Josh Mitchell & Chris Leslie will be duking it out all year long on the Nextup blog! Welcome to Round 1, we're debating BDCs.
Josh gets into the ring first...
I’ve said this a number of times, and have gotten in trouble for saying this — but I’m going to say it again. Salespeople suck! I know you must be thinking 'Who does this guy think he is?,' but before you quit reading, please hear me out.
When it comes down to the sale of a car, that is where salesmen shine. If we look at the purpose of a Business Development Center (BDC) you can instantly understand the reasoning behind them. Salespeople suck at answering email leads, initiating phone calls, and the necessary follow up required for each customer. Because of this, the BDC became a reality, allowing dealers access to a controlled environment of highly-trained assassins. (If you built it right.)
A common concern from dealerships that are pondering this new department, is that it costs money. Which is true. But imagine the collective cost of your missed or poor-managed leads. A lack of follow up costs money too.
It's important that we work with speed because time kills deals. If you think your customers are just going to wait on you, you’ve lost your mind. That is why if you don’t have a BDC, your business is going to die.
In a BDC environment, you control everything from lead response, phone scripts, and follow up. You know you can’t expect a salesman to answer a email or phone call, follow up with active leads, and watch the lot with any kind of urgency. On top of prospecting and selling, they're also setting up OnStar and delivering vehicles. You are asking them to be a master at multitasking, which is only 2% of people.
Car dealerships are in the information industry. Our customers want a personalized experience and they want answers fast. That is why a fully-equipped BDC is so important. When I say fully-equipped, I mean it. If a customer wants to know ballpark trade numbers, equipment, condition, rates, availability, or out-the-door numbers. They need to be ready with it.
What you get with a BDC versus a traditional salesperson, starts with the single most important thing: the customer’s experience. When you have a staff dedicated to handling inbound phone calls, leads, follow up and chat, you create an environment that is focused on the customer wants and needs. When your floor is flooded with happy customers arriving for appointments, every salesperson is busy. You suddenly have a sales department that is still cranking out sales. It allows your sales staff to be great at what they do best: sell cars! The BDC mindset is significantly different than the salesperson mindset.
To think, you can place a salesperson in a room for hours to diligently handle leads, phones and chat is not the most beneficial place for them to be. You paralyze most of them and you won’t get the best results. A BDC focuses more on the customer and getting them comfortable enough to make an appointment. Not to sell the car over the phone.
Our industry and the customer has changed. The internet, which some thought was a fleeting fad that would go away, has only grown and taken over everything that we do. Now with all that said, your salespeople and the BDC are equally important. If the BDC fails, the sales team fails. If the sales team fails, the BDC fails. We need each other.
Josh "The Autodisrupter" Mitchell, Dan Cummins Chevrolet
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