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If you had to do it all over again, BDC or no BDC? And unicorns...

sra1287

Boss
Apr 24, 2013
2
3
Awards
1
First Name
Shannon
We had an amazing BDC for 5 years. We hit a point where it was hard to find and keep decent BDC agents for the hourly rate we had always used. Instead of fixing the pay plan management decided to move the leads to the sales floor. This worked fine during our slow season but as soon as Spring hit things got messy. We built a new BDC with a competitive pay plan and I am confident it is the right move, especially with the way business is moving. Our new BDC is 11 months old and thriving.
 
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Dan Sayer

Boss
Dec 4, 2009
344
328
Awards
1
First Name
Dan
We had an amazing BDC for 5 years. We hit a point where it was hard to find and keep decent BDC agents for the hourly rate we had always used. Instead of fixing the pay plan management decided to move the leads to the sales floor. This worked fine during our slow season but as soon as Spring hit things got messy. We built a new BDC with a competitive pay plan and I am confident it is the right move, especially with the way business is moving. Our new BDC is 11 months old and thriving.
Do they keep the lead till it shows or do they had to store earlier than that? Spoke with a dealer that hands to the store if there was an objection preventing the store visit. For instance, "I need an idea on payments/value before I make that drive...". That lead goes to the store and then the BDC tracks that lead and accountability of the store's handling moving forward. This allows their BDC to handle more leads per rep because the rep isn't having to run and work with the stores on that information.
 

Baron Ringler

Full Sticker
Jul 6, 2010
79
45
First Name
Baron
First, Hey Joe, you might remember me from years past.
Some topics will bring me out of retirement and this is one of them.
You need a BDC if you salespeople aren't properly trained, unmotivated and poorly supervised. I walk into stores and think their salespeople should be ticked for loitering. You look at the stats on emails and it is rare to find a store where emails are answered in a timely fashion or at all. Sales calls are rarely monitored and appointments aren't confirmed.
I do business with the largest CDJR dealer in north Texas. They did away with their BDC about four years ago and have done nothing but grow since. Not only have their sales increased so has their gross. I remember when they had the BDC. They would offer fifty dollar gift cards for anyone coming in for a test drive and a spiff for whoever set the appointment. They would get on the phone and bring back every bad credit person that could use fifty dollars.
If you have quality salespeople, they know the product and how to talk to people then why do you need to replace them with clerks?

The gift card/bad credit issue is strictly training, and setting up a system where poor results are rewarded.

That being said, if that CDJR dealer, or any other store, has the wherewithal to do the training, maintain the follow-up, and have strong solid processes, it's a huge thing because it eliminates an a lot of expense; benefits, salaries, etc.

The problem is that such a thing is so rare, and often sales managers are complicit in the lack of phone/lead training and ability of their sales staff, which makes the BDC a necessity, although an added problem there is if they don't train the salespeople chances are the BDC isn't being trained right either.

Whichever of those is the case, there should be a lot of people asked to move on with their life's work and be replaced. Andi if you say that it's tough to replace people, try to remember it's even harder to replace lost customers and revenue.
 

Baron Ringler

Full Sticker
Jul 6, 2010
79
45
First Name
Baron
We had an amazing BDC for 5 years. We hit a point where it was hard to find and keep decent BDC agents for the hourly rate we had always used. Instead of fixing the pay plan management decided to move the leads to the sales floor. This worked fine during our slow season but as soon as Spring hit things got messy. We built a new BDC with a competitive pay plan and I am confident it is the right move, especially with the way business is moving. Our new BDC is 11 months old and thriving.

I've always worked the philosophy that I will underpay for average but overpay for excellence. So what if I pay $500, or even $1000, more per month if I have a legit superstar crushing it and making more deals per lead than an average player?
 
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Marc Lavoie

3rd Base Coach
Jan 3, 2019
225
161
First Name
Marc

ddavis

Boss
Jun 28, 2011
1,491
496
First Name
Doug
That being said, if that CDJR dealer, or any other store, has the wherewithal to do the training, maintain the follow-up, and have strong solid processes, it's a huge thing because it eliminates an a lot of expense; benefits, salaries, etc.

