What Percentage of BDC Calls Should Generate an Appointment?

As the internet made way for a simpler car buying experience, many dealerships turned to a concept called a BDC, or Business Development Center, to handle the influx of phone calls from customers. These days, a BDC is practically a necessity in a thriving dealership. However, how do you tell if your BDC is functioning properly and ensuring the most customers possible are coming through your doors?

We all know the car sales game has changed, dramatically, over the past several years as customers are becoming more savvy and more educated about their desired vehicle. A proper BDC should be held responsible for processing and filtering leads to better determine who is serious about purchasing a vehicle and who was just window shopping on a website.

Conversion rates are an excellent way to determine the successfulness of your BDC. Depending upon how leads are being approached, both for inbound and outbound calling, the conversion rate should be easily measured. For example, if Joe from the BDC is making 20 calls per day based on quality leads that have come through the website and he is only booking 4 appointments, this is a low conversion rate and Joe’s tactics should probably be examined more closely.

In your typical BDC for a busy dealership, customers are going to come from a variety of sources. You’ll have the internet requests who are filling out a short form on the website and requesting a call back, the customers who skip the red tape and just call the dealership, and then you have calls being made to former customers.

All of these customers hold a great potential for success for your BDC agents. As a general rule, a BDC should be shooting for a 50% conversion rate on inbound calls and a 20% conversion rate on outbound calls. This means half of the calls that your reps are receiving and making should be resulting in an appointment. However, a highly successful BDC should be expecting higher numbers than this.

For every call that comes in to or is made from the dealership, the BDC reps should be functioning like a finely tuned machine and ensure that each customer is getting the same treatment. Streamlining the phone call process allows the BDC agents to move more fluidly through a call and keep everything strictly business. This ensure that the rep has time to be making or receiving more calls.

At this rate of functionality, your BDC can expect up to 80% conversion rates on inbound and 25% on outbound calls with proper ongoing coaching. Imagine the success of your dealership if the team on which you’re relying to follow up with leads is driving 80% and 25% of those customers through your doors. Certainly, not every customer who comes through the door is going to purchase, but that’s where your sales team comes in.

In a highly functioning dealership, the sales team and BDC should be working in conjunction. There shouldn’t be competition, as there often is between internet sales and floor sales. A successful salesperson is only as good as their BDC agent and the metrics will prove that. However, your BDC rep needs to be properly equipped to handle as much call volume as possible to better convert leads into customers.

When considering the option of transitioning to a BDC (whether inhouse or virtual), make sure your agents have a process on board to better handle the calls. You want to ensure that they’re working smarter and maximizing their efficiency. With Phone Ninjas, we can ensure a better working relationship for everyone in your dealership and better conversion rates across the board. Contact us today for more information on how to obtain an 80%, or better, appointment set rate.

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Comment by Chris Vitale on March 29, 2021 at 1:48pm

I agree 100%! While those numbers are strong, they're absolutely possible! 

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