Your BDC health check


Lawson Owen

If you’ve made the commitment to implementing a business development center (BDC) you owe it to yourself to ensure you’re getting maximum production and profitability from your department.  

Use this BDC health check to determine its effectiveness. Keep in mind, a BDC is meant to be a lead-generation department, which creates or drives traffic every day to your sales floor or service drive. The goal is ensure your BDC is a profit center; it needs to be managed as such. Focus on hourly and daily activity levels, not results and the production will soar along with your profitability.

Activity:  Volume guidelines to ensure optimum activity levels in the room. The target should be 100 calls, 30 conversations, eight appointments and four shows every day.

Roll Call:  Hourly rollcall by the business development manager to ensure each rep meets or exceeds performance guidelines.

Training:  Do you have a formalized training program in place for immediate and ongoing reinforcement?  What about a second switchboard or trained specialists?

Management Participation:  Are managers engaged in the fundamental operation of the BDC? Do they regularly visit to encourage, support, train and make themselves available for reverse T/Os?

Weekly BDC Management Review:  It’s imperative that the management team reviews BDC statistics weekly to evaluate and discuss action necessary for improvement.

BDC Central: An arbitrary outside evaluation of handling of all leads, remote management of the room to includes online reinforcement.

Benchmarking: It’s important to have a starting point so that you can assess real improvement in all categories.

Performance Management:  Implementing minimum standards in each lead source with defined consequences for failure.

Staffing: Staffing of the room is driven by lead volume and operational coverage requirements. Understaff your BDC and reps will cherry pick; overstaff and you’ll create turnover.

BDC Manager:  An active member of the management team who assumes responsibility for department failure or success. Manages each rep to with a “do as I do” not “do as I say” approach.

Once you’ve completed the assessment, it’s time to focus on your areas of deficiency.  Keep in mind, you’re not going to be able to address all issues at one time.  

If you want to create long-term improvement, the focus must be on behaviour management. Getting your people to execute the proper activities the proper way.

There is no quick fix. With focus, training and managerial engagement, success is almost guaranteed. The only question becomes how high is up?

The reality is most organizations don’t have an opportunity problem they have an opportunity management problem. As an industry, we’ve spent so much time and energy training our sales managers to focus solely on floor traffic we’ve allowed them to neglect, in a sense, every other lead source.