ACV facts & figures
In today’s ever-changing dealership landscape, the role of a business development center (BDC) is vital for success. The BDC team plays a crucial role in managing incoming calls, scheduling appointments, and proactively reaching out to potential customers to generate sales and service leads .
In this article, we will delve into the functions and responsibilities of the BDC department and explore effective ways in which dealerships can maximize their BDC department’s potential. Understanding the significance of a well-operated BDC and implementing proven strategies can give dealerships a competitive edge and enhance their overall performance.
What Is a BDC?
The BDC is a separate department within the automotive dealership responsible for setting up sales and service appointments. This department is staffed by BDC representatives who manage inbound and outbound customer relationships. Their day-to-day duties include making calls and writing texts and emails to arrange appointments with new leads and current customers. There are two possible models when it comes to BDC departments: outsourced BDC solutions and in-house BDC solutions.
Outsourced BDC Solutions
Outsourced BDC solutions are typically BDC services offered by contracted third parties. Recent technological advancements have made it more attractive for an automotive dealership to outsource their lead generation efforts to minimize overhead costs and avoid the need to recruit, train, and rely on in-house business development representatives.
In-House BDC Solutions
With an internal BDC, you will have more control over the relationship with the customer. It also enhances your dealership culture since your internal agents are already familiar with your dealership operations. This will likely result in better customer experiences. However, in-house BDC comes with added costs compared to outsourced solutions. To operate an effective in-house BDC department, you need to recruit, train, and equip employees with the right tools for their roles.
What Doesn't a BDC Do?
A BDC serves as a crucial support system for sales and revenue generation, rather than being the direct source of revenue itself. To put it simply, a car dealership relies on its BDC automotive center to support its salespeople and service departments.
The representatives in the business development center handle inbound and outbound calls, actively follow up on potential leads, and set service appointments. Once these leads are established, it's the sales and service department's responsibility to take charge and successfully convert these into paying customers.
How to Set Your BDC Up for Success
A well-functioning BDC can greatly enhance your sales efforts, bringing more positive outcomes than you can imagine. That's why it's absolutely crucial to consistently enhance your BDC department and align it with the evolving market dynamics. Here are some invaluable tips to establish a foundation for your BDC's success. 
1. Customer Experience Focus
Ensure your BDC department prioritizes the customer experience. Train your team to be empathetic, responsive, and knowledgeable. Their goal should be to personalize interactions, address customer concerns, and provide a seamless experience throughout the buying process. Additionally, utilize customer feedback to continually improve and refine the customer experience, ensuring that every interaction meets or exceeds expectations.
2. Define Goals and Objectives
Clearly outline the goals and objectives of your BDC department. Determine what you want to achieve, such as improving conversion rates from inbound leads or enhancing customer satisfaction. Then, set measurable targets to track progress and success. Not only does this give leadership a snapshot of business activities, but it can also provide insight into where more training is needed.
3. Establish Processes and Workflows
Develop efficient and standardized processes for lead management, prospect qualification, appointment setting, and follow-up. Clearly define the steps and responsibilities at each stage of the customer journey and use customer relationship management (CRM) software to streamline workflows and track interactions.
4. Align With Sales and Marketing Teams
Foster strong collaboration and communication between the BDC department, sales team, and marketing team. The standardized processes outlined above ensure there is a clear handover process for qualified leads to the sales team and a predictable way for sales to give the BDC feedback to improve lead quality and customer engagement strategies.
5. Monitor Performance and Provide Feedback
Continuously monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), such as lead conversion rates, appointment rates, and customer satisfaction. Regularly review and analyze performance data to identify areas for improvement. This information provides the basis for feedback and coaching to help your BDC team members enhance their skills and performance.
6. Regularly Evaluate and Improve
Conduct regular reviews and assessments of your BDC department's performance. Solicit feedback from customers, sales team members, and other stakeholders to get the most complete picture possible. Use this feedback to make data-driven improvements, refine processes, and optimize outcomes.
7. Focus on Staffing and Training
Hire skilled, customer-focused individuals to work in your BDC department. Look for candidates with excellent communication skills, knowledge of the automotive industry, and the ability to handle customer inquiries effectively. Even though you’re looking for people with relevant skills and experience, it’s important to provide comprehensive training and continuous learning opportunities to ensure they understand the products, services, and sales processes.
Unlock Success for Your Dealership's Team With ACV Auctions
Whether you're a BDC manager, General Manager, or a used-car manager, your dealership's success hinges on securing top-notch used car inventory that attracts customers. ACV Auctions is your ultimate solution, offering a vast selection of used cars through our daily online auctions. The best part? Registering with ACV is completely free for anyone with a dealer's license.. Don't miss out—join us today and grow your business.
- Dealership BDC Pros and Cons." Autosoft, 12 Apr. 2022, https://autosoftdms.com/pros-cons-dealership-bdc/.
- How to Get the Most From Your Automotive BDC." Automotive Lead Response & Communication Platform, n.d. Accessed 18 May 2023. https://www.quotible.com/post/how-to-get-the-most-from-your-automotive-bdc
Aug 30, 2023