The Five MUST HAVES for Creating a Successful Automotive BDC – PART 6
The 5 Must Haves for Creating a Successful Automotive BDC – PART 6
TRANSCRIPT: Okay, the final ‘must have’ for your dealership to have a successful BDC sustained over the long term is simply this: all of your sales managers, all of them, must support and defend the BDC.
Despite the fact that we’ve had this pesky internet around in the car dealerships for almost a generation, I still meet more desk managers who enjoy torturing the internet team or BDC than I do those who support the effort. This just boggles my mind, since these same managers are paid based on what the entire store sells, and that the BDC is often the most instrumental in driving the growth of the stores that I visit.
The time for the sales managers to not only support but defend their BDC’s arrived years ago. It’s simply bad for business for your desk managers to keep taking the side of your sales floor in disputes with the BDC. Think about this: if your floor sales team did their job you wouldn’t need a BDC. Take a second and let that sink in. If your floor sales teams were doing their job you wouldn’t need a BDC. The reason for nearly every automotive sales BDC in place today is because the sales managers cannot or will not get their floor teams to make the required calls using your approved talk tracks. They just won’t do it. It’s simply activity management that fails for nearly every dealership I see. It fails for dealership sales managers, yet in a BDC environment it succeeds. We’re successful in using the proper talk tracks in a BDC environment and we’re not on the floor.
The reward for having your sales managers begin supporting and defending the efforts of the BDC’s is that you can make the BDC team a true developer of business, right? Once the floor sales managers embrace this; once they embrace the sustainable pay plans; once they start taking the BDC’s side in the “he said, she said” fights, you can begin to make the BDC a developer of business. It starts by putting the internet leads in the BDC. Then, eventually, you move all your inbound phone activity to the BDC. Once you have solid efforts in place for these two, you can now give your BDC all of your orphan owner calls.
Imagine this: the BDC begins to contact orphan owners, gets them into the dealership so we can appraise their vehicles and we end up selling them a new vehicle 60% of the time. It’s true. Finally, after they’re doing orphan owners, after they’re doing all of the internet sales leads, after they’re doing all of the inbound phone calls, you can allow your floor sales people to ‘contract’ with the BDC to make their owner marketing calls and be-back calls.
What is the cost to the floor sales team to do this? It’s half their commission – the sustainable pay plan. Now, this is a voluntary program. You can go to your floor sales people, once you have a solid BDC in place and say, “Hey, listen guys and gals, I’ve got a proposition for you. You can either start making the calls that the CRM asks you to make, using the proper talk tracks we’ve provided, or you can move those efforts to the BDC. It will only cost you half your commission. You’ll still get a full mark towards your volume bonus. The alternative is, if you say you’re going to make your calls and you don’t, well, you can’t work here anymore”.
This will shock you but most everyone on your floor sales team will happily contract with the BDC to have them make all of their phone calls. Then and only then, can you look at your BDC as a developer of business that feeds your dealership a steady stream of ready buyers.
Okay, to recap. There are five ‘musts’ for creating and maintaining a successful BDC and these are: must number one, BDC’s must be a profit center and not a cost center. Must number two: BDC’s must use sustainable pay plans. Must number three: BDC’s must be managed like call centers. Must number four: BDC’s must have strict rules for what counts as a valid appointment, and, must number five: all of your sales managers must support and defend the BDC.
I hope you found this valuable. Good selling.
April 5, 2022 @ 4:57 pm
I have a BDC agent who sets alot of appointments- but her show percentage is at best 55%. How do I help her set stronger appointments and hold her accountable for them? We already use your videos for training but it is like leading a horse to water- I can’t make them drink. They are only paid on appointments that show, and I pay more if they hit 65% or higher, but that does not seem to motivate her enough
April 7, 2022 @ 12:08 pm
Hi Wendy – Where you already have strong rules in place for what constitutes a valid show (for example, must arrive within 45 minutes of the scheduled time), then the next step is to beef up your show “kicker” and award less pay/bonus for show rates below 60%. I’ll send you a spreadsheet you can play around with to see how that might affect her pay and motivate her to get a better show rate.
March 7, 2015 @ 8:42 pm
What would be considered sustainable pay for a BDC/ Internet Manager
March 7, 2015 @ 9:46 pm
Given that a sustainable BDC would be driving the growth for a dealership, I like to pay this person the same as I would a desk manager. Initially, a dealership would be well-served to put a competent, process-driven desk manager in this role. If the store is executing The Perfect Appointment, they can expect fewer “pencils” per sold unit and overall higher closing percentages. This should relieve the average desk enough that someone can be moved to head up the BDC.
February 23, 2015 @ 10:43 pm
Hey Steve, If we schedule everyone as an appointment using the BDC, wouldn’t that hurt the salespeople that are busting their buts and getting out on the lot actually taking ups? In a way, what you are saying totally makes sense from a dealer’s point of view but it could also take away from the true hustlers that are still willing to go out and be the first one on the lot to greet the guest. Please let me know what you think.
February 23, 2015 @ 10:44 pm
Great question and here are my thoughts:
#1. If the salespeople would make the follow-up calls on the schedule prescribed by the dealer and using the approved talk tracks, we would never need a BDC in the first place.
#2. Given that #1 happens so rarely, using a BDC to set the appointments is better for 99% of salespeople and here’s how: If the dealership is paying a split commission to the salesperson who closes the appointment, salespeople who follow the perfect appointment will close 4 out of 5 appointments, and do this in 90 minutes or less. So, in order to earn 20 full commissions in a month, I would need to work with 25 appointments and I would spend about 37.5 hours with those 25 appointments. (If I only saw Ups, and I was average, I would need to catch 100 Ups in the month and spend about 60 hours with the 20 people I actually sold.) I’ll take appointments at a split commission any day.
#3. If our dealership doesn’t set appointments with today’s consumer, then our competitors will. We cannot continue rely solely on Ups to drive our business growth.
Hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything else.