case study

Basil FordFrank Zambito, General Manager, Basil Ford – Buffalo, NY

General Manager Frank Zambito, with the support of Dealer Principal Chuck Basil, Sr., attended a recent meeting of his 20-Group. At this meeting, Frank presented the following in a competition for the Best Idea. The idea below took home the win and the cash!

Late in 2015 we decided to revamp our BDC department. The department had plateaued and it was time for a change. We replaced the manager and brought in a BDC training company, Proactive Dealer Solutions. For years I believed that the BDC was there to handle incoming internet leads and incoming phone calls...I was wrong! It's all about the OUTBOUND CALL! The premise is the more people we contact, the more appointments we set, the more cars we sell. Kind of like everything else we do, the more ups we have, the more trades we appraise, the more manager t.o.'s we do...the more cars we sell.

In order for the BDC to make more outbound calls, the sales desk is responsible to feed the BDC as many names, phone numbers and email addresses as possible. Think of it as a funnel. The more that goes into the BDC funnel, the more that will come out. Honestly this really meant we needed to go back to basics, log every customer that comes in the dealership...period. That meant going back to desk logs, making sure every sales rep gets phone numbers and email addresses. Each morning our BDC manager gets together with a sales manager to review the previous day's activity. We make sure the desk logs match the information in the CRM. We also discuss each up that came in the door and game plan our follow up with that customer.

The whole idea is to "fill the funnel" with customer information so the BDC department can make the follow up calls. The goal is for each BDC rep is to make 100 outbound calls a day, talk to 30 people, and make 6-8 appointments per day. The calls consist of follow up on unsold showroom traffic, unsold phone ups, internet leads, lease renewals, internet and phone campaigns (30 month trade cycle calls, direct mail follow up, long term unsold up follow up, etc.).

“It's All About the Outbound Call!”

As important as it is to make these calls, it's even more important to say the right thing when we call. Proactive has provided us with scripts for specific customers and situations that focus on bringing the customer to the dealership. The scripts are geared to create excitement and give the customer a"Reason and Benefit" to come into the dealership. Not only did Proactive Dealer Solutions change the way we approach the BDC department but really our whole approach to the sales process.

Each appointment that the BDC makes is set up for the customer to ask for a sales manager. The sales manager does a "reverse-t.o." introducing themselves to the customer explaining that they will be handling all the numbers in their deal and then turns the customer over to a sales rep to pick out a vehicle, which leads to a more effective t.o. from the manager when the deal is being worked, for the simple reason that the manager is more connected to the customer because of their earlier conversation. This has also led to more t.o.'s from the managers with customers that did not have appointments through the BDC department as well.

Here is a snapshot of the impact the change in our BDC/sales department has had on our numbers:

Service
FEBRUARY 2016
FEBRUARY 2015
+/-
SHOWROOM UPS
623
357
+266
INBOUND CALLS
468
376
+92
OUTBOUND CALLS
5478
4142
+1336
APPOINTMENTS SET
375
295
+80
APPOINTMENTS SHOWED
197
155
+42
BDC SALES
105
82
+23
DEALERSHIP SALES
231
195
+36
ADDITIONAL 36 UNITS x $1950 PER UNIT
= $70,200 GROSS
MONTHLY TRAINING EXPENSE
= $6,000
GROSS LESS EXPENSE
= $64,200

Whether or not you chose to use a training company like Proactive Dealer Solutions the take away is that we need to look at our BDC as a profit center, the engine that drives the dealership. Also there are some practices that you can implement immediately. Get everyone logged; focus on outbound calls, and BDC appointments to be made for sales managers to name a few. The next phase of the BDC will be to integrate service outbound phone calls!

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