BDC industry benchmarks...Are they still the same?

Jennifer Bourgeois
I recently put together my BDC's monthly performance report as I have done for 8+ years. The past 3 years I have always gone of the lead/contact made/appt set/ appt show/ sold benchmarks being 60%/ 60%/ 60%/ 60%/ 60%. Being such that this is based off the total leads (phone/internet). I have also always gone off the final lead to sold ratio for each type of lead being the following: Website leads 12% close ratio, Third Party 5% close ratio, and phone leads being 18% close ratio. My General manager doesn't seem to agree with these benchmarks... not for any particular reason other than his opinion. I am looking for feedback on what you all base your benchmarks on for each type of lead (phone, Website, and Third Party). Isn't it funny when a department performs well, the first thing management assumes is it must be wrong? If my benchmarks are either out of date or incorrect I would certainly like to know what is the standard for most BDC performance benchmarks.
R Lamb
I think those #'s look pretty accurate. Website leads should closer higher (generally speaking) than 3rd party leads for a variety of reasons. Also, not all 3rd party leads are equal, some produce higher quality/lower funnel leads than others. We have had 3rd party leads close at 15% from one source and 5% from other sources.
Jennifer Bourgeois
I agree 100%. At the moment our third party leads are from Truecar, GM, Autobytel, so I think the benchmark of 5% is fair... we are closing close to 15% significantly however so that is a good thing. But the majority of our 3rd party leads are Truecar and I am in a saturated market to say the least...22 Chevy dealers in 30 mile radius. Out 3rd party leads unfortunately make up 75% of our total leads right now. Working on a second site as well as many new marketing mediums at the moment to turn that around. @Robert, another question for you. What percentage of your total leads are you getting from your website? In my past experience I was closer to 75% website leads and 25% 3rd party. Very general estimate but we seem to be overly dependent on the 3rd party hence the new, higher converting website....currently only have a Cobalt site. Boooooo
Marc McGurren
Great question, and here is my insight. I love the 4x60 rule you are taking. It allows you to coach and train your staff and find out where the kinks are in their "armour". With that said, we recommend using the 4x60 for only internet leads. Your Phone leads *should close at a much higher rate. I always recommend dealers break out phone from internet just to make sure you are seeing the bigger picture. A combined closing ratio is great to know, but we shoot for a 15% closing ratio over all internet leads, and then a 25-30% closing ratio on phone leads.I would also break out your 3rd party leads like you have. Think about this, if True Car is accounting for 75% of your leads, but only closing around ~5%, would you be better off either A) removing True Car all together is its theoretically taking up 75% of your teams time for the lowest closing ratio lead, or B) limiting your True Car territories you buy.I know True Car leads are "free" until you sell one, but we have to think about the time and effort spent on that. I ran across a similar situation, but the dealer was closing 2% of his True Car leads (which accounted for approximately 75% of their total lead volume. The dealer cut True Car and actually sold more cars...Why was that the case - the BDC freed up 1000 leads a month and were able to close at a MUCH higher rate because they now had the time to do so.So the 4x60's are great - which will net you a 13% closing ratio. Work on increasing any of the 60's and you will easily get to 15%. Shoot for 60% appt on phone, typically shows are 65-70% on phone, and then close at 60% from show to close, and that can net you that 25% closing ratio on phones.As far as your GM goes, ask him what he thinks, and why he thinks that. Hope this helps!
Jennifer Bourgeois
Thanks Marc, I agree 100%. I use the same 40x60 rule for my BDC rep's individual performance. I also keep track of BDC customers who just walk into the dealership without setting an appointment but have had lots of two-way contact with my BDC. This can also give you some advantageous data and insights into how your reps are performing. IE I have a rep that tends to have a lot of customers just walk that she has had a lot of correspondence with, which means she doesn't ask for the appointment enough. As I said in my original post this is what I have for the following minimum benchmarks for lead type close ratios: Website leads 12% , Third Party 5% , and phone leads being 18%. These are the minimums and I have my BDC's pay plans and manager working on a tier based percentage bonus. Do you agree with these numbers for lead to sold? Again on a bare minimum goal to hit!
Marc McGurren
Jennifer - yes, I would agree with the your bare minimum stats on those leads. One thing we have done at a few stores is create MAP, PAR, and TARGET goals for all 4x60 metrics MAP - Minimum acceptable performance - ANYONE can do this. Has to be low enough that new hires can easily achieve these numbers. I think your current numbers should good for the final close - just back each 4x60 up to calculate what each metric needs to be PAR - This is good-average results. You aren't crushing it, but you aren't stinking it up. TARGET - Super Star status. Crushing it on all 4x60 metrics. Your team will probably fall into a few hitting target, the majority hitting PAR, and a few hitting MAP. By doing this, you can not just say get to your 4x60's, but lets inch it up and then can celebrate each goal they hit. Small caveat for me and what I track - I break out 1st party leads (website leads), 2nd party leads (,, where your inventory is on someone else's site and the majority of the leads are VIN specific), and then 3rd party leads - these are generic non VIN specific leads from Dealix, Autobytel, your OEM 3rd party eleads, etc.

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