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5 ways Automotive Cloud helps dealers change lanes between digital-based and in-person customer connections

May 11, 2023 | Admin, Latest News, Manufacturing

Don’t be surprised if today’s customers know more about the cars on your lot than most of your sales team. Recent surveys show that around 75 percent of the customer’s experience occurs on digital channels, with customers scouring websites for inventory and model details, financing options, dealership reviews, locations, and more.  

Today’s car customers expect more from the car buying experience than kicking tires and checking under the hood–not exclusively, at least. 

“Car buyers are increasingly looking for the online convenience of a digital-first experience, yet they want to maintain the reassurance of personal interactions with sales staff,” Randy Miller of said. 

According to an EY Mobility Consumer Index study, the growth of the electric vehicle market is bolstering this drive toward more digital-savvy consumers. Around 66 percent of car buyers across all age groups are increasingly turning to online tools to engage in the initial stages of researching a vehicle purchase. 

But Miller says that’s where the similarities with other retail products end. “A car represents a major financial commitment,” Miller explained. “Digital tools are popular for pre-purchase research, the in-person experience remains a key factor.”

This blend of digital-driven resources followed up with a positive in-person experience marks a shift in the relationship between consumers, dealers, and OEMs that impacts EV and traditional ICE vehicle models. 

“Dealers and OEMs have already become used to a world where getting a sale is no longer just about having the best product and the most competitive deal,” Miller added. “In fact, they must evolve beyond competing for the best and most engaging online or virtual experience, to who can offer the greatest overall customer lifetime experience.”

But as Lori Steele, President and CRO EMEA at Salesforce, points out, the need for technology to capture existing data to rev up connectedness among key players in the automotive industry fuels the development of Salesforce Automotive Cloud. 

“By the end of the decade, it is estimated that connected cars–cars that can communicate and share data with a variety of systems both inside and outside of the vehicle–will make up about 95 percent of all new vehicles sold around the world.” 

Harnessing this data for accelerated and interconnected sales and service opportunities is instrumental for building lifetime customer relationships. 

And that’s where Salesforce Automotive Cloud will ensure auto dealers, OEMs, and finance teams are on track. 

By coordinating the popular Salesforce Cloud platforms, Automotive Cloud captures, analyzes, and organizes customer data to help dealers build a comprehensive profile of operations that simplifies inventory management, tracks leads, and monitors customer interactions. 

With the Manufacturing Customer 360-degree platform offering a single source of truth which Automotive Cloud works from, auto dealers will experience measurable improvements with these five coordinated cloud-based functions. 


1. Execution Excellence

Enhance predictability and transparency by unifying sales and operations with a complete CRM customized for manufacturing. The robust Manufacturing Cloud platform seamlessly monitors and analyzes quoting, pricing strategies, and catalog management with centralized, real-time data. 


2. Partner Management

Deploy connected marketing, sales, and service experiences to your channel partners. Simplify distributor lead management tasks, account management, and customer service tasks with Manufacturing Cloud and Experience Cloud. 

Users can also utilize Manufacturing Cloud for streamlined distributor and customer management and product co-design. 


3. Transform Service Experiences

Enable faster and more innovative service experiences optimized from the contact center to the field. The customized features of Tableau and Marketing Cloud enable users to manage distributor and customer marketing programs better. Field Service Lightning simplifies technical service management tasks for distributors and customer relationships and streamlines field sales and account management. 


4. Digital Commerce

Using the innovation of Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Experience Cloud, Automotive Cloud allows dealers to create personalized buying experiences by extending their sales channels online. Providing customers with better catalog visibility, product information, promotions, self-service ordering fields, and communications creates a seamless, digital-driven resource that customers want.  

Volume sales agreements, account-based forecasting, and rebate management using Manufacturing Cloud and Experience Cloud ensure those deal-closing details are never overlooked. 


5. Sustainability

Enable closed-loop accountability across your value chain to track and lower your footprint. With the optional Sustainability Cloud, dealers can gather data that drive actionable, strategic insights through automated, intelligent, and interactive environmental analytics.

Faced with a new digitally adept customer, the automobile industry is turning the much-needed corner and investing in technology that delivers better experiences and nurtures lifetime customer relationships. 

Get ready for an exciting ride. 

Equipped with Salesforce Automotive Cloud, this new journey, fully loaded with new “vehicles” for collecting data, can help your dealership connect stakeholders, partners, finance, and consumers with valuable insight to drive strategies to innovate the automotive experience. 



David Rivas, SVP of North America, MFG and SURE
David Rivas
SVP of North America, MFG and SURE at | + posts

David is SVP of North America, MFG and SURE  at Simplus.