BDC vs. Internet Sales Department

Kelsey Caskey
How does everyone feel about BDC's vs. Internet Sales Departments? We are looking to get an "Internet Department" back up and running at our dealership. A lot of the feedback I have gotten here shows that our GM/Sales Managers are leaning towards a structure with 6-7 ISM who handle leads and inbound phone calls, and are with Customer from lead generation through the purchase. They want to pay these reps commission like any other sales rep. I lean more towards a 4-5 person BDC handling most follow up, all internet leads, equity mining, and inbound phone calls. The reps would be with customer from lead generation to showroom visit and hand off to our sales staff. They would stay in touch with our customers forever through post sale follow up and then back into equity mining (we use Auto Alert). Any feedback on best practices and any struggles you have seen with either route would be greatly appreciated.
mark rask
i like the bdc set up better. Easier to manage.
Arnold Tijerina
I think it's really dependent on each dealership. The larger the sales volume, the more I would lean towards a BDC. The lower, the opposite. In the Internet Dept scenario, if they're handling the sale cradle to grave (which I recommend) there will be times when new leads go unattended to if you are a high volume store because the ISMs are assisting customers at the dealership. We all know that customers can take up a lot of time sometimes. If you're a low volume dealer, this may not pose much of a problem. A high volume dealer, on the other hand, would be best served with a BDC as the ISMs wouldn't be able to handle the lead volume, follow up and nurturing that are required to maximize sales. Of course dealers like the ISM model. That's because there are no fixed costs. The ISMs pay their own salaries (through commissions) just like normal salespeople. They're just getting their "ups" online. If you have NOTHING right now, your best bet is to go the ISM route to start, see how it goes through monitoring lead processes being accomplished by the ISMs along with sales vs. leads. You'll be able to see pretty quickly if the ISMs can keep up with your current lead volume or not.
mark rask
I agree with Chris!
Carlo Castillo
Stick with the BDC idea your leaning towards. If I were you, I'd get Salesmen more involved before the showroom handoff. Getting the SM involved early in all Processes helps with follow up (really helps when BDC Agent is off), fine tuning process (getting another set of eyes to touch the lead in a controlled environment of course never hurts) and makes the showroom visit hand off transition easy. Also kills the whole "US vs THEM" scenario that Internet Departments tend to create. Also Internet Departments tend to only follow up on Internet leads and phone ups only. The Calling of ALL Showroom Traffic Same Day and Yesterday is important and leaving that all up to Salesmen is dangerous.
Jennifer Bourgeois
Carlo hit on a couple good points here. There is value in a BDC department that keeps the motivation of your team balanced. A BDC is a better way of keeping the customer in the forefront while still keeping your team incentivized to do the same and bring business to the showroom.

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