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

Feb 22, 2021
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Kyle
I'm a BDC rep myself for CRM software company. TheCRM Corporation hired me as an experiment. I was the first rep in my department. Since September of 2020, I have found tremendous success for TheCRM Corporation. From branding our name on LinkedIn, using HubSpot for outreach via email and phone calls and posting on dealer forums, I've been able to schedule appointments with dealers to demo our CRM called CRMSuite. I call in to a lot of stores that have a BDC dept. and I ask these dealers if their BDC dept has had much success and their answer is always yes.
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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Alex
If I were back at Checkered Flag I would not build a fully-in-house BDC again. I would find my handful of dependable BDC people, train the crap out of them, and pay a little more for that role than I did. Then, I'd use an outsourced BDC to do the mundane stuff that drives the talented folks crazy.

My people would hold the deeper answers to get the appointment while the outsourced BDC would get the "laydown" appointments.
 

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
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My people would hold the deeper answers to get the appointment while the outsourced BDC would get the "laydown" appointments.
Interesting... the idea has always been, "Pay for specific behaviors/skills I need." When that payplan evolved beyond "Just Sell Cars," i.e. working people through the door vs greeting people at the door, we started paying people to send emails and chase leads. Now we're delving into micro-segmentation needs.

Is that the right direction? Get even more specific? Very, very interesting line of thought.
 

Dan Sayer

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Dec 4, 2009
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Dan
Interesting... the idea has always been, "Pay for specific behaviors/skills I need." When that payplan evolved beyond "Just Sell Cars," i.e. working people through the door vs greeting people at the door, we started paying people to send emails and chase leads. Now we're delving into micro-segmentation needs.

Is that the right direction? Get even more specific? Very, very interesting line of thought.
John, as our stores move to the final stages of "one-touch" it has presented an interesting challenge. Before "one-touch" when there was a finance office, the sales person was with the customer for only a portion of the process. This meant they could jump back into leads and follow-up in those gaps of time. In "one-touch" they are glued to the hip of a customer for the entire duration including finance presentation and paperwork, etc. During this same transition period, our leads, chats, and phone calls exploded to the point where having enough sales people for those initial points of contact are strained, not to mention the follow-up required in the following days. We run a cradle-to-grave sales-team-that-handles-all-channel approach currently. The pursuit and work needed for the early stages of an unresponded web lead is an exercise in time management that seems to be a pain point for us. This is where a BDC that would take on the quality initial pursuit and first request for next steps would come in handy. If the objection to next steps (store visit, etc) can't be overcome by the BDC, then it comes to the store to handle then on. I think this strategy, for us, would be interesting. How to structure that BDC solution is my challenge. To your point of how to pay, I've heard a number of options and each has benefit and drawback. Do you have a suggestion?
 
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ChrisR

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Oct 12, 2015
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Christian
John, as our stores move to the final stages of "one-touch" it has presented an interesting challenge. Before "one-touch" when there was a finance office, the sales person was with the customer for only a portion of the process. This meant they could jump back into leads and follow-up in those gaps of time. In "one-touch" they are glued to the hip of a customer for the entire duration including finance presentation and paperwork, etc. During this same transition period, our leads, chats, and phone calls exploded to the point where having enough sales people for those initial points of contact are strained, not to mention the follow-up required in the following days. We run a cradle-to-grave sales-team-that-handles-all-channel approach currently. The pursuit and work needed for the early stages of an unresponded web lead is an exercise in time management that seems to be a pain point for us. This is where a BDC that would take on the quality initial pursuit and first request for next steps would come in handy. If the objection to next steps (store visit, etc) can't be overcome by the BDC, then it comes to the store to handle then on. I think this strategy, for us, would be interesting. How to structure that BDC solution is my challenge. To your point of how to pay, I've heard a number of options and each has benefit and drawback. Do you have a suggestion?

And that is my primary concern with *not* having a BDC - when someone is with a guest, zero follow up is happening.
 

