How to Get the Most From Your Automotive BDC

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A business development center, or BDC, is one surefire way to get a conversation started in a group of automotive sales professionals. Some think BDCs are crucial for a business to succeed. Others hate them. Still others think they're a good idea in theory but incredibly difficult to pull off. What is a BDC exactly and what needs to happen in order for it to be successful?

What is a BDC?

Simply put, a BDC is a separate department within an automotive dealership that has two main responsibilities:

  1. Making outbound calls to bring in new leads.
  2. Manage inbound calls from new leads to set up sales appointments.

Basically, they're the telemarketers of the dealership.The reason some professionals believe it's a smart idea to have a BDC is that although automotive salespeople are excellent at communicating in person, communicating over the phone is an entirely different beast. Plus, the job responsibilities are vastly different.Thus, they employ professionals who focus solely on telemarketing, give them the proper scripts to work off of, and then keep their fingers crossed that the BDC translates to significant added revenue.BDCs can work, and some dealerships will swear by them. However, over the last couple of decades, others have invested a great deal of money in BDCs — sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars — and seen little to no return on their investment. What's the secret, then? What should a BDC do — and what should it avoid — in order for it to produce the desired results?

How a BDC Should Work

For your automotive BDC to be successful, there are a few key points you should keep in mind.

1. Focus on Scheduling Appointments, Not Selling Automobiles

It's imperative your automotive BDC knows exactly what the goal is: to bring people in the door. While ultimately, the idea is to sell more cars as a result of the new leads, selling is the job of the salespeople. The BDC's responsibility is to bring in warm leads.Thus, when these people are communicating with potential shoppers over the phone, the conversation should focus on that individual's goals, needs, and desires. You're not trying to sell a car. You're trying to sell an appointment.

2. Staff Your BDC With the Right People

Because the BDC staff is responsible for welcoming new leads and warming them up to the idea of doing business with you, it doesn't make much sense to give this job to salespeople. Instead, these people should be experts in customer service. Getting a lead in the door is not about trying to sell them a certain vehicle. It's about explaining why your dealership is better than all the others. Do you have more variety to choose from? Are your financing options more flexible? Do you specialize in a certain type of vehicle?

If a potential shopper walks through the doors and engages with a salesperson, you already know they're likely very interested in purchasing. However, if a lead is merely talking to a BDC team member, the process has only just begun. The BDC staff needs to be excellent at communicating and connecting with people.

These qualities should be the priority when you're looking for people to staff your BDC, even if they aren't too familiar with the industry itself. That knowledge can be taught. Good communication skills are much harder to come by.

3. Have a Clear and Efficient Process for Following Up With Leads

The BDC's work doesn't happen overnight. Nurturing leads and fostering relationships with potential customers takes time and attention. This means you need a process for following up and continuing the conversation after the initial connection.

Having the right automotive lead response tool can make the process easier and more fruitful. For instance, Quotible makes it easy to communicate with shoppers. It will connect to your CRM, pull all lead information, and create a custom quote web page for a vehicle, personalized for that customer. All the salesperson has to do is send it. The salesperson will then be notified via text message when the customer opens the quote, giving the salesperson the opportunity to communicate with the customer in real time.

Without this process, it doesn't matter how good your BDC is. The leads will never pan out without a follow-up process.

Contact Quotible today to schedule a live demo of how we can help you send better quotes and sell more cars!

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