[Posted November 11th, 2014 by Keith Shetterly]
The rise of digital marketing has opened up unprecedented sales opportunities and leads in the automotive industry. In fact, such a wealth of information has given rise to the idea that automated data collection would change sales and make the automotive call center redundant. Exactly the opposite has happened. In fact, it became clear that the automotive call center was not only part of what kept the sales force active– it was in fact often compensating for the incompetence of people in the sales force.
Reducing the Role of the BDC: An Expensive Mistake
Because the automotive call center, usually termed a dealership’s Business Development Center (BDC), was the precursor to the data collection that the Internet is now (rightly) lauded for, companies came to a strange realization: their sales forces were largely reliant on their call center’s data collection for client information, communications, and often successful implementation of the early stages of their sales process. In fact, one study showed that that the call center was picking up the slack for salespeople unfamiliar with– or disinterested in– the process of data collection, to the tune of some $50,000 in sales per BDC employee.
So while companies were shrinking or eliminating their BDC’s assuming they were redundant, in fact in some cases they were actually crippling their sales force.
Thus it was only a matter of time before BDC’s were in fact capable of serving more dealerships than their own– operating much more like a typical standalone call center (as opposed to an in-house call center). Further, independent BDC’s, already skilled at data collection, have begun to harness the wealth of data on the Internet, independently collecting inbound and outbound data waiting to enter the hands of capable salespeople willing to use that information.
Because of this detachment from a specific dealership and having the capability to work with a national footprint, Virtual BDC is the logical next step in data collection, extraction, and customer acquisition. Using all the traditional tools of a BDC such as equity marketing (marketing based upon the end of a lease period or warranty vehicles) in conjunction with the power of modern data mining across all fields, such as social media satisfaction response and emailed offer responses, Virtual BDC integrates with its own service-to-sales integrated CRM, identifying further cross-selling opportunities. With the power of the CRM connected to the BDC, your sales force can identify opportunities on the Internet, missed opportunities on the sales floor, opportunities for upsells in the repair department, and more. In short, Virtual BDC becomes the advanced center of a seamless sales and marketing operation which encompasses all aspects of your automotive business.
A BDC for the Modern Digital Era
Because of the rise of the Internet, automotive dealerships which have abandoned their BDC’s prematurely are now behind in the information race: since the sales force was credited for things handled by the BDC, many opportunities are loss. With the advent of Virtual BDC, it’s possible to source that data through a call center integrated with your salesforce and producing more leads and opportunities for your sales force to work with.