Internet Department

The Leader of the BDC: Hire the Right Business Development Manager

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Glynn Rodean - Also by this author

Often, when dealers are contemplating starting a business development center (BDC) in their dealership I am asked, “Who should run the BDC?” The question I should pose to that dealer is: how good do you want your BDC to be? A business development manager (BDM) is directly responsible and accountable for maximizing sales and profitability of the BDC to agreed levels of performance. To achieve top performance, you have to hire top talent.

Before you begin searching for the right BDM, you will need to understand the proper dealership personnel structure once you implement a BDC.

Sales Department          BDC 
Dealer Dealer (or GM) 
Sales  BDR 

Notice that the BDC is not a part of the sales department. It is a separate department accountable to only the highest level of management in the dealership. This means you are looking for a top-level manager. Applicants looking for a $40,000-a-year job are not your candidates. You should expect this person to earn $60,000 or more a year, depending on your market.

Your new BDC will adopt the attitudes, work ethic and beliefs of its leader. If you put someone in charge who doesn’t project the image you want for your dealership, your dealership image will change over time—the individual in charge will not! Regardless of whether you have already hired or have yet to hire this individual, the candidate needs to have the attitude, work ethic and beliefs of the dealership owner. The BDC will become the voice of your dealership in the community. What do you want it to sound like?

In my opinion, the person who should be running your BDC is the absolute best communicator you know. Notice I didn’t say the best communicator currently on staff. You may not have a top performing communicator on staff yet and will have to hire this person. Also, notice I said communicator, not talker. Communicating and talking are not the same.

This individual will work with those directly in his or her department, but they will also interact with those individuals who mean the most to you—your customers. The BDM will also communicate with the sales department and finance office in reconciling appointments and sales. Therefore, the BDM must be a team player for the dealership, not just the BDC.
The BDM must be able lead by example. This person’s communication skills should be so strong that he or she is capable of taking any customer T.O. in the BDC to secure an appointment. Additionally, if a business development representative (BDR) or a business development team leader (BDL) is absent, the BDM must pick up the slack on the phone so production does not fall off. The BDM is the “show me” individual in the department, capable of demonstrating to any employee how to properly manage a call which leads to an appointment that shows.

The BDM is responsible for all staffing, scheduling and reviewing compensation and incentives for all BDC employees. He or she must be able to hold those they supervise accountable and, when necessary, reprimand less-than-outstanding performance. A BDM must be a coach and trainer orchestrating twice-weekly training sessions for all BDC employees. Additionally, he or she must be able to encourage competition while maintaining unity and teamwork in the BDC.

The BDM must know, or be properly taught, the telemarketing laws in your state and adhere to all Do Not Call regulations. Adherence to these laws must be a priority for the manager (and anyone making calls) because the last thing you need is another door for plaintiffs’ attorneys to come knocking on looking for an “issue.”

As the old saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” So, last but certainly not least, are the BDM’s productivity measurement duties, which include:

  • Assure all scheduled appointments are solidly confirmed 
  • Assure a minimum of five appointment shows per BDR each day
  • Monitor incoming calls and appointment-to-lead percentages daily
  • Hold team leaders responsible for daily outgoing calls 
  • Make and take T.O. calls and demand improvement
  • Obtain new customers and raise CSI
  • Create good public relations consistent with effective use of time
  • Constantly update and purify customer records

So, I’m back to my question of how good do you want your BDC to be? If you want your BDC operating at benchmark levels of five appointment shows per BDR each day, you have to search for and hire the best communicator to run your new department.

Vol 5, Issue 4


  1. 1. dealer1 [ July 29, 2014 @ 03:53PM ]

    What kind of work is required to get 5 shows daily PER REP???? I disagree.

  2. 2. Tammie Tipton [ November 23, 2014 @ 06:21PM ]

    I have been in the automotive industry for twenty years. Most of my career was with the same dealership for seventeen years as the office manager. I am intrested in getting into the BDC side of the business. If you are looking for a highly motivated over achiever, I am the perfect candidate for you and your business. Please contact
    me at at

  3. 3. Dennis Pelczynski [ December 12, 2014 @ 07:14PM ]

    Something like this?

  4. 4. Denise Santacroce [ December 12, 2014 @ 09:02PM ]

    I endorse Dennis Pelczynski as a Top ranking BDC Manager... As performance /detailed ...above and beyond this BDM definition/ description...with an outstanding performance average 30-50% increase in sales...I highly recommend you call him for consulting/ hire @ 843-455-0826 available for inquiry.

  5. 5. Denise Santacroce [ January 09, 2015 @ 09:00AM ]

    Just another fact to share...yes Dennis has the numbers to prove his repeated success ...however...his philosophy is treating others like his new found family... Not customers...and failure is not an option positive attitude/ energy....when you treat others with a genuine caring attitude...about helping others have a reliable vehicle ....which in turn their livelyhood ...getting to work...providing for their family...having a better quality of life...thats being real!!! Sales should be about helping others....that is the true satisfaction... reward...helping others be happy...making a difference:)

  6. 6. Glynn [ April 01, 2015 @ 08:11PM ]

    Denise, I agree with you. Either one acts fake, insincere and or bogus or not. We are as humans much more transparent than our egos allow us to believe. "We ARE what we repeatedly do, excellence then, is not an act... but a HABIT! #Aristotle

  7. 7. Miller [ July 20, 2015 @ 03:13PM ]

    where would each bdr get the 5 appointment shows per day. what sources of leads are there to call.

