GM Canada focuses on establishing ‘BD Culture’

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Creating a sustainable business development culture will drive a more predictable business model proven to improve sales and service retention.

Such is the message espoused by Traver Technologies, a business unit of CDK Global, as it continues on a cross-Canada tour with General Motors hosting BDC awareness workshops for GM dealers.

The 12-stop tour, which kicked off in Toronto in late November, will begin again mid-January and run until early April.

“Business development culture is the foundation for effective communication, establishing relationships with dealership customers, before, during, and after the sale, in both the showroom and your service lane,” explains Bob Gower, V-P and general manager of CDK Global Business Optimization Consulting.

“Dealerships that have a BD culture are raising the bar for a higher customer experience in every area of the business allowing them to focus their efforts in a managed environment. The key is to define a clear strategy, identify and provide new skills, enable technology to improve sales and service retention.”

Traver Technologies specializes in business optimization consulting for front-end and fixed operations.

Though it has relationships with multiple OEMs, it is a turnkey vendor for General Motors, working with them in North America providing services in Canada, the United States and Mexico to help their dealers drive an effective BD culture.

The tour is modeled on a similar program started in the U.S.

GM USA launched a BDC initiative in December 2013. It expanded over the following months into North America and other countries based on its customer- centric approach in many languages and cultures.

Training sessions are broken into four parts.

It starts with the “Road,” where current market conditions like industry average performance in operations like showroom, incoming sales calls, Internet leads, unsold showroom traffic follow up, owner loyalty, equity mining and fixed operations are all examined.

Gower says key performance indicators are benchmarked and compared to top performers to highlight growth opportunities in productivity and profitability.

Stage two is the “Map.” Attendees are given a high-level overview of an optimized appointment performance process known as the appointment cycle.

Key business strategies are discussed revolving around the four critical appointment cycle elements: schedule; record; confirm and reception.

Appointment cycle maps are discussed for sales, service and commercial, he adds.

The “Route” is the third stage, where attendees are shown the four most productive and profitable options for BDC business models and the highest performing staffing models.

Additionally, the right people, the right components and the right activities are discussed including best practices, detailed daily operations maps and performance reporting mechanisms.

Gower says instruction wraps up with a daily performance and execution plan that include compensation plans to drive maximum performance.

The final stage is “Vehicle.” Attendees receive what he terms a “treasure trove” of best-in-industry call guides, tools, process maps, logs and more.

“Attendees that complete the course have access to these 35 tools as digital downloadable content at no charge,” he notes.

Over 100 General Motors’ dealer principals and dealership general managers attended the first event in Toronto and all parties expect strong turnouts at every tour stop.