BDC Specific Questions and Best Practices

Trevor Wilson

Happy Monday morning all!

I wanted to touch base with a few BDC questions.

My Ford Dealership has always used a Salesperson approach to handling our Internet leads with varied levels of success. The level of success was completely determined by their determination and sometimes it was there and sometimes it wasn't.  For instance, they routinely dropped leads if they had no response within 4 -5 days.

In May we decided to try the BDC approach to handling them. Note that our BDC only handles Internet leads, they do not handle phone-ups currently. The phone ups are still handled by the Sales team.  The BDC went fully operational in June 2019.

In the first two months the BDC had a 30% jump in sales from the previous months. Appointments and shows were up. Lost sales to competitors were way down.  (Note that there are 7 Ford Dealers in my area).

OK, not to make this too long.

Here are my questions -

1. I was approached by a Sales Manager and was told that my BDC needs to answer leads 24/7. Even on their days off and when we are closed. Does anyone else require that? Of do you use an after-hours BDC? *Note that the other 99% of our staff is NOT required to work their days off.

2. Even though the BDC production is up over previous months, the New Car Department market share is down.  I was approached and told it was completely the BDC's fault. Even though the BDC is up 30%.  How do you guys approach that and explain that thinking to others in Management? *Note - This coincides with the #1 Salesman in the region retiring and taking his book of business and 30 - 40 cars a month.   

Help!!!  My team and myself are getting frustrated with being told we are not doing our part, even though, appointments, shows, sales, and closing percentage are all going up.



Bart Wilson

Congrats on your early BDC success!  I can't speak to the hours issue (other than 24/7 may not be feasable). 

I can, however, help you with your second issue.  One activity I would do that demonstrates the value of your BDC is to analyze and keep a running log of how long your Internet leads took to buy.  I find this is a good way to show that your follow-up is working.  

In other words, how many leads did you close after 30 days?  How about 60 days?  Too often, if salespeople are taking Internet leads, they'll "cherry-pick" the good ones and let the non-responsive leads slip through the cracks.  This is where a BDC can help.

Martins Ville

Leadership by example? It sounds like your sales managers are a little clueless about the internet process in today's world. The BDC should handle all inbound inquires. Set up the appointment to greet the sales manager first, then hand off to an available salesperson. Early manager interaction with a prospect earns points. Also, is recommend a text be sent, as if it's coming from a sales manager, to see if they are going to make their appointment. Have them reply with a yes or no.

Chris K Leslie

this Is a battle that will live on for ever. 

Bart Wilson

Martins is right.  You need to get some serious management buy-in of the process.  You are going to struggle if the management team doesn't present a united front.

Derrick Woolfson

I agree with Chris - a couple of things, answering leads after hours is certainly admirable. However, it has to be worth their time and effort. Not to mention, from my experience, it leads to a total burn out. More often than not, if the lead comes in after 7 PM - from two-plus years worth of research - it is very unlikely for them to come in that same night. And for those that do, they often just showed up to the dealership without having called in, etc. That said, I would see if they were willing to pay someone after hours an extra spiff. 

As for new car sales, I would look at their Ad Spend - are leads up or down? If they are the same, then I would look at the reporting. Are appointments for the new car sales leads up? Is the show rate up? This can really help give you insight as to what is actually going on. With regards to the sales consultant leaving, we have had our fair share of that, BUT the sales usually did not skip a beat. 

And not to be negative in any way, the BDC while often underappreciated, is the glue that holds it all together when it comes to bringing traffic into the store. So the first "target", if the sales numbers are off, is to look at the BDC. When that happened to me, I looked at the reporting; was the sold rate down? How many appointments did we average, etc. I know it can be frustrating, I feel your pain!!! But hang in there! 

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