Is BDC a dying breed?

Mandie Baker

I have heard from multiple dinosaurs that BDC is just an expense.  It is a battle I have been fighting for about 8 years now.  Numbers always tell the story, as long as they are not fabricated I guess.  But anyhow....with web buy and digital platforms available, salesmen believe they should be handling any and everything web based.  I'm from Ny and upstate at that. Traffic mainly comes from my team. Just curious to see what the rest of the world thinks. 

Bart Wilson

Interesting question. I'm wondering if we are seeing a convergence between the modern sales floor and a BDC. Just a thought.

I also feel there is a ton of value in a BDC to help with Fixed Operations. Does your team just handle sales or do you work with service as well?

Chris K Leslie

They aren't wrong BDC is an expense its payroll and all payroll is an expense. Payroll is the single highest expense in a dealership which includes Lot Lizards. Everyone is in the same boat. 

Derrick Woolfson

It all depends on the dealership and structure of the BDC. From my experience, when "BDC's" were "new" they were literally in place to manage what the sales consultants were not doing. That is calling the internet leads, setting appointments, managing the CRM, Customer chats, in-bound calls, and follow-up to name a few. Fast forward ten years later and most CRM's offer tools/resources that the sales consultants can easily use to manage their customers/follow-up. That said, in my last auto-group, the BDC shifted focus in assisting with marketing, helping with social media, and focused heavily on Fixed-Ops. We would also manage follow-up. However, as time moved on - calling leads that were 60+ days old just didn't make sense. The ROI was not there. The other issues so many BDC's face is lack of structure/autonomy - e.g., depending on the way the wind blows that day the "process" of the BDC changes. Or better yet, the GM's/Sales Managers will argue until you are blue in the face on what constitutes an "appointment." One of the other key issues is that you have a lot of sales managers who do not mark the appointments in the showroom or bother to update the CRM. So as a BDC Agent or BDC Manager you wind up spending a stupid amount of time just "managing" the CRM. Now as for ROI, we tracked how many appointments we actually *booked* vs. the "sales-consultants" at one point. The "experiment" was having the sales consultants manage the in-bound calls, leads, and chats for a month. About two weeks into the "experiment" they waived the white-flag, and the BDC started managing the leads again. The sales consultants did not call the leads or use the CRM. Sorry for the novel, but again, it all depends on how the Dealer values their BDC, and what the "processes" are. If you have a strong, dependable, BDC they should not be a cost, but an "asset" with a strong ROI. 

Bart Wilson

@Derrick, interesting take. What are some of the metrics you use to assess the value of a BDC? If the role of a BDC has changed, shouldn't the metrics evolve as well?

Mandie Baker

Thank you all for the feedback.  Bart, we are currently in the process of setting up a service BDC.  As far as the BDC Sales end, I run a tight ship.  We have set processes in place and unfortunately if they are not followed, the rep will not get paid on it.  A few of our Dealership's work very closely with the BDC. Those are our top performers.  Getting everyone on board and following the process is always a struggle.

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