  8. 8. Bruce Edward Litton [ October 02, 2015 @ 10:52PM ]

    Thanks for quoting Aristotle, Glynn. I've familiarized myself with the Nichomachean Ethics and agree entirely that habit is essential to performance, although it would always be a baptism-by-fire at first without expert training. If anyone in North Jersey is interested in hiring a BDR, please phone me at 908-448-8675. I declare, up front, I would prefer to work with people in person, have highly extroverted qualities and nuanced non-verbal responses, but I'm a freelance writer, skilled at the computer, and very good on the phone, so if I have to start there, fine.

  9. 9. Peter [ April 25, 2016 @ 09:53AM ]

    I worked as a BDR for four years, and I led the BDC 3 of those years in deals sold (I did not sell A-Z, I handed off to floor people). This was a 4-person BDC along with a BDM.

    First of all, a minimum 5 shown appts./day every day is likely impossible. My last few months on the job I hit 35, 35, 33, and 32 shown appointments, without killing myself timewise.

    You would have to be working 60-70 hours per week -- basically live at the dealership -- to hit those numbers in a 4-person department. Possibly it could be done with 1 or 2 BDR's on staff.

  10. 10. chevy22 [ May 30, 2016 @ 12:27PM ]

    where u guys wrkin ???

  11. 11. chevy22 [ May 30, 2016 @ 12:31PM ]

    im in mass we had 167 appt last month with me a 1 co worker .. and sold over 30% its called effort

  12. 12. chevy22 [ May 30, 2016 @ 12:31PM ]

    im in mass we had 167 appt last month with me a 1 co worker .. and sold over 30% its called effort

  13. 13. Phoenix [ June 02, 2016 @ 07:43PM ]

    lol, im in oc, ca....I alone sold 115 cars this month in the BDC.....up the standard....oh, and with a 71% close ratio.

  14. 14. toad718 [ July 06, 2016 @ 06:52PM ]

    we set 393 appts with show at 56% and 65 sold. Smart campaigns and a sales team that believes.

  15. 15. AutoBDC360 [ August 25, 2016 @ 09:43AM ]

    Maintaining good consistent calls and follow up, organized within your CRM will give you a head start. Also always growing organic opportunities to add to your CRM Daily.

  16. 16. Reid Richards [ October 25, 2016 @ 06:17AM ]

    How many of you spend a ton of money on leads to set those appointments? We set 6-8 plus a day with a 75% show ratio and spend $0 actually we make $140 on every customer that comes in even if they don't buy. Would you like to have us do it for you give us a call at 888-342-6018

  17. 17. confused salesman [ March 18, 2017 @ 01:12AM ]

    I work at a dealership where we have one BDC, its a small dealership where we sell high end niche cars. My sales manager has given her a sales number so it has become impossible to maintain my level of past sales numbers due to the fact that the BDC can now sell cars. I believe it is a conflict of interest for someone who handles all incoming leads via email/phone to also sell cars. She works the leads that are the most promising and sells the cars start to finish. I have since given notice and will be leaving this dealership because of the conflict of interest. Thoughts? thank you.

  18. 18. Jeremy Williams [ March 24, 2017 @ 01:38PM ]

    I have been a BDC manager in the Cleveland Ohio Market. I was the BDC Manager at the #1 KIA store in the state and #6 in the country. Here are the numbers based on a BDC that handles ALL Phone/Internet/Chat/ Leads.
    Each BDR should make 80 outbound calls per day on average. There will be days when its less or more but I take every week and run the averages. 80 outbound calls should equal 8 appointments set. At a 50% show rate that will net 4 shows per day. 4 shows a day times 22 days worked = 88 shows per month. BUT your work plan is working for you even when you are not there. There will be call backs on your day off where your fellow BDRs will set the appointment for you. So on a 30 day month this will equal 120 shows Per BDR per Month. I currently run a 12 person BDC and handle 2 stores. These are the numbers to live and measure. If you have any questions OR need help reach me at 330-328-5617 or I am always happy to help a fellow BDC Manager or BDR. ~Jeremy Williams~ Cleveland Ohio

  19. 19. Cindy [ July 18, 2017 @ 01:47PM ]

    How do you find car dealerships who are looking for BDC agents to work out of the office or even in another state? I have been a BDC manager for a little over a year now and I absolutely love my job. I have recently been given the opportunity to help a dear friend try and start a BDC company where we work out of office.

    We are trying to make this work since i have explained to him just how much I have learned an for once I look forward to working everyday. Can someone please help make my dream and his come true t working with honest dealerships?

  20. 20. Kimberly Beckstedt [ February 11, 2018 @ 03:16AM ]

    This was a great article! I am a Recruiter for the Automotive Industry, and we work with many dealerships across the country. Our largest corporate contracts are with Toyota and Acura. If anyone is currently looking for a Sales or Service BDC role please feel free to contact me, and I will see if I have any available positions in that area.

  21. 21. Kimberly Beckstedt [ February 11, 2018 @ 03:34AM ]

    Kimberly Beckstedt
    Recruiting Supervisor

  22. 22. Steven [ April 02, 2018 @ 06:42PM ]

    Hi. I have a subprime car dealership and am interested in partering with one of these BDCs. What is a reasonable cost these charge?

    Per lead? Per appt? Per month?

    Like what are the going rates

  23. 23. Rom [ May 08, 2018 @ 10:44AM ]

    Avg of $15 per lead is a good price from what ive seen, Steven.

    Contact me at if you would like some tips of what to look for in a bdc.

  24. 24. Linda [ June 16, 2018 @ 08:58PM ]

    I worked as BDC rep for 5 years and loved it. Interested in a management position.
    Thank you for sharing your expertise! I look forward to learning more.


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