In the last few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with dealers from various markets all across the U.S. about the problems they’re having finding good people for their BDC teams. Certainly this is a common problem in a lot of BDCs, and I remember well thinking the same thing when I was a dealership Internet BDC manager. We keep hoping that we’ll find a staff of people who will be as motivated and committed as we are, but unfortunately it doesn’t usually work out that way. After all, you selected your management team because they had exceptional qualities, and that’s what made them stand out. Not all of your team is going to be that extraordinary.
I’m not trying to say that you should lower your expectations for your BDC reps, but I am going to suggest you make sure that your BDC has processes in place that let you bring new people into a department where they can easily be successful. We do a lot to help our dealer clients hire good BDC people. We have a BDC skills assessment, AVA testing based on successful BDC rep traits, team focused pay plans that help keep reps focused and motivated, and much more. Even with all this, it can be a challenge to find people to staff a BDC. There is somewhat of a stigma attached to these kinds of positions, and that sometimes discourages people from applying for them even though they can be a great career opportunity for the right person.
The most successful BDCs all have well established processes in place. Our client BDCs have a structured approach in place, that is created to work with the entire dealership process, and include an enforced schedule for contacting prospects, specific email templates with the right message, up to date phone scripts and messages, regular reports that are completed by the BDC reps themselves and not just managers, and more. We know that the better your BDC process is, the less you’ll be affected by having newer personnel who may not always have the determination and commitment of your best people. When your BDC is process driven, the reps know what they need to do every day with every kind of prospect, and the results are easy to obtain.
As your BDC team gains experience, they should become more confident and convincing in their interactions with customers, but you need to make sure that they are sticking with the plans and structure you have in place. Sometimes after they spend a few months on the job, BDC reps will start to “wing it,” and their results will begin to drop off so it’s important to keep them on target, using the messages and tools that you are proven to bring in customers. The BDC needs to be about reassuring prospects that the dealership can meet whatever their needs are, and encouraging them to visit the dealership. A good process will make sure that’s happening, and you’ll be surprised at how much less personnel problems you’ll have to deal with.
Having a great BDC isn’t rocket science, but it can be challenging for dealers and managers who don’t have a lot of good BDC experience to draw from. If you’re thinking of starting a BDC, or you’re not happy with the results you’re getting from your existing BDC, you need to be sure that they are getting the right kind of advice about process and messages. If you’re ready and willing to take an “eyes wide open” look at your own level of BDC expertise, you might see that your problem isn’t the people you’re finding, but the process you’re plugging them into.