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Why Have a BDC if You Don’t Have the Tools to Profitably Run It?

Are you running an internal BDC at your dealership without the tools necessary to measure if it’s profitable? Do you know how many calls agents are making per day, who they are contacting, if they are connecting, and what campaigns are making money?  You would be surprised how many dealerships don’t track this data.

Many have arbitrary goals, such as 100 dials per agent per day. But what are those dials producing? How many are connecting? And what is the cost? If an agent making $15 an hour working an eight hour day, dials 100 customers and connects with 50, the cost is $2.40 per call. Is that good?

If you don’t know who the agent contacted, and what happened on those calls, how can you answer that question? Maybe an agent decided to make birthday calls instead of contacting the list of warm month-old leads you provided. I can guarantee a 50 percent connection rate on birthday calls didn’t make you much money.

If you’re not monitoring and measuring your BDC agents and their activities, you’re more than likely throwing money away. And relying on your CRM is not the answer. Sure, you can pull leads lists from it and monitor some tasks. But for metrics that matter, you need a contact management system. How is it different from your CRM?

First, it includes advanced customer data management to automatically track when customers were contacted, how (phone, email, text) they were contacted and by whom, and to what extent, if any, the customer engaged with the agent. This lets you know if agents are following the priorities of your business. You know if they’re following up on those month-old leads or if they’ve gone rogue and instead are spreading birthday cheer. 

This also gives you two very important metrics: contact rate and effective rate. This is powerful information. A low contact rate may indicate agents are calling at the wrong time of day. With this data in hand, you can systematically try different calling periods and discover when you have the most success reaching customers.

A low effective rate, meaning the customer does not make that appointment or take the action you are trying to instigate, may indicate agents need more training, better scripts, or a different campaign altogether.

Second, the right software automatically tracks when agents are using the system because they have to switch their status to ‘active’ to take inbound calls and make outbound calls. If their status is ‘inactive’ they need to tell the system why. Maybe they are in a meeting, on lunch break, in training, etc. The point is now you can track productivity and hold agents accountable for how they use their time.

Third, detailed call reports tell you which customers were NOT contacted. At the end of the month, a CRM cannot give you this information. This is a big hole that the right software plugs so you know all of the most important calls are made.

Fourth, the best platforms track your conversion rate. If you are not tracking conversion rate you have no way of knowing which type of marketing campaign is working best for your business. You cannot accurately assess your agents effectiveness, which means you cannot accurately award the commissions or bonuses that are so key to retaining good BDC managers and agents.

It’s impossible to overemphasize how important it is to have a system that tracks conversion rate. Running a BDC without capturing this information cripples your ability to make informed decisions, leads to wasting time and resources on ineffective campaigns, and prevents you from readily identifying and duplicating or expending effective campaigns that make you money.

A properly run internal BDC will increase profits. But you’ll never know your ROI if you don’t measure it. Get the tools to properly run your BDC and track the metrics that matter. Otherwise, you’re blindly throwing money away month after month.


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