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I'm managing a BDC dept and we are not having any luck with assigning current appointments to the salespeople in the dealership. We have a current system of "who's up next" according order the order of how the sales people finished last year in the sales of the year contest. I understand that there is not a perfect system but I'm sick of the sales people complaining that they got skipped in order since they were not around when it was their turn for an appointment.

I also realize whatever system we have in place will never make everyone happy. I'm just looking for alternatives to the one we got.

 

Please Help!

 

Sean Fagan

Fagan Automotive

Tags: Appointments, Automotive, BDC, Fagan, sales

Views: 247

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Replies to This ADM Discussion

Hi Sean,

The fact that you have a system vs. simply allowing the fastest feet to win reflects the professionalism that it will take to make your system -- or anyone that you replace it with -- work! I assume that you are using a CRM/ILM and/or desking tool that allows you to monitor your contacts and sales staff's activities on the showroom floor, the phone, emails and the Internet .. but you didn't mention any?

Frankly, the tools that you are using will go a long way in helping you monitor, manage and integrate activities on your real world showroom with your virtual one on the internet as well as the other lead sources that you rely on to make appointments in a fair and impartial manner. If your systems are in place to evidence what leads came in when and how they were distributed and why you should be in a position to justify your current system as I understand it from your limited description.

I compare the opportunity for your staff to receive leads to their having to put a coin in their parking meter to reserve their space. The parking spot belongs the city the same way that the leads belong to the dealership. As long as the sales person feeds the meter -- meaning that they input their status into your system -- you should be able to use it to fairly distribute the leads as they are received and to adjust if someone is improperly towed away!

As long as all customers who visit the showroom are properly greeted and desked with a manager to check the source as evidenced on your CRM/ILM/Desking system you should be able to get the customer to the right sales person and/or justify a split deal if they have properly noted that they are with a customer or away from the floor with the permission of the managers.

Making AND CONFIRMING the appointment and logging it into the syetm earns them the first half of the deal and selling it earns them the other half. If they are unable to be available to sell the vehicle for an approved reason -- well, half a deal is better than none!


Finally, your annual evaluation to justify the order may be too long and large a sampling to justify the R.O.I. that each sales person provides to your dealership. You may consider a weekly or monthly evaluation of each sales person and their succes with internet leads vs. phone vs. the walk ins and assign the order in synch with their successes; for their sake as well as your dealership.

Just a thought.

Hopefully that helps?
@ Phil... I look forward to the day when salespeople see internet appointments (ups) as a positive. Internet clients entering a dealership as an automatic split discourages full engagement and many times baffles the client as they are bounced by sales reps looking for a whole deal. Good Selling! DTG
Hi David. Of course I agree and I only suggest the "half deal" solution if it is a management decison based on the real world that often ties up a salesperson with a customer just before an appointment comes in -- or just as often -- when they come in early, late or on a day off that was not expected. That is why I suggest that the system is monitored and managed by the desk manager who should be able to see the situation with an impartial eye focused on the customer's needs vs. the salesperson's needs since after all -- the customer is the only true boss!
Hi Sean - as you said, there is no perfect system but I'll share how we do it, maybe it will help. When a rep makes an appointment and sets it in the CRM, they call the sales manager, new or used, and let them know what time and vehicle. The customer is told to ask for the rep or the sales mgr. That mgr decides who the appointment goes to. We had such a problem with assigning appointments before they arrived because the salespeople would be busy with another customer or off doing something else when the customer came in, it caused all sorts of confusion. Now when the customer comes in they are greeted by a rep or sales mgr who talks to them for a few minutes and gets them comfortable, then an available salesperson steps in and takes over. We have a staff of 17 sales consultants and 4 sales managers and sell 150 to 170 cars a month. This system has stopped the complaining from the sales staff as to whose "turn" it is or of favoritism. If you're available you get appointments, end of story. Hope that helps!
Excellent suggestion Kristi
Sean,

Appointments set by the BDC should be set for either the new car manager or the used car manager depending on the type of car they are looking for.

The manager needs to get up from their desk and go great the customer. Upon greeting the customer, they should spend 5 minutes talking to the customer and evaluating who would best be suited to handle this particular customer. The manager then makes the hand off. If a "turn over" is needed during the negotiation, the manager already has a relationship with the customer.

Taking a BDC appointment is not a right, it's a privilege. In order to earn that privilege, salespeople need to meet certain expectations. There are lots of criteria that can determine this. I would rank my people in categories that are important to the success of the dealership. Use an excel spread sheet to rank these areas:

1. Total Sales
2. Closing Ratio
3. Gross
4. % of e-mails collected
5. Accessory sales
6. To keep closing ratios accurate, I would consider adding total number of customers logged.

Each month you can mix it up. If you have ten salespeople, then the top 5 salespeople with the highest score earn the right to BDC appointments. You do something like this and you'll get your salespeople focused on all aspects of what makes a dealership successful. Each month you re-evaluate and let a person earn his/her way on the BDC appointment team.

BDC appointments should be going to your best salespeople!

Jerry Thibeau
Phone-up Ninjas
Jerry, I could not agree more. This is exactly what I do with each appointment, except they ask for me. As you mentioned the sales manager would need to get up from their desk. Instead I study each appointment in our CRM/ILM before they come in. That way, once the appointment arrives I know who and what they are. Most often by that time I already have a pretty good idea of which sales associate I will pair them with (if available).

The customer comes in and asks for me, I go and greet the customer. I will have a brief conversation with them going over their previously mentioned needs as I walk them to the sales associate and introduce the transition.

I have found that it is quite difficult to have a running order for the sales team. The customer availability is always primary. So I will not tell them their requested appointment time is not OK due to a busy sales person. We are a very busy store so often times the sales associate I have in mind will have already obtained a floor up. So again a running order is out of the question and the first available qualified associate is defaulted to.

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