New Vision Sales Automobile Dealer Sales Training – Article Series
Hire the Right Business
Often, when dealers are contemplating starting a business
development center (BDC) in their dealership I am asked, "Who
should run the BDC?" The question I should pose to that dealer
is: how good do you want your BDC to be? A business development
manager (BDM) is directly responsible and accountable for
maximizing sales and profitability of the BDC to agreed levels
of performance. To achieve top performance, you have to hire top
Before you begin searching for the right BDM, you will need to
understand the proper dealership personnel structure once you
implement a BDC.
Dealer Dealer (or GM)
Notice that the BDC is not a part of the sales department. It is
a separate department accountable to only the highest level of
management in the dealership. This means you are looking for a
top-level manager. Applicants looking for a $40,000-a-year job
are not your candidates. You should expect this person to earn
$60,000 or more a year, depending on your market.
Your new BDC will adopt the attitudes, work ethic and beliefs of
its leader. If you put someone in charge who doesn't project the
image you want for your dealership, your dealership image will
change over time— the individual in charge will not! Regardless
of whether you have already hired or have yet to hire this
individual, the candidate needs to have the attitude, work ethic
and beliefs of the dealership owner. The BDC will become the
voice of your dealership in the community. What do you want it
to sound like?
In my opinion, the person who should be running your BDC is the
absolute best communicator you know. Notice I didn't say the
best communicator currently on staff. You may not have a top
performing communicator on staff yet and will have to hire this
person. Also, notice I said communicator, not talker.
Communicating and talking are not the same.
This individual will work with those directly in his or her
department, but they will also interact with those individuals
who mean the most to you— your customers. The BDM will also
communicate with the sales department and finance office in
reconciling appointments and sales. Therefore, the BDM must be a
team player for the dealership, not just the BDC.
The BDM must be able lead by example. This person's
communication skills should be so strong that he or she is
capable of taking any customer T.O. in the BDC to secure an
appointment. Additionally, if a business development
representative (BDR) or a business development team leader (BDL)
is absent, the BDM must pick up the slack on the phone so
production does not fall off. The BDM is the "show me"
individual in the department, capable of demonstrating to any
employee how to properly manage a call which leads to an
appointment that shows.
The BDM is responsible for all staffing, scheduling and
reviewing compensation and incentives for all BDC employees. He
or she must be able to hold those they supervise accountable
and, when necessary, reprimand less-than-outstanding
performance. A BDM must be a coach and trainer orchestrating
twice-weekly training sessions for all BDC employees.
Additionally, he or she must be able to encourage competition
while maintaining unity and teamwork in the BDC.
The BDM must know, or be properly taught, the telemarketing laws
in your state and adhere to all Do Not Call regulations.
Adherence to these laws must be a priority for the manager (and
anyone making calls) because the last thing you need is another
door for plaintiffs' attorneys to come knocking on looking for
As the old saying goes, "You can't manage what you don't
measure." So, last but certainly not least, are the BDM's
productivity measurement duties, which include:
• Assure all scheduled appointments are solidly confirmed.
• Assure a minimum of five appointment shows per BDR each day.
• Monitor incoming calls and appointment-to-lead percentages
• Hold team leaders responsible for daily outgoing calls.
• Make and take T.O. calls and demand improvement.
• Obtain new customers and raise CSI.
• Create good public relations consistent with effective use of
• Constantly update and purify customer records.
So, I'm back to my question of how good do you want your BDC to
be? If you want your BDC operating at benchmark levels of five
appointment shows per BDR each day, you have to search for and
hire the best communicator to run your new department.
New Vision Sales Inc.
1670 Hwy 160 West Suite 206
Fort Mill, South Carolina 29708
Toll Free: 866-532-2827