Managing Your BDC Department Through a CRM Sucks

Managing Your BDC Department

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Managing Your BDC Department Through a CRM Sucks

Why is it that in 2022-124 years since the first car dealership-our BDC’s and Desking Managers are still tracking daily activities on whiteboards and glass windows?

Setting aside the productivity wasted in these switch-tasking activities, the heavy reliance on handwritten human input increases inaccuracy throughout the sales process.

Just last week I witnessed one of my dealer clients experience a 44% loss of data in their CRM because of this outdated practice. 44% of their sales over a three-day period were not logged into their CRM. When approached on the subject the desking managers merely shrugged and said: “Fun times.”

The CRM wasn’t being utilized by the salesfloor and the BDC couldn’t rely on the information they were getting back.

Some might call it gross incompetence-the BD Manager sure did when an entire dealership, responsible for millions of dollars in revenue, can casually brush off not tracking half of their data. Yet, in the fast-paced, real-time world of a desking office, these managers DID track the information they needed. It’s right there! On the whiteboard. That’s all the information the desk needs to accomplish their daily goals.

Did the sold get boarded?

*desking manager looks up at the window*

“Yes, it’s right there.”

Your whiteboard just isn’t up to the job anymore.

We are still using a system that should be gathering dust next to those customer cards in the back of your desk.

And let’s face it, your young, technologically savvy, sales team is using this to their advantage. Inefficient and inconsistent accountability practices leave the window wide open for both your BDC and sales floor to work their pay plans through vague adherence to unclear protocols that are forgotten as soon as the cleaning crew wipes down the desking office.

Tell me, when was the last time your own BD Manager came to the tower about a no-show customer that actually did show? Who on the floor worked with that customer? Were they given a pass on the be-back bus? How is the BDC following up on an unlogged visit?

How angry was your BD Manager? Was this the first time you two had this conversation?

This breakdown in communication undermines trust and, quite frankly, is costing you a LOT of money.

As the BDM in the above illustration reiterated: “If we aren’t logging our solds what else are we missing?”

Beyond the lack of accountability and trackability whiteboards cannot instantly communicate between BDC and Sales departments.

Simple interconnected visual representations of daily department activities are vital to accountability and growth.

You might say: “That’s what our CRM does.”

And here we are again.

Even if it were used to the full breadth and depth of its capabilities your CRM is a sales-floor-centric platform that cannot fully visualize, report, or process the information a Business Development Center needs, and this is only exacerbated by an undertrained sales team that is still using dry erase markers.

Now if you think that my assessment is harsh. I urge you to do a test, right now, at your store. Walk into your BD Center today and tell me they haven’t built a spreadsheet to internally track the same numbers your desk should be tracking. Tell me your BDC does not grade their performance outside of the CRM. Tell me you have complete access to this data and understand it as thoroughly as your BD Manager.

At this point in my career, I have consulted with hundreds of dealers. I do not recall a single one of those dealers that did not have some sort of alternative spreadsheet-based reporting in their BDC.

Regardless of the CRM-Dealer Socket, VinSolutions, e-Leads, ProMax, etc.-no tool, that I know of, in the industry has been as utilized as a spreadsheet in a BDC. A spreadsheet born out of necessity and ironically created to mirror the whiteboard.

Don’t you think you would win more as a dealer if you could consolidate, visualize, and interpret every department’s information?

Last week I posted an article regarding the importance of setting up your data in a way that illustrates your strengths and weaknesses. The Business Development Center must be included in this picture. It’s time to take responsibility for your processes and reporting. It’s time to integrate inter-departmental data in a way that allows you to generate new business for your store. 

Herb Anderson / Charity Ann


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