here to ensure that manufacturers have access to the right tools to achieve their sales targets. 

Sales prospecting tools, CRM, and CPQ are some of the best available solutions that can help them increase their sales while ensuring that their customers are happy. These digital capabilities will also help them streamline their sales and marketing efforts for the best possible results. 


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