As I work with various dealerships all over the nation, I am still amazed at the kind of attitude that I find sales departments showing towards their BDC. As a matter of fact, it is interesting to see how aggressive sales people embrace it while everyone else has a negative vibe towards it. It is interesting to see the lack of appreciation that sales professionals have towards the support that is being given to them. This is an ongoing that hurts many dealerships every single day.
A Business Development Center (BDC) is usually setup as a call center where a coordinator is solely responsible answer internet email leads and phone ups to generate appointments. This has become a more typical approach to maintaining an internet department over the last few years. The benefit of it is that it allows support for the sales department to work with appointments instead of rely on the door for fresh ups. The goal is to generate as many appointments as possible. The more appointments that come in the more cars the store will sell. Sounds like a great idea right? So, why do sales professionals still fight the idea of having a BDC?
The problem is that sales people are not trained in the new ways of handling customers. They are not trained to work their customer relationship management (CRM) tool properly and ask the right questions that come along with it. They get a customer that comes in as an appointment and start a new process instead of continuing a current process which creates a bad experience for the customer. This happens because there is little or no communication between management and the BDC. There is also no communication between the sales and BDC departments. They should work together like a well oiled machine. It is becoming evident that the focus is more on training how to handle an email lead or a phone up. Dealerships need to start thinking about training their sales staff and management to adjust to handling their customers better and working as one solid team.
Here is what I propose. Keep sales people on the floor but have them rotate shifts working in the BDC. It is really very simple. Each hour a different sales consultant comes in and helps the BDC. Make it a requirement and sales people will start to destroy bad habits and build buy in for having a BDC. Here are some of the benefits:
- They will learn the importance of why they have a BDC in the dealership.
- They will be available to help with product knowledge TOs on calls.
- They will help make phone calls and prospect for business.
- They can sometimes help a sell a car over the phone with customers that want to start the transaction process over the phone.
- They can help handle over flow of leads. If they make an appointment in that hour, it is their appointment.
- If they talk to a customer on the phone it is their deal.
The bottom line is that sales people need to learn what is being said and how it is being said on the phone. They also need to understand why certain things happen the way that they do in a BDC. A sales professional needs to look into the CRM and read the notes so that they can continue where the BDC left off. The sales department needs to be thankful for the support staff that they have and help pitch in when they can. Lastly, sales professionals need to learn what current technology is available to increase their own follow up and customer engagement. These practices will show improved morale in the dealership and better results.
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