The problem is that such a thing is so rare, and often sales managers are complicit in the lack of phone/lead training and ability of their sales staff, which makes the BDC a necessity, although an added problem there is if they don't train the salespeople chances are the BDC isn't being trained right either.
I agree 100%. Yes, it eliminates expenses but it also allows you to pay good people. I'm in that store several times a week. I was there today. At the desk, all day long, they are calling salespeople to the office. "Where are we with Mr. and Mrs. Smith?" If they don't get the right answer, they will pick up the phone and call them. When you have the managers working, they can expect the salespeople to be working, too. They track everything.

I believe there are 22 CDJR dealerships in the DFW metroplex. Being consistently #1, is a rare thing. The morale at that store is very strong.

You're saying that you need an additional department because the sales department, including managers, are not doing their jobs. That is truly a sad testimonial.
 
Dec 19, 2018
109
119
Awards
1
First Name
Bill
We have slowly begun the transition to having sales reps handle all aspects of lead handling. We currently have 4 people (we have 9 total) who take lot ups, phone ups, handle internet leads and chats. It has been very successful for us. We began training a 5th today actually. Customers really appreciate being able to stay with one person no matter which channel they come through. It reduces problems of the customer coming in and feeling like they have to start over. It has drastically improved the transition from the net/phone to the floor.

I 100% agree with the gentleman that stated that the BDC was a crutch that was created because of poor management and training. We stopped training staff how to handle lot ups from day one and actually start with the phones. Our training manual is comprehensive and includes processes and procedures for handling any channel.

Our staff is tasked with keeping our promise to each other (we don't use the word accountability) and handling leads with as close to the same consistency possible (in consideration of also letting them be who they are) regardless of the handler of the lead or where that lead comes from. Every working opportunity is reviewed daily by me and any holes in training or knowledge are filled based on that daily review.

Just like any other major change, it's like rolling a large rock down a hill. It takes some serious commitment to pushing the change and getting it started, but after a while it basically starts rolling on its own outside of a little push now and again.
 
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Baron Ringler

Full Sticker
Jul 6, 2010
79
45
First Name
Baron
I agree 100%. Yes, it eliminates expenses but it also allows you to pay good people. I'm in that store several times a week. I was there today. At the desk, all day long, they are calling salespeople to the office. "Where are we with Mr. and Mrs. Smith?" If they don't get the right answer, they will pick up the phone and call them. When you have the managers working, they can expect the salespeople to be working, too. They track everything.

I believe there are 22 CDJR dealerships in the DFW metroplex. Being consistently #1, is a rare thing. The morale at that store is very strong.

You're saying that you need an additional department because the sales department, including managers, are not doing their jobs. That is truly a sad testimonial.
But not an incorrect one. I think you will find that as you settle in to that mode, managers being involved and the proper procedures being followed, it will become easier to maintain a distance between you and #2.

From experience, I know this and have created the scenario several times, as you get stronger you will start getting salespeople at other stores looking elsewhere because you are making sure they don't make money, meaning that you will then be going up against a lot of green peas, and managers will start to move around as well. Those stores will lose any sense of stability and that is hard to get back. It's vampiric, you getting stronger as they get weaker.
 

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
366
339
Awards
1
First Name
Christian
We have slowly begun the transition to having sales reps handle all aspects of lead handling. We currently have 4 people (we have 9 total) who take lot ups, phone ups, handle internet leads and chats. It has been very successful for us. We began training a 5th today actually. Customers really appreciate being able to stay with one person no matter which channel they come through. It reduces problems of the customer coming in and feeling like they have to start over. It has drastically improved the transition from the net/phone to the floor.

I 100% agree with the gentleman that stated that the BDC was a crutch that was created because of poor management and training. We stopped training staff how to handle lot ups from day one and actually start with the phones. Our training manual is comprehensive and includes processes and procedures for handling any channel.

Our staff is tasked with keeping our promise to each other (we don't use the word accountability) and handling leads with as close to the same consistency possible (in consideration of also letting them be who they are) regardless of the handler of the lead or where that lead comes from. Every working opportunity is reviewed daily by me and any holes in training or knowledge are filled based on that daily review.

Just like any other major change, it's like rolling a large rock down a hill. It takes some serious commitment to pushing the change and getting it started, but after a while it basically starts rolling on its own outside of a little push now and again.

Don't let Foster see you say that! :rofl:
 
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