BDCs are one of the most important revenue generators for your business, but it’s not always easy to directly measure ROI because they don’t sell directly. They generate leads, manage and anticipate customer needs, and use that information to set appointments and nurture customers toward engagement with your services. 

As a result, the concepts and strategies it takes to make a BDC successful are unlike any other aspect of your dealership. Many of the skills your reps need are soft, and they have to be supported with the right tools and a solid coaching partner.

Best practices can be hard to pin down, but we’ve identified the most important points for your BDC manager to prioritize. These four items are sure to boost your bottom line.


Phone scrips give your BDC team a clear, repeatable path to revenue, and there’s a reason they’re at the top of our list of dealership BDC best practices. Without scripts, your team is relying on improvisation and personal experience—and that’s a recipe for leaving revenue and opportunities on the table.  

Well-written scripts provide a host of benefits, including:

  • Keeping team members moving smoothly towards conversion.
  • Eliminating distracting chatter.
  • Establishing a proven roadmap for all employees, covering the situations they’ll encounter on the phone.
  • Providing a safety net for newer team members.
  • Giving your reps confidence that frees them up to focus on customer needs.
  • Collecting customer data for your CRM software database.
  • Guaranteeing your team members will always ask for an appointment.
  • Ensuring your customers know instantly that they’ve reached your dealership.

Evidence shows that if your scripts are written with more events and branches, they will be more successful. A great script covers all common customer interactions as well as sections for troubleshooting, and field testing is essential for dialing in your messaging.


Once you’ve got an amazing script in place, it’s not enough to hand them out and let your team hit the phones. Your staff will require intensive coaching to master the new material. 

The automotive industry is unlike any other sales ecosystem, and it takes a dedicated industry specialist to identify and improve the nuanced skills your BDC teams will need to master. With just 15-20 minutes a week, they can provide your reps with key specifics from their own calls that can drastically improve their work.

They’ll ensure:

  • Delivery is natural and enthusiastic every time.
  • Memorization that limits errors and improves delivery.
  • Team members know where the pitch is going, enhancing their intuition when going off-script becomes necessary.
  • Team members can tailor the language of the script to match their personality and individual manner of speaking, further improving the naturalness of delivery.
  • Advanced techniques for working with individual customers.

The best model for this sort of coaching is one-on-one mentorship using real calls taken in the course of their job duties. It will take time for your team members to master your scripts, but this sort of in-depth and personalized coaching is one of the key dealership BDC best practices that pay off quickly. 


Now that your team has the basics in place, you need to implement dealership BDC best practices that significantly improve the rates at which your customers keep their appointments. Here are five simple and easy-to-implement techniques that should govern every appointment-setting process:

  1. Customer contact information is obtained and entered into the CRM software.
  2. Agents give customers your dealership name and contact information.
  3. Agents give high-quality directions to your dealership starting from the customer’s location.
  4. Customers are reminded that someone will be following up to confirm the appointment and answer any follow-up questions they might think of.
  5. The BDC manager makes the follow-up call.

This solid road map to success makes the most of your opportunities and ensures that appointment sets turn into shows for around three-quarters of all inbound calls.


In many dealerships, rank-and-file BDC agents are paid an hourly rate. But does this really make sense? You’d never consider paying your salespeople an hourly rate, and commission approaches work just as well for appointment setting as they do for direct sales.

Dealership BDC best practices demand your BDC agents be paid on commission, as it’s a proven way to increase productivity in sales. There are a variety of ways to implement this model, but at its core, your agents should be paid a commission on every high-intent lead appointment they set that shows up, and a cut of the sale commission. 

Often this means splitting the commission on the sale with the sales staff. The sales department won’t like this, but when you consider your BDC team is generating appointments from up to 80% of your call traffic, they’re hand-delivering a flood of ready-to-buy customers to your sales team’s doorstep. And the sales staff can close more deals more quickly (more traffic, better lead preparation), so ultimately, they’ll be making more money, too.


Phone Ninjas’ clients routinely see 60% appointment rates on inbound calls—three times the industry average of 20%—and some of our hardest-working clients are able to get up to 80%.  

We can achieve this for your dealership because we specialize in honing scripts to the unique challenges of the automotive industry and tailoring them to every client’s needs. Our unique training model then coaches individual team members over the course of short weekly appointments using calls they took for your dealership. Finally, our mystery shoppers verify this training on the ground and perform any necessary follow-up coaching.

Implementing these dealership BDC best practices begins by contacting us today for a free demo and two free mystery shops.

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