Top Reasons Your BDC Does Not Hit Their Goals

By Ted Ings, Executive Director

Having a BDC can be an invaluable asset to the dealership if it is set up for success. 

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Where the Agents are contributing to the bottom line by effectively managing the inbound leads, equity lists, OEM manifest lists, etc. However, in order to attain the above mentioned, there have to be goals in place. Ones that are attainable and communicated, effectively to the staff. Where it is easier said than done to say “we need 125 new car sales this month. Everyone needs to contribute.” 

What was not said in that common sentence is “in order to get to those 125 sales we need to set X amount of appointments by touching the customer at least 12 times,” which offers - in many ways - a roadmap to success. 

In the management field, we tend to forget that those that we work with do have the same level of experience in lead management. All of which can create a frustrating scenario for both parties. 

In order to avoid a frustrating scenario here are some of the best practices to assist in developing goals with your BDC. 

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How to Develop Goals

Setting goals are more than just jotting down how many units are needed to be sold that month. Whereas mentioned above it is easy to jot down “need to sell 125,” but much harder to explain how we can sell 125 units. 

For example, OEM’s often provide the dealers manifest list with “potential” clients to which the managers eagerly put down on the BDC Managers desk wondering why they hadn’t called, emailed, and sent a letter to each one of the customers. All without going over a plan with the BDC manager. 

Instead of approaching it (as mentioned above) you can go to the BDC Manager who should be empowered to work on their own. And strategize as to how many sales can you expect from that manifest list? How many phone calls? And if they make phone calls how many calls does it take away from the current leads? This is an often overlooked scenario where efforts are just repackaged, and before you know it you are spending more time calling a list whose customer is much higher up in the funnel missing out on “low hanging fruit” that is right in front of your face. 


Now regarding goals that lead to an appointment. That varies on just how many leads there are to work within any given month. If leads are less than 300 a month for the store, and you want 75 sales than you would need a 20% closing rate, which means you need a 45% Set Rate, 60% Show, and a 70%+ sold rate! 

The numbers do not add up, which means - as you set the goals - be sure to make them in alignment with what is available. Given that 3-5% of the sales could come from last months leads (follow-up). Paired with a small percentage from the manifest list. 

In essence, the breakdown offers that in order to hit the goal of 75+ units the attention from the BDC needs to be on the new leads. More so, the attention has to be on the strongest ROI source, which is commonly a Dealer Website Lead. Focusing on what the *stronger* sources are first will make a huge difference in your results. 

How to Manage Goals

The CRM should provide you with real-time updates as to the current set, show, & sold rate per source! If it is not providing that information, you could be missing on business. As far as managing the goal - the BDC Manager would look at the lead reports daily and if s/he notices a 5% lag in one of the “hot” button sources than they need to comb through the leads. Looking for the following: 

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    - Responses
    - Total Customer Touches
    - Last Touch
    - Did We Answer their Questions? 

This is not to sandblast the BDC Agent, but as a manager, you need to make sure that the top priority leads do not fall through the cracks. As missing one sale here and there adds up at the end of the month. 

Lastly, as a manager, one of the best ways to ensure you meet your goals is to be apart of the process. Where you take a day or two of the month and call the customers with the BDC agent. Showing them that you are just as dedicated to hitting the goal as they are! 

Bottom Line: Goals can boost not just sales, which is arguably the most important. Goals also build morale. 

As each BDC Agent who contributes to the overall success feels apart of the team. But in order to achieve the above goals, they have to be both realistic and approachable. Much like what was offered above, it is like telling the sales consultant that they have to hit 15 units, with zero to little foot traffic, no sales are training, and no management support? And they wonder why the turnover is as high as it is in the industry.


Lastly, as managers - we cannot forget that the sales consultant or BDC Agent does not have the same level of experience or wherewithal to understand how to prioritize the goals, which is why it is that much more important to have the right BDC Manager in place.