Almost 30 years ago, I introduced the BDC concept to dealers across the country. Initially people in our industry thought my concept was, for a lack of better terms, absurd. Today my concept is fully integrated and operational in dealerships around the world. BDCs are so prominent that even manufacturers want their dealerships to have one. With that said, over 90% of BDCs underperform, and here are five reasons why.
You were not ready for a BDC.
Here’s the typical scenario. You couldn’t handle listening to one more phone-up butchered by your sales staff. To handle the situation, you took BDC responsibility away from your six-figure sales managers that couldn’t get it done with your $50K salespeople and replaced them with a $4K manager overseeing $2K BDC sales reps to fix the problem. BDCs work best with a tightly run sales department. The sales staff should average 12 units plus per month per person and have 100% accountability on floor ups, phone ups and all sales opportunities. BDCs fuel already strong sales departments and only amplify the weaknesses of one that is not. Truly great BDCs can be found at dealerships that already have 100% accountability for floor traffic. If every up counts, then count every up!
Wrong BDC Manager
Would your BDC manager sell 15 plus units a month on the floor? Are they the best on the phone in your entire dealership? Do they set appointments themselves each day? Are they more retail than detail? If not, then you have the wrong manager in place. A manager that is three months into running your BDC should not be showing you a 4 color graph of why you’re not selling more units.
You don’t have 100% manager buy-in.
Do some of your managers consider your BDC to be the ugly stepchild of the dealership – a department forced upon them from the dealer or manufacturer? Either you’re 100% in or 100% out. Pick one and own it! Managers 100% in are spot checking, recording inbound and outbound calls and fixing red flags immediately. They are also taking notes for the daily BDC morning meeting. A meeting that also covers save-a-deal, advertising, promotions, inventory and sales skills. Dealerships 100% in also make sure that all internet leads and phone appointments are set for the manager on duty. Most importantly managers should be on a rotation in order to work directly with the BDC each day, a truly hands on approach. This allows management to overhear calls, assist with T.O.s, polish selling skills, help the team overcome frustrations and supervise new or struggling salespeople.
Not on the phone enough.
If you’re not talking, you’re not selling! After analyzing the productivity of thousands of BDC reps in the last few years, I have found that reps from underperforming BDCs were on the phone less than 30% of the day. In more productive BDCs, reps were on the phone over 40% of the time and actively updating their CRM. Reps logging less than 30% of phone time are either avoiding making calls, not hungry or undermanaged.
BDC reps lacking “great” phone skills.
With average or poor phone skills, your BDC will always be an expense. With expert to great phone skills paired with active calling, your BDC is an investment with a great return. The skill level of your BDC reps and actual logged minutes determine whether your BDC dominates the market or not.
Setting the foundation, placing the right management, changing employee perception, boosting phone productivity and elevating call performance are five of the top 10 reasons BDCs underperform. If you enjoyed this article, then you will want to brush up on the remaining five reasons.