Tips for Managing Your BDC Team

July 9, 2024

A BDR Manager answers a phone call.

Your business development center (BDC) team helps fuel your automotive dealership, solidifying customer relationships and ensuring growth. As the first point of contact between the dealership and a potential customer, the BDC plays an invaluable role in connecting consumers to your products and services.

Needless to say, you want to make sure your BDC team is performing its best. With their help, you can not only win new leads but also nurture customer loyalty. Discover some pointers for optimizing your BDC team below.

The Benefits of Automotive BDC Best Practices

Modern car buyers are more savvy than ever, with the internet serving as a valuable source of product information (and offering plenty of opportunities for comparison shopping). Make sure your dealership can keep up with the competition with these automotive BDC tips.

1. Articulate the Role of Your BDC Team

The first step to success is knowing what success looks like. Define your BDC team's tasks clearly. One of the most important jobs is lead qualification, which involves assessing customer's needs to see how the dealership may meet them. Beyond this, BDC teams must follow up on leads by setting appointments and building relationships with potential buyers¹.

Effective BDC teams must also maintain detailed records of customer information and interactions. The end goal of a BDC team is customer satisfaction. Instilling a customer-centric attitude in your team and emphasizing the importance of good service is the cornerstone to success.

2. Train Your Team

Set clear expectations for your BDC team, in line with your brand. For example, if your automotive dealership is community-focused, this should be reflected in the conversations your BDC team has with customers². Lead-nurturing efforts should accurately represent this type of claim and be consistent across all methods of outreach, whether it’s by phone, email, or SMS—just like you’d expect service quality to be consistent across all employees on the sales floor. Give your team the training they need to build and sustain customer relationships and follow up to see how effective their tactics are.

You can't just train your team once and expect that to be the end of it. Monitor how your team is doing, checking for effectiveness using the metrics described below. When needed, provide coaching so they can improve.

3. Use Technology to Your Team's Advantage

A well-informed, articulate BDC team can make all the difference in customer satisfaction. Organize essential information about your inventory and make sure your team knows your products inside and out.

A digital inventory management system that provides essential details about all the cars on your lot is a good starting point. ACV Max's merchandising tools provide vehicle descriptions and data that your BDC team can access in real time via a laptop or tablet. Other useful technology for automotive dealerships includes vehicle pricing and digital marketing tools.

4. Define Metrics for Measuring BDC Performance

Want to make sure the above tips are working? Define the parameters for your BDC team's success. You might look at how much time BDC agents spend on the phone with each customer, for example.

Conversion rate is another popular metric, telling you how many customers closed compared to how many points of contact were required to close³. Finally, consider contact rate—the number of conversions obtained from generated leads. This can help you determine the quality of lead generation.

5. Identify and Tackle Hurdles

When measuring BDC performance, look at the good and the bad to figure out how to improve. There are a few common hurdles to BDC implementation, like poor lead management, that can result in wasted time on unqualified contacts¹.

Other roadblocks range from inefficient communication to a lack of personalization when approaching customers. In addition to using metrics like those described above, get qualitative feedback regarding customer satisfaction, to see where you can do better. One great survey question to ask: Would the customer recommend your services to a friend, family member, or colleague? This is a central metric in Net Promoter Scores (NPS)⁴.

6. Provide BDC Team Leadership

A BDC manager makes sure that the whole team is on the same page, facilitating communication and collaboration by defining processes, setting team goals, and measuring performance based on predefined metrics. Along with providing coaching and mentorship, the manager can pinpoint opportunities for further training and development.

BDC team managers can make sure that the team is up-to-date on technologies and other innovations that can streamline work and boost success. If you aren't managing the BDC team yourself, appoint a knowledgeable person—notably one who is adept at handling tough customers—to the task⁵.

7. Help Your BDC Team with Leads

If you asked your BDC team leads what they’d want if they had a magic wand, they’d most likely wish for an infinite number of leads. Even without a magic wand, dealership managers can help their BDC teams get qualified leads and improve outcomes.

How can you boost lead generation? Start by taking every electronic lead and making it a phone call; you want to make human contact as soon as possible. Overnight leads are especially time-sensitive, so if there are new emails from customers that came in outside of regular business hours, address them first thing in the morning.

You can also help by giving potential customers reasons to come to the dealership. Advertising a sale or providing gift cards for services are two ways to do this. When possible, assess the success of your lead generation with defined metrics, like conversion rates. Knowing what is and isn't working for you can help you finetune future practices⁶.

Dealership BDC Best Practices: Your Key to Success

As technological advances continue to reshape the car buying market, resulting in shifts like higher digital sales, it's more important than ever to keep up with customer demands. Give your BDC team the training, support, and tools they need to keep up. The above dealership BDC best practices can help.

Learn more about ACV Max's digital inventory management and marketing tools.

  1. 5 Automotive BDC Best Practices Every Car Dealership Should Implement. Virtual BDC. Retrieved July 3, 2024. 
  2. Willingham, T. 6 Ways to Align Your Automotive BDC With Your Expectations. CallRevu. Retrieved July 3, 2024. 
  3. 3 Metrics to Measure Automotive BDC Performance. Digital Dealer. Retrieved July 3, 2024. 
  4. Barron, S. The Ultimate Guide to Your Net Promoter Score (NPS). HubSpot. Retrieved July 3, 2024. 
  5. 5 Best Practices of a Successful BDC Manager. AutoAlert. Retrieved July 3, 2024. 
  6. Bradberry, K. (6 March 2019). 10 Easy Changes You Can Make to Increase Your BDC’s Show Ratio. Auto Success Online. Retrieved July 3, 2024.