Best Practices

Why your BDC Manager Can’t Be Your Administrative Assistant

Your business is booming, you’ve got your sales teams, desk managers and finance managers all ready to go. But, you have these “things” coming into your CRM from somewhere else. They’re INTERNET LEADS! What about phone calls?

You’ve decided it’s time – time to set up an “Internet Department” or a “Business Development Center.”  You’ve hired some people – 20-somethings fresh out of college kids looking for a “Real Job.” But, who’s to run this little venture?

And, then it hits you “My Administrative Assistant can do it! She (or He) is organized, able to delegate and is able to keep people on-track.  Who cares if she doesn’t know anything about the industry? “Does out-the-door refer to taking a car off the showroom floor?” (Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before).

The BDC department, its functions, pay, products used, day to day activities – just about every aspect of it are a daily topic in the forums. If you haven’t been keeping up with the community feedback on it I strongly encourage you to hop over and check it out. (Hop, not skip).

Is this your dealership?

BDC department reps with little to no automotive experience – but who cares? All they have to do is set appointments – they don’t need to actually know anything do they? And, if there’s something they do need to know – they can just ask a desk manager.  A desk manager who’s trying to manage a whole team of sales people, save-a-deals, expense reports, inventory, used car approval sheets, a finance department and a few other things, like what’s for lunch?

Hold on. That’s not a good idea. Those BDC reps do need some experience in something other than shopping on the internet (Groupon, what?) But that’s okay – your CRM came installed with a bunch of templates that are perfect.

And, e-mail marketing? That’s easy, just draft a “We’re Taking 40% off MSRP on Ford Fiestas!” email and make sure to e-mail everyone! Including the construction worker who just bought an F-150 2 months ago, I’m SURE he’ll want to purchase a Fiesta, too!

Reality Check

Wait — this doesn’t sound very good. If the dealership had a BDC Manager running this new department who knew the automotive business, he or she would know these things were not only a bad idea, but also a recipe for disaster. That BDC Manager would know the people to put in place, the process and the department to form to sell more cars.

The internet department is your largest marketing tool.  I’m not kidding – it’s the most efficient way to hyper-target your customers in real time.  Don’t make the mistake of taking an incredibly large opportunity for growth (and, well – SALES) and putting it at risk because it’s convenient to have someone less qualified do it. It must be a dedicated and trained professional.

Would you have your administrative assistant change tires? Have you recently sat down in a restaurant for a lovely meal both prepared and served by the same person? No.

Tell me if this is your dealership’s solution to a BDC. What’s the good, the bad and the ugly. What are your success stories and strategies?

Jessica is a Branding and Marketing professional, working to keep DealerRefresh the automotive industry's leading community based blog and forum. She'...