Boost Sales and Improve Customer Ties with BDC

Start­ing this month, GM is requir­ing all deal­ers in its Stan­dards for Excel­lence incen­tive pro­gram to have some of their employ­ees go through busi­ness devel­op­ment cen­ter train­ing.

Most of GM’s 4,300 deal­er­ships don’t oper­ate the cen­ters and “don’t under­stand the need” to keep sales leads from falling through the cracks.

Busi­ness devel­op­ment cen­ters have their detrac­tors, who say that the cen­ters breed lazi­ness among sales staffers. While cen­ter employ­ees work on Inter­net and phone leads, these crit­ics say, sales­peo­ple on the floor sim­ply wait for cus­tomers to walk through the door.

Hen­ry Brown of Brown Buick-GMC in Gilbert, Ari­zona  believes he has the anti­dote to that prob­lem: He merged his tra­di­tion­al floor staff with his busi­ness devel­op­ment cen­ter.

Now, each of his 38 sales­peo­ple is required to spend one hour per shift in the call cen­ter, work­ing off a list of 30 prospects and cus­tomers gleaned from Brown’s cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment sys­tem and a list of leads from GM.

Brown cred­its much of his suc­cess to his busi­ness devel­op­ment cen­ter, an office in the deal­er­ship in charge of fol­low­ing up on phone and Inter­net leads, as well as con­tact­ing cus­tomers for every­thing from birth­day wish­es to lease-expi­ra­tion reminders.

Brown Buick-GMC’s most close­ly tracked met­ric is the num­ber of sched­uled cus­tomer appoint­ments for test dri­ves and trade-in esti­mates. Brown gets a text mes­sage each night that shows how many appoint­ments are set for the next day and for the com­ing week­end.

New-vehi­cle sales in 2013 jumped to around 1,800 from about 600 when Brown took over.

Read the entire arti­cle post­ed in Auto­mo­tive News.



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