[Posted August 4th by Keith Shetterly]
An automotive business development center or automotive BDC is a location where all communication pertaining to sales, service and other factors involving customers can be routed. BDCs are commonly used in the automotive industry to help busy auto dealerships handle the large amounts of communication they receive.
What Does A BDC Do?
A business development center centralizes all the communication for an auto dealership from every source and streamlines it by categorizing and forwarding it to the proper channels. A BDC takes on the daunting task of sorting through the large numbers of phone calls, emails, web queries and other communications that could easily be lost in the shuffle if handled by regular sales and service staff. Not only does an automotive BDC organize today’s sales leads and communications but also helps sales staff secure new sales by giving them the tools with which they can prioritize and follow up on certain calls, emails or texts.
Securing New Sales
In the past, a business development center simply fielded telephone calls. Auto dealerships would contract with BDCs to handle their sales and service calls so that already-overloaded staff would not have to add that job to their to-do list.
Today, however, the automotive business development center does so much more for dealerships than before. Modern communication comes from a wide variety of sources. For example, leads may come in from Internet activity such as visiting certain websites and clicking on an advertisement. This is a customer who, in the past, might never have reached out to a dealership; today, all he or she has to do is click a mouse and the website or social media page are available.
Most BDCs use software that collect data about visitors, including age, possible income level, and any information available about previous car purchases. Depending on the type of BDC software used, this information can be disseminated to a wide range of people including sales staffers who then follow-up with the customer in a targeted manner.
Phone and Email Contacts
Other communications come in directly from phone or email contacts. These customers may be ripe to buy or need handling due to dissatisfaction with a product or service. They could easily become “former” customers but may become brand loyalists based on the response of the sale and service staff to these communications.
Finally, there are new sales leads generated by visitors to the company or dealership website. Research shows that most car shoppers begin their Internet search with two or three models in mind and quickly narrow their choice down based on their research on company websites. They may then be directed to the auto dealership based on their findings. This means that the dealership has a golden opportunity to connect with someone who is actively looking to buy the brand they sell. It is imperative that sales staff have good information from the BDC in order to make the most of these sales opportunities.
Automotive business development centers generate sales leads in a variety of ways. With
the help of a BDC, the sales staff can take advantage of an expanded lead market to increase sales and boost overall team performance.