I am the ONLY person who handles our car dealership business development center (BDC) efforts in my store and it seems almost impossible for me to answer leads, do outbound calls and follow ups, and take ups by myself. This is harder for me because I was taken from the receptionist position and thrown into the BDC position because of my great personality and communication skills, however, I know NOTHING about cars and now I am the BDC Manager. It becomes extremely difficult to answer phone calls because I cannot provide accurate information to the potential customer. I often become overwhelmed and wake up everyday nervous that I will get fired for not being the BEST BDC rep. My questions are, how many people on average should be doing BDC for one dealership and should I be nervous about my job knowing I didn’t ask for the promotion they just gave to me because of my bubbly personality?
Thanks for your time.
First off, Nicole… we feel your pain. You are not the first person thrust into an automotive BDC because of your personality and communication skills. You certainly won’t be the last. As a matter of fact, an upbeat personality coupled with a no-quit customer service attitude usually far outweighs any amount of product knowledge. Understanding of your dealership’s product line will come with time. The desire to please people and help them with their search cannot be taught. If you have that, everything else will come together.
Now let’s talk about how your department is structured first because it sounds as if you are a one person BDC. An army of one. The amount of people needed for a BDC is predicated upon how many total opportunities the store has for their sales team. Generally, strong BDC reps can handle between 175-225 total opportunities. We define opportunities as inbound leads and inbound sales calls. If you’re being asked to follow up on behalf of the sales team’s unsold showroom traffic, then count each salesperson as 20 leads. If you’re handling live chat, count that as 20 more leads. If you’re still handling receptionist duties as well, you need to get that off your plate. Eventually you’ll need to know how much effort and time is needed per scheduled appointment for the sales team. On top of this, you can’t be in-store from bell-to-bell 6-7 days a week handling inbound and outbound calls. So, some assistance to back you up in the department should be requested.
Second, we must address the process. Get on the phone with your CRM provider and evaluate the process that is set-up for you. Don’t bite off more than you can chew if you have to be the One Person BDC. Try to automate several of your ongoing emails as manually sending emails is a time-suck. You’ll need to send a manual first personal response with pricing, maybe a couple of other manual emails, respond back to email responses, and make phone calls. Try to schedule a minimum of 6 phone calls per lead. Minimum – and that’s only because you’re all alone, otherwise I’d add more calls. Calculate your total amount of calls and try to give yourself a daily quota of calls to make.
200 opportunities x 6 calls per = 1,200 total outbound calls divided by 25 working days is 48 calls a day minimum. Add in the manual emails you’ll be handling and that is a relatively full day.
Lastly, you need to very succinctly coordinate your daily duties. We create a Daily Workout Plan for each dealer client that lets them tackle their priorities for the day. Here is just an example as to how to best structure your day’s activities.
In the end, product knowledge will come with time and experience. And eventually, it may open up opportunities for further discussions about BDC manager salary as well. I didn’t know anything about cars before I began selling them. In instances where you don’t have a product answer, simply state that you are fairly certain you know the answer, but want to check on it to be 100%. I’d rather have an actual answer 5 minutes after I asked the question rather than a wrong answer right away. Customers will appreciate your desire to help them find the truth.
So long as you understand the customer’s journey to get to that point, how to control the conversation, and how to follow a process that leads them closer to their goal of buying, you’ll do just fine. The biggest area that concerns me about your questions is where you stated you have to take ups. A BDC rep traditionally doesn’t have to take ups beyond answering the phones. Don’t be worried that you were promoted into the position due to a great personality. That’s what it takes to succeed. You just can’t do everything for the sales floor – including taking ups. At one point, they’ll need to start doing a modicum of work themselves.
If you get overloaded, do some calculations based on the formulas above and don’t be afraid to ask management for help. It often takes a village to run a well-constructed BDC. One person can do a lot, but not everything.
Nonetheless, keep at it. Hold your head up high. Don’t get frantic. Ask for help.