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
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John
The pursuit and work needed for the early stages of an unresponded web lead is an exercise in time management that seems to be a pain point for us. This is where a BDC that would take on the quality initial pursuit and first request for next steps would come in handy. If the objection to next steps (store visit, etc)...
Educate me... why?

Devil's advocate: is your response process/methodology helping or creating this logjam? Consider... do you really need a lot of people to answer the questions customers want answered before a visit?

Dan -- be clear -- this is my working through a thought... not challenging you or your process. The thought is still formulating... In full transparency, I built a BDC back in the day, paid an hourly wage and bonuses -- the appointment-setter model. We provided pricing up-front via multiple quotes & options -- as a way of overcoming the biggest objection (How much??).

But what I learned... people really weren't necessarily looking for the answer to the questions they were asking. They ALL were trying to figure-out: "Is this where I am going to do business?" Simply by creating the appearance of transparency, and providing information up-front that our competitors wouldn't, we stood out as "consumer-friendly" and were wildly successful.

Sooooo.... if I had to do it over again... would I focus on appointments? I'm not so sure. Would I focus on being the place where they wanted to do business? Hell yeah. How? Making it easy to do so... I think. I actually like the problem of having a bunch of people just show-up vs. not being able to set enough appointments.

But one thing is for sure... make it easy, and you get results. Vendor side, or Retail... never were truer words said.
 

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
372
349
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Christian
Educate me... why?

Devil's advocate: is your response process/methodology helping or creating this logjam? Consider... do you really need a lot of people to answer the questions customers want answered before a visit?

Dan -- be clear -- this is my working through a thought... not challenging you or your process. The thought is still formulating... In full transparency, I built a BDC back in the day, paid an hourly wage and bonuses -- the appointment-setter model. We provided pricing up-front via multiple quotes & options -- as a way of overcoming the biggest objection (How much??).

But what I learned... people really weren't necessarily looking for the answer to the questions they were asking. They ALL were trying to figure-out: "Is this where I am going to do business?" Simply by creating the appearance of transparency, and providing information up-front that our competitors wouldn't, we stood out as "consumer-friendly" and were wildly successful.

Sooooo.... if I had to do it over again... would I focus on appointments? I'm not so sure. Would I focus on being the place where they wanted to do business? Hell yeah. How? Making it easy to do so... I think. I actually like the problem of having a bunch of people just show-up vs. not being able to set enough appointments.

But one thing is for sure... make it easy, and you get results. Vendor side, or Retail... never were truer words said.
From my POV, the first dealer to get in contact with a lead submitter, has the highest likelihood of building that initial relationship, to get them in to consider you for doing business.

After making first contact, of course, you have to differentiate yourself, your store, and follow through. Let me say that again, FOLLOW THROUGH. Or don't, we are making a lot of friends (sales) because other stores lie, and don't follow through.
 

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
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John
From my POV, the first dealer to get in contact with a lead submitter, has the highest likelihood of building that initial relationship, to get them in to consider you for doing business.

I used to think that too... now I think the first BEST response is what wins. I KNOW a lot of dealers actually unknowingly shut the door by being the first shitty response. The automotive community has spent the last 22 years educating their consumers to expect a fast, but crappy response. Be different.
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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Alex
I used to think that too... now I think the first BEST response is what wins. I KNOW a lot of dealers actually unknowingly shut the door by being the first shitty response. The automotive community has spent the last 22 years educating their consumers to expect a fast, but crappy response. Be different.

I was car shopping earlier this month and definitely buy-in on "the BEST response is what wins."

Everyone is fast and few are thorough. I think speed is actually killing dealers. SLOW DOWN! You're not paying attention to what the customer is expecting. As a car shopper, if your first response isn't wowwing me I'm pretty much done with you. If you want to get my attention back, you have a lot of ground to make up and that's going to require lowering the price a lot.
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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Alex
If you're the only dealer with the car you can be as shitty as you want. Supply/demand laws. Try buying a Rolex to see how this works.

If you provide good service, you will earn the right to have many conversations. You can also be a little more expensive than the competition.

If you do not provide good service, you have to win on price.