We sometimes wonder why the BDC is not performing like they used to be. At the same time, instead of acquiring new talent to fill a position or assist another department, we often shift them over instead. Sounds like a great idea, right? It means that we don't have to hire another position, and they have the skills needed for the job! But what we often don't consider is that it leaves an empty gap in the BDC. Or worse, if you leave the BD Agent in the BDC but have them off task, it lessens the chance of the department's overall success. There’s a reason they’re successful driving the much-needed appointments and opportunities to the dealership. So, before we start shifting positions, you have to ask yourself “is the best move for the dealership,” and is there a plan in place to keep the BDC team going.
If Shifting their Position is to Band-Aid a Situation Then You Have Your Answer: Hard Pass!
The easy solution might be to move the BD Agent into the other department. However, the unintended consequences are often not worth it. Or more importantly, it's these unintended consequences that are often overlooked as they take time to be felt. In that when the BD Agent moves into another department or role, there becomes an immediate gap in the BDC. And depending on how it was staffed, you might not have been able to afford to lose them. So, while the logical step might be to put the underperforming sales consultant into the BDC to fill the gap – they don't necessarily have the training (or the drive) to perform the job. At which point, you're now causing the set, show, and sold rates to go down. Another issue with filling the gap with an underperforming sales consultant is that they don't have the required training! Again, this goes back to our non-commitment to training. Before moving the BD Agent into another role, take a look at the under-performing sales consultant to see if they're up for the task. If the Sales Consultant is not up for the task or role change, you either need to train and work with the sales consultant, or it will become a different discussion. If they're willing to take on a new role with the dealership and willing to learn then you've avoided what could be a disaster.
If They Aren't Performing but Have the Skill Set – Shift Them. They're Not “Into” the Role: But Before they Switch Roles Ask Them Why They Want to Leave.
On the flip-side, if the BD Agent isn’t performing well, or disenfranchised, but has other skills to offer the dealership – it still might not be best to move them into a new position. There are other factors that can be causing their disinterest or underperformance. So, it's important to consider why someone with the skillset isn’t interested in the role. Did they receive any training? Did they receive any feedback? Are non-performers in the BDC holding them back? Make no mistake, having untrained BD Agents - with zero phone skills - can disenfranchise your top performers. Think about it, if there isn't any direction or leadership, or more importantly, training - then your BD Agent might not believe they have the chance to remain successful when their peers are burning through leads faster than they can answer them.
If the answer is lack of training, then it should encourage you to make a move and start training the team. The other thing to think about is – when was the last time your BD Manager said their team needed training? And come on, let's not use the scenarios "Well the appointments are low. They're not good. I'll work on it." as a means of thinking the "untrained" situation doesn’t exist or is being handled. Because it's not. If left unattended, it will cause even more turn-over. This is the time to work with your BD Manager, create an actionable plan that they've bought into, or better yet, were involved in crafting themselves. After all, much – if not all – of their pay is tied to the success of the BDC.
Bottom Line: there are times where shifting positions make sense for the dealership. But in most cases, "shifting" positions is not well thought out, and it leaves "gaps" with unintended consequences. To avoid this approach, before you "shift" a position, look at it from all angles. Taking the time to speak with each of the proposed employees is invaluable. Hint, most might name lack of "training" as the main reason they're not performing. And while "shifting" positions can provide your employees opportunities for growth and development, it has to make sense. As on the surface, it might seem like the right thing to do, but will only cause more problems down the road. More importantly, if your teams were well trained from the get-go, you'd spend your time growing and developing them, giving you the flexibility to shift their positions based on their talents. Take the time to look at the root cause of the issue, which is training. And think about how addressing the root cause of the issue will not only make your dealership more profitable but provide you the flexibility to make these "shifts" with both merit and purpose.