Is Your Business Development Center a Zero or a Hero for Your Dealership?

Business development centers are the cornerstone of modern dealership revenue strategies. When these engines are finely tuned, they’re responsible for generating game-changing appointment rates and capitalizing on opportunities that many seasoned sales professionals didn’t even realize were there for the taking. 

That’s why, if you look at the top performers in the industry, you’ll probably find a BDC beating away at the heart of their business. 

They don’t just deliver on the bottom line, though. With a great manager and a dedicated industry coaching specialist, a business development center can nearly run itself. GMs are extremely busy, and outsourcing the hard work of training and optimizing a BDC is definitely worth the investment. 

So, how can you tell—just by the data in your reports—that your business development center is a hero for your dealership? We’re going to explain which numbers should be zeros, and when you need to make an adjustment. 


The most important KPIs to measure for any business development center are appointment set and show rates and lead qualification stats. Everything your BDC does is about driving more qualified customers to salespeople and services so your team can capitalize, and if it’s got great phone scripts and training, those numbers will be outstanding. 

However, little details in language and delivery can make a big difference, and these are the things you’ll be counting on a training partner to catch and correct quickly. For each metric, below, there are specific actions they’ll need to take to boost performance. 


Of all the benefits your business development center can deliver for your dealership, setting appointments is by far the most valuable. There’s no sales team in the world that can sell in an empty showroom, and it’s essential that training and coaching focus on perfecting the details of setting appointments with customers.  

Hero: The top BDCs can consistently generate appointment rates of 60-80%

Zero: The traditional industry average is 20%, and any BDC below 50% has significant room for improvement. The most common reason appointments aren’t set is because a representative either forgot to ask or mishandled the interaction. Look at script language, use mystery shopping to evaluate delivery, and reinforce with coaching


If set rates are high but you’re still getting no-shows, it’s not because your customers are indifferent. In most cases, that means scripts aren’t confirming important details or follow-up processes aren’t effective. And with average closing rates for successful appointments at 40%, your BDC’s performance is directly tied to profits.  

Hero: A 75% show rate is the baseline for a well-oiled BDC machine. 

Zero: If you’re getting less than 75% regularly, check that your scripts confirm customer details politely and clearly, ensure that information goes to your BDC manager in a timely fashion, and verify your BDC manager is following up with helpful details and good directions the day before. 


This used to be the work of sales teams, but business development centers now handle all of the inbound and outbound lead generation, follow-ups, and referrals. They’re much more efficient at gathering customer information and evaluating lead quality, and their process-oriented approach means they consistently produce reliable results. 

Here are the three factors they will be able to track with their CRM software to optimize their lead generation strategy:

  • Customer Intent: The BDC can give salespeople a heads-up for managing customer interactions. Plus, they can connect them with additional services and opportunities.  
  • Budget: This lets your BDC team guide a customer through inventory they can afford to save your sales and finance teams time. 
  • Timeline: By providing context, BDC associates convey urgency and opportunity for everyone at your dealership. 

Hero: If your business development center is performing well, 20-40% of your leads should have high intent, a budget that matches desirable inventory, and be ready to buy in the near future. 

Zero: Partially or minimally qualified leads aren’t where your sales team should be heavily investing their resources. If your qualified lead numbers are low, mystery shopping will give your training partner direct insight into how your BDC agents are evaluating and managing these calls. 

It can be difficult to tease the issue apart since it’s often complicated. That’s why an automotive consultant with deep industry experience and a long track record of coaching success is invaluable for optimizing a BDC’s performance. They will be able to spot subtle issues that are often invisible to even the most experienced GM.


If you’re looking to operate a winning business development center at your dealership, Phone Ninjas is the training partner that will keep your team on point so they never miss a revenue opportunity. We evaluate and develop your BDC with mystery shops, custom phone scripts, and an active coaching model that’s proven to deliver big numbers and competitive returns.

Our coaches work one-on-one with your BDC representatives and managers to maximize your appointment set and show rates with specific and detailed teaching points taken from their real-world customer calls. We also help with the challenging and nuanced skills surrounding lead qualification to make sure a potential sale never slips through the cracks. 

Contact us today for a free demo and two mystery shops, and leave zero doubt that your business development center into the hero of your dealership!

Views: 6


You need to be a member of to add comments!


© 2024   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service